Writing to be heard

In my last post, I mentioned a common problem with poorly written radio ads:

… these ads are often written to be read, not heard. When the words hit your ear, they want to bounce back. “This is not how humans speak to other humans,” you think.

It’s surprising to me sometimes how hard it can be to write for voice. I always assume my words will sound great when spoken, either by me or by someone else. When I wrote elearning scripts at a former place of employment, I was often brought down to earth by my very patient boss, who knew my propensity for writing scripts that would sound great…if only they were to never leave the reader’s head. (Academic/professorial is how she politely referred to my writing).

That’s why I got into the practice of reading my scripts out loud. These private performances saved me a lot of public embarrassment. I’d try to say out loud a clunky phrase or an awkward transition that I’d written, and I couldn’t edit it fast enough. How did I ever come up with that?

Today I came across an article from the eLearning coach about writing scripts — specifically elearning scripts. The author recommends, among other things, the read-aloud. I’d come across this article before; it’s a couple years old, but still on point. If you write scripts, or if you’re a VO artist who works with people who write scripts, this is a good read.

What about you? How do you ensure the words you put on paper translate to voice?


2 responses to “Writing to be heard

  1. Pingback: VO tips from the elearning community | Vox Humana·

  2. Pingback: Intentional communication saves new couches from burning horses | Vox Humana·

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