Is Your Copy Understandable? Emphasize Words and Make It So!

The written word is a magical thing.

 

It depends on the little voice in your head to come alive. By accentuating one word in a sentence, you can change the way that little voice interprets it. This is a very powerful thing to know and apply to your copy. Take a look at the sentences below and emphasize the bolded word as you read it.

I didn’t tell you she fell in the river.

I didn’t tell you she fell in the river.

I didn’t tell you she fell in the river.

I didn’t tell you she fell in the river.

I didn’t tell you she fell in the river.

I didn’t tell you she fell in the river.

I didn’t tell you she fell in the river.

I didn’t tell you she fell in the river.

I didn’t tell you she fell in the river.

See what I mean? Every single word can be emphasized to completely change the meaning of the sentence. This is why tone in texts or e-mails are often drastically misinterpreted. While the person may have written it one way, but your brain highlights it in another.

How to include this in your copy: .

In your copy, it’s of deadly importance to highlight the right words. Create emphasis for the reader. Make it as easy as possible to understand EXACTLY what you want to say. See what I did there? Now, the thing is, there are ways to do this right and ways to do it…well…less right (I feel bad saying tacky).

The good news is you aren’t short on options. The right ways to highlight words is by changing:

  1. Thickness (bold)
  2. Size (enlarge the font)
  3. Style (find a contrasting font)
  4. Contrast (capitalize the letters)
  5. Change (italics/obliques)*
  6. Underline the word

The thing you should never do – no matter how cleverly you think you are being by doing it ¬– is include flashing, moving, color-changing or animated words. Legibility is KEY, and flashing type is not easy to read.

*Side note: Although, Italics and obliques are both made of slanted letters, they are not the same thing. An oblique uses the same font letters in a slanted format. On the other hand, italics use different letters altogether that already come included in the font.

Your action of the day:

 

Go through your copy and ask yourself:

  1. Do you see any phrases that could be misinterpreted?
  2. What words can I emphasize in my copy today?

Highlight your key words and re-read your copy to see how it improved.

As always, if you found this helpful or have any questions, please leave a comment below!

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