How do you know if your writing is compelling and will get people excited about what you're offering?
When you're engrossed in your writing and you've pondered and obsessed over every word for days, it's hard to step back and take an objective look at how well it works. I don't know about you but when I'm so involved I often can't even see my own typos!
No wonder then that it's difficult for you to judge the effectiveness of your words. There's nothing wrong with this. It's simply that you are too close and too emotionally involved in your words take a step back and hear what they're really saying.
There's an easy solution.
Read your writing aloud, preferably to a friend.
Call a friend and ask "would you just listen to this. How does it sound?" Now this is not the opinion of a seasoned professional who can dissect exactly what is or is not working. But the feedback you get is invaluable.
The advantages of reading aloud to someone are that:
Reading aloud to someone else beats reading it aloud to yourself. When you know someone is listening, your mind-set changes. And that makes all the difference in the world to how you read and to your reactions.
- You hear whether your words have rhythm.
- You hear whether you've struck a really conversational tone or not.
- You notice when you stumble over longer words. If this happens, substitute shorter ones.
- You notice whether you have to take a breath in the middle of sentence in order to finish it. If you do, the sentence is too long and you need to shorten it.
- You feel if there's excitement in you as you read. If it doesn't excite you, then why should it excite anyone else?
- You notice if you get bored while reading. If you get bored, then why would it keep the interest of a potential client?
- You get feedback from someone who can tell you where you lost them in your reasoning, where their attention wandered because it wasn't emotionally compelling. Go back and fix those places
- You hear if your copy is vibrant and has life in it. If not, then go back to the drawing board.
Try it and see!
Copyright 2008 Maggie Dennison