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Joseph Pulitzer of Pulitzer Prize fame has this to say about writing well; “Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it and above all accurately so they will be guided by its light”. When it comes to conversational writing we are going to talk about the do’s and don’ts of informal writing so that people will get your message. Some ideas to be looking as you read this eBook include who is in your audience and who are you writing to? Is it one person or is it a group of people? Are you writing to one personality style or several types of personalities? What is the point of what you are sending them and by what means are you informally communicating? For example, is this by email, will this be handwritten or typed, is this a memo, or a letter, even an instant message or a text?


Let’s explore these questions and the do’s and don’ts of informal writing beginning with who is in your audience. Is it an audience of one or are there several people in the audience? First of all, DO write as though you are writing to one individual. DON’T write as though writing to a group. Regardless of the number, always write your message as though you were speaking to one person. Even if you are communicating a message to a large audience, each individual is reading …… well….individually, not collectively. Therefore communicate your message individually. For example, if you are writing a form letter don’t say, “hello everyone” or “dear friends” but rather open with a simple “hello” or “dear friend”. Better yet, if you can personalize your intro with a mail merge, this would be best. If merging data isn’t an option, then consider handwriting the person’s name at the beginning of the letter and include a handwritten note at the end of the letter, though this is not as professional as a mail merge, it is still all right since this is an informal or conversational letter and your handwriting adds a personal touch.

Let’s move now to some do’s and don’ts with regards to personality styles and electronic documents such as emails.


Keep in mind when you are writing it is your responsibility as the sender to make sure that you’re your meaning is understood. For that reason, do your best to address the different personality styles that might be reading your email. There are four general types of personalities you can address in writing. First, people who are direct, second people who are analytical, third people are social extroverts and fourth people who are relational.


Let’s look at the first one, people who are direct. They want the point right up front and don’t like a lot of time wasted with stories, anecdotes or fluff. The best way to communicate with this style is to remember the three “B’s”: Be Brief, Be Brilliant and Be Gone! Be brief, get to the point. Don’t give an intro – or even a background – just get to the point. Think of a news article beginning with the headline or the attention grabber and then be brilliant! Think subtitle or of a sentence that is going to keep their attention and finally, be gone. Keep your sentences short; you can even use bullet points. For example, if you are sending an email to someone regarding a canceled meeting that is scheduled for this Friday, be sure to include the bottom line in the top line also known as the subject line. It may read something like this, “Friday meeting canceled”, whereas you don’t want to just write “Friday meeting” in the subject line expecting that the person is going to open the email to get the rest of the message.

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