Write like a human

Saw a great LinkedIn post by Joe Brockmeier about being more human in corporate writing. It’s something I’ve told execs throughout my career: Just be human. It’s that simple.

  • Use words that are part of your own dictionary, not a corporate thesaurus.
  • Tempted to use an acronym? Don’t.
  • Excited? Pleased? Dismayed? Don’t tell me; show me. Words are meant to be colorful. Paint me a picture with them.
  • Don’t want to swear, but still want to show emotion? Drop a heckuva instead of a helluva into your press release quote.
  • For the love of Hemingway, tell stories. We ain’t buying ink anymore, folks. Spin the yarns. Humans love stories. We have since we were listening to them by the fire inside caves.
  • Got bad news to talk about? Before you put a finger to keyboard, put yourself in the shoes of the person you are writing to. Sympathy and empathy are your friends.
  • Writing some form of corporate announcement (or anything, for that matter)? Write it so someone not in your industry understands what you are talking about in the first paragraph.

Let your human flag fly!

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