two ways to make your writing more distinctive

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Post on 06-Jul-2015

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Distinctiveness is essential across your personal brand - from your image and design to your ideas and presentation, But distinctiverness is equally important to your writing. Yet most of the writing we see around us is bland and generic. So, here, Ken Carroll, a language teacher/entrereneur of some 25 years offers two powerful writing techniques, ways to avoid the convention and the cliche, and make your writing stand out. Whether you write web copy or marketing content, business reports, or blog posts, the presentation reveals how your writing can be different and distinctive.

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  • 1. How toHow toHow toHow to makemakemakemake youryouryouryourwritingwritingwritingwritingdistinctivedistinctivedistinctivedistinctivedistinctivedistinctivedistinctivedistinctiveKen Carroll

2. DistinctivenessDistinctivenessDistinctivenessDistinctiveness is essentialacross all aspectsall aspectsall aspectsall aspects of yourpersonal brandbrandbrandbrand: From yourdesign and image, to yourto yourto yourto your ideas,and the way youand the way youand the way youand the way you approach yourcontent... 3. ...andandandand totototoyour writingyour writingyour writingyour writing 4. Your writing stylewriting stylewriting stylewriting style and qualityqualityqualityqualityare key elements of yourpersonal (or corporate) brand.They reveal your charactercharactercharactercharacter,They reveal your charactercharactercharactercharacter,who you truly are. 5. Yet most of the writingwritingwritingwritingwe see around us lackslackslackslacksdistinctiveness.The ideasideasideasideas, theThe ideasideasideasideas, theperspectivesperspectivesperspectivesperspectives, thewordingwordingwordingwording, the conceptionconceptionconceptionconceptionof the writing oftenlack differentiatorslack differentiatorslack differentiatorslack differentiators. 6. ResultResultResultResult:The writers sound likeeveryoneeveryone else.else.else.else. 7. There are two causes:Reliance on cReliance on cReliance on cReliance on conventionntionntionntionReliance on clichlichlichlich 8. CCCConvennvennvennventionsCCCConvennvennvennventions 9. Convention is everywhereverywhereverywhereverywhere. Weswim inswim inswim inswim in it. Most of it goesunnoticed, but not withouteffect: The dismaldismaldismaldismal, me-tooeffect: The dismaldismaldismaldismal, me-toosamenesssamenesssamenesssameness that we see in somuch of what gwhat gwhat gwhat gets written. 10. Anything you do on your websitewebsitewebsitewebsite, inyour reportsreportsreportsreports, on your pdfspdfspdfspdfs, eeee----booksbooksbooksbooks, and so on, can fall into theconvention trap visualconvention trap visualconvention, conventions of thegenre, and so on. 11. Too many blog postsToo many blog postsToo many blog postsToo many blog posts (and theblogs themselves)blogs themselves)blogs themselves)blogs themselves) look, feel,and sound generic.generic.generic.generic.They workThey workThey workThey work from the samesamesamesameconventionsconventionsconventionsconventions. 12. The same is true for reports,pdfs, e-books for everykind of informationinformationinformationinformationproductproductproductproduct: Few verbal, visual,Few verbal, visual,Few verbal, visual,Few verbal, visual,productproductproductproduct: Few verbal, visual,Few verbal, visual,Few verbal, visual,Few verbal, visual,or formattingformattingformattingformattingdifferentdifferentdifferentdifferentiators are thenorm. 13. Foooor examplmplmplmple:When you use graphicsgraphicsgraphicsgraphics, piiiics, orquotationsquotationsquotationsquotations that add nothingto the content...ThatsThatsThatsThatsto the content...ThatsThatsThatsThatsconventionconventionconventionconvention. 14. When you use a photophotophotophoto of ahandshakehandshakehandshakehandshake or a globe in yourreport - and especially when youuse a handshake superimposedhandshake superimposedhandshake superimposedhandshake superimposeduse a handshake superimposedhandshake superimposedhandshake superimposedhandshake superimposedover a globeover a globeover a globeover a globe...conventientientiention.Please, noPlease, noPlease, noPlease, no. 15. When you trade other peoplesother peoplesother peoplesother peoplesideideideideas, write only posts withposts withposts withposts withlists, or apologize for notlists, or apologize for notlists, or apologize for notlists, or apologize for nothaving blogged recentlyhaving blogged recentlyhaving blogged recentlyhaving blogged recently...having blogged recentlyhaving blogged recentlyhaving blogged recentlyhaving blogged recently...NNNNeedless, nauseauseauseauseatingconventionentionentionention... 16. In other words, when youmindlesslymindlesslymindlesslymindlessly accept the standardsand the clichd normsclichd normsclichd normsclichd norms of writingin our time, then youre in theland of conventionconventionconventionconvention.land of conventionconventionconventionconvention. 17. And it may be time to evacuate.Because with convention, thegenericgenericgenericgeneric looklooklooklook/feelfeelfeelfeel/ soundsoundsoundsound willbe the result - regardless ofbe the result - regardless ofhow good the ideasideasideasideas, theinformationinformationinformationinformation, the insightsinsightsinsightsinsights. 