Leave a lasting impression in the kicker
Think of the kicker as the fireworks display at the end of the Fourth of July picnic. It’s the reader’s reward for making it to the end of the piece.
The job of the kicker is to leave a lasting impression. Where the lead draws readers in with concrete, creative, provocative details, the kicker lets readers go using the same approaches.
But wait! Surely there’s a metaphor for that.
Think of your kicker, the experts say, as a:
- Gymnast sticking the landing. “The ending of your story may say to the reader, ‘I decided to stop writing here,'” writes Roy Peter Clark, Poynter Institute senior scholar. “But if you have the readers’ needs in mind, you want your ending to be more than that. If your story is short, you want your ending to ‘stick the landing,’ the way a great gymnast completes a vault.”
Inverted pyramids ‘do not work well with readers’
Writers say, “We use the inverted pyramid because readers stop reading after the first paragraph.” But in new research, readers say, “We stop reading after the first paragraph because you use the inverted pyramid.”
Indeed, our old friend the inverted pyramid hasn’t fared well in recent research. Studies by the Poynter Institute, Reuters Institute and the American Society of News Editors show that the traditional news structure reduces readership, understanding, sharing, engagement and more.
In short, researchers say, inverted pyramids “do not work well with readers.”
At Catch Your Readers — our two-day writing master class on March 22-23, 2017, in Las Vegas — you’ll master a structure that’s been proven in the lab to grab readers’ attention, pull them through the piece and leave a lasting impression.
Specifically, you’ll learn how to:
- Grab reader attention with a lead that’s concrete, creative and provocative — and avoid making readers’ eyes glaze over by using one of the seven deadly leads.
- Increase reading, understanding and sharing with five techniques for cutting your copy significantly.
- Stop bewildering your readers by leaving out an essential paragraph. (Many communicators forget this entirely.)
- Avoid the “muddle in the middle” by choosing one of five structural techniques from a rubric created by the founder of TED Talks.
- Draw to a satisfying conclusion in the penultimate paragraph.
- End with a bang, not a whimper by using our three-step test.
This is the only writing workshop we have planned in Las Vegas in 2017. Don’t miss out on your chance to Catch Your Readers in Vegas! Register now.
Learn to Master the Art of the Storyteller, Catch Your Readers, Get Clicked, Cut Through the Clutter and more
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