When Writing at Work, Communicate Faster by Changing One Word

When Writing at Work, Communicate Faster by Changing One Word

(Originally published April 2017) Can changing just one word of your message get that message across faster when writing at work? I think so. Here’s why… I used to drive a stretch of freeway with a most annoying sign off to the west that irked me every time I passed it. The sign was a huge banner for a tree maintenance company and it read, “Are your trees safe?” I suspect the purpose of the sign was to generate business, but I don’t think their word choice was the best for doing so. However, that sign gives me an...
This One Simple Trick Will Make You a Better Writer Fast

This One Simple Trick Will Make You a Better Writer Fast

(This business writing post was originally published June 2017) Have you ever hit Send only to find out later you had an egregious error in your message? I’m guessing yes, because it has happened to us all. We’re typing fast and probably thinking about the next task while trying to finish this one and boom, next thing you know, we’ve sent a messy message that implies we’re lazy and too busy to proofread. Dang! An Ounce of Prevention or a Pound of Cure? Whether you’re writing a quick Snapchat to a...
Cost-Cutting Ideas for Large Companies? Get Rid of That Weak Writing Money Pit!

Cost-Cutting Ideas for Large Companies? Get Rid of That Weak Writing Money Pit!

If you’re looking for cost-cutting ideas for large companies, chances are there is one critical area you’ve overlooked: your employees’ business writing skills. In fact, you might have a money pit staring you in the face and you don’t even see it. This money sucker wastes time and dollars. And it’s not unique to your business. Like aliens taking over a city in some blockbuster movie, this money pit shows up all over, draining potential profits and tripping up productivity….all without anyone...
How to Write Faster–and Faster–and Faster

How to Write Faster–and Faster–and Faster

(Originally published June 2017) The story I am about to tell you is true, although embarrassing. But I share it because there’s an important lesson to be learned here about becoming a better faster writer… The story of how I learned to write faster and faster Once upon a time, this freelance copywriter fell on hard times. That’d be during the post 2008 recession when every single one of my high-tech clients disappeared. As a single mom who still had to pay the bills, I took on some writing work I can only describe as gross to tide...
Why Your Business Writing Is Not Working

Why Your Business Writing Is Not Working

(Originally published April 2017) When it comes to business writing, a lot of us think we are better at it than we really are. If our grammar is correct and we’ve got our facts straight, that’s all that really matters, right? Wrong. Because our business writing has a job to do. It’s called writing at work because it’s supposed to work. Sadly, much of the writing done in the workplace today fails to work, costing American businesses billions of dollars and keeping employees busy sending pointless emails long after work hours. I’ll...
Writing at Work? Don’t Be a Jerk: Put the Reader First

Writing at Work? Don’t Be a Jerk: Put the Reader First

Business writing at work can do more harm than good when the reader is ignored. What does it mean to be a jerk when writing at work? It means to write without considering the reader or audience. Because when you don’t write for the audience, you’re being selfish and writing to serve your own purposes only. And that leads to pointless back-and-forth emails, confusing documents, miscommunication and other time wasters. How do we fix this? Josh Bernoff has the answer. On page 5 of his book Writing Without Bullshit, Bernoff asks that we...