By Judy Steiner-Williams | Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Whether it aims to inform, persuade, or entertain, a memorable speech is one that gives careful consideration to its structure, its audience, and above all its content.
Sure, it’s helpful to have facts and statistics in a speech, but those can be dry—and, frankly, forgettable.
You can learn how to give a terrific talk with my new Speech Writing course on lynda.com. But if you want to keep your audience’s attention and ensure that your message is remembered long after you’ve dropped the mic, there’s one important thing you need to do:
Tell a story.
By Judy Steiner-Williams | Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Most of us consider knowledge to be a wonderful thing—a thing worth having. And it is. But it also comes with a curse.
The “curse of knowledge” is this: When we know something, it’s hard to remember what it’s like not to know it. So we often assume that everyone else knows it, too.
That faulty assumption plagues us in writing, especially: If I know what I mean, then everyone else should, too.
For clear and effective business writing, we must consider the backgrounds and knowledge of audience when deciding not only what to communicate, but how.
Follow these three tips for clear, effective business writing — that does what you want it to do.
By Judy Steiner-Williams | Monday, August 25, 2014
The thought of researching and writing a paper can be intimidating.
Your syllabus lists four research paper assignments. Questions begin swirling through your mind: Where do I start? What format should I use? And most importantly—how do I get an A?
I’ll answer these questions and more, and show you the three easy steps to writing a research paper to impress your professors:
By Judy Steiner-Williams | Sunday, August 17, 2014
The second habit of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is “Begin with the end in mind.” That concept applies not only to highly effective people—but to highly effective writing, as well.
Before architects begin building a house, they know what the completed version will look like. They have a blueprint and they know that each step is necessary to get to the next one; the excavation must be complete before the framing begins, etc.
Similarly, when we plan a trip, we usually have a destination in mind before we plan the route and mode of transportation.
Why, then, do people begin writing without thinking about the desired outcome, the purpose, and the necessary stages to produce an easy-to-read, well-organized business message?
By Judy Steiner-Williams | Thursday, August 7, 2014
It’s a common reaction when grammar is mentioned. Why? “The rules keep changing.” “Nobody really knows or cares what’s correct.” “And come on, you knew what I meant.”
I’m going to debunk those excuses and give you some tricks for learning the rules of grammar.
By Judy Steiner-Williams | Monday, July 14, 2014
Watch your tone.
That’s an expression commonly heard when we speak. But written communication —especially email—also has a tone that needs to be “watched.” Why? Because the tone impacts the reader’s reaction, resulting in higher or lower morale, expanded or reduced sales, and increased or decreased ratings.
You’re more likely to achieve the correct tone if you recognize what impacts tone, how readers react to tone characteristics, and how you can control those elements. Here are five red-flag areas to consider:
By Judy Steiner-Williams | Saturday, July 5, 2014
“Be brief. Be bright. Be gone.”
I once heard about a CEO who had a sign hanging on the wall behind his desk with those words printed on it. Intimidating? Maybe, but it sends a strong message: Business people are busy and don’t have time for long, dull conversations.
The message applies as much to written business communication as it does to office visits. Here are some pointers on how to achieve these “Be” statements in your writing—and capture your readers’ attention when you need it.
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