Face Your Reader

5 November 2009

Word count:  365

Estimated reading time:  3-4 minutes


For the past few weeks, we’ve focused on how to consider our readers.  I’d like to finish up with some more thoughts on readers – and to ask you for specific situations that you need to write about, so we can share some real-life writing samples.

Our reading ‘customers’

Yes, I’ll say it again.  Our readers are customers – just like the people who buy goods or services from us.  Even if those people are your colleagues or friends or family members, they are still your reading ‘customers’.  They deserve your best service.


Facing our customers

I’ve often suggested to people I train that they put the picture of a person they know next to their workplace computer or telephone.  The reason?  So they will see a human face and start thinking in a more personal way.


When you look at a human face, especially if that person is someone you know and love, you’re going to smile.  And when you smile, your voice is nicer – more personal, more ‘human’.  This is particularly important for people who work in telephone customer service or sales.


But it also applies to us as writers.


So gather some photos and put them on your desk or tape them around your computer screen.  Depending on whom you usually write to, they can be photos of people experiencing different emotions (confusion, anger, frustration, curiosity etc).  They could be snaps of your colleagues.  Or you can even put up pictures of dogs, cats, monkeys and rats to remind you of various reader types we talked about in the last post.


Before you start to write, ‘face’ your reader by looking at one of those pictures.  Imagine what that person is saying.  What is he feeling?  What does she want from you?


Then write the words you would speak to that real person in that real situation.


My request to you

Would you like to see some real-life situations and how to write for them?


Please send me information about situations you’d like help with (for example, if you need to write to customers to answer requests or respond to complaints -- or if you need to write short reports to colleagues).  Then I’ll write it up and share it with the readers of this blog.  (Remove any sensitive information or personal details about yourself/the reader/your company.)  Thanks!

Copyright 2014 DeGolyer Associates Ltd |  Contact Deborah at:  writewithtaste@me.com