Business Writing – your compelling story

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The New Zealand festival is well underway in Wellington. The range of performing arts means that there is something to suit everyone’s taste.

All art tells a story. A narrative is not merely words on paper. It moves through a dance piece, it flows from the end of a paint brush onto canvas, it is chiselled into a piece of marble and it is woven through threads in a piece of fabric.

I cannot always see or feel the story the artist shares, but I can appreciate both the joy and the pain that is suffered in the telling.

We all have a story and how we tell our story is the legacy we leave to those around us.

I am a business writer and a travel writer who loves to hear people’s stories. In business, if you can tell your story in a compelling way, you will engage your audience and soon find yourself with new customers and clients.

Your audience wants to know how your product or service will make them feel, how it will benefit them, how it will serve them. They don’t want to know how wonderful you are, or how many sales you make. That is not a compelling story. But if your product or service can save your audience time, bring joy to their day, make their life easier, then your story begins to have power.

See how changing the words in this story changed the ending!

 

Business writing is about telling your story. Use concrete language to appeal to your reader’s senses. Use the active voice to keep your sentences short. Use ‘first’ person to address your reader. Remember you are stepping into their office, their living room, or their train ride with your words. You want to make them feel like you are having a conversation with them.

Our readers are often time poor. They need to get to the heart of your story, the ‘what’s in it for me’ (WIIFM) quickly. Cut out wordiness, jargon, empty adjectives and clichés. Stick to the point. Think about who you are writing to, what they know, what they don’t know. Remember, words are powerful.

So, as part of my story, I am going to enjoy Writer’s Week next week. There is such a line–up of talent that I have planned to take some time out to enjoy these artists. I hope to learn more about my craft from the experts. I am going to listen to their stories in the hope it will make me better able to write your story.

If you want some help with your business story email me sue@sayitonce.co.nz

 

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