When it comes to contacting others or being contacted, we have several choices such as calling, speaking face-to-face, emailing, blogging, tweeting, etc. It’s all a form of communication. Even so, it’s important to recognize that writing is clearly distinct from speaking and therefore different guidelines apply.
Since I’ve had Profitable Speech since 1994 one of the questions I’ve often been asked by prospects and clients is “Is it a good idea to write the way I speak?” Good question with a simple answer—No. Although as I stated, both writing and speaking are forms of communication, which means it’s imperative to not blur the lines between them. Consider these 10 points:
- For most people, speaking comes naturally whereas writing does not.
- Speaking is typically more spontaneous and informal than writing.
- The spoken word is generally unfocused and lacks structure, which is not the case for writing.
- Speech tends to include repetition whereas writing is not repetitive and relies on vocabulary.
- When we communicate verbally, our message is enhanced by eye-contact, gestures, and facial expression. Writing does not include these options.
- As speakers we should pay attention to the reactions of our listeners and adjust what we say based on what we observe. As writers we can’t view our readers and rely strictly on our imagination.
- When we write we must take advantage of effective punctuation as it replaces non-verbal language.
- Writing is a permanent form of communication whereas speaking may be altered.
- Editing and polishing are often used by writers but not accessible to speakers.
- Something vitally important whether writing or speaking is to keep the audience in mind. All communication is about the other person.
Please know that there is immense value in writing and speaking. It’s how we stay connected with the rest of the world. Therefore it will be a great benefit to you to boost your skills in each of these two forms of communication.
You’re welcome to contact me so I may offer you guidance in either one of these areas.