At CMDi we help clients think, communicate and act incisively. Because today, only incisive communications work.

Words are often the first aspect of your brand that customers see; they need to create preference for your product or service and motivate them to action. This guide offers a glimpse into our deeper coaching on how to achieve those objectives by writing more incisively.

What is incisive?

The adjective incisive describes something that is “sharp, decisive, and direct”. Copywriting that “cuts to the bone” (the core of a subject) can be just as incisive as an actual knife. The word incisive is rooted in a Latin word that literally means “to cut with a sharp edge.”

Concise vs. Incisive

These have aspects in common, but are different.

Concise means stating something succinctly, using as few words as possible, yet still conveying the meaning fully.

Incisive has both a literal and figurative meaning. Literally, incisive means to cut or penetrate. Incisors are cutting teeth; an incision is a surgeon’s cut. But incisive is generally used in reference to sharp or cutting words, or keen and insightful analysis.

In short, to write incisively you do not necessarily have to use as few words as possible. You simply need to use the most effective words. But more often than not, this involves whittling your copy back to the bare essentials, which is why incisive writing is often concise. It takes time, but is always worth it.

5 ways to sharpen your writing:

  1. Cut the right shape
  2. Cut to the point
  3. Cut to the chase
  4. Cut out the clutter
  5. Cut to the front
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Contact us to find out about our incisive copywriting workshop.

Tim Braithwaite
Head of Copy