I read a lot of stuff, most of which is forgettable. Boring-ass and purely weak – the kind of writing that could make sleeping pills obsolete. But that, once in a while, I come across a site like Nina’s castles in the air, and I’m totally taken hostage by the author’s world !
It’s no surprise that the best writers, speakers and brands write powerful magic – high impact words that captivate, entertain and inspire you to act in THEIR favors.
It goes beyond manipulation – it’s the ability to emotionally hit the nerve of your audience and to bombard it with rounds of pure awesomeness.
The truth is:
Your writing style either shoots air bullets that won’t even scratch the skin of your audience, and or it pierces through them like acid rounds and blows them away in pure “awe”.
I pay a lot of attention on word choice and writing, and I want to make sure that IT has the maximum impact on my audience, both in the off-and online world !
If you want to take your writing and speaking to the NEXT level, and you want to highly IMPACT the people you communicate to, check out my secrets.
These are tips that I learned from other mavericks – magic stuff that makes you sure you shoot 0.44 bullets instead of water drops !
Let’s start with…
Copy writing !
No, not the manipulative writing that makes confused people buy your stuff – I mean copying WRITINGS of people you ADMIRE .
When I started out, my writing was CRAPPY as hell. Grammar wasn’t existent, word choice was at the level of a brain-fried toddler and the overall word flow was as stale as the blood flow of a 90 year old.
I could blame it on English NOT being my first language, but hey, HOW LAME IS THAT. Instead of crying myself into sleep, I did what every Asian already knows if he wants to dominate a market – You COPY the icons in your field until you break your fingers !
For me, that meant copying posts from Seth Godin and Copyblogger, EVERY SINGLE DAY, for about a YEAR. I still sucked at the beginning, but my inner fire was burning bright, and I wanted to write a least AS GOOD AS a decent American writer (which isn’t a real challenge).
After months of finger bashing, I got into the hang of it. Of course I wasn’t writing as stellar as Seth Godin (gosh, this guy is twice my age) and my word choices weren’t as slick as Copyblogger’s authors – but I was improving – rapidly.
You now say – but Mars, your writing is still so terrible it makes blind kids cry, but I say “it’s WAY better than a year ago !” For someone who almost flunked the English exams (in writing of course!), I’d say it’s fat ass improvement !
People always say you have to be ORIGINAL, but unless you have been touched by the goddess of creativity, it’s PRETTY DAMN hard. Learn your craft FIRST and make it original LATER. In fact, originality comes from KNOWING the INS and OUTS of your craft !
Look at Japan – 30 years ago this was a rice country. But the Japanese had endless fire inside, and copied thousands of Western electronics and machines. They became so good at copying, that they started seeing MISTAKES in the products. Eventually, they build their own products from the “copied” knowledge and went for world domination.
COPY the writing styles of people you admire. Every a blog post, or a few paragraphs. It doesn’t have to be MUCH, but you HAVE to do it every day. And after a while, you will be able to infuse your “copied” knowledge into your own style. DO IT !
Use MOTION language and blow some excitement into your audience.
A few years ago, when I heavily considered becoming a movie director, I took a screenwriting course. I sadly forgot most of it, but one writing lesson still haunts my mind – probably because the teacher hammered it into our brains:
Always use ACTIVE words !
I thought about it, and spend the following weeks reading all kinds of award-winning screenplays. And it was true – ALL of them had an ACTIVE writing style !
WHENEVER you are writing a sentence and you want it to give it some OOOMPH, think about MOTION and ACTION. The more active your word choice, the MORE you will excite your reader and the BIGGER the impact you will have on him or her.
I HAVE an INTERESTING life style that includes swimming.
I LEAD a life where I just dive into the waves of the ocean.
Do you feel the difference ? HELL yeah.
ALWAYS convey movement in your writing.
Ask yourself: Is your sentence stagnant and stale ( I HAVE a business) or is it active and moving ( I’m RUNNING a business). It all boils down to one thing:
Use LESS nouns and MORE verbs.
A noun is a main word like house, fish, hotel, punishment and sugar. Verbs are ACTION words that mean movement: go, read, swim, eat, sleep and dance.
