for a strong, fast pick-me-up
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.)
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:
Can you see how each line is parallel?
Each line follows a similar structure.
another + NOUN (family, factory, soldier) + VERB (puts, shuts, waves)
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.
Here’s an example from a 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
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I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious business communication tips.
I’ve disciplined my self to check ALL my different communication platforms twice a day – as part of my Check-in Ritual.
Linked In – under Tony Biancotti