Always rehearse your conversational writing.

Rehearse your writing by reading it out loud.

Think of yourself as a performer.

You’re performing your craft… writing for yourself or for a client.

You’re a virtuoso with words.

And in common with every other performer, you need to rehearse your work.

Think about it…

No actor would turn up for opening night without first rehearing his or her part. Including a dress rehearsal.

Same with musicians. And dancers. And acrobats.

First you rehearse, and then you share your work with your audience.

The thing is, most people don’t think about writing this way.

Which is why I see so much copy and content that looks a lot like an early rehearsal, and not much like a final performance.

How I rehearse my own writing…

If I’m writing for a product or service I know really well, I don’t do much in the way of rehearsal.

It’s the same as a musician who’s about a play something she’s performed a hundred times before.

But let’s say a client asks me to write a sales page for a product I’m not familiar with.

First all, I’ll do my research. Obviously. I’ll research both the product and the audience I’ll be writing to.

Next comes my rehearsal.

Instead of writing the first draft of the sales page, I’ll write two or three blog posts.

The client hasn’t asked for these blog posts. They’ll probably never see the light of day.

These two posts are my “rehearsal space”. It’s where I get to practice writing about the product.

This is where I can fumble, stumble and make a few mistakes.

But by the third post, if I’m paying attention, I should be growing fairly fluent in how I talk about the product.

Now I can start on the sales pages. And I can write it well, right out of the gate.

If I don’t do it this way, I’ll make the same mistake I see a lot of other writers make.

I’ll be rehearsing for the first half of the copy I write for the sales page.

Don’t let your rehearsal creep onto the page you’re being paid to write.

Rehearse your writing first, out of sight.

One more rehearsal for your conversational copy…

If you’re writing conversational copy, there’s one more thing for you to do.

Once you’ve written your copy, have someone else read it to you.

Don’t read it to yourself. That’s cheating. Have someone else read it. In front of you. Out loud.

Watch her face as she reads it.

Is she able to read from start to finish, without any unexpected stumbles, or pauses?

And does it flow naturally? Does it sound like the spoken voice?

Having someone read your copy to you is the final test of your conversational copy being performance-ready.

If she stumbles, you’re still rehearsing.

If she doesn’t, it’s showtime.

NOTE: If the idea of writing conversational copy piques your interest, find out about the course I teach here…

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2 thoughts on “Always rehearse your conversational writing.

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  1. Nick, I like the way you kept the focus on rehearsing, rather than mentioning that other “r” word (revising) that so many writers say they like to avoid, if at all possible. I’ve done a lot of teaching of writing, and revision is the hardest part to teach.
    I’m working now with a student who’s resisting; when we talk tomorrow, I’m going to borrow your rehearsal concept and see how she responds. Writing asks for a piece of you every time you do it. Perhaps staying with it until there’s a performance worth sharing is one reason people don’t choose writing as a profession.