Formatting and Positioning for Impact

Strategically use a P.S. in your letters.  For example, in a sales letter, after you gain attention, build interest and desire, and motivate action, close by putting an important reader benefit in a P.S.  Strive to make it novel and poignant.

So what?

After the introduction, the single most-read portion of a letter is the postscript.  Average readers spend only several seconds reading the introduction.  Then they move to the postscript to determine if the letter is personal and has relevance to them.  If the letter fails on these accounts, the average person won’t read anything else.

Position information you want to emphasize in the beginning or end of your oral presentation or written communication.  For example, to deemphasize negative information, put it in the middle of a document rather than in the first or last paragraph.  Similarly, place the negative information in the middle of a paragraph rather than the first or last sentence.

So what?

Research reveals that people pay attention to what comes first and what comes last.  What is in-between gets the least amount of attention.

Look for opportunities to increase the readability of your message. Specifically, use: short paragraphs, headings to clarify the organization, bullets to highlight information in lists, and caps or underlining (but not both) to emphasize important information.

So what?

The message looks more inviting and eases reading. It also helps the reader to access the information on an “as needed basis”, much like the effect of a “pull-down” menu.