Storytelling: Language Strategies That Touch Your Reader

Write persuasive text to make your reader feel comfortable. Use simple language strategies to make your words more meaningful to anyone who reads them. Help him feel as though he knows you and he'll love your work.

Use language to encourage your listener, or reader, to agree with you. Salesmen use persuasive language all the time, to make you feel comfortable with them and to lead you down the path of wanting what they have to offer. Know the tricks, and you won't be taken in. Use them appropriately in your speaking or writing to get your audience on your side.


"Sitting and reading these words, thinking about what they mean for you, and imagining how much better your work will be if you use these suggestions. " Capture your reader's agreement, make him comfortable, then make suggestions. Begin with statements that are obviously true, then lead on to suggest things that you'd like him to think. It's sometimes called building a 'yes' frame of mind. The more times your reader agrees with you, the more likely he is to follow you as you lead him on a new pathway.


Lawyers love to use tags in cross-examination: "You're making this up, aren't you?" they may say. Linguistically complex, this structure encourages the listener or reader to agree because they're confused. The more convoluted and complicated the sentence, the more likely he is to take the line of least resistance and agree with the statement: whatever it was.

Illusion of Choice

Sometimes, persuasive language helps your listener or reader think that they've made a decision, when they haven't. For example, "Did you go to the shops before or after lunch?" This asks two questions in one. It's a version of the famous "When did you stop beating your wife?" question. Your listener, especially one who is already in a 'yes' frame of mind, can find it hard to step back and insist on answering the implied questions: "Did you go to the shops," and "Did you beat your wife?"


Use "and" and "but" to change the way people feel about your remarks. "It's a beautiful day, but I'm going to go to work now," has a depressing ring to it. "It's a beautiful day, and I'm going to go to work now," is positive and uplifting. Make sure you know how to use the power of positive speaking.

Know how your words affect your listener or reader, and you can help them experience the thoughts and emotions you want them to feel through your work.

If you'd like to know more about writing, whether fiction, non-fiction or poetry, why not take a look at the advice in the set of Writelink ebooks.


I write this Communication Blog

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Frances Evesham: on the run around Europe for years, with only a husband, three children and a succession of opinionated cats to keep me out of trouble. Somerset stopped me in my tracks. Now I walk in the country and breathe sea air. I will get around to cleaning the house soon.

I've been a speech therapist, a professional communication fiend and a road sweeper. I sometimes work in the criminal courts to uphold fair questioning of people with special needs.

I smell the roses, lavender and rosemary as I cook with a glass of wine in one hand and a bunch of chillies in the other. Writing historical romances and books on communication leaves enough time to enjoy bad jokes and puns and wish I’d kept on with the piano lessons.