for a strong, fast pick-me-up
What sort of industry do you work in?
One that values conformity and fitting in – or one that values EXPRESSIVENESS and STANDING OUT!!!
This post was inspired by feedback over twitter from someone in the US – with well-intentioned feedback that he found my bolding in my posts distracting and hard on the eye.
I value the feedback…and it got me thinking about emphasis in writing.
Not just the words – but how those words look and sound on the page or screen.
You can add emphasis and vary the sound with:
punctuation – exclamation marks!!!!
“air quotations” – quotation marks always says to me (in an “Austin Powers” voice) that someone else saying this or it’s a special term – think “LASER”.
As a writing trainer, I work with a range of industries.
When I work with creative industries like media and music and advertising – I find the writing so individual and EXPRESSIVE!!!!
When I present I tend to gesture a lot and emphasise things I want to stand out.
I probably do the same in my writing!
Oh, there’s that exclamation mark again.
I just noticed – even when I use images I use close-ups – just to make sure people notice what I want them to notice.
Self-awareness of your communication style is a powerful thing.
So is awareness of the preferred style of your audience
Lots of CAPS and exclamation marks and bold and visual variety in the writing.
I can be expressive in my writing – which is fine when communicating with other expressive types – yet I know my style can be annoying to others.
I sometimes get the feedback with reactions to my emphasis – things like:
Do you think I’m stupid?
I get it. No need to be so obvious.
I hate exclamation marks.
Anyway, to help you improve your writing – I encourage you to:
1. Be aware of different styles – we are not all the same
2. Graciously encourage and accept feedback and try to learn from it
3. Learn how and when to vary your style
I believe that emphasis – CAPS, italics, bold, exclamation marks!!! etc. can add personality and voice to your writing and add visual variety.
Some readers like variety – others find it distracting.
I will heed the advice/feedback and tone down my emphasis – especially when writing for less expressive industries such as engineering, law, and finance.
I’m not abandoning emphasis all together – but I will be more aware and vary my style and degree of expressiveness.
I’m keen to learn your views. Please add to the comments section below.
(In the past I would have written your as YOUR in CAPS or bolded to make it stand out. I would fear readers might miss it and not comment. I must learn to have more faith in my readers.)
I still think the bolding creates visual variety in a post.
Here’s a link to an example of what I consider to be an excellent post. I like the conversational style and the use of emphasis.
Then again, the writer looks like one of those “individual, creative types” – who probably likes to STAND OUT!!!
If you enjoyed this here are links to other tips for better blogging. You can work your way through the list!
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I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious business communication tips.