You Only Have 15 Seconds
Modern readers scan. You only have fifteen seconds to get someone’s attention. If your headline does not grab their attention they won’t read your writing. If your first sentence does not live up to the promise of the headline they are unlikely to return to your posts.
If you follow this list, people will read your article:
- Start with the most important news.
- Communicate it clearly.
- Only include necessary information.
- Organize your information logically.
- Write in a chronological sequence.
- Use simple words. (Your average word length should be four characters)
- Use short sentences. (Your average sentence length should be nine words)
- Use short paragraphs. (Your average paragraphs should be three sentences.)
- Leave out unnecessary words.
- Use the active voice. (Avoid the passive voice.)
- Write in plain language.
- Your grammar, punctuation, and spelling must be correct.
Surgeons follow procedures when they operate. Writers need to follow rules when they write.
If you want to improve your business writing skills, join us for The Plain Language Programme.