12 Tips for Writing in a Conversational Tone
Conversation tone in writing makes any form of text sound like a conversation between two people rather than merely presenting the information. It addresses the audience directly and allows you to convey any message to your reader casually. It is simple, fluid, and easy to read. It enables you to relay facts in a relaxed and approachable style. Compared to formal tone which sounds impersonal, the conversational tone sounds personal thus making your readers feel closer. This has made the conversational tone the preferred business and internet language. Provided below are the guidelines you can use when writing a text using a conversational tone.
1. Write for one person
When we engage in a conversation, our message is addressed to a particular audience. The same thing should also be practiced when using a conversational tone in writing. Instead of talking in general, address your message to only one person. If your message is directed to everyone, it will sound generic, impersonal, and formal, thus, no particular audience will be able to really connect with you. Refrain from directing your message to large numbers of people and omit using plural pronouns. Instead, think about who your audience is then appropriate your content and conversational tone to them. When your target audience is clear to you, knowing how to effectively talk to them will be easier. You’ll write in a way as if you are hearing their thoughts, and aware of their hopes, fears, and emotions.
2. Use first and second person pronoun
In conversations, the first-person pronoun “I” is used to refer to yourself while the second-person pronoun “you” is used to engage your audience and direct your message to them. Likewise in a conversational tone in writing, the same pronouns should be used. A simple tweak in your use of pronouns can make a big change in your tone. Formal tone uses third-person pronouns “they,” “he,” and “she,” but these words may suggest distance from you and your readers. Using the first and second person sounds more personal and engaging.
“Readers should pay attention to identify the subliminal message of the text. “
“You should pay attention to identify the subliminal message of the text.”
“The company aims to provide exceptional customer service to our clients.”
“We aim to provide you exceptional customer service”
3. Use informal linking words
We use different linking words when we convey our message to show the relationship and connection of our points. In formal writing, we often use discourse markers such as “firstly”, “secondly”, “in addition”, “on the other hand”, and “in conclusion.” Meanwhile, in a conversation we use more informal linking verbs such as “anyway,” “well,” “plus,” “since,” “of course,” “because,” and “also.” When writing in a conversational tone, replace your linking verbs with those of informal transition words.
“Due to your continuous support, we will send you some freebies. In addition, we will give you discounts.”
“Due to your continuous support, we will send you some freebies. Plus, we will give you discounts.”
“Due to your continuous support, we will send you some freebies. Also, we will give you discounts.”
4. Tell a Story
Part of conversing with others is sharing stories about your personal life. This helps you to connect with others. Likewise, if you want to achieve conversational tone in writing you can use stories to show your genuine self. Stories are compelling because they appeal to emotions and trigger senses. You can incorporate your facts into a narrative to make your message engaging. Also, make it relevant to your readers by showing how it can be applied to their own lives.
Learn more tips on storytelling by reading how to tell a story in English.
5. Include examples
To make complex concepts easier to understand, examples are used in conversations. This can make your message more credible, and powerful to your conversation partner. The same thing should be applied in achieving conversational tone in writing. If you use examples, your reader will find your text more relatable and associate your given examples with their own experiences.
“Our service is proven reliable.”
“Our service is proven reliable in ways like you can call us anytime you’ll need assistance. Plus we use technologically advanced tools to ensure uninterrupted service and communication.”
“We are dedicated to producing good quality products for our customers.”
“We are dedicated to producing good products for you. Our people research and outsource the best raw materials to create durable, functional, and elegant pieces for you. We have you in our minds in every product we create.”
6. Use contractions
Contractions are normally suggested to be avoided in formal writing. However, due to its casualness, and frequent usage in everyday speech it is used in writing with a conversational tone. When people are conversing, contractions are often used as it helps to utter words faster. It makes the words shorter without changing its meaning. In writing, it sounds conversational as it shows how you would typically speak a word to someone. It makes your message sound more natural and allows your reader to feel you are just conversing with them.
“Hurry! Our free trial will not last long.”
“Hurry! Our free trial won’t last long.”
“We are inviting you to attend the annual conference.”
“We’re inviting you to attend the annual conference.”
