They arrive in my inbox as attachments.
The request is: “Here’s the latest, take look and see if it will get your agreement.” Or, “How can we make it better?” Sometimes it is just a simple, “Please edit. I’m looking for people to agree with this and take action.”
Multiple forms, one mission
Here are the most common written documents produced by my clients:
- White papers
- Position Papers
All of them are written to be informative and to one degree or another to be convincing or persuasive.
Words that work
Ever find yourself wondering what someone means, especially when they use acronyms? Do you get confused when someone’s argument goes off obliquely? Are there words you’ve heard that sound good but don’t convey a succinct meaning to you?
I’m playing with you. Let’s try those questions with other words:
Ever find yourself wondering what someone means, especially when they use collections of letters as a word? Do you get confused when someone’s thinking goes off at an angle that doesn’t make sense? Are there words you’ve heard that sound good but don’t speak clearly to you?
A better picture in your mind’s eye
The USA is not one of the greatest collections of readers in the world. Of the developed countries we rank 16th or 17th depending on the study. Scarier still is the fact that about 14% of the US population is illiterate! So why should a consultant be worried about that?
Step away from the 50-cent words
Yes, you are well educated. Yes it cost you a fortune. Yes, you’d like to put the vocabulary you learned to work. Of course, you want to impress that prospect with your knowledge.
Let your emotions be your guide
To convince or persuade you first have to communicate. To get people to see things your way you have to find a way get your ideas across to them. Shorter words have greater emotional connections. The little words make people feel things. Some examples:
- Canine versus dog
- Residence versus home
- Endeavor versus aim
- Unbiased versus fair
- Expeditious versus fast
Understanding is a many layered thing
The length of sentences as much as the words used control what we understand.
A sentence that goes on and on like a winding country road that meanders through one croft to another over hill and dale passing innocent bovine pastures and orchards swollen with nuts and fruits will sooner or later cause a bump in the reading larger than any of the chasms in the lanes.
Whew! I got lost somewhere around “bovine.”
To win, you need to write short.
To get the gig you need to touch their emotions.
Do not make them guess.
Find the words they use.
The right words.
This is the way I end a speech that talks about how to go from nobody to somebody:
- The Right Words can make you Memorable in a heartbeat
- The Right Words can generate trust as you introduce yourself
- The Right Words allow people to sort themselves into prospects or referral sources
- The Right Words can get the sale.
- The Right Words can establish your brand in the time it takes you to speak them
And so it goes.
Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc.
His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.