Clear, concise, courteous business writing gives me pleasure. But smart, well-crafted writing delights me. That is why I am tickled by Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Employees Want, by Beverly Kaye and Julie Winkle Giulioni. The catchy, engaging language continued to surprise me throughout the book. I want to share brief examples to help you think of ways to make your newsletter articles, blog posts, and other pieces more engaging.
Clear, relevant, but clever—that’s what I like about the writing in Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go. Chapter titles, subtitles, and sidebar quotes communicate in fresh, fun ways.
Notice the repeated, catchy consonants in these titles: “Sideways Isn’t Sidelined,” “Expose Wisdom in the Workplace,” “Tangled in Titles,” “Focusing Your Flow,” “Fostering Foresight,” and “Power of the Pause.”
These unusual ideas pique readers’ interest: “Let Hindsight Light the way,” “Same Seat, New View,” “Try This: Harness More Heads,” “Become Unbalanced,” “The Never-Ending Interview,” and “Closure is Overrated.”
These plays on familiar expressions work well: “Grow With the Flow” and “Grow for It”—both of which change go to grow, of course.
And these titles have a catchy rhythm: “Develop Me or I’m History” and “If Not Up . . . Then What?”
Although the book sparkles with appealing word wit, it comes across as smart and practical, never overly clever. I recommend perusing it to get ideas for communicating your articles, sidebars, and tips in fresh, appealing ways (and to learn about career development). Keep in mind that if you use wordplay like the examples above, it has to complement your piece like the right accessory. Make sure it matches your overall tone.
Do you like the examples above?