Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tips on Persuasive Writing

I love articles that demystify business communication by providing a blueprint. Give me an outline that shows me how to structure an effective presentation or piece of writing, and I'll praise you for it. Present it in a simple, catchy, memorable way, and I might even blog about it.

So I really liked this blog post by Brian Clark at, which I found on one of my LinkedIn groups. It's called The Four “P” Approach: A Persuasive Writing Structure That Works. Clark's outline for persuasive content includes four segments:
  1. Promise - To grab attention and answer the all-important "What's in it for me?"
  2. Picture - Create a vivid description of the benefits of your proposal, with emotional impact.
  3. Proof - Use facts and data to convince.
  4. Push - Deliver the offer and ask for your desired response.
I think this blueprint can be readily adapted to training. Learning professinals often face situations when we need to motivate learners and convince them of the learning's value to them. In fact, I've got one of those coming up, and I plan to give the Four P's a try.

So I say, "Good job, Brian Clark!"