18. Mof the peoeoeoeople who trade intrade intrade intrade inconvention are unawareunawareunawareunaware ofit... For most of us, flatflatflatflatit... For most of us, flatflatflatflatand conventionaland conventionaland conventionaland conventional is ourdefaultdefaultdefaultdefault. 19. Unless you do somethingabout it, your work willgive off the impressionof samenesssamenesssamenesssameness, of beingof samenesssamenesssamenesssameness, of beingconventionalconventionalconventionalconventional. 20. And conventionAnd conventionAnd conventionAnd convention makes italmost impossibleimpossibleimpossibleimpossible totototodeliverdeliverdeliverdeliver the content in andeliverdeliverdeliverdeliver the content in aninterestinginterestinginterestinginteresting or engaginngaginngaginngagingway. 21. ItItItIt guarantees that yourworkworkworkwork will not stand out andwill not be as widely readwidely readwidely readwidely readwill not be as widely readwidely readwidely readwidely readas it should be. 22. CCCClichlichlichlich 23. The verbalverbalverbalverbal equivalentof the conventionntionntionntion, isisisisthethethethe clichichichich.thethethethe clichichichich. 24. Never use a metaphormetaphormetaphormetaphor, similesimilesimilesimile, orother figure of speechfigure of speechfigure of speechfigure of speech whichyou are used to seeingused to seeingused to seeingused to seeing inprint.print.George OrwellOrwellOrwellOrwell 25. When youre epicepicepicepic, and awesomeawesomeawesomeawesome,and thinking outside the boxthinking outside the boxthinking outside the boxthinking outside the box,or opening the kimonoopening the kimonoopening the kimonoopening the kimono, when youreyes glaze overeyes glaze overeyes glaze overeyes glaze over or when you, atatatatthe end of the daythe end of the daythe end of the daythe end of the day, go the extrago the extrago the extrago the extrathe end of the daythe end of the daythe end of the daythe end of the day, go the extrago the extrago the extrago the extramile,mile,mile,mile, or youre a rockstarrockstarrockstarrockstar writerin the making ... 26. Then youre indulindulindulindulging inneedlesdlesdlesdless and damaamaamaamagingclich... 27. AvoidingAvoidingAvoidingAvoiding theconventionsconventionsconventionsconventions and theclichsclichsclichsclichsclichsclichsclichsclichs 28. I admitadmitadmitadmit that its tempting to doto doto doto dowhat everyone else is doing.Its easy to use clicheasy to use clicheasy to use clicheasy to use clich. 29. And clichs savesavesavesave youyouyouyou havingto think....think....think....think.... 30. ButButButButtheyretheyretheyretheyrealsoalsoalsoalsodeadlydeadlydeadlydeadly. 31. ... Because thethethethey cansubmerge yousubmerge yousubmerge yousubmerge you in a seaseaseasea ofsasasasameness and mediocrity.sasasasameness and mediocrity.So...So...So...So... 32. Instead,Instead,Instead,Instead,learnlearnlearnlearnfromfromfromfromthethethetheartists...artists...artists...artists... 33. ArtistsArtistsArtistsArtists develop adistrustdistrustdistrustdistrust of thecommonplacecommonplacecommonplacecommonplace, ancommonplacecommonplacecommonplacecommonplace, aninstinctive reflexinstinctive reflexinstinctive reflexinstinctive reflexagainst what hasbeen done beforebeen done beforebeen done beforebeen done before 34. SeeingSeeingSeeingSeeing andandandand rejectingrejectingrejectingrejectingconvention is halfhalfhalfhalf of thebattle of creativitycreativitycreativitycreativitybattle of creativitycreativitycreativitycreativity 35. Example Kurt SchwittersHis sound poemsound poemsound poemsound poemHis sound poemsound poemsound poemsound poemUrsonateUrsonateUrsonateUrsonate 36. Brand Schwittersis distinctive, surprising,unexpected.unexpected.He did poetry likelikelikelikenononono----one elseone elseone elseone else 37. So look criticallylook criticallylook criticallylook critically at yourbrand your website, yourreports, anywhere you write.Look at the designdesigndesigndesign, the ideasthe ideasthe ideasthe ideas,Look at the designdesigndesigndesign, the ideasthe ideasthe ideasthe ideas,the formatsthe formatsthe formatsthe formats and the wordingwordingwordingwording. 38. Look forLook forLook forLook for the stock ideasstock ideasstock ideasstock ideas,thethethethe stock phrases,stock phrases,stock phrases,stock phrases,the stock photosstock photosstock photosstock photos,thethethethe clichs of theclichs of theclichs of theclichs of thethethethethe clichs of theclichs of theclichs of theclichs of thegenregenregenregenre that everyoneeveryoneeveryoneeveryoneelse is doing. 39. SeeSeeSeeSee and identifyidentifyidentifyidentify theconventions and the clichof every kievery kievery kievery kind.of every kievery kievery kievery kind. 40. ThenThenThenThen killillillill themmmm.BBBBeeee mererererciless.BBBBeeee mererererciless. 41. But I want to make special notespecial notespecial notespecial noteof dealing with vdealing with vdealing with vdealing with verbalerbalerbalerbal clichs.The reason for this isimportantimportantimportantimportant... 42. BecauseBecauseBecauseBecause the solutiolutiolutiolution liesin goodoodoodoodword choiceword choiceword choiceword choiceword choiceword choiceword choiceword choice 43. Good wordGood wordGood wordGood word choi

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