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Practise and Publish

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Use Language to Grow

Use Language to Grow

  • By Val
  • Posted Jan 27, 2017

It is hard to overestimate the power of language. Still why so many people complain that they fall an easy prey to someone more confident and less scrupulous. They report feeling miserable when unable to defend their opinion, make others listen when they are right or telling an exciting story. Is it all about the command of the language? 
Obviously, not. It's about understanding human nature (yes, literally, how our brain and body works!), psychology and yourself: your image and personality, your goals and intentions, your relationship with the communication partner and attitude towards the subject matter. There are gazillions of pages written about it, and still communication failures remain a stubborn misfortune of people.
However, let's be optimistic and try to tackle this problem. Every little helps!

How to deliver a convincing message

Although most of these techniques have been developed for copywriting, they can be applied in a variety of situations: in private conversations, in business, in writing, in public speaking, etc.

Step 1. Purpose
Make up your mind:
a) what you want as a result of the interaction;
b) what your partner/ audience needs to hear to help you achieve the result;
(This last question can dramatically change the whole plan, because you will shift the focus from your feelings to your partner or audience.)

c) how to coin your main message by answering the question: So, what?

Step 2. Name

Give your message a "name". Choose a word that will name the idea you want to deliver.
Remember that "The name you will give to your ship will determine how it will sail" (Andrey Nekrasov)
This step is highly important, because it will anchor your message in the memory of your listeners or readers.

 Here are some tips how to choose the right name for your company, product, service, or idea:
a) easy to pronounce and remember
Use a frequent word, like "effective"or a meaningful phrase, like "get-it-done")
       It will be our happy-go-lucky plan.
       b) easy spelling, especially for domain names, e-mail addresses, and goods sold online
                bellissimo  One "l"? Two "l"?
c) positive 
          victorious
d) easy to visualize
          banana-shaped 

       e) convertible to other languages
                 a ballistic performance

Step 3. Message

a) Say or do something to capture attention:
- a question
                  What do you think the next step will be?
- an action
                  Turn this cup upside down. Why do you think the water stays in the cup?
- color and movement
                  Wear or have something bright, like a folder or a red logo on the screen
- a surprise
                   Look what I have brought for you! This little bag can hold five kilos!

b) Address senses, emotions, feelings, reason and values:
- use adjectives to describe sensory experiences;
                  It's smooth and warm.
- use adjectives to describe emotions;
                  An amazing solution
- use adjectives to describe specification;
                  It's slim and can easily fit into any briefcase
- use sentences to describe the future
                   After you've tried it once, you will never want anything different.
- appeal to people's imagination
                  Imagine that you are driving this car? How will your body feel?
                   Imagine that you have scored 95 in this test. How would you feel?

IMPORTANT: Avoid manipulation. To not use basic instincts and reactions (food, sexual desires, fear, etc.) to push people to do what they think is wrong or inappropriate. People are not stupid. Once they spot an attempt to manipulate, you will lose their trust. You can lose a war through winning one battle.

c) Address controversies, manage expectations
- nothing is perfect; just say how to balance the imperfections
                        It's available only in red color, which makes it noticeableat once
                        It can take you some time to learn it properly, but once you've learn it, you will be enjoying it thoroughly.

d) Include words that will help your addressees evaluate what you are promoting
                      Innovative design
                      Free shipment world wide
                      Prestigious look
IMPORTANT: Do not lie. Find out for yourself what is good about your idea, product or service and point it out. If you cannot do that – improve it until you feel proud of it.

e) Tell a story that would lead the listeners/readers to the expected conclusion while entertaining them and bypassing the counterarguments they might have prepared.

f) Use metaphor and similes to relate the new concept to something familiar to the addressee
                       It's like eating one more ice-cream, but you are not getting extra calories

g) Use simple, clear-cut sentences and do not abuse ten-dollar words.

These are the most natural universal techniques how to make the message more effective. But there are a lot more!
Share you tips in the comments. Tell us how using these tips has improved your life.
 
Join ICAN Club to practice effective communication in English.

Practice writing your effective texts and upload them to the Community Talkfor discussion.
 
You might wish to learn more about effective delivery of information:

Scientifically-Backed Copywriting Tips

Keep it concise and precise

The importance of keeping it clear

Author
About Author

Valiantsina (Val) is the founder and leader of ICAN Club, the owner and the admin of this site. She is the person to approach whenever you need help or advice. Val is an experienced teacher of English, who has worked in a variety of contexts and capacities and also as an interpreter/translator for international organizations, such as the World Bank, UNESCO, the Council of Europe, etc. She is an ideal candidate for cross-border creative educational projects.

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