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Write and edit like a pro in 3 easy steps

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Effective writing is what gets things done in the world of business. Luckily, the basics aren't hard to master. With these 3 simple writing rules from an award-winning copywriter, you'll present a …

Effective writing is what gets things done in the world of business. Luckily, the basics aren't hard to master. With these 3 simple writing rules from an award-winning copywriter, you'll present a polished image to the world...and your writing will get you results.


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  • “You can’t move up without writing skills.”
  • “In a tight job market, the candidate who can offer that bit more, has the advantage.”
  • Wimpy writing is forgettable. Don’t be forgettable. Take a stand. Provoke a reaction. Engage the reader. They’ll remember what you’ve said.
  • These words dilute your point and clutter the page. Get rid of them.
  • DO something. Don’t have it done to you.
  • Good writing is straightforward and memorable. When you get too fancy, the reader gets lost, and you sound like you don’t know what you’re talking about.
  • Headings, subheads and even labels on images make it easier for the reader to find what he or she is looking for and to process your information.
  • UNLESS the reader is in your industry and you know they know what you mean.
  • Reread everything from the top, one last time.
  • Stand up. Sit down. Read it out loud. WAIT 24 HOURS. It’s amazing the thing that will jump out at you.
  • Get your point across effectively
    Accomplish the goal
    Improve the image of you, your boss and colleagues, and your company.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Write and Edit like a Pro in three easy steps Elizabeth Carter
    • 2. Why do writing skills matter?
    • 3. It matters to you
    • 4. 2/3 of salaried employees have writing responsibilities. -- College Board 2004 survey
    • 5. Employers rank communication skills most important. -- College Board 2004 survey
    • 6. 50% of employers look at writing skills when hiring and promoting. -- NACE 2008 Job Outlook Survey
    • 7. It matters to your reader
    • 8. Do Feel Learn You want your reader to…
    • 9. Good writing helps • You • Your reader • Your bosses, your colleagues, and your organization
    • 10. How to write
    • 11. How to edit
    • 12. Be Brief. Be Bold. Be Clear. To be effective…
    • 13. Be Brief. Which would you rather read? Fixing loose and overhanging skin with an abdominoplasty or “tummy tuck” A common sequelae of child-rearing, weight gain, or previous abdominal surgeries is loose and overhanging skin and fat in the mid and lower abdomen. Many women who have had children have experienced a significant weakening of the abdominal wall as well as seeing the physical signs of skin stretching (striae) and loose skin. An abdominoplasty or “tummy-tuck” is a surgical procedure designed to correct and reverse the physical signs of previous pregnancies, weight loss/gain, or previous abdominal surgery. This procedure takes approximately two and a half hours and is performed under anesthesia and patients go home the same day. Down-time is approximately 2-3 weeks and most patients are back doing their usual activities in approximately eight weeks. Often times liposuction may be performed concurrently. Patients who have undergone this surgery regain the contour of their abdomen and may even lose several inches in their waistline!! For people who have tried diet and exercise, and still have that overhanging bulge in their abdominal regions, a tummy-tuck may be right for them. Fix loose skin with a tummy tuck It’s not fair: child-bearing, weight gain or abdominal surgeries can change the way we look – giving us stretch marks, weakened stomach muscles and loose, overhanging skin and fat in the belly. If this sounds like you, a tummy tuck may be the answer. What’s a tummy tuck? A tummy tuck, or “abdominoplasty”, is surgery that corrects and reverses the physical signs of pregnancies, weight loss/gain, or previous abdominal surgery. We may also perform liposuction at the same time, to give you better results. Your body will need two to three weeks to rest and recover. By about eight weeks, you’ll be back to your usual self – with a much better look. This procedure takes about 2 ½ hours and is performed under anesthesia in a hospital or surgical center. You’ll go home the same day. What results can I expect? A tummy tuck will give you back the contours of your stomach. You might even lose several inches in their waistline! If you’ve tried diet and exercise and still have that overhanging bulge in your belly, a tummy-tuck may be right for you.
    • 14. Be Brief. 1. Shorten paragraphs.
