The bigger the crisis, the smaller the words you need

small words make big impact in a crisis

If you want your words to have impact, keep them simple. A great article in the Harvard Business Review brings this home wonderfully, by looking at some of the messaging around Covid-19. When New York governor Andrew Cuomo issued the order that disrupted life for millions of New Yorkers and shut down the city’s financial …

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You’ve finished writing; now the work really begins

A couple of months ago I was taking part in a workshop with that wonderful Newfoundland writer, Donna Morrissey. A novel-writing class with the award-winning author of Sylvanus Now, The Fortunate Brother, and Kit’s Law, was pretty daunting – especially for those of us who’ve spent a lifetime writing a very different type of prose. …

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When you need a shift, you need a story

Stories are all about shifts. Shifts from loser to victor, from oppressed to liberated, from lost to found, from unloved to loved. That’s why stories are such effective tools for communicating a vision of change, for persuading people to think or act differently. From time to time we still run across business leaders who disparage …

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Sticky storytelling: the key to being remembered

sticky storytelling

If you really want to make your messages memorable, turn your words into images. If you’re delivering a speech or presentation, it’s probably not the mass of your words that will convince an audience to march to your drum. More likely, it’s the few telling images that your words evoke in the minds of the …

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Are you game for the Post-It note challenge?

A dear friend once sent me a birthday surprise…. Post-It notes. Not a box of Post-It notes but one solitary package of Post-It notes. I was surprised at this unusual gift… but it all made sense when I read what was written on the Post-It notes.       “If you always do what you …

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Just because you know $10 words doesn’t mean you should use them

Keep your language simple if you want to make a quick and strong connection with your readers and listeners. Two Nobel-prize winning authors once got in an argument over words. William Faulkner accused Ernest Hemingway of dumbing-down his writing. Faulkner complained that Hemingway had ‘never been known to use a word that might send the …

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How your Mum or Charlie will improve your writing

writing starts with focus and structure

If you are wondering how you can be more conversational in your writing, here’s a tip. Think of someone you care about, and write to them. If you’ve attended any of our workshops, read our books or seen our video tips, you’ll be familiar with ‘Hi Mom’ When we’re working with a client who is …

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Elevator pitches: 10 words to change the world

Polish up your elevator pitch

How’s your elevator pitch? Is it working well for you? Does it need freshening up? Do you even have one? Maybe it’s time to take a lesson from how your favourite movies and TV series get launched. It’s long been said that Hollywood screenwriters only get three to five minutes to propose an idea. But …

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