Mar 9, 2010

Feedback is the breakfast of champions!

I reminded once again of the importance of feedback as I rewrite my book, Business Writing That Counts! for the fifth time! It is literally impossible to see your own writing with fresh eyes and ears .
Having a writing buddy who can review your important docs is so essential. You need brutal honesty--not suger coating. And, it’s not just about the punctuation and grammar errors but also the content. Ask him or her: Does it logically flow? Do you know what I’m talking about? Do you know what to do with this message? How is my tone? Is it so boring you are drooling on the monitor?



Are there other questions that you think are important? What does the feedback loop look like in your company?

Mar 1, 2010

Email: A frontier where no one wants to go!

My clients are besides themselves—not just with the writing errors that can land their companies in big trouble, but with the massive amounts of emails in their Inboxes. The volume is increasing by 60 percent each year, so says Joe Robinson in his recent Entrepreneur.com article. People are throwing up their hands in surrender. They just won’t “go there” any more.

I know you hate to hear my harangue one more time, but if protocols are established (see webinar) within a business, some of this craziness goes away. Note: Inbox overflow and interruptions lead to productivity losses of 2.1 hours a day. Check out my protocol survey. Maybe it can get you started.

Feb 16, 2010

I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar

In Sharon Nichols’ book, I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar, she has hilarious examples of poor spelling, punctuation, and grammar usage. Here’s a cute one—a sign stated “Driveway No Parking Aloud.” Do you love it?! How “loud” would that parking be?

Examples of poor punctuation abound. Here’s sign for you: “Don’t t Drink and Drive.” Or how about this one: “Business,s open as usual.” Don’t you want to scream?!
But, this sign takes the cake: “Village of Crestwood: English is our language. No excetions; learn it.” Sigh. Send me some examples; I would love to post them!

Feb 11, 2010

Does your business ban social media?

# You might enjoy this video clip (click on #) on social media. A brief look at pros and cons of using this tool at work.

Feb 10, 2010

All aTwitter!

Quick: What do these three people have in common? The Pope, Bill Gates, and Oprah! Answer: They all use Twitter.

I have written before (See 9/28/09) about this interesting social media tool. Some say the jury is still out as to whether Twitter is a fad or really a new way of communicating. We have all observed how remarkable events have unfolded with this device. The earthquake in Haiti is just one example. An educational forum in Colorado is another.

I use it to send weekly writing tips: TWIPS. I do think a discussion with your team is crucial in determining how you will utilize it. Marketing? Selling? Advice? Factoids? News? Education?
Ragan.com had an interesting article on twitter you might enjoy. Titled: Twitter’s 10 Commandments by John Saddington.
So, how are you using Twitter as part of your business practices?

Jan 28, 2010

Death by PowerPoint

I was at our state's capitol this week learning about the ins and outs of my role as a community college trustee. Let me tell you--though the information was terrific, the PowerPoint slides made me weep. Volumious paragraphs, tiny numbers on graphs and charts, twenty lines of text, long sentences, no graphics, and boring headers. Need I say more?

Do presenters really think people can read their content and understand? And, at a 100 feet!? Susan Stoen is the guru of PowerPoint. Take a gander at her interesting article on this subject on my Resources tab on our website.
She is also doing a webinar for us in February.

She can help you land the sale or promotion, persuade the powers-that-be to your point of view, or prevent people from nodding off during your presentation. Good luck!

Jan 13, 2010

The Perfect Storm

I’ve written about Teresa Romaneschi before (See my July posting). Teresa is one of our writing coaches who works exclusively with non-native English speakers.

Teresa alerted me to this website (Hint: Start at 6:00 of the report.).  The video presentation is stunning as it outlines the shifting demographics in our workplace. The economic repercussions nationally and globally is startling. One factoid: Over half of our future population will come from immigration.

Assisting your high potential employees to achieve success is an imperative. Check out Teresa’s webinar for us next week on this topic. Once you're at the calendar, click on January 20 to register.