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 [...]

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 write a cover letter

By |2019-06-20T02:03:24+12:00April 2nd, 2019|Rock Your Writing, Rock YourSELF!, Rockstar Communication|

This is a question people ask me often, so here’s my advice. Especially since a couple of weeks ago I told you how to quit *insert cheesy grin here*.   Is it needed? Before you start stressing over the cover letter, you need to find out if one is actually needed. If [...]

How to write a resignation letter

By |2019-03-27T09:26:14+12:00March 19th, 2019|Rock Your Writing, Rockstar Communication|

So you want to quit your job It’s time to move on. You’ve got a better offer. Or you’re ready to tell your boss, F*ck you and the horse you rode in on. Whatever the reason, there’s usually a legal obligation to give written notification and a period of notice. (Check your [...]

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 [...]

You can’t please everyone

By |2019-03-12T11:13:48+12:00March 5th, 2019|Rock Plain Language, Rock Your Writing, Rockstar Communication|

When I first started writing professionally I felt really confident in my writing abilities. I’d already been a writer with a masters in creative writing for almost 20 years. I’d published, edited, and taught writing at high schools, universities, and on an international academic stage.  I was ready. So it surprised me [...]

Writing for outcomes – how to structure a business document Part 1

By |2019-02-14T19:56:35+12:00February 20th, 2017|Rock Your Writing|

People are always asking me for templates. Have you got a report template, Shelly? A business case template, Shelly? A template that will save all the woes of the world, Shelly? I’ll spare you the clichés about length of string and teaching men how to fish: I DON’T DO TEMPLATES. Templates are only good [...]