UPDATED IN FEBRUARY 2019 One night last week I attended a dinner meeting of my local chapter of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), my professional organization of people who teach adults. We call ourselves trainers or workplace development specialists. A trainer at my table was surprised to learn that...
Congratulations to the two winners of the Quick Editing Contest! First-place winner is Wayne Schiess, Director of Legal Writing, University of Texas Law School. The second place goes to John Cline, founder of The Speaking Company. Both did a fine job of revising the 139-word sentence. First, here is...
People often visit this site looking for evidence of the cost of writing errors. Here is a story to add to your files. According to The Janesville Gazette, the Florida career management firm Allen and Associates is being sued because of a letter that should not have been sent,...
I just received an email with a sentence long enough to reach from Seattle to Sydney. It's 139 words--a stringy list of job requirements that test the reader's endurance. If the writer had formatted the content clearly and simply, this excerpt from a job announcement would have been easy...
Today I led a seminar called Email Intelligence with 22 people at the Port of Seattle. Like many of us, Port employees and managers get lots of email on countless topics from all kinds of people both inside and outside their organization. About 70 percent of participants in the...
Yesterday I taught Writing Tune-Up for Peak Performance at one of my favorite organizations in Bellevue, Washington. In the class, one of the topics we covered is the use of visual cues to make information stand out. By visual cues, I am referring to headings, bold type, indenting, bullet...
On Saturday I received a glowing email from Scott in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, who offered several compliments on this blog. Among the detailed praise were words I loved reading: "well worth my time," "exceptionally well written," and "thank you for the considerable effort that you put forth in maintaining...
Yesterday someone visited this site with an interesting search. The words in the person's query were "linking mission statements with email etiquette."  Those words immediately got my attention. What do mission statements have to do with email? I think there's a strong link. The link may not be obvious...
UPDATED IN FEBRUARY 2019 I spent Friday in Portland, Oregon, at the regional conference of the ATD (Association for Talent Development) Cascadia Chapter. My husband Michael and I spent time there talking with training professionals about business writing. And why should anyone care about training employees and managers in business writing?...
This week I led a business writing workshop with nine very smart business people. They do important analytic work for their company, which is the best in its class. Why, you might wonder, were sophisticated professionals in a business writing class? They were in class to get the answer to...