As you probably guessed I do a great deal of writing and speaking. To check my head I use this checklist. Hope it helps you too.
You can get a PDF of this checklist here.
- A strong headline.
- A strong opening sentence.
- What is this about?
- Who is your audience?
- How do you hook them?- ask a question, define a problem, make a bold statement, challenge them, spook ‘em, rhetorical question, startling assertion, did you know…, provide evidence/data, be a contrarian, imagine…, a metaphor,
- Tell a quick story. Show a picture. Create a chart.
- What question do you want answered? What is the learning objective?
- Why does it matter? Who is affected by it?
- What are the learning points?
- What’s unique about it? What’s it compare to?
- What’s humorous about it? What’s maddening about it?
- Is there a revelation? A breakthrough? An aha?
- What’s the resistance, obstacle or blockage? How to overcome it.
- Can you give something useful? A strategy, tool or resource?
- Where’s it lead to? What’s next? Stay tuned?
- Who’s the victim, villain or hero?
- What’s the tipping point?
- What’s the setting? The props?
- Each paragraph or point 2-4 sentences.
- Strong close. Final reminders, call to action, conviction, encouragement, “book-end” (refer back to beginning), final thought to ponder,
- Exercise files, further learning
Here’s to pumping up your writing and speaking game.
All the best, Don
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