Have you ever read something that felt dry and impersonal? Many works could benefit from using a more conversational style of writing when trying to appeal to an audience. A conversational writing style is more fluid and can convey just about any message to your audience. You may notice a more casual style in company newsletters as well as in certain newspapers and magazines. In order to improve your writing style, it is best to study a few user-friendly conversational writing tips.
Know the Basics of Conversational Writing
A conversational writing style is aimed at a target audience and addresses them as such. Unlike technical writing, sentences may begin with pronouns and end with verbs. Sometimes there are fragmented sentences infused to display a thought. Sentences may even begin with coordinating conjunctions such as "and," "but" and "yet."
Know Your Audience
Before you write, know who you are writing for. Is your audience young children, teenagers or adults? Is your subject matter more informative, educational or genre-specific? Depending on your answers to these questions, you will want to frame your writing accordingly. How would you talk to your target audience if you were conversing with them face to face? The tone will determine how you approach writing for your audience.
Tell a Story
The single most important part of a conversational writing piece is that it tells a definitive story. The story is fluid and delivered in such a way that the reader will feel as if he or she were talking with their best friend.
If you are unsure about how to deliver the fluidity of the conversational tone, then record yourself when you are talking on the phone and then transcribe your conversation. You will notice when you go back and read it that there is a definitive conversational style that is apparent. Once you see your conversational voice, you will better be able to use your conversational voice in your writing on demand.
Write the Way You Talk
It is important to listen to that little voice in your head — you know, the voice of reason. This can include writing in second person, which makes your voice more personal and the reader feel as though you are addressing them directly.
Listen to your voice when you talk, and try to emulate it when you write. When you do, your conversational style will definitely shine through.
Use Active Voice
In writing, there are two basic tones of voice: active and passive. Active voice adds impact to your writing when you:
use action verbs
have a strong tone
emphasize the subject of the sentence
describe the action
There are many ways to make your passive voice more active. A good place to start is to read your writing aloud and ask yourself what you can do to make your voice more exciting and casual as it would be in a conversation.
Write in Short Sentences
Have you ever read something that seemed to go on forever or was difficult to understand because the sentences were long and wordy? Writing in short sentences not only makes your writing easier to read, but it also communicates your message more effectively. Some of the many ways short sentences improve your writing include:
eliminates redundant information
gets to the point
makes everything easier
Use Easy to Understand Words
There is no need to use large, fifty-cent words — the average reader may not appreciate them anyways. You can tone down your vocabulary when you are writing conversationally. People are more apt to follow you if you use words that they can understand.
Use Contractions in Your Writing
One of the things that most writers who are fluent in conversational writing style may do is use an abundance of contractions. If the name of the game is to catch and keep the reader's attention one of the best ways to do this is to use contractions in sentences to make the tone more casual.
For example, if you were trying to interest the reader in buying a product or service, you may want to use more contractions in your sentence. When a reader sees a contraction, almost instantaneously he or she will let their eyes go back to the contraction. Whether to better digest the text or just because their attention was caught, the reader will re-read the statement.
Get to the Point
Wordiness creates both chaos and confusion. Too many words will turn a reader off and make them stray away from your work. The point is to be smooth and conversational, not abrupt, wordy and aggressive.
If you can read your writing out loud and it flows, then you have accomplished your innate mission of writing conversationally. If at any time, you stumble as you are reading your work, then it may not necessarily be flowing in the way that a conversation would. Look for fluidity in your work, and try not to overanalyze what you have written.
Writing Tips to Take Your Work to the Next Level
Writing in a conversational tone may take a bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it, you will always be able to use it as a most effective writing tool. Whether you are writing an article, a speech or a story, the most important thing is finding your voice and listening to it.