171. A fast six step process for making your advice articles more actionable
The coffee has nothing to do with it. But it was the best “Writing” photo on my phone. 😜
Now on to the real thing!
Suppose you’ve been asked to write a short article for an audience, who would like to know more about how to do something.
Learn how to do a guitar solo. Improve their understanding of the Spanish kitchen. Get new ideas for how to run a meeting.
The content isn’t a factor here – only the type of article is.
Now, having made sure that it is indeed an article like this that you want to write, go through the following six steps.
- Write the article in normal language.
- Rewrite it, turning everything into bullet points.
- Take the intro part of the text and turn it into normal text (not necessarily the original text, though!)
- Add a sentence, that functions as a bridge between the intro and the bullet points.
- Write a sentence or two at the end, that wraps it all up.
- You’re done! Now your article is much more actionable and implementable. Yes, that’s two ways of saying the same thing. But it’s in a bullet point, at least. :-)
How does this look in practice?
A mentee of mine, Tanmay, tested this out recently. Because he wanted the somewhat mechanistic ease of overview that numbers can provide, he went all in. He not only converted everything to bullet points, he also numbered the whole thing.
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The end result is a text that may seem a bit like a rule book or a formal guidebook, but definitely manages to present itself as actionable.
And that, after all, was the whole point of this exercise.
Claus Raasted serves as the Director of the College of Extraordinary Experiences, is a Senior Advisor to McKinsey & Company and does high-level experience design consulting for clients around the world.