Keeping it real: Writing that’s trustworthy and credible

Here are seven easy tips to make sure you’re communicating authentically,

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11 Steps to Compose Clear, Concise & Effective Emails

The average office worker receives around 80 emails each day, and I’m sure many of you receive more than that. With so much to wade through, your audience – whether it’s one colleague or a slew of potential customers – needs you to get to the point and be immediately relevant. Here are some tips […]

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What if Lincoln had been illiterate?

Being able to read has always been a skill that transforms lives, communities and the world. Abraham Lincoln didn’t have more than a year’s worth of formal education, but it was enough to set him on the path to literacy, the first step in his miraculous journey. His father almost certainly couldn’t read, so imagine […]

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The Obfuscating (Incomprehensible) Language of Finance

Many people – maybe most people – feel put off and insecure discussing the subjects of finance and economics. It’s almost like talking about serious health concerns with a doctor who only uses medical lingo. Many of us don’t have the training to understand, so we smile, weakly, and nod our heads. But whether it’s […]

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Learning How Little We Know

Every Tuesday I look forward to the New York Times’s weekly section on science. But a recent edition stopped me cold, because it pointed to some serious communication challenges about our understanding of health and disease.

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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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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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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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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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