A good speech or presentation starts out as a good piece of writing. Speakers who rouse us to action and thought do not just pour forth brilliant, well-spoken sentences. They write them first--or they have someone else write them. Sometimes when I have spoken briefly at a meeting of...
I've been getting requests for tips on how to write an apology, and I am happy to oblige. For every piece I write--whether it's a report, a thank you, a proposal, a recommendation, a resume, a request, or an apology--I think about my reader's questions. These are the questions...
Do you struggle with the first sentences of business letters? Review these examples. They will give you ideas on how to start your business letters and email messages. To respond to a letter of complaint:Thank you for writing to us about your experience in our copy center last week....
Since my "With Best Wishes" post on January 21, someone wrote asking "Is it okay to end a professional letter with Best?" That's an interesting question. What do you think? So many questions have two answers--one involving our personal preferences and the other looking at what is standard in...
In the United States, the hearings of Judge Samuel Alito for the position of Supreme Court Justice have brought up the subject of what to include in resumes and job applications. Unlike Judge Alito, most of us do not have our resumes combed through and then discussed on national...
Do you want to be more efficient? Think about your meetings and the meeting notes that follow them: When our meetings aren't effective, we waste valuable time figuring out what we are trying to accomplish in them. When our meeting minutes aren't effective, we waste the time we spent in meetings....
Recent visitors to this blog have been searching for answers to post-holiday etiquette questions. Here are three good ones: Is it necessary to respond to Christmas greetings? How do I say thank you for a Christmas gift when I don't celebrate Christmas? How do I write a thank you for a business...
Update on December 27, 2011: For New Year's wishes, read this post. As the year ends, many people in business are emailing new year's greetings to clients, customers, patrons, volunteers, and employees. If you are at a loss for what to say or how to say it, consider these...
During the holiday season, many people write an annual holiday letter or Christmas letter that reviews the previous 12 months. One challenge is how to write it without sounding like a bragger. Another is to avoid merely listing job promotions, vacations, and our children's accomplishments. Although holiday letters are...
The days of long sentences in long paragraphs are long gone. Our readers need to retrieve information fast. An excellent way to help them do this is to lay out information in bulleted lists. Definition: A "bullet point" is an item introduced by a dot ("bullet") or a similar...