What Do You Do at the End?

#editing #pitching Aug 02, 2021
The conclusion of a speech or essay is no time to just keep talkin'.
Don't waste the opportunity. Instead, make use of this fact: readers and listeners most readily remember the last thing you say.
That's why you must always close with your "ask."
Not your personal story. Not your extended thank-yous. Not your introduction to the mixer later that night.
Make sure that the last thing you say is what you want them to do or remember.
No exceptions.
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Make Your Point Like a Doctor With Good News

#editing Jun 22, 2021
Ever see a TV show where the doctor comes out with good news? "She's gonna be fine!" he says.
For bad news, it's a whole lot different. "We did everything we could," says the doctor, and on it goes until the point is obvious and, often, unspoken.
When you write, be like a doctor with good news: just say it. All that set up just telegraphs what's coming, and softens the blow.
If you're a doctor with bad news, that's fine. But if you're a writer or a speaker with something important to say -- something you want folks to be affected by and to remember -- just say it plain.
Say it like a doctor with good news.
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What Pros Do to Write Faster Than You're Writing Now

#editing #organization Mar 05, 2021

A super-simple how-to that will boost your productivity. In my weekly column, out today: https://us6.campaign-archive.com/?u=0609fcd33c658d02090de606f&id=ea3ab36cd4


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Be Clear, Not Clever

#editing #quicktips Mar 02, 2021

A lesson in straightforward writing from when I was a kid.

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Jump Around!

#editing Feb 22, 2021

A quick tip to make editing go a little faster and feel like a little more fun.

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How to Not Dig a Hole

#editing #persuasion Jan 29, 2021

Close your speech, essay, or appeal with your request -- your call to action -- then be quiet. Here's the how and the why.

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To State a Claim, Ask a Question


Here's a way to be more creative with your language when doing the never-ending tasking of framing up a topic for your audience.

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Write a Recipe, Not a Grocery List


People read your writing with deeper interest when it's leading to a goal -- but facts about a topic? Eh...

Here's an easy way to re-frame your thinking about everything you write. 

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Write What You Do, Not Who You Are

#editing Dec 10, 2020

"We help people find good jobs" beats "We are a job-hunting organization." In short, write "action" sentences. Avoid "to be" sentences. It'll draw in your readers a whole lot more often.


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Two Kinds of Edits (And One Can Wreck Your Confidence)

#editing Dec 08, 2020

Some of your editors don't know the difference between edits of substance and edits of taste. If an editor can explain their edit in terms of grammar and function, listen up. But if an editor says, “this sounds better” or “I prefer mine to yours,” they’re probably not improving the prose.

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