From emails to reports, posts to books, whenever you put your fingers to the keyboard, you have one goal: to persuade. For example, please read this, buy this, believe this, promote me, or hire me.
So, here are my top three tips to write persuasively:
Make your point clearly and in a variety of ways. Define what you are talking about, what you are not talking about, what it looks or feels like, and explore what critics might think of your point.
- Share stories
I count anecdotes, metaphors, and examples as stories. Stories are evidence. They are emotionally persuasive. This idea is like my grandfather’s pipe: smokin’ hot (metaphor). A classic example of persuasive writing was a TV slogan for Ryvita biscuits: “Win the inch war (metaphor)” with a picture of a woman measuring her waist. (Sexist, but persuasive.)
- Tell me why
What’s in it for me? Will I stop a child from starving, get a slimmer waist, win that big gig? Do not assume I will read your report and give you feedback just because it’s my job. Persuade me to put it to the top of my to-do list?
When are you at your most persuasive?