‘Tis the season to be positive

Positively prickly holly

Do you sometimes feel you’re surrounded by negativity?

Negative stories in the press, ear-bashings from colleagues, ranting and raving posts from friends and family on Facebook. The list goes on…

And some of that must rub off, right?

Put your positivity to the test

How positive have you felt over the last 24 hours?

Take this 2-minute positivity test – you might be surprised at the results.

How we are affected by negativity around us 

Being around negativity has an effect on us.
It may be only subconscious, but it’s there. As if by osmosis, it seeps into our pores and manifests in tuts and groans and other indications of impatience and general irritability!

Or is that just because it’s 2 sleeps ‘til Christmas and I couldn’t be less organised if I tried?

(see, there it comes, bubbling out of me!)

But I don’t mean to be negative…

I doubt many people do – sometimes it just kinda happens, it just slips out.

I received feedback on my 7th assignment this week. Part of it was a 200-word SEO landing page for a PPC advert.

The feedback was really interesting, and something that I would have never, in a million years, noticed in my own writing. My tutor pointed out that in one particular section I had used words or phrases which inferred an element of negativity, in 4 different places.

4? The passage was only about 50 words!

The thing is, they weren’t obviously negative words like ‘can’t or ’won’t’ or ‘rubbish’. They were relatively harmless words like ‘usually’ before what was meant to be complimentary, and qualifiers like, ‘I feel’ before a statement. These kind of words aren’t negative in themselves, but dull the positivity and self-assuredness of a piece of writing.

They dilute it slightly.

Simply removing the offenders instantly gave the passage a lift, turning it into the positive, light-hearted copy it was supposed to be in the first place.

Think about these statements, how do they come across?

“She is good at it” vs. “She seems to be good at it”

”It’s a good idea” vs. It might be a good idea”

And finally, “Yes we can” – the climax of Barack Obama’s 2012 victory speech. Imagine if he’d said, “Well, maybe we could”. Rousing I think not!

Good copywriting is about making your reader feel something, connect with the text. And positivity is a powerful driver, surely something we want our audience to feel about the product or service we’re offering. Using words that infer negativity, even if they are not obvious, can break this connection, fail to get the message across, and cause apathy in your audience.

And who wants that?

Choose strong language, be bold, be confident

One to add to the proofreading list perhaps? Keep an eye out for ‘positivity-diluters’!

In fact, let’s make a #positivityproofing a resolution for 2015.  

Merry Christmas all, and wishing you a positive new year.

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