Vizzini: He didn’t fall?! Inconceivable! | Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. |

— The Princess Bride

Many recommend that in order to improve our writing we should write as we talk; whether for journalism, advertising, public speeches, and more.

This isn’t new, and it is a tip that makes a lot of sense: deliver your message in writing as you would when chatting with someone.

It makes sense, and it mostly works, but what if you talk like an aristocrat, or a scientist, or a scholar, or…

We would probably still understand such individuals if they spoke our language, and we would likely make out every word, but would we understand the overall meaning of their message or would it still be complicated?

It isn’t simply to write how we talk, but to write in a conversational tone and using simpler language more attuned to our audience, which would help us deliver the message clearer…not the ‘talk’ alone.

Moreover, we don’t need to just write it in a simple language, but simplify how the message is delivered to our ideal audience; if it is simple enough to understand, then they could pay it forward just the same – further delivering your message cause it is clear, concise, and simple enough to explain it forward.

So when sitting in front of the blank paper or screen and jotting down your notes and writing, keep reading your writing out loud to make sure it isn’t only written well, but it is read well, sounds right, and is simple enough to be understood, spoken, and remembered. Read it out loud as if you’re talking to a potential user, as if you’re explaining directly to them, and then consider whether it would be understood by that same individual.

In summary, don’t just write as you talk, but write how you would talk to your real audience.