Lesson 7, Topic 1
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Write_write for the ear

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“Write for the ear, not for the eye.” What on earth does that mean?

It means, write how you would talk. When you write a speech or a presentation, the end goal is for the audience to listen to it – not read it like they would a book. Because of this, it’s important that the language in your presentation is conversational so that your audience can understand: everyday words and minimal technical jargon.

For example, you might include the word “ascertain” in an essay. But no one says that out loud; they just say “find out.” In speech, we rely on simple, descriptive language so including that same language in your presentation is key.

We want this draft to sound like your voice, so use words that you typically use. A big puzzle piece here is knowing your audience; you probably use different language with your colleagues than you would with your kids. Every audience is different, so you’ll want to ask yourself if your language is appropriate or if you have explained complicated concepts well. At this point, you have done and reviewed your audience analysis so you’ll know exactly who will be listening to you.