Conversational Tone: How To Write Like You Speak

Conversational Tone: How To Write Like You Speak

We all have an ‘inner reading voice’.

This means that, when we read, we subconsciously give sound to the voice, cadence and tone of the written word.

Cool, huh? But what’s that got to do with content creation?

Well, as content creators, we should be aware of how our words will illuminate the inner voice of our readers.

Get it wrong and your content can become monotonal and uninspiring - as Ferris Bueller's Day Off taught us, this is never the way to win over an audience.

How do you avoid sending your reader to sleep? Anyone? Anyone? A conversational tone!

Conversations should feel personal and naturally flowing, not heavily structured and academic. That’s what makes conversational tone a powerful tool in keeping readers easily engaged.

But what are the hallmarks of conversational tone? How can you begin applying them to your content creation?

Today, we’re tackling exactly that - offering up some top tips on how to write like you talk. So, without further ado, let’s chat.

Ask questions 

How often do you ask your reader questions?

Have your answer? You’re an engaged reader, my friend. 

Questions are super powerful in capturing a reader’s undivided attention. 

That’s because, when reading a question, a reader will likely pause to reflect on their own answer - within this split second, you’ve engaged them.

This technique shows readers that you’re talking to them, not through them - creating the impression of a conversational back-and-forth.

Take this further by demonstrating an understanding of your audience in the questions you ask.

Go back and read the first question in this tip - see how we did it?

We asked a question based on the assumption that you’re a content writer. This illustrates an understanding of who our audience is and what they’re looking for - aren’t we good? 

Keep sentences short…

Long sentences don’t impress anyone. Not only that - they’re often difficult to process, too. 

That’s because longer sentences hold more information in suspense before offering resolution. This makes it harder for readers to follow along.

Put simpler: the longer a sentence, the more likely it is to be complex. 

A conversational tone should have a natural flow and be easy to follow, so be wary of rambling. 

That’s not to say you should only use short sentences, though. Natural conversation is free-flowing, so avoid being too formulaic and structured.

Like a tennis player who only shoots a forehand, predictability weakens impact. Make sure there’s still variety in your sentence structure so your content takes game, set and match.

...And keep word choices shorter 

The same principle applies to your word choices.

When you’re in conversation, you’re not bothered about impressive synonyms - you’re bothered about getting your point across.

Apply a similar mentality to your conversational tone. 

Complex vocabulary makes your reader work harder. It also shatters the illusion of conversation by making it clear there’s a writer at work.

It’s important to note that simple doesn’t have to mean boring. You can still be exciting, imaginative and descriptive in your word choices - just pick ones that’ll be understood by your average reader.

Duck tha (grammar) police

To remember this top tip, just imagine NWA having to use iPhone autocorrect.

Of course, grammar rules are vital to a content creator. But when writing in a conversational tone, the grammar police can quickly lock up your creativity (and throw away the key). 

So, don’t be afraid to break grammar laws when your tone demands it. Yep, even if Grammarly disagrees - death to the squiggly underline!

We ain’t concerned about formality and convention when we talk, so, for an authentic conversational tone, don’t fret about these in your content, either.

From using informal slang to opening sentences with a conjunction, these grammar sins won’t make your English teacher smile. But they can be an effective way of creating a transparent and genuine conversational tone in your content.

Make sure there’s some strategy to the crimes you choose to commit, though. Familiarise yourself with your audience to understand the tone, style and techniques that best resonate with them.

Keep it personal 

Unless you’re Tom Hanks in Castaway, conversations are usually a two-way street (sorry, Wilson).

Mirror this in your conversational tone by making use of second-person pronouns and direct address.

Directly addressing the reader as ‘you’ serves two purposes:

  1. You emphasise that you’re talking to your audience

  2. You emphasise that your message benefits them

It’s easy to incorporate into your content, too - go back and see how we’ve done it seamlessly throughout this post!

Direct address helps to personalise your message by encouraging the reader to apply it to their own circumstances. It immerses audiences in your content and helps your message to resonate with them more effectively.

Make music 

In conversation, we don’t just use our words. We place a heavy emphasis on rhythm, too.

So, compose for the eyes and the ears by making music in your content creation.

Think of your words as notes and your sentences as melodies - paying attention to syllables, flow and structure to set your rhythm.

Pay close attention to how your content rolls off the tongue, considering patterns of language and pronunciation.

For a conversational tone, find a fast and free-flowing rhythm that never has to be read twice. You can learn more about how to implement rhythmic content techniques in this handy blog post.

Use punctuation and formatting to your advantage to take this even further. For example, impactful full stops can contribute to a dramatic, succinct tempo that’s sure to capture readers’ attention. 

Similarly, italics can be used to achieve emphasis through inflection - a staple feature of spoken language.

Start using these tips in your content today to achieve a more natural and engaging conversational tone that’ll help you convey your message to your readers. 

Once you get into the swing of it, you’ll discover your conversational tone is great for injecting plenty of creativity and personality into your content. This all amounts to more powerful, authentic branded content in a tone and style that’s distinctly you.

Need a hand pinpointing that perfect conversational tone? Drop Paragraft a message to learn more about how we can make content work harder for your brand.

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