Copywriting tips: the importance of engaging your audience
I recently visited a voice coach to address a few issues I have with public speaking. We discussed my concerns which range from handling nerves to controlling my breathing. He then did a voice assessment and whilst I have a nice, clear, alto voice, my tone isn’t great. In other words, my voice is boring.
Boring means dull. So I need to find a way to pitch my voice and deliver my message so that it engages my audience. How can my skills as a copywriter help me with this?
My voice coach pointed out that even though I’m writing I’m still talking but just doing it in the written rather than verbal form. When you talk to someone, you can tell you’ve got their attention by looking for visual cues like body language and eye contact. When you write, you don’t have those visual cues and so your content needs to be written in an engaging style and tone to capture and maintain your audience’s attention.
The style and tone you use in your writing depends on the topic you’re writing about, the audience you are writing for and what you want your readers to do. Copywriting for an annual report that contains a lot of financial data is more formal than the conversational, engaging tone used in marketing copywriting for a brochure or newsletter. If you’re giving a presentation on your company’s financial results, can you deliver the facts and figures in an engaging way that will keep your audience’s attention? If you can it will be much more memorable.
I do a lot of marketing copywriting for brochures, newsletters, websites and other materials and I tend to write in a style that is conversational, just like I am talking to my reader face-to-face. And so if I can learn to do public speaking in a similar manner I would have the audience eating out of the palm of my hand.
The following copywriting tips will not only help improve your writing but could also help improve your public speaking skills. So the next time I need to give a presentation or speak at a public event, I’ll refer to these tips to help plan my content to ensure an engaging and confident delivery.
- write the way you talk, in an active, conversational style that is clear, concise and that anyone can understand. This style helps you connect with your readers and give them a reason to care about what you have to say. It’s about being genuine and stripping away all the stuffiness of more formal writing
- use the power of persuasion in your content because telling a persuasive story that transports your readers or audience is more compelling than delivering a blatant sales pitch. Everyone likes listening to stories so use detailed imagery, suspense, metaphors and irony that is exciting and catches people’s attention.
- use simple words. Don’t overcomplicate things for your audience. Your written (and verbal) words are more likely to be remembered if you write simply.
- be authentic in your content. Address common concerns your audience may have and then assure them with facts and evidence that they have nothing to worry about.
- don’t use jargon, buzzwords or obscure words. Remember, your writing is all about the audience, not you
- don’t ramble and don’t get sloppy. Even though a conversational style is more light and casual, don’t throw grammar out the window. Your writing still needs to look smooth, polished and coherent.
- read your work out loud – if it doesn’t sound write, change it. It’s surprising how reading your writing out loud gives it new meaning
Happy copywriting and happy presenting!