Let me hear your voice: writing conversationally

Writing for the web should be done in a conversational tone. While that’s an easy thing to say, it’s really hard for most communicators to get beyond the fact that we were taught to write “professionally” and that conversational feels wrong for any work communications.

Why is conversational important?

With all of the information that’s available at the tap of a few keys, people have started expecting their information to look different.  They want it to be easy to read and they want it to be engaging. They want to feel like they know who is writing; like someone is explaining something specifically to them or telling them a story, instead of reading a factual explanation.

As a small business owner, if someone is reading what you’re writing, whether it be on a blog, on Twitter or on Facebook, you are slowly letting potential and current clients get to know you.

If you are friendly or funny, that will come through.  If you have sarcastic wit or find the intricacies of certain topics, that will come through.  The more your audience gets that sense of you, the more they can connect with you.  The more they connect with you, the more they feel as if they know you.  The more they feel as if they know you, the more inclined they are to work with you, buy from you, and recommend you.

How do I do it?

The easiest way to write conversationally is to start with a story.  Practice by writing a story about yourself.

For example:

- How you met your spouse

- The best trip you ever had

- How you chose your career.

Once you’ve written it, read it out loud to yourself and ask yourself if it sounds like something you would say.  

Another tactic that can help is for you to record yourself telling a story and then type out the transcript.

Try both and see which one feels more genuine and true to who you are and what you want people to know about you.  The more you practice, the more natural it will become!

If you try it, I’d love to see it.  Email me and I promise I’ll respond and let you know what I think.

Also, I’d love if you’d leave a comment below and let me know if you agree that writing conversationally is important and whether or not you have a hard time doing it.