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By Jess Stratton | Monday, March 17, 2014

Write a press release: Monday Productivity Pointers

Write a press release

When you’ve got news to share with the world, a press release is an ideal way to get the word out.

A press release is a notice you send to news outlets about something you consider newsworthy. It’s like a teaser trailer for a movie: You want the reporter to read your press release and be intrigued enough to call you, find out more about your story, and write about it.

By Jess Stratton | Monday, March 10, 2014

Write a letter of recommendation: Monday Productivity Pointers

Monday Productivity Pointers- Writing a letter of recommendation

This week on Monday Productivity Pointers we’ll be ditching technology and getting back to old school communication: writing letters. Specifically, writing letters of recommendation.

At any point in your life, you may be called on to write a letter of recommendation for someone you know well. It could be for a college application or a new job, but no matter the occasion, one fact remains the same: Someone else’s success is riding on the quality of your letter. In this week’s video, I’ll show you how to write a great letter.

By Scott Fegette | Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Five business skills beyond the degree

Build business skills beyond your degree

Explore these courses at lynda.com.

Is a traditional college degree enough to compete in today’s workforce? A recent Today.com article suggests that potential employers aren’t just looking for targeted skills. They want a broad set of skills that reach beyond your job-specific role into business, analytical, and interpersonal areas. Being an expert in your particular field of knowledge is critical—but here are some complementary skills that potential employers may also consider valuable.

By Mark Tapio Kines | Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Why Do Movies Have a Three-Act Structure?

3-act-structure

You’ve probably heard that most feature films tell their stories with a three-act structure. So what are these three acts? The beginning, the middle, and the end?

Well … no.

Instead, let’s call them the Buildup (Act 1), the Adventure (Act 2), and the Resolution (Act 3).

By Lisa Cron | Monday, March 04, 2013

How to Hook Your Reader From The Very First Page

Think stories are just for entertainment? They’re not. Stories are simulations that allow us to vicariously experience problems we might someday face. Think of them as the world’s first virtual reality—minus the geeky visor. Story was more crucial to our evolution than opposable thumbs. All opposable thumbs did was let us hang on. Story told us what to hang on to.

The great feeling of enjoyment we get when a story grabs us is nature’s way of making sure we pay attention to the story. It’s a survival mechanism. Do you know what that feeling is? A rush of the neurotransmitter dopamine. It’s your brain’s way of rewarding you for following your curiosity and finding out how the story’s problem is solved.

That’s why, when it comes to writing, the most important thing to master is the craft of story. Because it turns out that the brain is far less picky about beautiful writing than writers have been taught to believe.

Yes, writing well is a good thing—only a fool would deny that. But what matters most is that the story hooks the reader from the first sentence. How? By igniting the brain’s hardwired desire to find out what happens next. That’s what gives all those beautiful words all their power in the first place.

Lisa Cron explains how story captivates the brain.

So, how do you ignite the reader’s curiosity on that crucial first page? There are three things readers innately hunt for as a story begins.

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