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...
Risky Business: Why Writing at Work Is Dangerously Misunderstood

Risky Business: Why Writing at Work Is Dangerously Misunderstood

“I never said you stole the money.” Have you seen that sentence before? That simple phrase is proof that our writing at work must work harder to communicate better. Here’s how: Read the sentence out loud five times and change the word you emphasize each time. As you do, you change the meaning of the sentence too, like this… “I never said you stole the money” means someone else said you stole the money. “I never said you stole the money” means I’m defending myself against an accusation. “I never said you stole the money” means...
Weak Workplace Writing Is Whittling Away Your Bottom Line

Weak Workplace Writing Is Whittling Away Your Bottom Line

What’s scarier than Halloween haunts? Sucky workplace writing! Halloween is here, but you know what’s really scary? The billions of dollars lost each year due to sucky workplace writing. How many billions? How scary can this really be? Oh, it’s terrifying, trust me: $400 billion. Every. Single. Year. If that number doesn’t scare you, it should. Picture 400 billion one-dollar bills piled up high and set on fire…a huge bonfire of money going up in smoke, leaving only a dusting of ashes behind. That’s $400 billion gone, just gone. Can...
Boost Your Business Writing Skills with 3 Sales Writing Tips

Boost Your Business Writing Skills with 3 Sales Writing Tips

Are you confident in your business writing skills? Or do you get a little nervous when you have to write something for work? Like an email to your boss or a presentation for a meeting perhaps? I can relate. I made my living as a writer for two decades, and I still get nervous when I write for work…even as I write this blog post! But I have a secret weapon that I know gives me an edge—and I’m going to share it with you in this blog post. This secret weapon will power up your business writing skills and boost your confidence. The...
14 (EASY) Ways to Be a Better Writer While WFH

14 (EASY) Ways to Be a Better Writer While WFH

Are you still working from home (WFH)? Or, as a client put it to me this morning, “living at work”? As challenging as it can be, those of us WFH have gained back a little time in our days because we don’t have to commute. And there, as the one who wants everyone to be a better, faster writer, I see WFH as opening up just a weeee bit of time for people to work on the critical communication skill of writing. Plus, I’ll be honest with you, as the farmer, I have had very little time this July to encourage anyone to do so—including...