Tone matters. Yours should be authoritative, but not boring.

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I read and edit a lot of nonfiction content — business books, blog posts, advice, and so on. Poor choices in tone often undermine authors’ credibility. Your tone should be expert and authoritative, but not dull. What is tone? Tone is the way in which an author’s prose choices communicate the author’s relationship with the … Continued

Never use an exclamation point! (And other rhetorical no-nos)

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If you want to sound like an immature, unprofessional idiot, fill your prose with exclamation points, emojis, superlatives, adverbs, and profanity. Today I’ll explain why people use these rhetorical techniques and how they undermine your meaning. There are no absolute rules about business writing. You are welcome to use any of the elements I describe here. … Continued