Simple and Specific: The Key to Understanding in Your Writing

You might think that being too specific in your communications might confuse busy readers or distract audiences but it’s quite the opposite. Using simple language and being appropriately specific in your descriptions have been proven to increase understanding and retention. Here are some examples: • Memorable: “The man proceeded down the street.” “The tall man […]

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Getting your team to be better writers. It’s essential.

  Item: A brilliant process engineer at a major chemical company is trying to tell representatives from a personal care products giant about the cost-savings and performance benefits of a new hair-care ingredient. But she’s getting tangled up in minutiae and arcane data; she’s lost them before she even gets to the good stuff. Item: […]

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How to Identify a Great Writer: 6 Skills Every Wordsmith Must Have

You and your business need content. Not just words and explanations but clear, useful, compelling and persuasive content that powerfully separates you from the competition and the clutter.  Now that we’re into the new year, how do you find a good writer who can consistently provide the goods? It’s important to know the specific skills […]

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Head, Heart and Hand*: A Simple Path to Effective Communicating

In addition to writing for a variety of clients, I spend time working with scientists, engineers and IT professionals on their presentations to non-experts. While it’s a bit of a cliche’ that “tech nerds” live in their own world, it’s often true that their focus on data can thwart effective communicating by strangling key messages […]

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It’s not about you. Know the 5 stages of awareness.

Whether you’re putting together a website, a social media campaign or any kind of corporate/marketing communication program, you often tend to focus on the product, service or idea you’re promoting. It’s understandable. But your communications effort is NOT primarily about you, it’s about your audience and their needs. Not your product but their problem.

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Six Skills to Look for When You Need a Great Writer

(This post has been updated for 2018. See the new article here…) You and your business need content. Not just words and explanations but clear, useful, compelling and persuasive content that powerfully separates you from the competition and the clutter.  Now that we’re closing in on the busy fall period, how do you find a […]

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New Brain Data Can Improve Professional Writing Service Results

Whether you provide a professional writing service or you write because your boss tells you to, new and revealing data about how your brain works can guide you. One example: using positive language is beneficial to the brain and helps you avoid confusion and penetrate your target audience.

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Website Copywriting Tips from a Pro

You need an effective and interactive website to support your business. But you slap together copy for the site – based on an old brochure, perhaps – and check it off your bulging to-do list. Or you keep putting it off, because you realize, correctly, that website copywriting is not as easy to do as […]

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The Fine Art of Baloney Detection

With social and traditional media burning up with all kinds of questionable information and messages, it’s a good time to make sure you’re targeting your communications to the people you want to reach. Can you visualize that person, understand his or her needs and frustrations, and address them? If so, you’ll have a much better chance to connect and they’ll be willing to listen.

But in today’s hyped-up media world, you also have to address and overcome the fine art of baloney detection, a term coined by the late, great public scientist Carl Sagan, who shared his thoughts about upholding reason in the face of shameless untruths and propaganda.

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Verbal Hide & Seek: Come Out, Come Out, Whoever You Are!

I feel the same way about the F words “facilitate” and “foster.” Could there be any two words that are more convoluted and vague? Why are these words so commonly used today when just 10 years ago, they were hardly used at all?

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