HOW TO GIVE YOUR BUSINESS WRITING A TWIST OF THE NOSE
What happens when you twist someone's nose?
To begin with, you get their full attention. No
distractions. No mind wandering.
That's why it's important to put a nose-twist into your
own 'important' business communications.
HERE'S HOW NOSE-TWISTING WORKS
You have a brilliant idea for marketing a new product.
Now, it needs to be put into writing for consideration by
other decision makers.
(Note: I'm not suggesting that only marketing people have
this type of writing challenge. Anyone...including
you...will one day have to distribute some important
information, sell something [perhaps yourself], or
encourage the adoption of an idea. Effective business
writing is an important skill for any successful business
person...no matter what career path you've chosen.)
Many people might start out their idea proposal something
like this. 'Following is an idea I feel will be effective
in helping to market the new Axtec product.' Now doesn't
that get the blood pumping.
Instead of this kind of ho hum opening, try saying
something provocative, such as: 'Six months after launch,
our new Axtec product could capture a 20% market share by
putting into action the following promotional idea.'
Or, you could ask a question like, 'What is the one
feature about the new Axtec product that could catapult it
above all competition?'
Naturally, you need to have some basis for your claims or
questions. You don't want to be caught exaggerating. If
people suspect you are trying to con them into reading
something, your day on the stage is over.
Here are several other excellent ways of giving your
imcoms a nose-twist in addition to the provocative
statement or question:
1. Open with a story - The story might setup a problem
your proposal would help solve. If you're uncertain how
this works, read a copy of Reader's Digest. Many of their
articles begin with a narration.
2. Provide a startling statistic - Just make certain it is
startling. Conventional statistics seldom deliver much of a
(The following suggestions assume your imcom is being
distributed as hard copy.)
3. Include a sample - If the subject of your imcom
involves a product or product sample that is easily glued
to a letter or first page of a proposal, this is an
excellent attention getter. Products might include a new
grade of sandpaper, stronger plastic, new fabric...etc.
4. Alter the paper - I have punched holes in letters, cut
off corners, even burned the edges of an imcom in order to
attract attention. Just make certain it ties in with your
headline and subject.
None of these suggestions are considered standard business
writing techniques. And that's the point. Being a little
unconventional can make your imcom the standout business
communication of the day. Just avoid being cute or clever.
That almost never works.
Remember, developing your skills as a business writer will
put you miles ahead of the crowd, no matter what your job
or business. It should be as much a part of your work-a-day
world as the language you speak. Even a small investment in
developing these skills will bring huge returns in future
About the Author
Doug C. Grant is the author of the new e-book, `How to
Move from Cubicle to Corner Office with THE SECRETS OF
POWER WRITING'. A FREE preview plus details on receiving a
FREE Blue Pencil Edit for one of your own imcoms is
available by e-mailing: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
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