Put your most interesting words first


Put the most interesting words at the top of your story. It’s the best way to grab your listeners’ attention, and it will help to keep them from drifting away.

So many times I’ll write copy and my coworkers’ll tap me on the shoulder and point out that the most interesting words aren’t at the top of my first paragraph. Think it over, and try different word combinations before settling for one.

Which of the these examples should you use?

“The 44th president of the United States has been elected by American voters who chose Illinois Senator Barack Obama to lead the country.” (Pssst: don’t pick this one.)

“America’s first African American President has been picked by voters in a historic election.” (Hint: pick this one).

The second one gets people interested, and encourages them to keep listening. What were the state-by-state results? How is the African American community reacting to this news?

Your listener has to stay plugged in to know the answers to these questions; that’s the type of interest you want to generate.

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