7. Keep your sentences short
When we have conversations, we don’t pay attention to sentence length, structure, and completeness. We normally speak in short sentences. We also take a break to breathe. Ergo, to use a conversational tone in writing you can follow this pattern. Readers can quickly understand your message and scan for information if you use shorter sentences. It also improves readability and prevents you from sounding like giving a long-winded lecture. If there is a way to express your message in a shorter way then use it. Edit and split long sentences or paragraphs into several short ones. If it’s not possible to chop up your sentences, then use punctuation marks such as ellipses, commas, and semicolons.
“Hurry! Our stocks for this item are limited. You should buy this product now.”
“Hurry! This product is a limited edition. Grab yours now.”
“We are offering a free trial for our new subscribers. To avail this limited offer, you can sign up today.”
“We are offering a free trial! Sign up today.”
8. Avoid Rambling
Related to keeping your sentences short, is this strategy which aims to use as few words as possible in your writing. Sometimes you may find yourself using too many words when in fact you can express it one word. This makes the other words mean nothing thus can confuse your readers. By avoiding rambling sentences, your writing will sound more conversational, smooth, and fluid. To do this, replace some phrases with accurate words. Also, deliver your message straight to the point to make it easy to understand.
“At the present time, we are making some adjustments to improve our service.”
“Currently, we are making some adjustments to improve our service.”
“In the event that you did not use your voucher, within the given timeframe, your discount will be forfeited.”
“If you did not use your voucher, within the given timeframe, your discount will be forfeited.”
9. Use words with fewer syllable count
Refrain from using long words, and go for shorter words instead. When we speak, we usually use three-word syllables or less since they are easier to utter. When writing with a conversational tone, this pattern is also mimicked. Aside from sounding conversational, it also improves readability as they are easier to understand.
“We will commence the ceremony at at3 pm.”
“We will start the ceremony at 3 pm.”
“Kindly utilize the suggested tools to complete the project faster.”
“Kindly use the suggested tools to complete the project faster.”
10. Use common words
Some may think that using jargon will make their text sound smart, credible, and impressive. Although it is tempting to use sophisticated terminology in your text, this doesn’t sound conversational. When we are having a conversation, we normally loosen up, relax, and just express our insights. We talk simply and use common words. Listeners don’t find big words relatable, and the same goes for your readers. Everyone prefers to read an easy to understand text. Hence, when writing, aim to communicate clearly by using simple words. Avoid loading up your text with jargon, and if you have to include them, use it only when necessary.
“If you want to see floras from different regions of the country visit us next week.”
“If you want to see flowers from different regions of the country, visit us next week.”
“Our rendezvous will be at the ABC Hotel.”
“Our meeting place will be at the ABC Hotel.”
11. Ask questions
Conversations are not one-sided. It engages your speaking partners. The same must be done when trying to write in a conversational tone. It must invite you, readers to be engaged in your message. You can do this by asking hypothetical questions. This will make your readers feel that you are speaking directly to them. Also, it will encourage them to think, guess, disagree, or agree with your point thus making your text sound like a conversation. Moreover, it allows them to focus looking for answers to your question by reading your text further. When using this strategy, use a hypothetical question that can be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
“Who likes to join an all-expenses-paid trip?”
“Wouldnt you love to join an all-expenses-paid trip?”
“What’s your opinion about having other variants of this product?”
“Would you love to have other variants of this product?”
12. Write not exactly like you speak
Many say that to write in a conversational tone, you should write the way you talk. This is true in the sense that you echo natural speech and your personality and voice should be reflected in your text. However, in a conversational tone, writing exactly the way you talk isn’t the point. Writing conversationally does not mean exactly writing the conversation. It means your text should be fluid where writing doesn’t sound like writing but like a natural casual conversation. If you are going to write like you speak, your text will be poorly written. In casual conversation, people speak unnecessary words and clichés. Fillers are included and messages are delivered with unfinished thoughts and incomplete sentences. Words can also be repetitive, points can lack clarity, and grammar is not much considered. When presenting your message in written form, you would not want to have these qualities and details in your text.
Writing a conversational tone may take time and requires practice to get it right and fluid. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find it easier and enjoyable to write. You can loosen up in over-analyzing your text and relax a bit from following rules in getting your sentence structure and grammar perfect.
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