read-centered writerby Jody Bruner

Sustain your focus on your customer throughout your writing by expressing the details of your message from the reader’s point of view. Try using the pronoun ‘you’ as much as you can. Don’t avoid ‘I’ or ‘we.’ Just remember to include ‘you’ as much as you can.

Writer-centered: We provide technical support for our clients.
Reader-centered: Your learners will get as much technical support as they need to ensure a smooth and effective transfer of learning.

Writer-centered: As we work with clients to design job aids and training, we often discover the best solutions start with improving current work processes.
Reader-centered: As we work with you to design job aids and training, we often discover the best solutions start with streamlining your current work processes.

Try it yourself. Turn these writer-centered sentences into reader-centered ones:

I’ve been providing <service or product> since 1990.

We’ve added 12 new <items> to our online catalogue.

We’ll be able to confirm registration for participants who respond to this email before March 14.

Please share your rewrites in the comments below!

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