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These ten styles will help you to make your point.
|1. Advise: "Just the facts, please." No editorial comment, supporting arguments, or context. Just say it like it is. Plain and simple. This style fits many situations and is least likely to offend. Many of us make it our basic
2. Analyze: Be logical and methodical. Make a reasonable argument by considering the individual parts of the issue in question. And then put those parts back together in a carefully structured way.
3. Challenge: "Hey! My way is better!" Confront the reader's or listener's beliefs, facts, or logic. A helpful tool if you want readers to make big changes. Can be dangerous, though, if you're not a skilled writer or speaker.
4. Empathize: "I understand." Put yourself in the other person's shoes; explain how you feel about the issue that's bothering the reader. But, don't forget to get back to your point, after empathizing.
5. Entertain: "Did you hear the one about....?" Slip in your point indirectly, or later, after creating a more relaxed or more receptive atmosphere. It's no coincidence that those old-time, hard-selling salesmen started their spiels with a joke.
6. Envision: "Just imagine how good....!" Be an artist and paint a picture of future benefits that readers will enjoy if they do what you say. Here's the future you want, here's the present you don't want, and here's the path that will take you to that better future.
7. Consult: "How do you feel about....?" Build up a two-way flow of communication by engaging the reader and getting her ideas before you present your thoughts. Who knows, you might even end up with better ideas.
8. Interpret: Not just for different languages. Interpret by explaining the meaning or context of a message. Or use simpler words and shorter sentences when dealing with complex subjects.
9. Solve: "Try this...." Remove a barrier, whether physical or mental, that stands in the way of something your reader wants to achieve. Suggest new ways to do something, new ways to think about sticky problems.
10. Teach: "Here's how to...." Don't just inform -- instead transfer knowledge or skills, so the reader can do something for herself she couldn't do before. Help the reader be stronger, smarter, or nicer than she was before she read your writing.
|Want lots and lots of examples of these styles? Listen to radio and television commercials. You'll find every one of these styles being used at one time or another by professional writers who have a lot at stake.|
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