Tip writing is easy for some people and almost impossible for others. Or so they think. Sometimes those tips are actually there and are merely in hiding, waiting to be discovered and identified for what they are.
You probably know people who, when asked what time it is, naturally go into telling you how to make the time piece. They are simply wired that way. It’s what makes them who they are. They think in paragraphs, telling not only the material used to make the clock or watch, but why that material was used and how it is better than other materials, and many other pieces of information about the clock or watch.
They go on and on, compelled by their truly generous nature, to give you every
nuance having to do with the time piece, and maybe even forgetting to answer the original question of what time it is or remembering what the question was at all. They may even risk losing the attention of whoever asked the question of what time it is.
A long, detailed answer works great for someone on the receiving end if their style is similar. It can be problematic when the other person’s style is “bottom line,” solution based, quick, or results oriented.
One of the easiest ways of handling all of this is to exchange the documents. Let a succinct communicator review and offer suggestions or edit the expanded answer, and have the person with the long answer provide ways to elaborate on the tips.
Frequently a paragraph full of the “why,” “what,” and lots of details has the how-to tip within it. The tip is either sitting there ready to pull it out or, with a slight modification, turns into a tip. Look for a sentence that starts with a verb.
In fact, that last sentence you just read, “Look for a sentence that starts with a verb,” is an example of that very thing. The word “look” is a verb that starts the tip about how to find a tip! In the paragraph above that, there is a tip in hiding in the first sentence.
“One of the easiest ways of handling all of this is to exchange the documents” is how that sentence is written. It becomes a tip by making it “Exchange the documents as one of the easiest ways of handling all of this.”
ACTION – It is foolhardy to expect a person to change their style. Yes, techniques can be effectively taught and learned. The basic construct of the person is the basic wonderful construct, and is part of the gifts of who they are. Use the formula you have learned about writing a tip starting the first sentence with a positive verb, followed by no more than 2 sentences explaining “why” or “how.” Be kind to yourself when you realize that approach is a struggle for you. You can ask someone in your life to help you with it, whether that is a family member, friend, or colleague, or you can have a professional who is familiar with tip-writing edit it for you.
Turn Your Tips Into Products, Your Tips Products Into Moneymakers TM” © 2014 Paulette Ensign