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Practice Makes Perfect

I gave six presentations and programs this week–two for a national insurance conference in Seattle and four for a support staff conference in Tacoma, Washington. Presenting to these groups, I relearned something I have noticed many times before: Practice makes perfect.

My second insurance presentation was better than my first, and my second, third, and fourth programs for support staff were better than number one.

In the later presentations, I was able to apply what I learned from the first groups. I could bring in their comments and tell their stories. I could also apply my lessons learned about what worked well and what was a bit off. 

Maybe it's obvious, but I share this lesson with you: When you invest the significant time to create a great presentation or program, take the time to practice it. If you don't have a group to practice on, try the mirror or your best friend.

The current issue of my e-newsletter Better Writing at Work is about six steps to follow to create great presentations. If you haven't received it, subscribe for free here. If you think creating a presentation means pulling together a hot slide deck, the main article is for you.

With all these presentations completed, it's time for a vacation. My plane leaves for the Kona Coast of Hawaii in 7 hours.

Aloha! I'll be back at work on April 6.

Syntax Training

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By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English.