    • 15. Be Brief. Shorten paragraphs instead of try In spite of the fact that numerous communications have been sent by our company regarding implementing cost cutting measures, these measures have not always been utilized, which is a little bit frustrating. The employees that are seasonal, however, have demonstrated great ingenuity and resourcefulness and overhead has been lowered by 28%, which is very good. It is a big lesson to each and every one of us. In spite of the fact that numerous communications have been sent by our company regarding implementing cost cutting measures, these measures have not always been utlized, which is a little bit frustrating. The employees that are seasonal, however, have demonstrated great ingenuity and resourcefulness and overhead has been lowered by 28%, which is very good. It is a big lesson to each and every one of us.
    • 16. Be Brief. 1. Shorten paragraphs. 2. Shorten sentences.
    • 17. Be Brief. Shorten sentences instead of In spite of the fact that The employees that are seasonal. It is a lesson to each and every one of us. try Although The seasonal employees. It is a lesson to us all.
    • 18. Be Brief. Shorten sentences from to In spite of the fact that numerous communications have been sent by our company regarding implementing cost cutting measures, these measures have not always been utilized, which is a little bit frustrating. The employees that are seasonal, however, have demonstrated great ingenuity and resourcefulness and overhead has been lowered by 28%, which is very good. It is a big lesson to each and every one of us. Although numerous communications have been sent by us about cutting costs, these measures have not always been utilized. This is a little bit frustrating. The seasonal employees, however, have demonstrated great ingenuity and resourcefulness. Their overhead has been lowered by 28%, which is very good. It is a big lesson to us all.
    • 19. Be Brief. 1. Shorten paragraphs. 2. Shorten sentences. 3. Shorten words.
    • 20. Be Brief. Shorten words instead of numerous communications It is a lesson to us all try many emails It’s a lesson to us all
    • 21. Be Brief. Shorten words from to Although many emails have been sent by us about cutting costs, these measures haven’t always been utilized. This is a little bit frustrating. The seasonal employees, however, have shown great ingenuity and resourcefulness. Their overhead has been lowered by 28%, which is very good. It’s a big lesson to us all. Although numerous communications have been sent by us about cutting costs, these measures have not always been utilized. This is a little bit frustrating. The seasonal employees, however, have demonstrated great ingenuity and resourcefulness. Their overhead has been lowered by 28%, which is very good. It is a big lesson to us all.
    • 22. CUT 30 Be Brief. bonus tip:
    • 23. Be Brief. Be Bold. Be Clear. To be effective…
    • 24. Be Bold. What do you want to stand out?
    • 25. Be Bold. 1. Eliminate weak modifiers.
    • 26. Be Bold. Eliminate weak modifiers instead of a little bit frustrating great ingenuity very good try frustrating ingenuity wonderful, spectacular
    • 27. Be Bold. Eliminate weak modifiers from to Although many emails have been sent by us about cutting costs, these measures haven’t always been utilized. This is frustrating. The seasonal employees, however, have shown ingenuity and resourcefulness. Their overhead has been lowered by a spectacular 28%. It’s a lesson to us all. Although many emails have been sent by us about cutting costs, these measures haven’t always been utilized. This is a little bit frustrating. The seasonal employees, however, have shown great ingenuity and resourcefulness. Their overhead has been lowered by 28%, which is very good. It’s a big lesson to us all.
    • 28. Be Bold. 1. Eliminate weak modifiers. 2. Eliminate passive voice.
    • 29. Be Bold. Eliminate passive voice instead of Many emails have been sent by our company... …these measures have not always been utilized. Their overhead has been lowered by a spectacular 28%. try We have sent many emails... …employees have not always utilized these measures. They have lowered their overhead by a spectacular 28%.
    • 30. Be Bold. Eliminate passive voice from to Although we’ve sent many emails about cutting costs, employees haven’t always implemented these measures. This is frustrating. The seasonal employees, however, have shown ingenuity and resourcefulness. They have lowered their overhead by a spectacular 28%. It’s a lesson to us all. Although many emails have been sent by us about cutting costs, these measures haven’t always been implemented. This is frustrating. The seasonal employees, however, have shown ingenuity and resourcefulness. Their overhead has been lowered by a spectacular 28%. It’s a lesson to us all.
    • 31. Be Bold. 1. Eliminate weak modifiers. 2. Eliminate passive voice. 3. Eliminate weak sentences.
    • 32. Be Bold. Eliminate weak sentences Instead of …employees haven’t always implemented these measures. This is frustrating. try …some employees haven’t done enough on their own. We’re frustrated.
