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Use literary writing techniques to connect

Literary writing techniques have proven their effectiveness time and time again. They create vibrant pictures with words. They can help explain, focus, show, confirm and awaken emotions. There's a small window of opportunity to capture an audiences' attention, no matter who they may be. Maintaining attention, that's another story. Literary techniques are useful for both.

Let's consider ... five.

  • Metaphor

An expression that describes something, such as a person or an object, by referring to it and linking similar characteristics. It can be figurative or literal. Transferring meaning this way can result in a message being understood in a new way.

For example: an avalanche of news, time is a thief, this is the icing on the cake.

  • Juxtaposition

The act or an instance of placing two or more things side by side often to compare or contrast, or to create an interesting effect. It's an effective and powerful tool.

For example: young and old, belief and denial, calm and chaos.

  • Rhetorical questions

A question that doesn't expect an answer. It can be used to provoke thought and create understanding. It could be a challenge, or emphasise how obvious an answer is.

For example: Do you want to teach the class today? Who knows? Did you expect me to do anything less than my very best?

  • Hyperbole

An exaggerated way of speaking or writing that makes someone or something sound bigger or better than it truly is. It creates a strong impression and adds emphasis.

For example: I have a million things to do. If I can’t buy that dress, I will die! The speech was never ending.

  • Foreshadowing

It gives some clues about what is to come, that will take on more meaning later. Clues are usually quite subtle. As part of a narrative, it can build anticipation.

For example: "I told myself this is the end of my trouble, but I didn't believe it."

It's important to use literary techniques at the right time, in the right place and with the right audience. The message needs to be understood. Choose a technique that aligns to the DNA of the business or service. These techniques are tried and tested. Could they be the right fit? When used appropriately, literary techniques can help break through the noise.

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