This week I taught two groups of sophisticated writers who communicate with clients. One of the business writing topics we agreed to disagree about was the language we use to show customers we care. I like statements like "You have been a valued customer for many years" and "Thank...
Lately I have been thinking about messages from insurance companies, who often encourage us to think of them as our families. My thoughts go in this direction because I wrote a training proposal for an insurance company in Minnesota this week, and I am looking forward to teaching "Writing Tune-Up for...
In a business communications class last night, we discussed a closing sentence in a cover letter--that is, a letter of application for a job. Here is the sentence: I look forward to being interviewed for the position. We argued about whether that sentence is positive and confident or pushy and...
Yesterday someone in my professional network, whom I may see once a year, ordered 20 booklets from me. In my emailed thank-you for her order, I said I hoped she and her young daughter were having a beautiful summer. I used her daughter's name. She wrote back, "Thanks! I...
As a fan of positive language, I am intrigued by a positive word that has not caught on with ordinary business people. That word is talent, used to describe employees. Talent management, talent acquisition, and talent retention are phrases popping up constantly in my email inbox. Consultants, recruiters, training companies,...
Always on the lookout for positive language, I was rewarded this week at one of the Starbucks stores in the San Diego Convention Center. Waiting in line, I heard one of the counter staff (known as "partners") ask, "May I help the next guest?" Not the next person, not...
Security officers, crew supervisors, maintenance experts--people in these jobs often attend the business writing seminars I lead. They don't enroll in any greater numbers than people in other vocations, but they often stand out for the terse way they communicate. They make comments such as: --Permission denied.--Negative.--Cut the fluff....
In sales letters and email (and even in telephone messages), many people end like this:"If I don't hear from you before then, I will call you on Friday." There has always been something about that statement that has not felt right to me.  It's not a threat, no. And...
Last week I taught a Better Business Writing class at one of my favorite places, Sea-Tac International Airport. I love teaching in the Airport Office Building in the bright new terminal. Being there warms me with thoughts of departing on and arriving from much needed vacations and welcome visits...
The other day I emailed John, a client, a description of a new seminar I am creating for him. He wrote back:Hi, Lynn, Thanks for your creativity. I like what you have created so far. May I suggest the following modification? After that question, he suggested a specific change in...