Three Questions Up Front

A column in a prominent business publication begins by saying there are three vital questions for investors concerning a certain government policy. Right up front, the columnist asks all three questions, each of which are complicated. He then gives all three answers, also complicated.

Do you think most readers can hold three complex questions in their heads while pondering the answers one at a time?

Not a chance. To follow each answer, most readers would have to look back to remind them of the question. What portion of readers would do this, pondering and internalizing all three answers?

My guess: 10%, max. The other 90% would be inclined to say, To hell with it! I’ll turn to something that requires less work.

Remember: It’s no trouble at all for people to stop reading.

The columnist should have begun by saying there are three questions concerning the government policy. He should have asked the first question and answered it. On to the second question, answer that, and so on.

If you want your readers to internalize your message, easy reading is essential.

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