Friday, September 25, 2009

"How to Write Fast Under Pressure" Released

My newest book is in print. How to Write Fast Under Pressure (AMACOM Books) results from years of teaching people in the corporate world, as well as on the undergraduate and graduate levels, to write successfully on deadline. It is chock full of sensible reflections and useful tips on dealing with the daily grind of writing for multiple projects with varied purposes and readers. Here is the link at Amazon:

Sunday, September 20, 2009

E-mail and Executive Summary Writing Courses Lead the Way

The two biggest requests that I've received from clients over the past year have been Writing Effective and Efficient E-mail and Powerful Executive Summaries. And those clients have spanned a broad range of sectors and industries: banking, insurance, legal, transportation, government, and nonprofit social services.

The reasons for these calls are simple: the course format and the relevant content. Both of these courses are one-day-only offerings, which suit the intense time pressure exacted on staff these days. Both reflect the real deal: the e-mail course ( is a natural because e-mail is the means by which most on-the-job writing is done these days; the executive summary course ( is in demand since the challenge is greater than ever to compress huge amounts of critical information into precise, high-level messages for executive review.

The reaction to these courses has been excellent. Participants get to practice writing in real-life situations and receive extensive feedback throughout the day. The requests for repeat offerings tell the story.

Questions? Contact me:

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Web 2.0 Tips, Part 7: Live Online

We all have heard about how Web surfing has contributed to breaking up relationships and production downtime, and how the Internet is little better than the new boob tube.

I don’t buy these notions for a moment, at least not if you’re trying to establish a serious presence for your enterprise.

The Web is where the work is. The available business, writing, and even living ideas to be had on the Internet supersede any potential drawback that comes with the territory. Whether you like it or not, this is the community where anyone in the know is a member. Hang out there. Read whatever you can at key sites. Follow whatever links seem worthwhile. You’ll come home better for it: more informed, thoughtful, and valuable to your endeavor.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Web 2.0 Tips, Part 6: Show Up Everywhere

Well, this tip speaks for itself. No matter what you search for these days, you’re bound to find it. This truth works both for and against you. While you can find virtually anything online, searching for something will not necessarily get you what you’re looking for on the first hit. That has happened to you, right?

What to do?

Be ubiquitous. Think of the Twelve Nations:
  1. Alternation – Don’t be a one-hit wonder. Keep writing about contrasting applications to your idea.
  2. Assignation – Hook your readers to your next post or to your next virtual or onsite meeting to extend the relationship.
  3. Combination – Look for links among contrasting industries and disciplines to appear in all of them.
  4. Consternation – Avoid this one! Don’t prophesize gloom and doom, and don’t write cryptically. You want to build an adience, not destroy one.
  5. Culmination – Whatever you communicate, make it end on a note that brings readers to wherever else you want them to go or whatever else you want them do.
  6. Domination – Be out there—always and everywhere.
  7. Examination – Try not to appear shallow while keeping your message brief. Reading the concise genius of Confucius could prove helpful here.
  8. Imagination – Know the trends in your field and write about all of them, however you can.
  9. Recrimination – Don’t use your blog as a means of getting even. Always take the high road. People will respect you for this practice.
  10. Rumination – Reflect wisely on your topic, respecting your readers’ intelligence, to draw a wider audience.
  11. Stagnation – Of course, you don't want this! Keep it fresh by raising the new and not rehashing the old.
  12. Subordination – Don’t let earlier posts die. If they’re helpful to understand what you’re commenting on now, then link posts.