20 / 06 / 16
Cut the cowardly language
Cowardly writing is the linguistic equivalent of your unreliable ex. It avoids committing. It leads you astray. It wastes your time. And it evades all entreaties to be straightforward or say what it really thinks. You can recognise it by its long sentences, convoluted structure and overuse of words and phrases such as ‘clearly’, ‘it […]
11 / 05 / 16
The 15 writing habits of people who build amazing careers
One of the great pleasures of my job is that I frequently get a chance to talk to people who really are at the top of their game. Over the last 18 years, my colleagues and I have worked with over 40,000 people. And among them have been many industry leaders who have built seriously […]
26 / 04 / 16
Three ways to tame wild sentences
You don’t have to work in a zoo, the circus or pest control to come face to face with a wild beast at work. Sometimes they’re found lurking in our writing. Sounds strange? Well, an out-of-control sentence can be a terrifying thing. Take this monster, based on a real-life example: I have attached a document […]
05 / 04 / 16
‘We always write it like that.’ But why?
Sometimes we can’t remember why we do things a certain way. This is certainly the case with company reports and other documents. It may not always be the best way – far from it – but that’s the way they’re written and that’s that. ‘We must always start with two pages of background,’ explains a […]
31 / 03 / 16
Are your ‘good manners’ letting you down?
What’s the right tone to strike in business writing? Formal? Yes, you want to come across as a serious contributor to the subject at hand and not to sound too … chatty? Hmmm. But if you’re too serious, don’t you risk boring people and losing them? Tone is a minefield. And it’s made all the […]
18 / 01 / 16
How well does your board understand your business?
The monthly report to the board or senior management team is much more than just one more chore you need to get through. It provides a vital connection between you and the people who can steer your company. It could have a direct effect on the decisions they make. This is why you need to […]