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Let's Start at the Very Beginning: How to Write a Strong Lede

At Signal Hill, we know the best way to engage an audience is through storytelling. Whether it’s an article about person-centered dining trends, a presentation on social media best practices or a weekly team huddle, we always start with story.

Let's Start at the Very Beginning: How to Write a Strong Lede

From the beginning, a good story must offer something special enough to spark our interest and keep our attention – an increasingly difficult task in a world of constant updates, requests and notifications.

In her book “Wired for Story,” Lisa Cron says that from a story’s first sentence, readers must want to know what happens next in order to continue reading. If you can pique readers’ curiosity instantly, she says the brain releases a wave of dopamine that keeps them captivated until the very end.

So what’s the secret to reeling in a reader? Here are a few suggestions for how to hook your audience with an effective lede:

- A strong beginning or lead gives us a reason to care. Show impact by letting readers know how they will be affected by a particular topic.

- Share an anecdote or testimony with which readers can easily identify. If your audience members are emotionally invested from the start, they will be more likely to engage with and act on your story.

- Keep readers interested by creating a sense of wonder or suspense. Start in the midst of action or with a pivotal moment, or begin by describing a scene.