Garblog's Pages

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Five Churchillian tips for writing like a leader | Doris & Bertie, Good Copy, Bad Copy

This blog begins with an excerpt from one of Winston Churchill's inspiring speeches and then analyzes why it works. The blog provides five reasons, with examples from the speech. 

Summarized, here are the the five writing tips:
1. He gets straight to the point

Lesson: If you’ve got to deliver some bad news, don’t start by warming to your theme – the wait only makes things more painful. Worse still, never try to make out the news is good.

2. He doesn’t flinch from the truth

Lesson: If you want to get people on board with your strategy, it pays to be honest.

3. He paints a picture

Lesson: Be concrete, not abstract. Use metaphors to get your message across.

4. He uses short, simple words

Lesson: Run your own text through the Gunning Fog Index and replace as many long words as you can. Pitch your writing at the level of the primary school, not the PhD.
5. He makes his verbs do the work
Lesson: Break out of the corporate language rut and ditch dead verbs.
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