|I mean really know your reader. Not just a name, or a demographic, or a subscriber number. But know who they are, how they think, and what’s important to them.
Learn to speak your reader’s language.
You’ll gain useful insights about your readers by asking them questions, and listening to them. Learn what’s important to them. Understand the criteria they use to make decisions. Are their priorities the same as yours? For example, you may think the costs involved in your project are critical. But your colleagues are more concerned by how the project will affect they way their teams interact.
Focus on what your reader wants to know. Eliminate everything else.
The great crime writer Elmore Leonard said it perfectly when asked why his books become best sellers: “I leave out the parts people skip.” That’s genius. He knew his content well, and he had clear insight about his readers’ expectations. He could deliver the suspenseful shot they so crave.
So give your readers everything they need to make the decisions you want them to make. Focus on the criteria that is important to them. And leave out the details they don’t need. You may be surprised at how responsive they become.
Do you lie awake at night wondering how to use a hyphen?
Things we like.
Well, get ready for a good night’s sleep. My friend Grammar Girl gives you a few easy-to-use tips about when to use the heroic hyphen.
Click her picture to read her no-frills guide to happy hyphens!
Things to ponder.
Tired of plain old ordinary cussing when the guy in the SUV gabbing on his Blackberry changes lanes with no warning? Gather fodder from the father of ill-spouting verbiage. Here’s a collection of curses that will confound that artless clay-brained lewdster once and for all!