I have been writing lately about how to compose a condolence message and how and why to write thank you notes. This post combines the two: how to write a thank you for a condolence message. I'm inspired to write on this topic because of the search strings people...
Imagine that everything you wrote were translated into several foreign languages. How would you write differently? Would your sentences still be complex? Would you continue to use puns, cultural allusions, and slang? How about acronyms and abbreviations? For me, it's more than something I have imagined. I found out...
Writing a thank you is one of the easiest tasks in business writing. It's a short, happy message that makes both writer and reader feel great. Some recipients even post thank you notes on their bulletin boards and in scrap books, so the good feelings live on. To communicate...
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...
When you have a choice, do you prefer being with people who are positive--or negative? When you read business letters, reports, email, and other documents, which tone--positive or negative--makes the message more enjoyable to read? Which inspires you? Unless you are a negative person (in which case you must keep...
At the end of business writing classes, I usually ask participants whether they got what they came for. They typically talk about the value of the writing tools, strategies, practice, and other class content and how they are going to apply their learning back on the job. But last...
In my business writing classes, I see a lot of very good work: beautifully written sentences, attractive formats, positive language, well-organized information, flawless punctuation. Nevertheless, when we sit together in small groups to discuss participants' drafts, the reaction of readers isn't always what writers had anticipated, when they hear...
A business associate wrote to me today about a disagreement she is having with a colleague. He believes that his extensive vocabulary (with words such as erroneous and ameliorate), complex sentence structures, folksy cliches, and rambling style make his business writing more interesting. She disagrees. Whose side do you...
The business section of today's Seattle Times features an article about Free & Clear, a company that provides stop-smoking programs. CEO Tim Kilgallon is quoted as saying "Tobacco treatment is the low-hanging fruit in health-care cost savings." The same quote appears under Mr. Kilgallon's photo in the print edition of...