Social media have people broadcasting what they are doing every hour, day, and minute. Blogs and newsletters posted online share photos and personal details to anyone who is interested. It is amazing to be able to connect so easily with people around the world and learn what they are...
Today I presented my first live web-based workshop "Email Intelligence," a 90-minute program. It was tricky and stressful because of some technological problems I could not solve. But so far the reviews are positive--whew! Whenever I do something new that I wish had been perfect but wasn't, I make a list of the things...
The other day I was teaching a business writing class with a varied group of people, among them accountants, purchasing agents, and other "numbers" types who came with their coworkers. At one point, I wanted the attendees to do only half the sentences in an exercise, so I said this: "If you have...
A potential new client has delighted me with his efficiency. He schedules follow-up on the spot. Here's what I mean: On Monday we met by phone and agreed I would give him a proposal on Thursday. In the Monday call, he said, "Okay. Let's schedule a meeting now to discuss your...
Someone wrote to me recently, asking for my opinion of two other business professionals. Because I am in a professional group with them, she knew I could vouch for them. The reason she wasn't sure whether they were reliable, successful people is that their websites were woefully out of date. One...
I have been reading my health plan's new description of plans and benefits, which came in the mail recently. The company is raising health care premiums 13 percent. As someone who already pays over $800 each month for coverage for our family of three, I am reading the information carefully in search of...
As a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, I took special interest in the controversy over President Obama's commencement speech, which he delivered in South Bend, Indiana, yesterday. I could see the picketers and processions in my mind, and I was eager to see how he handled the heated...
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...
In a recent class in British Columbia, a director spoke about the company's focus on better communication. He said, "Face to face is always best, then phone, then email. Whenever you can, choose face to face." I disagree, at least partly. Yes, I understand the value of face-to-face communication. It's...
I am working on my presentation "Business Writing for Claims Professionals" for the PLRB/LIRB Claims Conference next month in Seattle. (PLRB=Property Loss Research Bureau; LIRB=Liability Insurance Research Bureau.)  Among my examples of insurance writing is this letter sent to a friend of mine who was injured in a serious automobile accident: Dear...