This month I had the privilege of catching up with Kelly Stone. I have been connected to Kelly for quite a while now and have always been impressed with her creative writing skills.
Kelly helps companies create brilliant job advertisements to help attract the right talent to an organisation.
It seems fitting I asked Kelly to share her top 5 tips on how to write with finesse.
Good writing is clear and easy to follow. Here are 5 ways to write with impact at work.
- Start a daily journaling habit – Whether it’s one A4 page or you set a 5-minute timer, try to journal every day. Journaling is the best way to unearth your true personal writing voice as you’re writing unfiltered and unedited with absolutely no outcome intended. Meaning, you’re not writing words to impress someone and you’re not writing with a fear of being judged. Thoughts straight onto paper. You’ll also find your creativity flex over time.
- Choose the simple words – Corporate writing is *not* academic writing, so avoid stuffing big and puffy words into your sentences because you think it makes you sound smart! You’re actually doing the opposite – and likely confusing your audience. You’ll want to imagine that you’re writing for 8th-grade level to ensure that your message always sticks. A good way to approach it is to consider your spoken language: If you wouldn’t use a word in speech, don’t use it in your text. Examples? Myriad, utilise, plethora – “Grandma, there’s a plethora of weeds in your rose garden. I’ll utilise the weed spray,”? Nah, I’m not so sure about that.
- Write conversationally – Again, thinking about how your spoken language differs from your puffy written style. A conversational tone is easier to read and engage with because it feels like the writer is talking to us directly. For all written mediums, use more contractions and consider the use of second-person POV (you and we). For emails, blogs, social media posts (anything that isn’t a corporate report), consider starting some sentences with conjunctions (and, but, because), to make it feel like a natural conversation flows.
- Keep your sentences light and tight – A well written page of text will have sentences of varying word lengths, and paragraphs of varying sentence lengths. Mix it up for sure. As a general rule, try to keep most sentences under 25 words. If your single sentence takes up 5-page lines and a whole paragraph, edit it. Cut out words or cut it into multiple sentences. When you stuff too many words in, you lose the reader in their failed comprehension of your intended message. This is especially relevant for complex topics and concepts.
- Inject personality and story – Allow your ‘you-ness’ to emerge on paper because it is much more engaging and authentic for your readers. People connect with personality, not logos. A few ideas to help: metaphors, similes and analogies. If it suits you, pop culture references and puns. For appropriate occasions, weave in your hero’s journey tale from adversity to triumph.
I highly recommend you follow Kelly on LinkedIn, you can check out her profile here: