While preparing for a Toastmasters speech that I gave last night (Project 4: How to Say It in the Communication and Leadership Program manual), I noticed the speech instructions had great advice not just for speaking, but also for writing:
- “If you want listeners to understand and accept you, be sure to speak the same way they speak, using familiar words and concepts.”
- “Select words that leave no opportunity for misunderstanding.”
- “Select verbs carefully…use verbs that have energy. Shake, roll, and wiggle have more energy than move.
- “Use active voice…The active voice uses fewer words, is easier to follow, and sounds more lively and interesting.”
- “The verbs is, are, were, and was weaken your message because they don’t show action.”
- “Strive to say a lot in as few words as possible. Many words are unnecessary or are used as ‘fillers.'”
- “Use specialized terminology only when speaking to people familiar with those terms.”