How using action words add *oomph* to your writing


Ahhh, the Australian Open.

It’s started and we love it.

The rhythmic thwack and ping of tennis balls emanating from the TV as we busy ourselves in the office.

The “ooh’s” and “aahs” of the crowd engrossed in all that tennis action.

We’ll be enjoying the ride over the next two weeks as our tennis heros sweat, grunt and scream in their bid to lift the elusive trophy.

The promise of all that tennis action has inspired me to write about active versus passive writing. The type of writing that engages people and makes them want to read more.

Exciting, visual words that paint a picture and tell a story.

The interesting stuff, like watching a tennis match between the two best players in the world. You’re hooked, on the edge of your seat and not leaving until it’s over…

It’s pointless spending hours researching and writing a document that just isn’t going to get read.

You may as well do some filing.

And it doesn’t matter what type of document it is – even annual reports can be written in a style that captures the reader’s attention.

How do you make your writing more active to engage your reader?

Let’s use sport to illustrate the point:-

“The ball was hit down the line by Sharapova” (passive)


“Sharapova sliced a backhand down the line” (active)

In the active sentence, Sharapova is the subject, sliced is the verb and backhand is the object.

In the passive sentence, the ball becomes the subject, hit is the verb but Sharapova becomes the object.  This sentence is passive because the object, not the subject, is performing the action described by the verb.

It’s the placement of the action in the sentence that either gets the point across faster or bores the reader.

An active voice is usually more clear, less wordy and tedious.

The next time you write a document, whether it’s a letter, brochure copy or content for an annual report, make sure the readers experience ALL of the action.

Need help? Send a message via our Contact Us form and we’ll happily give you some tips on being active in your writing.

Game.  Set.  Match…

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