Tag Archives: Writing tips

How to write a great event recap

“Are you just a really amazing note-taker or great with shorthand to get the info you need?” That’s what a colleague asked me recently, wondering how I take down the notes I turn into event summaries (recaps). Shameless flattery accepted. I do often recap events for the associations I belong to, so people who weren’t […]

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Take the dull out of digits

Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) launched an exhibit this week that explores the story of nine rare blue whales that became stranded in thick ice and died. The ROM recovered two of the skeletons after the creatures washed ashore in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2014. Blue whales are massive, but even before you get to […]

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Cut! 11 ways to meet a stingy word count

The fellow I interviewed was chatty; the topic, fascinating. The problem? Cramming as much of that interesting conversation into just 300 words. My clients often have a specific number of words they need to fit a certain space. Magazine and newspaper editors also assign a certain number of words and may not work with you […]

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How do you give your creative head a shake?

I must have run across Roger von Oech at an IABC conference years ago. He’s an author and inventor who has been giving seminars, workshops and presentations on creativity since 1977, although he doesn’t specifically point to IABC on his website. His name came to light the other day when an indie colleague, Daria Steigman […]

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How to use hashtags (and why bother)

For people on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media, hashtags – words or phrases tagged with what used to be called the pound sign (#) — are a handy way to search for topics of interest. Companies use hashtags to try to connect with customers and fans, increase brand recognition and encourage interaction. Where do […]

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8 ways to speed up your writing

Back in my corporate days, I used to have lots of things to write, but little time to actually do the writing. Meetings, events, planning, organizing and consulting seemed to shrink my writing time to a frustratingly small chunk. One of the reasons I left corporate life was to focus on what I loved most, […]

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7 steps to effective interviews in my October newsletter

An interesting article usually starts with a conversation with a “subject matter expert,” as companies like to call them. Your job is to pull out the human side of the subject – sometimes against the instincts of the person you interview. How do you do it? Check out seven steps to effective interviews in the […]

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How to block the three biggest crimes against plain language

What better day than International Plain Language Day (Oct. 13) to talk about getting rid of jargon and wordiness? Plain Language Day is a way to let people know that plain language doesn’t mean “dumbing down” material or making it too elementary, a worry a client once shared with me. Instead, think of plain language […]

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Lose the legalese to be understood

The plaintive opening drew me in immediately: “Why are many financial news releases and publicly filed documents written so poorly?” In A Plea for Plain English in Financial Documents, Steve Lipin and Adam Rosman make the case for good writing in financial news releases, initial public offerings and other publicly filed documents. Instead of writing […]

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In my Aug. newsletter: 4 steps to a meaningful mission statement

One of the best mission statements I’ve ever run across was framed as instructions in the managing editor’s office of the Rocky Mountain News (which folded in 2009): “Get the news. Tell the truth. Don’t be dull.” Companies spend serious time debating the words that go into mission and vision statements (terms that are sometimes […]

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