On fat outlines and shitty first drafts

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The idea that you would just sit down and write a beautiful draft is deluded. The best writers do this on the best days; you, on the other hand, have to work even when you are not the best writer and it is not the best day. You can solve this my way — with … Continued

Using PowerPoint and 3 monitors to deliver a video workshop

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For a workshop delivered by video with PowerPoint, using three monitors creates a powerful advantage. I’ll share what I’ve learned from delivering video-based writing workshops to people connecting from their homes. (Note: if you’ve arrived here to solve a technical problem regarding PowerPoint Presenter View, skip to “Resolving a technical issue with PowerPoint Presenter View … Continued

Writing backward and forward

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There are two challenges with writing anything — flow and impact. The flow problem is this: does each sentence lead into the next, and each paragraph lead into the next, in a way that draws the reader along? The impact problem is this: does the piece take you with ironclad logic to a place where … Continued

Edit yourself. It’s cheaper and it makes you smarter.

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You wrote something. It’s not the best it can be. You could hire an editor. Or you could fix it yourself. Sure, if you can’t really figure out what you’re saying, you might need outside help. But before you do, try these tricks: Make sentences shorter. Find sentences of more than 20 words. Break them … Continued

20 insights from an analyst writing marketing copy

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I am writing a lot of marketing copy lately. I’ve noticed some things you might find helpful. Here’s what I’m currently writing and editing: Marketing description for a book on management. Marketing description for a book on the future of transportation. Articles about corporate AI strategy for an author. Blog posts announcing an AI-focused startup. … Continued

I cannot teach you to write. But I can help you to learn.

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I cannot teach you to write. No one can. I cannot teach you to sing. I cannot teach you to pause in the moment before dusk and appreciate the sunset. I cannot teach you to love and be kind to your fellow human beings. I cannot teach you to step into your forehand and follow … Continued

The audience makes the speech — so virtual and recorded speeches are challenging

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I’ve been speaking in front of groups for 40 years. The current pandemic has turned some of those live events into virtual connections or recordings. The audience is remote, or missing. And that changes things completely. A speech or class is not a one-way communication. Obviously, if there is an audience, they can ask questions. … Continued

“Curbing Cabin Fever” by Ray Bernoff

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My son Ray was disabled and confined to his bed for an extended period a few years ago. He figured out how to deal with it. And, bless him, he has now created a guide, based on that experience, to help all of us. It’s called “Curbing Cabin Fever: How to Spend Weeks in One … Continued