How to write an executive summary

By |2019-08-12T09:14:47+12:00August 12th, 2019|Rock Plain Language, Rock Your Writing|

For the love of all that is right and good, PLEASE DO NOT WRITE YOUR EXECUTIVE SUMMARY FIRST!     Here’s why. The executive summary is the only part of a report you can guarantee will get read. So it needs to be the most powerful and well-written part. The end. [...]

How to write faster

By |2019-06-27T11:56:20+12:00July 30th, 2019|Rock Plain Language, Rock Your Writing, Rockstar Communication|

Time is money and all that. It’s true. I wish I knew how to calculate the value of the lost productivity that can be traced back to bad writing.  It would be HUGE. So in my trainings that’s one objective lots of people have: How can I write faster? Speed up [...]

How to proofread – quickly and efficiently

By |2019-07-02T10:32:00+12:00June 25th, 2019|Rock Plain Language, Rock Your Writing, Rockstar Communication|

Read out loud. I’m not talking editing here. Your re-writing stage has to be finished. Proofreading is the final step. It’s the polishing – the cleaning up any rough edges.     Reading out loud Reading out loud is the thing no one wants to do. It’s slower than reading in [...]

Getting clarity – how do I write more clearly?

By |2019-06-19T12:48:23+12:00June 12th, 2019|Rock Plain Language, Rock Your Writing, Rockstar Communication|

In all my trainings, with hundreds of professionals each year, this is the thing people ask for above all else:  How do I write more clearly? The answer is so simple it’s almost embarrassing:  Write the way you speak. Yes, really. Write the way you speak.  In every document.   I [...]

Sell them what they want, so you can give them what they need

By |2019-06-06T07:38:13+12:00May 30th, 2019|Rock Plain Language, Rock Your Brand, Rock YourSELF!, Rockstar Communication|

OK, I need to take you on a little bit of a journey to explain what I mean here, so bear with me. I have a background as an educator. I trained as a high school English teacher. I started teaching at universities at 21 years old.  I worked in indigenous [...]

How to persuade and get buy-in

By |2019-05-30T07:12:22+12:00May 22nd, 2019|Rock Plain Language, Rock Your Brand, Rock Your Writing, Rock YourSELF!, Rockstar Communication|

How not to argue If you’re in an energetic discussion with someone, what’s a sure-fire way to get them to dig their heels in? Flat-out tell them they’re wrong. Point out all the faults in their logic. Deny their point of view. The more you do that, the greater the barrier [...]

Dear document reviewers

By |2019-05-15T07:14:08+12:00May 8th, 2019|Rock Plain Language, Rock Your Writing, Rock YourSELF!, Rockstar Communication|

Dear document reviewers, It’s not about you. It’s about whether the document is fit for purpose (and fit for its readers).     In my estimation, about 70% of all feedback from reviewers of documents in the workplace is not based on correctness or making a document fit for purpose. It’s [...]

How to write a report

By |2019-05-07T12:50:54+12:00May 2nd, 2019|Rock Plain Language, Rock Your Brand, Rock Your Writing, Rock YourSELF!, Rockstar Communication|

#SorryNotSorry but there’s no such thing as how to write a report. A  REPORT. Like there is one kind of report and there’s one right way to write one. Meeehhh! Wrong. But thanks for playing.   There are endless kinds of reports status reports research reports analysis reports financial reports (hundreds [...]

What place does empathy have in business writing?

By |2019-05-02T08:52:34+12:00April 24th, 2019|Rock Plain Language, Rock Your Writing, Rock YourSELF!, Rockstar Communication|

What place does empathy have in business writing? All the places. All. Of. Them. If your writing isn’t empathetic to your readers’ needs, you’ve failed. End of story.     Who are you writing for? YOU?   All those bad, waffly, long-winded, not-fit-for purpose documents you see at work? Those are the [...]

How to create the right tone in your emails

By |2019-03-19T11:35:33+12:00March 12th, 2019|Rock Plain Language, Rock Your Writing, Rockstar Communication|

We have some seriously weird ideas about tone. I say this because I train 800 to 1000 people each year, and I hear some really surprising and contradictory perspectives: bullets feel too formal bullets feel too informal I could use structure in an email to someone I work with, but not [...]

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