putting the FAN in evangelism – spreading your messages by daring to share what you are a FAN of

Little Writing Trick #4 – use the power of parallel structure

In a recent previous post I shared how these words from an Obama speech – harnessed the power of visual writing. (link at the end of this post.)

word nerd CU

This post – shows you how you can harness the power of parallel structure. Here’s the passage from the speech.

And while Washington is consumed with the same drama and divisions and distractions, another family puts up a “for sale” sign in their front yard, another factory shuts its doors, another soldier waves goodbye as he leaves on another tour of duty in a war that should have never been authorized and should have never been waged…

Here is what parallel structure looks like:

  • another family puts up a “for sale” sign in their front yard
  • another factory shuts its doors
  • another soldier waves goodbye as he leaves on another tour of duty

Can you see how each line is parallel?

Each line follows a similar structure.

another  + NOUN (family, factory, soldier)  +  VERB (puts,  shuts,  waves)

  • another +  family +  puts up +  a “for sale” sign in their front yard
  • another +  factory +  shuts +  its doors
  • another +  soldier +  waves +  goodbye as he leaves on another tour of duty

The benefits of parallel structure.

1. Parallel structure “sounds” solid when you hear it. You can “hear” the strong “bones” and parallel “beams” under the words.

Even when you read it – it sounds sold and it looks solid.

2. Parallel structure in a speech helps strong delivery as the speaker can repeat and “hit” the repeated structures.

3. Parallel structure helps audience remember your messages.

As a word nerd, I love finding examples of parallel structure.

TB NASA story

Here’s an example from a NASA mission statement.

NASA mission statement

I’m a big fan of the communication prowess of Obama and Steve Jobs (so many of his presentations “live on” via the internet)- so when Obama spoke about Steve Jobs’s passing and he spoke about it in parallel structure – I had to share the power of those words.

“…brave enough to think differently

bold enough to believe he could change the world

and talented enough to do it.”

If you think the writers in your organisation can benefit from more little writing tricks – please contact me and we can  discuss:  tonybiancotti@ozemail.com.au

Parallel structure can help your writers:

1. improve their business writing

2. improve their presentations and speeches

3. improve their sales pitches

Here are links to previous Little Writing Tricks:

# 3








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I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.

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2 comments on “Little Writing Trick #4 – use the power of parallel structure

  1. Pingback: Why Christmas vacation time is great for blogging and writing. | efangelist

  2. Pingback: Christmas Vacation Writing Tips: What “Margaritaville” has in common with “The Christmas Song” – chestnuts roasting and shrimp boiling | efangelist

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