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Punctuation Puzzler: When to Use a Dash

Punctuation Puzzler: When to Use a Dash

Dashes are not a one-size-fits-all answer each time you need to pause. People frequently use dashes interchangeably with the comma: Anytime they want to pause, they just toss in dashes without realizing that the nature of the information dictates whether a dash is...

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Grab Attention Quickly in Your Email

Grab Attention Quickly in Your Email

Opening most messages with a summary of the key points provides a valuable framework for the reader. When you open a proposal, whether it's three pages or 30, the first thing you see is an executive summary, which orients the reader to what the proposal contains. It's...

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Clear, Graceful Writing

Clear, Graceful Writing

Blending and restructuring sentences can create fluid and more concise writing that keeps readers moving.   The simplified, declarative sentence is powerful. "You should send me the details soon," and "Cari met with me yesterday to discuss the plan" convey their...

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Overcoming Writer’s Block

Overcoming Writer’s Block

To break out of writer's block, relax your mind and put something on the screen, even if it's just a few words. When you look at the swarm of email that fills your inbox every day, you wouldn't think that anyone had trouble with writer's block, but they do. When they...

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Motivate People to Read Your Persuasive Appeal

Motivate People to Read Your Persuasive Appeal

Persuasion requires that you first get people to read or listen carefully to your proposal. Just because you write someone a persuasive message doesn't mean they will read it carefully. Several variables affect the amount of thinking people do when they read a...

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Don’t Fall Into the Email Subject Line Trap

Don’t Fall Into the Email Subject Line Trap

One of the biggest reasons people do not read email messages is because writers are careless about subject lines and, as a result, fail to pull the reader in. The subject line is the first place you are communicating with a reader, the first time you are saying to the...

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Tone it Down! Avoid a Biting Tone in Email

Tone it Down! Avoid a Biting Tone in Email

The tone of email continues to have destructive consequences in the workplace. Exercising restraint and using good judgment can bring long-term benefits.   Conveying disappointing or unpleasant news will always be necessary, and although such information often...

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By Ken O’Quinn

Focus on Them Focus on Them

As a contributing author in this book on leadership, Ken offers insights and tips for managing difficult conversations, providing effective feedback, and being authentic. Order here.


Perfect Phrases for Business Letters (McGraw-Hill) Perfect Phrases for Business Letters

Provides the right words and phrases for any situation - quickly. The book was reprinted in Japanese because of high-volume sales there.


TD at Work — Business Writing for Managers

The Association for Talent Development invited Ken to write this 22-page booklet for the TD at Work series.

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Praise from Clients

I learned more helpful tips than in any other writing course in the past 40 years. As an engineer, knowing the “why” is important.
David EiermanMotorola Solutions

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