The best piece of advice most great copywriters will give you is that your words must be, at the very least, entertaining. You must tell stories, and be conversational.
It’s the “trick” to keep people reading; telling stories that rise above the noise and stand out.
But… well… how?
A few weeks ago I went for wine and nibbles with some friends, acquaintances and total strangers. The conversation ebbed and flowed, jumping from topic to topic for hours. It was fantastic. I haven’t had a friendly, intellectually-charged debate since Uni.
It struck me that we’re all great storytellers: we all know how to hold a conversation; we all naturally go with the flow of the discussion.
And from this night, one other thing struck me: we all returned to the first topic of discussion before we left, almost like there was an unspoken agreement on the best way to bring a sense of closure to the night.
Great stories, whether it’s a movie, a TV series, a TV episode, a book, a poem, a joke, a conversation, or an email all follow the same structure!
First, you have to set up the story. Then you run on a tangent – a way of keeping everyone interested in the conversation (or story… or joke… or episode…). Then you return to pay-off the story from the beginning.
Set up the story.
Go on a tangent.
Circle back, and pay-off the story (aka the punch-line to your joke).
Go and watch some comedians on youtube and pay attention to the structure and delivery, rather than the joke itself, and you’ll see how the masters do it.