Years ago, somewhere, I was given a clever outline for writing and speaking that helps you grab the attention of your reader/listener. And keep it through to the end. (If you know where this came from, I’m glad to give credit. I have shared it with hundreds of people.)
Here it is: Hey, you! See! So there!
Catch their attention. Startle them. Ask a question. Say something outrageous. Make them want to read/listen to what you are going to say.
Identify with them. What does this have to do with them? Use the word “you” or “your.” Promise them something you think they desire.
Make your case. Fulfill your promise. This is the body of what you are saying—the main thing. Prove that you are giving them what you said you would.
Elicit a response. What do you want to happen in their mind or their heart? Help them to recognize the benefit for them—and for others they care about.
Action time! What should they do in response? How can they do it?
I use this outline as a guide for many of my messages and much of my writing. I don’t necessarily follow it exactly, but it is in my mind as I write.
Give it a try. How did it work for you? I would love to hear how you used/adapted it.
C 2011 Judy Douglass