Don’t be afraid to write – just use your voice

Steve Randall - Media Consultant

I’ve been writing on and off for more than twenty years but the spoken word has always been my passion.

I started to become interested in radio to the point of obsession as a kid and was lucky enough to make it my full time job almost as soon as I left school.

I currently make more income as a writer than I do in radio but rather than completely change the way I communicate I have stuck with it, with some small adjustments.

When I work with people who have a story to share and want to write a blog or content for their website they often say “but I can’t write”.

Often these are some of the most eloquent speakers and the most passionate about their business. It’s not that they can’t write, it’s that they believe that writing is somehow a skill far removed from their ability to speak.

If you are writing up the results of a scientific study or a legal document there will be certain rules that you need to follow. When writing a great work of fiction there are certain tricks and tips that will help you become the next J.K. Rowling.

However if you are trying to convey your own personal story or the vision of your business, you probably already have the tools you need.

I am writing this blog post exactly as I would say it; most of the time that is how I write. If you have heard me on the radio or met me in person imagine me speaking these words. Now think what you would say if you were telling me your story – use those same words in the same way in your writing.

The definition of communication is: “The imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium” [Source: oxforddictionaries.com] – how you communicate is up to you.

Professional authors or journalists develop their own style using words to create their magic. Sometimes this will mean challenging the reader with the choice of vocabulary and turn of phrase.

For an author that, along with the story, is an essential part of their brand. Your focus is not to be hailed as the greatest writer of the century; it’s to tell your story, promote your business, share your expertise.

Don’t get scared off by thinking that writing has to be a whole new thing you have to learn. Use the communication skills you have and think of written content as just another platform to tell your story.

Here are my top tips for starting out:

  • Decide on a focused topic
  • Come up with a great title/headline
  • Write in your own words, just like you’d say it
  • Avoid jargon
  • If an average 13/14 year old would understand it, you’re using the right words

Remember, writing a blog post is not about using the longest, cleverest words. You want all readers to easily get their cerebrum; sorry, brain; around your message or idea.

We are at a point where people are less impressed with ‘corporate fluff’ written by professionals and more interested in doing business with real people. Writing and other forms of communication can be great for building your reputation and authority in your business sector and to help you become the one that people “know, like and trust”.

Write soon!