Have you ever felt what the characters of the book you are reading went through? Or could you picture a particular segment of the story coming alive in your head? Or got so hooked to the book that you could not wait to finish it? Or read one particular book over and over again? Or even finished a book but could not wait to grab the next part of the book?
If any of the above has happened with you, then the author has done his/her job very well. The author has been able to make you imagine the setup of the story, feel the emotions exactly which the characters felt and most importantly, get your eyes glued to the book.
This is being effective. The dictionary meaning of the word ‘effective’ is to be successful in producing a desired or intended result. Consider an orator. A speaker has all the attention he requires as it is rude for the audience to leave their seats. But what really differentiates a speaker from an orator is to have the audience’s attention but also their presence of mind, with their listening dedicated to the orator at the moment. An orator enchants the audience with his/ her moments, expressions, knowledge, fluency and command over the language. But what happens when one is supposed to express oneself through his writing capabilities, when there is no face to face communication, when there is no chance to clear the audience’s doubts, when there is certain change in the voice tone to express certain emotion. How will one deliver the same in their writing?
Well, very few of us are inspiring to be the next Sidney Sheldon or J. K. Rowling or even writers to get their work published in newspapers and magazines or write their own blogs to share their experience, express themselves or change others’ lives, the rest of us may feel that writing is not ‘that’ important.
But writing will always be important. Even if you happen to work in the corporate world tomorrow, you will be loaded with presentations and reports. You will have to write reports to convince your boss presenting him/her how your solutions work or analyse the numbers in qualitative terms to grope in potential clients. For every project you work upon or your every client or every meeting you have to give a presentation, you have to come up with the reports.
Your job would be to include all the correct figures and colourful charts, but what is more important is to be able express those numbers, come up with logical assumptions and clear predictions to explain how you arrived at those numbers. What are you benchmarking or who are comparing the results with? How are you able to achieve the desired target set by the company? When you write a report you need to be apt and precise, but at the same time should be able to impress the reader. The most important is to put across your thoughts. Here, you have to be effective i.e. you have to create the desired result you wanted.
All these years of schooling, we were given essays to write but we never really paid any heed to them as we were never told the importance of these essays. Anyway, it is never too late. How to develop effective writing skills?
- Read: Evidently, reading helps to gain knowledge and to open up your mind towards different point of views expressed by people about the same topic/ issue. If you are writing a report, it will help you to base your assumptions, include economic conditions and conflicting views, also the recent trends and future predictions.
- Research: One should have complete idea of the topic on which he/ she is supposed to write. So research is a very important part of writing. Research also helps to form one’s own opinions on the topic which is very important, rather than researching and only stating facts which are expressed and experimented by others but only collated and stated in different words by you.
- Do not take a stand in the beginning: This is a very important point, Do Not Take a Stand in the Beginning. Many writers take a stand in the very beginning of their article/ piece. It is a different thing if you are planning to share your certain experience regarding a particular thing. If you happen to hold a strong viewpoint even before researching, then the whole research turns out to be finding work in favour of your viewpoint. When you do this, you somewhat disappoint your readers. You are not able to clear your readers’ doubts by not showing the other side of the coin. So when your research, create an outline. Then go about collecting information which is in favour and not in favour of the topic. Then form your opinion.
- Express: Like I have mentioned earlier, express your opinion rather than stating facts. If you fail to express your opinion, then the document would be just a piece that you made collating others work and facts; which anyone can do. Do not just express your opinion; back it up with experience or assumptions or logic, so your words are not looked upon as empty words.
- Keep the reader in mind: When you begin your topic, do keep the understanding of the audience. A silly example of this would be, if you happen to write for children, obviously, you would avoid using words which are long and are above the kids’ understanding. Your storyline would not be complicated but will be simpler and easy to comprehend. Thus, keeping the reader in mind is very important.
- State you’re Experience: Your experience counts when you are writing a review for a product or had an encounter relating to the topic. If you happen to state your opinion without any experience it is very difficult for your readers to digest, especially those who have a conflicting view. Your experience stands to explain the reasoning behind your views.
- Practice: It is very important to arrange the information which you have collected and align the same with the opinions you have formed along the way. Practice writing on certain topics on which you are supposed to give your opinions. Start with simpler topics and then move to critical ones. Incorporate others opinions and state if you agree with the same or not, also give the explanation why you do or don’t.
Article by Divyanka Gangurde