The best presentations are those where the speaker tells a story, right? Likewise, when we find a book riveting, we’ll pass it around. Stories may inspire us, sadden or thrill us. Whatever the emotional response, a story evokes a connection with the storyteller. Which is why telling tales in your B2B communications is so important if you want your readers to connect with you.
The more details and facts in your story, the more likely we are to believe it. So everything you say about your service or business or yourself, in print, online or verbally, needs to include details and facts so that it rings true. And that means using unambiguous, concrete words.
In 2010, a study by Joachin Hansen of New York University and Michaela Wanke of the University of Basel showed that concise, clear statements win out over wordier ones.
In their study, they asked participants to read one of two statements and say if they thought it was true or not. The statements were:
1. Hamburg is the European record holder concerning the number of bridges.
2. In Hamburg, one can count the highest number of bridges in Europe.
More people believed the second. While each statement says the same thing, the second gets to the point quickly and presents a clear image – of counting bridges.
That’s because concrete words are more precise. For example, if I told you I ate a pizza for dinner, you might ask what type. But if I had told you I ate a Hawaiian pizza for dinner, you’d immediately have an image of the pizza and not have to ask what topping I chose.
Verbs can also be concrete. There’s little ambiguity about ‘sleep’, ‘run’, ‘swim’ or ‘jump’. But verbs such as ‘help’, ‘love’, ‘enjoy’, ‘assist’, ‘deliver’ are less precise and often come a myriad of interpretations.
So, if you want your readers to connect and believe you, tell the truth using solid, unambiguous words.
For more information, see www.heskethtalking.com.
For help with your B2B writing, contact Rosemary Gillespie on 02 9314 7506 or 0411 123 216.
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