Category Archives: Writing Tips

How to Find Stories for Your Presentations

Have you noticed that everyone is telling stories lately? Google “storytelling in business,” and you’ll find marketers telling brand stories, trainers using stories to drive their points home and structure learning events,  leaders telling stories to inspire and motivate, and presenters telling stories to bring dry content to life and engage their audiences. This doesn’t

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How to Overcome the Curse of Knowledge

When Steven Pinker has something to say about writing, it pays to listen. As a cognitive scientist and psycholinguist at Harvard, and the chair of the usage panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, he has some serious writing credentials. In his latest book, The Sense of Style, Pinker explains that writers can bring their writing

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Be Concrete

  Business writing can be dull when writers use vague, abstract language. It’s the concrete detail that make writing interesting because readers can more easily make your message come to life in their minds. In The Elements of Style, Strunk and White exhort us to “Prefer the specific to the general, the definite to the

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What is the Present Perfect and When Should I Use it?

What exactly is the present perfect and why should you care about it? You should care because, if you’re like most people, you’re probably overusing and misusing it. Too often, writers use the present perfect when the simple past is the better choice. The simple past: I went to France last summer. The present perfect:

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How to write a prospecting email that gets a response

Like you, I’m inundated with sales prospecting emails, and mostly I delete them. But here’s one that made me stop and read. I laughed, felt special and even responded. Hi Jody, I hope you are well.  I just wanted to check in with you about the Training 2015 Conference this February in Atlanta.  I have

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How to Accept Criticism with Grace

My son Jack has run a summer business, Well Done BBQs, over the last 5 years while doing his university degree. As a small business owner with no marketing budget to speak of, he built his business using word of mouth and the Internet–especially Homestars. And it worked: Well Done BBQs was awarded Best of

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How NOT to give bad news–especially when it’s not really so bad

I recently received an email with this alarming subject line from my health club: IMPORTANT MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENT In all upper case it jumped out from my inbox and I opened it immediately. I felt myself tighten as I read the first few words: To all Healthclub Members We regret to inform you that… OMG, did someone

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Slow Writing for Quick Results

You’re not imagining it—the pace of life is getting faster. In fact, a recent study shows that pedestrians are walking 10% faster than they did in 1994. And if you live in a large, prosperous city you’re among the fastest walkers of all. I love speed. It’s fun, but it’s not sustainable, and not always

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Reading more means writing better

“Read, read, read. Read everything–trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write.” – William Faulkner Thanks to everyone who helped us select reading quotes for our bookmarks. How does reading help improve your writing?

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How templates can make you stupid

Here’s how using a template made me stupid: Business is growing, and need a better way track our sales efforts. That means we need a Customer Relationship Management system, right? But which one? There are hundreds to choose from. Since I’m busy and the internet is a vast library of awesome resources, I immediately joined

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