How To Write Conversationally: 9 Tips To Engage And Delight Your Audience
Many times, we cringe and delete marketing emails upon reading them. This is because we don’t find them relevant and the majority of them just sound too mechanical, with no personal touch to them as if a machine wrote them. Some are just written with poor grammar and make you wonder why these guys can’t make use of proofreading service.
While at school, you learned about the grammar rules, how to write and spell, but they didn’t teach you on how to connect with your audience. We didn’t learn how to persuade and inspire our readers. Readers too crave the human touch.
While consuming the conversational content we feel like we’re in the same room with the writer and we are able to relate to whatever they are saying. We even begin to form pictures in our mind and actually visualise whatever’s being said.
There are various techniques that can make your content sound more conversational. Let’s consider 9 tips below:
1. Don’t Write To Everyone
Picture yourself writing an email to your subscribers. To these faceless people you probably sound like:
“Thanks to those of you have answered our questions, you can answer more questions here.”
This statement sounds like you are talking to a crowd because of the phrase “those of you”. Your favourite subscriber often replies to all your emails with nothing but admiration and praise even though you have never met. This would sound better:
“Have you answered our questions? Thank you so much. If you haven’t yet, you can do so here.”
A conversational tone makes the reader feel like the message is personal and special. It’s as if you two are cordial friends.
2. Don’t Impress
When talking to your closest friend what words do you use? Do you try to amuse them with strong jargon? Do you use sophisticated words?
To write conversationally, leave out the strong words and make your content easy to understand. Have a look at this example:
“Pioneering application from the market leaders.”
“Schedule your online updates with our media team.”
Now here is how the conversational version sounds like:
“Save time with our new software, schedule an interview with our social media team.”
Empathy is the basis of a good foundation when trying to create a personal connection with your readers.
Understand your users, what they’re struggling with, and be sure to address their problems. Write to help.
3. Engage Your Readers
When writing, you should be able to, as it were, see the face of the person on the other end of the conversation. We often forget to engage our readers, thus, end up writing for ourselves.
Here is how this creeps into our minds:
“Sign up to get our weekly marketing tips”
The pronouns “we” and “our” are self-referring words. Here is how you focus on your readers instead:
“Grow your business with precise marketing. Join now to get weekly marketing tips”.
To weed out these, be sure to remove the “I” and “We”. Edit them out. Make sure you use more of “you” or “us” which will make the reader feel as part of the conversation. “I” and “We” tend to put the focus on the writer, which often ends up distancing the reader from whatever you’re saying.
4. Use Your Personality
Think of the people you like to hang out with most, why do you enjoy their company? Most people would agree that it’s the stories that they share which make some people more enjoyable company than others. It might be a story about a biased decision by a match official during the midweek match, or the box office flick that was too thrilling, or maybe an opinion on a current trending topic. Your friends normally talk about what they most like to do or rather their interests.
This should be the same with your content. When you discuss topics that are of interest to you, your writing will come off as conversational. Use of descriptive words and illustrations will make it even much better.
Think of how you can introduce your personality to your emails or posts:
Share your mistakes with your readers so that they can learn from you.
Be personal when illustrating a point.
Create your own metaphors.
Explain to your readers why you are undertaking this mission to change the world.
When you put a little bit of yourself in your writing, you make your content more conversational.
5. Ask Questions
Do you ask questions in your writing?
Research has proven that when you pose a question on your social media posts, you are bound to get more likes and even be more persuasive. Questions make readers think and meditate more on your message.
Note the difference between these two:
“You should include question tags so that your writing becomes more conversational”
“Do you want to make your writing more conversational? Add a few questions”
Questions are a powerful tool that will engage your readers and persuade them. They keep your readers glued to your content.
6. Use Shorter Sentences
A standard tone normally sounds boring and synthetic. An academic voice creates distance as it shows that you look down on your readers. Both styles make the readers keep you at a distance plus long sentences are too tiring to read.
To make your content more readable, make them shorter.
Here is an example of a long boring sentence:
“Depicting yourself as an expert shows that you are unidirectional, but when you compose short stories about you in addition to your vast knowledge, you become bidirectional human being and, thus, you’re more fascinating.”
Did you run out of breath while reading that? Those are a lot of words to read at one go.
Here is how a conversational version sounds like:
“Depicting yourself as an expert shows that you are unidirectional. Compose short stories about you, to complement your vast knowledge. This makes you a bidirectional human being meaning people will find you more fascinating.”
In school, you received bonus points for using hard complicated sentences. However, when writing for the masses, keep your readers in mind and make your message simple.
7. Break The Rules
Following grammar rules makes it easier for content to be consumed. However, certain rules make it harder for users to read your writing, so don’t be afraid to break them.
Start your sentences with “and”, “but” or “or”. These words make it easier for your content to be read and less monotonous.
Compose one sentence paragraphs so as to stress statements and they also give readers time to breathe.
From time to time, feel free to use the unusual words like umm… or interjections like “phew” and “ouch”. They add feeling to the writing.
The point here is not to focus too much on observing the rules of grammar at the expense of effectiveness of conveying your message and communicating your ideas. However, don’t just blatantly disregard proper grammar!
8. Embrace Your Voice
Have you ever read a note from a friend and heard their voice in your head?
This is how readers should feel about your content; let your words resonate in their minds. Let them linger long after they have stopped reading your writing. In a world that is devoured by social media, we all crave the human touch. So, be yourself and offer a piece of yourself.
9. Be Funny
An easier way to make people love your writing is to be funnier. Tell them a joke that they can relate to. You can decide to be sarcastic, or just add a few things to your writing to bring about humour.
This will make them relax and trust you in your writing. The amount of funny that you use in your text depends also on the audience in question. However much you choose to be funny, be mindful of the audience.
In conclusion, writing in a conversational manner will make your content more relevant to your readers. They’ll enjoy it more and you may end up having a huge following on your blog or social media page. It’s good practice to have someone else go through your work – make use of proofreading service. A second look from a different party will help identify any errors or issues that you may have overlooked.