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November 28, 2007

How to create rapport with your readers: pacing and leading

One of the most powerful ways we can make a connection with our readers is by creating rapport.  And one of the most effective ways we can create rapport is by pacing and leading. 

This week's podcast (3:55 mins) looks at 5 ways that we can use pacing and leading, by:

Slowing down - going too fast means we focus on our words, rather than where our readers are coming from.  Take the time to slow down before you start

Pacing current experience - getting into your readers' shoes, putting yourself into their mindset, where they're starting from

Using their words - go for plain English and simple everyday words to make it easy for your readers to make the connection (jargon and negative language can have the opposite effect)

Knowing where you're going - once you've established rapport you can start to lead your readers, but only if you know where you're going and how you're going to get there (remember clarity?)

Leading your readers - I think of it like going on a walk with someone.  Once you've paced where they're at you can start to lead them forwards through your writing - go too fast and they'll get lost and give up, go too slow and they'll be bored and frustrated

How could we add to this list - what are your favourite techniques for pacing and leading your readers?

Related posts on writing with rapport:

Create a clear path through your words (podcast)
Writing with rapport (being real)
Writing with rapport (courting your reader)

You can listen to the podcast by following this link or going to my gcast page. You can explore the archive of Confident Writing podcasts here.

Joanna Young, The Confident Writing Coach
Because our words count


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My favorite way to pace my writing is to catch reader's interest initially. Without that you lose them!

Hi Robyn, you certainly know how to grab and hold our attention - great headlines, photographs, intriguing subject matter, relevance to our work, learning and lives, great questions at the end to get us thinking harder... I think I could write a whole 'how to' piece just around the way that you blog!

Sorry I haven't responded to your thinking challenge yet - I'm treating it as a one of those turtle tags...

Thanks for stopping by


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