Want to Grab Your Audience? Start with the Middle

"renewing" by liebeslakritze
[photo credit: “renewing” by liebeslakritze]
OK, so you know that writing and editing are two completely different ventures. And now, after you’ve poured your soul onto the page, you’re ready to edit. Great!

Here’s a tip: To make your writing more impactful, it would behoove you to spell out your point with clear and simple language towards the very beginning of your piece. People don’t read; they scan. And it’s unlikely that they’ll scan beyond your first paragraph or two if they don’t know where you are going.

Here’s how: Reread your work, hunting for the paragraph or maybe even the single sentence that sums up your writing piece in a nutshell. Grab that gem and move it to the top of your piece.

Think of the fundamental structure for stand-and-deliver presentationstell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them. By giving your audience a roadmap, they can relax with the confidence that you know where you are going – and they do, too. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing them, boring them or annoying them. By the way, this structure was created by Aristotle and has been working like a charm ever since 300 and something B.C., for goodness sake.

In Journalism 101 terms, you’re creating and elevating the “nut graph” to the top of your story.

Why not just sit down and write a “nut graph”? You can do this, of course. In my experience, the essence of what you’re saying will come out naturally when you sit down to write the full piece. As an editor, almost 100% of the time I find the nut graph in the middle of a client’s writing. Why? Because the writer is warmed up and flowing when they get to the middle, and what they really want to say just pops out naturally.

Give it a try and see what happens! It may take some practice to find the gem and to learn how to massage it into the beginning of your piece. But nothing that you can’t handle.

Hit me up if you want to talk through it. I’m happy to share more.