RE: revisiting RE: connect verb?

Subject: RE: revisiting RE: connect verb?
From: John Posada <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Gil Yaker <gyaker -at- mci -dot- net>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2000 08:56:41 -0700 (PDT)

OK, Gil...the little extra information helps a great deal.

I used to do proposals for a living and chapter 1 of every proposal
is the Executive Overview.

While it needed to be technical, it also had to summarize the 400
page entire proposal in 2 pages or less.

The slant that I used with this Executive Overview was:

1) Identify the problem as it affects what THEY care about (money,
wealth, fame)
2) Identify the solution.
3) Identify the benefit.

In a nutshell, it went:

Mr. Bigbucks:

Wunderfl Company has identified that your eauipment is still analog
when the world is digital.

Wunderfl Company has a complete digital replacement system.

It will save you 400 million dollars and your Board of Direcrtors
will carry you around on their shoulders.

What's my point?


If I remember correctly, I proposed something to the effect of "The
56k modem will connect to your system."

Now, I might change that to:

"MyCompany's 56k modem will connect to your system on the first try
27% more often than your existing modems, resulting in faster
service, lower communications costs, and 12% fewer retries."

Obviously, I'm assuming alot and writing in a vaccum...but you get
the idea. I think the part that you were looking for was the benefit
to go along with the feature.

Thge trick isn't to write about what you want to say, biut what they
want to hear. Big difference. You may be real proud of something in
your product, but if the reader doesn't see it as a benefit TO THEM
by generating more money, lower costs, or a better sex life, they
aren't going to give their money to you.

BTW..."flowery" isn't the word I'd use..."more visual" might be more

What's the STC Competition? It's when a bunch of technical writers
submit entries to the Society For Technical Communication to be
judged in competition by other technical writers. In this case, you
want others who have no idea of what you're writing ABOUT, to go OOH,
and AAH when they read your submission.

--- Gil Yaker <gyaker -at- mci -dot- net> wrote:
> Okay okay, I left out an important piece.
> So here's more background. The doc I'm working on is a markety
> technical overview of the network. So doesn't this paper have to
> sound a little more flowery? It's the few paragraphs that
> executives (i.e., ppl with the money) will be reading, or so I'm
> told.
> It's kind of funny; because we know our audience, part of the
> objective is to write in a way that we know they won't understand
> (dropping all sorts of acronyms and not explaining them - BGP,
> OSPF, MPLS, etc...) and thus inspire questions.
> Or maybe I have this marketing slant on things totally wrong.
> ps JohnPosada, what's STC competition stuff?

John Posada
Technical Writer
mailto:john -at- tdandw -dot- com

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