    • 33. Be Bold. Eliminate weak sentences from to Although we’ve sent many emails about cutting costs, we’re frustrated that some employees haven’t done enough on their own. The seasonal employees, however, have shown ingenuity and resourcefulness, to lower their overhead by a spectacular 28%. It’s a lesson to us all. Although we’ve sent many emails about cutting costs, employees haven’t always implemented these measures. This is frustrating. The seasonal employees, however, have shown ingenuity and resourcefulness. They have lowered their overhead by a spectacular 28%. It’s a lesson to us all.
    • 34. What do I want my reader to FEEL ? Be Bold. bonus tip:
    • 35. Be Brief. Be Bold. Be Clear. To be effective…
    • 36. Be Clear. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. -- Leonardo da Vinci
    • 37. Be Clear. 1. Use headings.
    • 38. Be Clear. Use headings It’s not fair: child-bearing, weight gain or abdominal surgeries can change the way we look – giving us stretch marks, weakened stomach muscles and loose, overhanging skin and fat in the belly. If this sounds like you, a tummy tuck may be the answer. A tummy tuck, or “abdominoplasty”, is surgery that corrects and reverses the physical signs of pregnancies, weight loss/gain, or previous abdominal surgery. We may also perform liposuction at the same time, to give you better results. Your body will need two to three weeks to rest and recover. By about eight weeks, you’ll be back to your usual self – with a much better look. This procedure takes about 2 ½ hours and is performed under anesthesia in a hospital or surgical center. You’ll go home the same day. A tummy tuck will give you back the contours of your stomach. You might even lose several inches in their waistline! If you’ve tried diet and exercise and still have that overhanging bulge in your belly, a tummy-tuck may be right for you. Fix loose skin with a tummy tuck It’s not fair: child-bearing, weight gain or abdominal surgeries can change the way we look – giving us stretch marks, weakened stomach muscles and loose, overhanging skin and fat in the belly. If this sounds like you, a tummy tuck may be the answer. What’s a tummy tuck? A tummy tuck, or “abdominoplasty”, is surgery that corrects and reverses the physical signs of pregnancies, weight loss/gain, or previous abdominal surgery. We may also perform liposuction at the same time, to give you better results. Your body will need two to three weeks to rest and recover. By about eight weeks, you’ll be back to your usual self – with a much better look. This procedure takes about 2 ½ hours and is performed under anesthesia in a hospital or surgical center. You’ll go home the same day. What results can I expect? A tummy tuck will give you back the contours of your stomach. You might even lose several inches in their waistline! If you’ve tried diet and exercise and still have that overhanging bulge in your belly, a tummy-tuck may be right for you.
    • 39. Be Clear. 1. Use headings. 2. Eliminate jargon.
    • 40. A common sequelae of child- rearing, weight gain, or previous abdominal surgeries is loose and overhanging skin and fat in the mid and lower abdomen. Many women who have had children have experienced a significant weakening of the abdominal wall as well as seeing the physical signs of skin stretching (striae) and loose skin. Be Clear. Eliminate jargon instead of try A common result of child- bearing, weight gain or abdominal surgeries is a change in the way we look – with stretch marks, weakened stomach muscles and loose, overhanging skin and fat in the belly.
    • 41. Be Clear. 1. Use headings. 2. Eliminate jargon. 3. Check readability.
    • 42. Be Clear. Check readability from to It’s not fair: child-bearing, weight gain or abdominal surgeries can change the way we look – giving us stretch marks, weakened stomach muscles and loose, overhanging skin and fat in the belly. If this sounds like you, a tummy tuck may be the answer. A common result of child-bearing, weight gain or abdominal surgeries is a change in the way we look – with stretch marks, weakened stomach muscles and loose, overhanging skin and fat in the belly.
    • 43. Be Clear. Check readability from to Although we’ve sent many emails about cutting costs, we’re frustrated that some employees haven’t done enough on their own. The seasonal employees, however, have shown ingenuity and resourcefulness, to lower their overhead by a spectacular 28%. It’s a lesson to us all. In spite of the fact that numerous communications have been sent by our company regarding implementing cost cutting measures, these measures have not always been utilized, which is a little bit frustrating. The employees that are seasonal, however, have demonstrated great ingenuity and resourcefulness and overhead has been lowered by 28%, which is very good. It is a big lesson to each and every one of us.
    • 44. Get a fresh perspective . Be Clear. bonus tip:
    • 45. Be Brief. Be Bold. Be Clear. To be effective…

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