Here’s a handy test if you think your copy might be too flowery or convoluted. Can you imagine a stoic elderly Yorkshireman reading it aloud and it still sounding natural?
My client suggested this test after reading some of my more ambitious copy – a biographic description of their premises in Leeds. They’re based in a restored Victorian chapel, now converted into office space peppered with original period features. During my research for the copywriting, I’d perhaps absorbed a little too much inspiration which resulted in some flowery language and extended ecclesiastical metaphors.
Here’s an excerpt:
It really is difficult to imagine a coal-mining straight-talking Yorkshireman’s voice enunciating a fancy description like this and keeping a straight face. There’s a time and a place for eloquence, just not strewn in the midst of other plain English copywriting that’s crafted to cut straight to the point.
Here’s the second draft of the copy: