Randy Siegel builds the people who build organizations.
Organizations hire Randy to transform high-potential employees into a new generation of leaders. Randy gives them the leadership and communications skills they need to rise through the organization.
CEOs hire Randy to help them become more charismatic leaders, spokespeople, and ambassadors for the organizations they serve.
His work is based upon a proprietary process that facilitates self-discovery to clarify personal perspective, true purpose, and professional image.
For more information, contact: Randy@buildyourleaders.com
Postcard from Asheville, N.C.
Writing has been on my mind this month. I am putting the final finishes on my second book, PowerHouse Presenting: Become the Communicator You Were Born to Be, which will be available this summer on Amazon.com. And already I’ve begun work on the second edition of High Voltage Communications, which I have tentatively retitled Engineer Your Career: A Blueprint for Your Best Self. (What do you think of the new title?)
Sorry, I digress. I’ve been thinking about how our writing style, like the way we dress, either adds to or diminishes our professional image. It also supports or hinders career advancement. Yet few of us take time to work on becoming stronger writers. Perhaps it’s because most of us think we are better writers than we are.
No matter how strong a writer you think you are, you can still improve your writing style. This month, we’ll hear from an expert on how.
The Power of Better Business Writing
When I first moved to Asheville in 1998, I began writing a monthly column, “Confessions of a Late Bloomer,” on the challenges of coming out later in life. Writing a column was a huge challenge for me. Like an amateur painter attempting to paint his first masterpiece, I knew what I wanted to say, but I didn’t know how to say it.
You would think that after more than twenty years in public relations I would have been a competent and confident writer, but not so. I needed help. I hired a local writing coach, Beth Carter, and through practice, perseverance, and Beth’s good guidance, my writing improved. I self-syndicated “Confessions of a Late Bloomer” nationally, and over the next eighteen months the column developed a large, loyal following in the alternative press.
Recently, my buddy Andrew Glasgow introduced me to Seattle, Washington-based writing coach Lynda McDaniel. For the past twenty-five years, Lynda has written for dozens of popular magazines and national newspapers, as well as major US companies. I asked Lynda to share some advice for better business writing. Here are her suggestions.
Benefits build business.
When you write letters and e-mails, reports and newsletters, think like your readers. Ask yourself, what’s in it for them? In other words, write about the benefits - not the features. Features tell only what you do, how you do it, why you think you are the best. Benefits offer possibilities - growing their businesses, improving their lives, gaining increased health. As you do so, you will naturally bring out the terrific features you offer, but with your readers in mind.
Grab attention from the get-go.
Begin your written documents with a strong, concise lead paragraph that grabs your readers’ attention. Let them know that you:
The tie that binds.
Once you’ve written the body copy, write a closing that encourages your readers to remember your message and take action. Maybe you want them to buy your product, attend a fund-raising event, or call you for more information. To trigger a response, let them know that:
Think about the benefits to the reader whenever you write business documents, and you’ll elevate your writing from junk mail to special delivery.
Learn more about Lynda McDaniel at http://www.lyndamcdaniel.com.