There are deadlines to meet, bosses to please, and with so many other people writing less-than-inspiring copy, you might ask yourself whether there’s any point in trying to break the corporate mould. This sort of thing happens to many a competent writer who has the ability to be really good – the power of the buzzword weighs down your words.
The problem is that truly engaging and persuasive copy takes more than this. It requires a fresh approach, a bold style and an ability to create genuine excitement with words.
The good news is that more and more organisations are realising that corporate copy, whether internal or external, only works if it can reach into the minds of the readers and touch them on an emotional and intellectual level. And there are ways to move your writing from blah to wow, once you’ve decided to cast off the shackles of corporate-speak.
Firstly, clean up your act. Examine your writing carefully for jargon, buzzwords, hackneyed words and phrases. Prune away needless repetition and pompous, old-fashioned words.
Once you’ve done that, and have a clear conversational style, you’ll have a strong base from which to explore ways to give your words extra persuasive power.
One way is to use facts for maximum impact. Burying people in boring data only adds to their confusion. Seek out the facts that truly tell a tale, the ones that resonate with readers and act as proof points for your arguments.
A second is to present your material using the persuasive techniques of rhetoric. Writers have spent millennia working these out. You don’t need to use the fancier ones, but some of them work as well as they ever did, even in a cynical world.
A third is to think of words in a three-dimensional way, not only in terms of their basic meaning. The sound of words greatly affects how readers respond, and the rhythm of your prose can keep your reader awake and involved. And the emotional aura around words, their connotation, is vital to effective communication.
Fourthly, connect, connect, connect! If people don’t feel you have something to offer them, and that you’re on the right wavelength, they won’t listen or, if they do, won’t respond.
Humour can be useful in this regard. It’s a vibrant part of our lives, yet it so often fades into the background as we try to show how serious we are about our work and reaching corporate goals. The fact is, being funny doesn’t mean being flippant, and humour is often one of the best ways to make a business point and win over an audience.
Finally, think about how you write on Facebook, how you tell stories in the pub, what you would do if you were trying to persuade your brother not to do something stupid; think about the thrill you had as a child when you wrote something people really liked.
Then you’ll be well on the way to unleashing your real writing self on the corporate world.
If you want to take your writing to the next level, contact us about the range of writing courses we offer.