Guide to Writing in Conversational Tone
How many people get excited when they read your blog post or receive an email?
You’re probably wondering why the content you’ve put so much effort creating doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Well, you might be surprised, but the answer is a failure to write in a conversational tone.
Conversational English has become a language of business and it is definitely the language of the Internet. If you can write as though you’re talking to a friend, then you’ll solve many problems at once. Your writing will be easier and much more fun to read.
Here is how to make your text sound like a natural conversation and unlock the hearts of your readers.
1. Write for One Person
Writing to a faceless crowd makes you sound formal, generic and boring. Instead, try to talk to one particular person and create a dialogue. Invite your reader to think, guess, agree or disagree with your point of view, and your text will immediately become more engaging.
2. Use Short Sentences and Paragraphs
Get right to the point. If you can say something in fewer words, do it. The length of your sentences directly affects how difficult it is to read your article or blog post. Keep your sentences short and always break the long ones into several parts. Also try to avoid long paragraphs, four lines are enough. This will greatly improve the readability.
3. Ask Questions
Do you know what makes your content really conversational? Questions! When you ask questions, you give your readers something to think about and engage them directly into your text. It may be very effective to invite the audience to guess the right answer or you may decide to follow your question with an immediate answer.
4. Use Contractions
You’ll, you’re, we’re – contractions make your writing more natural. We speak with contractions because it helps us to talk faster, so use them in writing whenever you can to sound conversational.
5. Use Simple Language
It can be tempting to use sophisticated vocabulary in your texts. However, writing in conversational tone is not a place for you to flaunt your knowledge of terminology. You should focus on using the common expressions found in our everyday speech. Always try to use simpler words as the basis of your writing and use the complex ones only when they are absolutely necessary.
6. Tell Stories
People are naturally compelled by stories because they appeal to personal emotions. If you want to attract the reader’s attention, turn your facts and figures into an engaging narrative. Write like you’re telling a story to a friend and remember that the best stories have a clear message and a good moral.
7. Use Examples and Metaphors
Using examples can make complex ideas easy to understand. Moreover, they will strengthen your message and make your writing more conversational. Metaphors and similes are used in many forms of writing – from newspapers and magazines to novels – and enhance the description of something to have a more powerful effect on readers. Thus, be sure to use them to encourage the readers to think in a meaningful way.
8. Write in Active Voice
When you write in conversational tone, use active verbs. Why? Because the passive voice sounds impersonal and cold and it is a clear sign of over formalized language. Instead of saying “Your email will be answered,” write “I’ll answer your email within an hour.”
9. Break the Rules
Remember all those grammatical rules your English teacher taught you? Well, most of them are not applicable to conversational writing. Here are a few tips to make you sound more natural:
- Start a sentence with “and” or “but.”
- Incorporate slang.
- Finish the sentence with a preposition, such as “of,” “on,” “in.”
- You don’t always need to write the complete sentences.
- Instead of Firstly, Secondly, On the one hand, In conclusion, write Well, I mean, Anyway.
However, be careful when breaking the rules to not sound like an illiterate.
To make sure that your text sounds conversational, read it out loud. Don’t be afraid to change or cut the things to make your writing just perfect!