Think of a famous speech. ‘I have a dream…’, ‘Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few…’, ‘It’s not what your country can do for you…’ or ‘You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning.’ Or recall someone less famous, who you saw speaking to an audience – who grabbed your attention, got their point across and enthused you to think or act differently. Maybe a political rally, a Newsnight debate, or just a clip on YouTube that inspired you.
You felt like they were speaking to you directly. They made their overall message, and its supporting arguments, as clear and concise as possible. And somehow they made it compelling, memorable, and worth sharing and discussing further. People listen to speakers who can achieve this, and it’s remarkable how persuasive a good speech can be.
It’s the same with good writing. A different art form, certainly, but writing that flows well, offers natural rhythm and pauses for thought, gets to the point and makes it as clear as possible… people will read it. Especially if, like a great speech, it becomes personal to them, drops the jargon and waffle, and adopts a conversational, human tone.
Think about how the great political campaigns were won and lost. Not just with policies or promises, but with clarity, approachability, affinity and the all-important ‘personality’.
I hope you can see the analogy here. It doesn’t matter how great your service or product is, or how crazy the customer would be to not choose you – if you don’t get your message across in the right way, they will go elsewhere. Just like poor speeches, poor written communications all too often signal the end of great ideas before they’ve had a chance.
Of course, there are other factors involved, like market competition, economic conditions, the fickle nature of consumerism, and many more. But with better written communication – just as with great speeches – any business or organisation can immediately gives its ideas a much better chance of catching on.