I'm teaching a long copy class this quarter. This is the fifth in a series of exercises intended for that class. I invite blog readers to share their assignments. Let me know if you found this assignment helpful or interesting.
You know how your copy is supposed to sound. You wrote it. But is that really how it sounds? To a certain degree, any piece of copy will be influenced by the reader. They'll hear a particular voice, and read it a certain way. But there are also things you can do to give your copy the sense of urgency, or the right emphasis, or the right tone, no matter who reads it.
For this assignment, give your copy to someone else. Don't tell them how it's supposed to sound, or what their motivation is. Just have them take a look at it, then read it aloud to you. Listen to where they pause, what they emphasize and what tone they assume as they read. Do they read it like you want them to? Why or why not? Is there something you can change to get them closer to how you want them to read it?