Writing Without Bullshit
It’s noisy out there. The average reader now spends only 20 seconds viewing a news article. In this workshop you will learn to punch through the noise. You will maximize the meaning ratio: the proportion of meaningful words in any communication.
I’ve been a professional writer since 1982. I’ve coauthored three books on business strategy, including Groundswell, which was a bestseller. And I’m passionate about clear, brief, fascinating communication. HarperBusiness will publish my new book, Writing Without Bullshit, in September of 2016.
I blog every weekday about writing, communication, and bullshit. My blog generated over 1 million views in its first year.
For 20 years at Forrester Research, I wrote and edited reports on the future of technology. I learned to do far-reaching analysis of business strategy, then taught others to do so. As Senior Vice President, Idea Development, I identified, developed, and promoted Forrester’s most powerful and influential ideas. I gave hundreds of speeches around the world, got quoted in every news source you can name, and gave strategy advice to countless clients from the world’s largest companies and tech vendors.
The Iron Imperative
People read differently now, on glass screens. But they still write the same bullshit-laden content. Fear is the source of the problem. I will give you the courage to say what you mean and escape your own worst habits. Embrace the Iron Imperative: you must treat the reader’s time as more valuable than your own.
Revive Your Messages
Prose sucks. In a world of online readers, paragraphs no longer work. Make your writing chunky: embrace headings, bullets, tables, graphics, and links. And adapt your writing to its container: email, Web page, blog post, white paper.
Learn to write shorter. Front-load your content. Eliminate the words that make you sound mushy: jargon, weasel words, and passive voice. And find out how a simple change in the pronouns you use will transform the effectiveness of your writing.
Effective Writing Habits
Do you suffer from the three P’s writing process: Procrastinate, Panic, and Pray? You’ll get better results with more writing discipline. Conduct the 4-step ROAM analysis before you start writing anything: Readers, Objective, Action, iMpression. Allocate research and prep time effectively. Write with flow. And manage reviews and edits without tears.