Write Powerful Headings
Can you imagine reading a newspaper or magazine without any
headlines or headings? Headlines and headings help us find
our way around, decide what to read, signal what’s coming
next and highlight key points. Looking at a recent financial
page I found these examples:
- Banking code outlaws obsolescence for savings accounts
- Electronic banker offers taste of the future
- Euro-fish out of its depth
- FT-SE falls on foreign woes
- Kingfisher flies in the face of retail gloom
- Masters sells pub chain
- Whitbread stops 5,000-job plan
In most business documents, the headings are much weaker.
At best they cover the subject matter; at worst they sound
academic and tedious.
You can learn to write good headings and subheadings that
transform your business letter writing and organise the information
to help your reader. Compare these headings.
Helping You Buy Your First
Re: Account Arrears
Repaying The Money You Owe
Job Application Appraisals
For The Position of Research Officer
Selecting A Research Officer
Headings often fail because they stick too rigidly to the
subject matter. The key to writing powerful headings is to
use a strong verb and specific words. Because each heading
has a strong verb, we call these action headings. You can
also use direct questions as headings as they have an added
impact. For example:
- Why Have an Annual Review?
- Why Invest Your Lump Sum?
- Are You Paying Too Much Tax?