Clear, persuasive communications… not more clutter

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Any business, organization, or individual MUST communicate effectively to succeed. These days, customers, investors, employees, suppliers and the community at large yearn for language that communicates clearly, simply and persuasively. As a writer, consultant and creative strategist, I help corporations, innovative niche businesses and non-profit organizations achieve these goals with distinct messages that rise above the clutter and confusion. I can help you achieve your goals.

Don’s Blog

Word Theft Means Getting Framed.

According to common wisdom in neuroscience, about 98 percent of our thoughts are unconscious and automatic, carried out by the neural system. We believe we think freely, but we actually don’t very much. The linguist Charles Fillmore said that all words are cognitively defined according to conceptual “frames” — structures we use to think and […]

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Change a Word. Change the Mood.

In a music blog I stumbled on, the blogger commented on the tunes and vibes of a particular music festival, but he also noticed something else – a subtle word choice that turned out to be very profound for concertgoers. Apparently, the officers at the festival were called “Safety,” not “Security.”  As the writer noted, […]

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Sometimes It Just Takes Time

Sometimes it takes time and perspective before the true impact of an idea or an action is fully realized, especially in our dizzying culture. The Greek philosopher Socrates was charged with “corrupting youth,” and he was sentenced to death by hemlock. But today he’s regarded as one of the giants in Western philosophy and a forefather of the scientific method. We’re probably not willing to wait that long for a payoff, but you get the idea.

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Selling Through Storytelling and The 4th Earl of Sandwich

The British politician and aristocrat John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, liked to play cards. But he also enjoyed eating a snack at the same time, and that tied up his hands and involved utensils. So, in 1748, he came up with a solution: he put beef between slices of toast, so he could eat with one hand and still play the game.

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10 Reasons to Avoid Writing Top 10 Lists

Basically, enough already. We’re saturated with top 10 (or top 5) reasons to do something. I don’t know about you, but I’m inundated, and I hardly bother to look at them anymore, unless the headline is unavoidably compelling, which is rare.

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The Potency of Words: Size Matters.

Did you ever notice that the most famous quotations use only small words?
“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
“A government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

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The Power of Words: Are we like sheep or just community minded?

Behaviorist Jen Shang, who specializes in the psychology of giving, has shown in recent studies that words – especially words of kindness – can be very persuasive. From her studies, she says that when some combination of nine adjectives – kind, caring, compassionate, helpful, friendly, fair, hard-working, generous and honest – are included in fundraising […]

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The Disqussion

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Petraeus, Eisenhower, Miles Davis and the Power of Modesty

A couple of opinion columns recently focused on how leaders of the U.S. military present themselves these days – relentlessly wearing, for too many occasions, dress uniforms bedecked with the “fruit salad” of ribbons and award…

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Getting Real in an Etch-a-Sketch World

Confusion abounds from the candidates themselves, giving new meaning to the term “Etch-a-Sketch,” a colorful description of the erasing-and-ever-shifting positions of a particular presidential candidate, who shall remain nameless.

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