How to proofread – quickly and efficiently

By |2019-06-24T13:00:02+12:00June 25th, 2019|This week's #MicDrop|

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 develop credibility in your profession

By |2019-04-24T11:10:23+12:00April 8th, 2019|Rock Your Brand, Rock YourSELF!, Rockstar Communication|

When people find out I teach writing, they assume it’s creative writing. Novels, stories, poetry. (Except that one dude who thought I teach handwriting. Weirdo.)   And I can teach those things. I have a master’s degree in creative writing. But without being a hugely successful published author, I don’t feel [...]

Writing for outcomes – how to structure a business document Part 2

By |2019-01-17T08:31:06+12:00March 9th, 2017|Rockstar Communication|

In my trainings, structure is one of the most common things participants say they want help with. They hope I’m going to give them a standard report structure. *snort*  That’s like unicorn farts – would probably be really lovely but there’s no such thing.  Sorry bout it. In part one I covered the upfront [...]

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 [...]