It’s easy to be a snoozer. To communicate killer ideas in presentations and articles that are utterly boring. Dull as lichen inside a rock. How do you jazz that up so dishwater concepts sparkle like champagne and your breakthrough insights transfix readers and listeners? I’ll reveal one, easy-but-unusual action that will make your content buzzworthy. (No, not metaphors and similes.)
Recently I read two business books about the same topic, written in the same format. One was an utter grind to finish. Zzzzzz. The other flew by, left me begging for more, and was instantly recommended to half a dozen colleagues. As I pondered the two works, the difference jumped out:
Buzzworthy Content Uses Standing Up Writing,
Not Sitting Down Writing
Sitting Down Writing is what we compose most of the time. We write it sitting down and it feels that way. While it may be practical and high-value, we can recite it while casually reclining and drifting… off… to sleep.
Standing Up Writing contains language you can only say when you’re bouncing on your toes and flapping your arms like cadets in semaphore class. It’s packed with passion and enthusiasm.
It’s the difference between a speech given by someone standing at a lectern (who may as well be sitting) where you take notes then fall into a coma, and one given by a rousing, animated speaker who brings you to your feet and leaves you crackling with energy.
You don’t want to be over the top, of course. If you take it too far, your prospects will be shell-shocked or feel like you’re being as fake and cheesy as a used car salesman in a leisure suit.
But, chances are you can move two giant leaps toward the Standing Up edge of the spectrum without any risk of crossing the line.
The Secret to Standing Up Writing
If you want to produce energetic, lively, irresistible blogs, articles and speeches, then (this is going to shock you)…stand up! Not metaphorically. Not figuratively. Literally.
Before you put pen to paper, pace around your office and mutter ideas out loud to yourself. Be a bit hyperactive. Then transfer that kinetic energy to your writing.
If a phrase or passage is sluggish, get on your feet and wave your arms around while you say it. Play with words and terms, expressing your message in varied ways until the language conveys your dynamic gestures. Then quickly sit back down and type madly. You’ll be striking your fingers against the keyboard so loudly that neighbors will think a woodpecker is attacking. That’s a good sign!
Audiences like passion. They want passion. They BUY passion.
Passionate executives stand up, open their wallets and reach for your hand. And that’s when you stop waving your arms around… for just long enough to close the deal.
What speech or writing has made you stand up and take action?
Text and images are © 2023 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.
It makes perfect sense to me but I hadn’t connected the dots before I read this. Thanks!
Turns out it’s much easier to see how the dots connect when you’re standing up! I appreciate your feedback, Bob.
The same technique works beautifully for phone conversations and phone interviews.
Absolutely right, Jim. Thanks for pointing that out. A smile can make a big difference too. And, if your outlook is grey (and you’re in a private place), try skipping! According to my extensive, clinical research, it’s impossible to maintain a bad mood while skipping. (My article on skipping for the Journal of the American Medical Association is still under peer review.)
In Broadcast Journalism school, they tell newscasters that if you’re able (ie, in radio, and where the studio allows it), to deliver the news standing up. You sound more present and excited and in the moment.
And all along I thought the studios were just too cheap to give chairs to the newscasters. Your way of thinking restores my faith in TV networks everywhere. Seriously, those newscasters have it right: present, excited and in the moment are exactly how we want to sound. Thank you for sharing that insight, Jeff.
Standing up while talking on speaker phone allows you to gesture with your arms and hands. This works well when speaking to a reporter.
Great point, Janet. When you’re talking to a journalist is a great time to stand up. And, building on Jeff’s comment, there’s a good chance the reporter will be on her feet too. (I’d call it a long-standing conversation but, well, Google penalizes me for puns.)
So needed this advice, David. I know my blogs are a snooze. This gives me a quick, easy way to wake myself — and my writing up. Gonna try it right now!
Excellent, Dianne. How did your blog writing go? Were you able to prod yourself into more dynamic, passionate language?