The more VERBS aka ACTION words you use, the more active your writing becomes, which results in more EXCITEMENT and IMPACT for and on your readers !
Do we HAVE an understanding OR can you FOLLOW my words ?
Create your own word choice and infiltrate your reader’s mind.
I luv this method, and I believe it’s the COOLEST way to infiltrate your target’s mind with your brand idea ! Instead of using a boring-ass word choice that you see on THOUSAND other places, you CONSCIOUSLY think about using your OWN word choice. I’m always using “luv” instead of love, because I luv using it this way. I also use word creations a la “sweet-a-licious” (meaning super-awesome), “white magic” (for being good in a clean, fun way) and strong words like “vaporize” and “impact”.
And I’m not the only one – check out Ashley Ambirge’s writing style. If I’m the dynamite, she’s the nuclear reactor of word choice epicness. Just reading through her highly creative blog business ebook makes me sweat in excitement – it’s that WILD and COMPELLING !
My goal is to make my writing style so UNIQUELY me that you would recognize A MILE away. I believe you should do the SAME ! Stop referring to your lame-ass correct word choice you learned in high school – GET CREATIVE and think about the CORE words you can use on an ongoing basis.
Fire high-impact words that pierce through your audience like butter.
I read tons of stuff, sometimes 20+ blogs A DAY. Most of the things I read are forgettable, because the content creator goes for weak words that don’t even scratch the surface of my interest. The author is playing it safe, and goes for low-impact phrases that reek of insecurity:
I think you should do it this way…
Maybe it can be done like this…
You should and could…
Meh – only a coward talks like this and that ain’t YOU. Drop words that make you seem like an insecure 16 year old with daddy issues – express your BELIEVE and don’t TONE them down. Naomi Dunford is the queen of using strong words. When I read her brilliant eguide on “How to launch the **** out of your ebook”, I was BOTH struck by her knowledge AND the courage to infuse it into HIGHLY POWERED and STRONG words.
Instead of “I think” – use “ I believe”
I believe this is the right thing to do !
Instead of saying “It’s possible to do it this way” say “ My way of doing it”.
If you get that right, remember to get rid of fillers as well – “brain farts” that stretch and weaken your overall message:
I think I have a very compelling idea that could really interest a lot of people.
Did you find the usual suspects ? They are words like:
very, really, a lot of, etc.
Those words don’t add ANYTHING important to the message – the opposite: They weaken it and torture the poor reader to intellectual death. Kill those culprits.
This is better:
I’m crafting an idea that elevates the minds of passion-infused people.
Hack away weak words. Use strong words that convey your message. Be proud to share your BELIEF !
A picture is worth a TRILLION words
The best speakers and writers in the WORLD use imagery language – their writings take us to fantastic places and inspire and entertain us. That’s nothing new, but too many people STILL get it wrong, and I feel like SLAPPNG them in face. If you don’t want to get slapped, and you want to CAPTURE you audience with your crafting, GO FOR VISUALS every goddamn time !
But what does this mean practically ?
It’s ALL about using LESS abstracts and MORE tangible words.
Here’s the difference:
Abstract – hope, suspension, comprehension, theory, abstract, qualification etc.
Those words are ABSTRACT – your brain doesn’t know HOW to picture them. And if your brain can’t visualize them, it shoots those meaningless words straight into oblivion. Your message GETS ignored, which is the kiss of death !
Tangible words – tree, green, sky, explosive, mind-blowing, writing, laughing etc.
Not all of these words are tangible, but all of them are EASY to picture because they are visual. Check out Cori’s Big Girl Branding blog to experience a visual overkill language extravaganza !
So, instead of saying “ The speech interested a lot of people” you could say “The speech blew THEM away like a Tsunami wave”.
Of course this is over the top, but examples always have to be over the top ! No matter what you write or say – ALWAYS go for VISUAL impacts – in your speech, in your copywriting and in your videos. Use metaphors (like the Tsunami wave !) and take your audience to your world of imagination !
What to do NOW
They are probably a TRILLION more ways to impact your audience with compelling speaking and writing, but I found those to be ULTRA-effective !
And I’m curious – what are YOUR ways of compelling writing and speaking ?
Share it with the community in the comments and let’s take our word-forging to the NEXT level !
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