The art of conversation: Listen, Calibrate, Guide (Confab UK 2013: How to write for the web)


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After participating to the content strategy event Confab UK 2013, I created this presentation to share with my colleagues what I learned form Jinny Redish, Sarah Richards and Matthew Thompson conferences.

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The art of conversation: Listen, Calibrate, Guide (Confab UK 2013: How to write for the web)

  1. 1. The art of conversation Listen, Calibrate, Guide CONFAB UK 2013: Sum-up of the best contributors
  2. 2. What do you do when you start to create a new article?
  3. 3. «Good web writing is like a conversation between the editor and the user» Ginny Redish
  4. 4. 1. Listen to the user (not reader)
  5. 5. I’m busy. Don’t make me read… Don’t make me think!!! I need help!
  6. 6. The user starts the conversation
  7. 7. Then it’s your turn to answer… … or not!
  8. 8. 2. Plan your content
  9. 9. Write down a creative and short brief for each piece of content. KakaoTalk for PC Why? (Purpose) Problem of the user: Kakaotalk doesn’t exist on PC (for now). We want that he/she reads: • this article with the work around, • the news announcing the PC version soon • download Bluestacks and Kakaotalk • a list of tips about Kakaotalk Who? (Persona) P1 (low/medium tech knowledge user): has not a smartphone and want to communicate with family and friends using Kakaotalk on his/her PC. What? (Conversation) I’ll write a simple tutorial step by step explaining how to have Kakaotalk on PC using Bluestacks (windows/mac) with links to the news and other articles useful for him. what you want people to do the person you are talking with your piece of content in 2 lines
  10. 10. 3. Organize the content
  11. 11. Organize your content before: • Think topic, not book! (3 short tutorial are better than 1 very long) • Readable on every device: PC, tablet, phone (Content Models are your friends!) User question • • Use the question of the user as title The essential message goes first (deck+lead) • Break up text with parallel, useful headings • Add always a call to action at the end (read another article, a news, a guide, download something, leave a comment, etc.) Your answer Lets people grab and go Never stop the conversation!
  12. 12. Bite Snack Meal
  13. 13. 4. Calibrate your tone
  14. 14. Use the same user’s words to write your content. • • • • • • • • • • • Kakaotalk for pc Kakaotalk via pc Kakaotalk pc client Using kakaotalk on pc Install kakaotalk on pc How to use kakaotalk on pc Kakaotalk messenger on pc Download kakaotalk Kakaotalk for mac Kakaotalk windows 7 Kakaotalk windows 8 Talk to (and with) your customers (use conversational phrases) IMPORTANT! Take into account the user’s emotions! I’ve an old phone… Without Kakaotalk I can’t talk with my friends… I’m frustrated!
  15. 15. 5. Write
  16. 16. Some suggestions to write good web content: • • • Clear structure Fast: short sentences and paragraphs Simple vocabulary • • • Scannable text: use bold and HEADINGS. Link other articles useful for the user. Lenght: 3-4 scrolls max.
  17. 17. 6. Evaluate
  18. 18. Conversation doesn’t end with publication! • • • • • • • • • • Data are your friends! Find your topics Become an expert Read the opinions Give answers Nurture the conversation Not a series of isolated dispatches: a stream Extend the conversation: go where it is Connect. Share. Promote. Engage. Interact. Guide the conversation: find relations, give opinions, never stop to help
  19. 19. 6 steps for perfect conversations 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Listen to the user Plan your content Organize the content Calibrate your tone Write Evaluate
  20. 20. Do you make these 10 mistakes during the conversation?
  21. 21. 1. Not listening 2. Forgetting that the user comes to our site to accomplish tasks and not just to hang out. 3. Thinking that the user needs are your needs. 4. Making assumptions, instead of interrogating data. 5. Forgetting that sometimes what the user asks is different from what he needs. 6. Changing the topic to suit your own interests. 7. Thinking of you as the only great expert to be listened. 8. Doing a monologue: make questions! 9. Boring your user 10. Break a conversation
  22. 22. «The objects of conversation are pleasure and improvement» Arthur Martine
  23. 23. 1 solution for 10 mistakes…
  24. 24. THE QUEST: «A journey towards a goal» is A SERIE • • • • • • • Quests invite participation. Quests create loyal followers (FANS). Quests need empathy. You have space and time to say everything we need to know about something (and no boring!). They have a template. Sell the question, not the answer. Sell the mission, not the product. A quest gives life to your articles.
  25. 25. «With great power comes great responsibility: very often people have no choice but to use our services» Sarah Richards
  26. 26. If you want to know more… Ginny Redish, Letting go of the words Matthew Thompson, The art of the Quest Sarah Richards, GOV.UK editorial style guide