Not All Writing is Really Writing

Web sites, blogs, and chat rooms have given people more opportunities to write, but don’t equate that to better writing. People can engage in an activity for years but if they don’t get guidance and instruction along the way, their work will still lack polish.

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Not All E-mail is Created Equal

Company memos have numerous flaws, and one reason is because many people still think there is a difference between everyday e-mail and a memo, which is viewed as more formal, official, and important. Today, many e-mail messages are memos because they cover significant information, and writers should give them the appropriate attention.

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Writing: Impressions Matter

“Look sharp so you make a good first impression” is commonly heard advice. Society might be more informal and relaxed these days but initial impressions still have a lasting impact, and that is certainly true in writing. A bad first impression caused by sloppiness in the text or a poorly written headline can prompt a reader to wince and move on.

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Gung-ho for Grammar

The thought of grammar might make some people squirm, but it’s important for two big reasons: to ensure the clarity of your message and to help maintain your credibility. Contrary to what some people think, most people do still care about the language. They cringe at the sight of glaring errors, and those people might be important to your career. Mistakes often appear in important documents, such as cover letters, resumes, and memos to executives.

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Workshops to help you inform, engage, and persuade

Your business success depends on your ability to craft messages and stories with clarity, efficiency, and focus. Whether you are writing a persuasive e-mail to an executive, an entertaining story for your intranet, a news release, or a disappointing message to a colleague, your writing needs to be precise, interesting, and convincing.

The Writing With Clarity workshops have helped thousands of professionals worldwide at such companies as Chevron, Visa, Oracle, Campbell’s Soup, Raytheon, Sprint, John Deere, Burson-Marsteller, and Fleishman Hillard.

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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 about writing in your six-hour session than I learned in four years at Northwestern. Your seminar has given me a renewed interest in good writing and confidence I can improve.
Liz KoreyCushman Amberg Public Relations

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