Writing in Reverse

I finally have a name for how I write.  It’s called “writing in reverse”.  Yeah, it’s a thing apparently, something I didn’t even know had a name.  I just do it instinctively after years and years of carefully crafting memos to supervisors who didn’t want to hear the truth about their monthly results.  I finally found the name for it after reading an article I found through SmartBriefs, written by Justin Bariso for Inc. Magazine.   Here is the link if you want to read it yourself.

To summarize, it’s about writing your message from the point of view of your audience.  It helps you avoid emotional diatribes that are too long and fail to be helpful or informative for your reader.  Huh.  What a concept.  Do you think we can extend this to “speaking in reverse” to help all of us communicate verbally better?  That’s a thought worth diving deeper into considering!  Maybe we would have less conflict and more harmony in the world.  Ok, that’s a dream topic for another day.

In any case, this article finally got me out of my long COVID-Stupor.  No, I did not get COVID, thankfully, in spite of flying back and forth to care for my father all last year. But the fog brain and the lethargy that comes from staying away from people and hibernating for the past year have definitely been tough to overcome.  Getting back into writing and into action have been admittedly tough for me. Losing both parents in a year and a half did not help either.

The thing about writing (and speaking) in reverse is that we actually need to consider what our core message is.  We need to think about what we want to say and writing in reverse forces us to understand what our reader most needs help with.  It is something I have coached clients on, especially those who have a major speaking engagement, and this is the secret sauce behind my getting invited back to the same groups to speak consistently. It has also helped me get speaking engagements for larger global conferences even in the year of virtual Zoom events.

If you know your audience and you know your own “stuff”, it’s not difficult to write or speak in reverse.  The hardest part is realizing you cannot share 25+ years of experience in one short hour.  You have to pick the golden nuggets that are most relevant.  And do so in a way that has your audience screaming for more.  And condensing your vast amount of knowledge is truly the hard part.  Take it from my own experience.

The article gives good tips on writing in reverse.  I won’t bore you with all the details here since you can get them in the article, but I do want to challenge you to try writing in reverse.  It will take some getting used to, but you will get better and faster responses if you master this writing technique.  Now, if I could only apply this to my marketing copy on my website….  One more thing to add to my To-Do list!

If you decide to try writing in reverse send me a note and let me know how it went for you!  I’d love to hear your stories!  Help me celebrate my getting back into writing by sharing your thoughts!

Back to Top