3 Writing Skills No One Bothered to Teach You—That You Need to Know Now

3 Writing Skills No One Bothered to Teach You—That You Need to Know Now

I don’t need to keep telling you writing skills have spiraled downward in this country. You can see it all around you, even at the highest levels of government. And if you don’t see it all around you, follow me on LinkedIn where I post real-life mistakes. You’ll become a believer. Nor do you need me to tell you that poor writing skills have a cost—although you probably don’t realize just how astronomically high that cost is. So I’ll share a few shocking numbers with you: Poor writing skills cost American companies almost $400...
How Writing at Work Is Like Cooking at Home

How Writing at Work Is Like Cooking at Home

I love to cook. In fact, I love to cook so much that I wanted to make this whole post on effective business writing about food and cooking instead. But I didn’t. OK, I started out saying waaaaaay too much about cooking. But then I revised it. So, no, this post isn’t going to make your mouth water or give you dinner ideas. But it will give you an analogy for effective business writing by pointing out the parallels between the writing you do at work and the cooking you do at home. Read through the post to see the parallels, and then...
4 (Secret) Ways to Add Wow to Your Writing Without Words

4 (Secret) Ways to Add Wow to Your Writing Without Words

Is there an author or blogger or even someone at work whose writing impresses you every time? Some writers have that knack, to take words and turn them into “wow” with seemingly little effort. It’s like watching a star athlete at the top of her game flawlessly execute a move on the field. And in reality, the writer’s ease with words came about in the same way as the athlete’s ease with maneuvers: Some inborn talent, but countless hours of diligent practice and improvement! Maybe you don’t have time to devote to honing your writing...
Your Writing Is Your First Impression—What Does It Say About You?

Your Writing Is Your First Impression—What Does It Say About You?

Have you ever formed a first impression about someone based on how they write? I suspect we all have. First impressions are powerful and hard to avoid. Even when we want to stay objective, we are sizing up the other person without meaning to. We can make assumptions about a person’s intelligence, education level, professionalism, skill level, trustworthiness, authority, kindness, approachability, and more—much more—based on how they write. First impressions matter, and, as the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a...
10 Ways to Get People to Keep Reading What You Wrote

10 Ways to Get People to Keep Reading What You Wrote

Does this sound familiar? You labor over a document or an email, finally submit it, then have someone ask you a question you answered with your writing. Obviously, they didn’t read what you wrote and you start to wonder, “What was the point of all that work?” Whether it’s lazy-ness or busy-ness in the workplace today, people are more likely to quickly scan what you write and not fully absorb what you’ve said—no matter how long you labored over it. (And that’s just a nice way of saying people aren’t reading what you wrote. And that’s...
11 Common Business Writing Mistakes that Have Nothing to Do with Your Grammar

11 Common Business Writing Mistakes that Have Nothing to Do with Your Grammar

Have you ever realized you’ve been making the same mistake over and over, unaware it was a mistake? And I don’t mean business writing mistakes, not yet… Growing up I had a friend who would say “for all intents and purposes.” I thought she kept saying “for all intensive purposes.” I didn’t know what it meant but she is smarter than me so I figured I just didn’t understand her fancy lingo. I was in my mid 20s before I figured out my error—and her saying made sense. Embarrassing! It’s easy to stay stuck in a mistake when...