Effective Business Communication: Audience is Key!

Instead of lauding Russell Peters for the great job he did as host of the recent Juno awards celebrating Canadian music, organizers had to apologize for his comments. Headlines in the news were not what you’d expect. They were about Russell Peters’ “jokes” about the young women in the audience and Mélanie Joly, Canada’s Heritage…

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Great Presenters Know Their Audience

Sometimes, we can be our own worst enemies. Case in point: I’ve been working with a highly accomplished IT manager, who’s an expert in her field. She’s smart! She manages large, highly technical complex projects. When she makes presentations to colleagues, with similar technical backgrounds, she tells me they have no trouble understanding her. Yet,…

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Why Improve Workplace Writing Skills

It’s easy to assume that smart, educated people know how to write well. But that assumption isn’t always correct. I was reminded of this recently when I met with a client who was interested in improving the email writing skills of her employees, all of whom are university educated professionals. In order for me to…

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What is Business Writing?

Maybe an even better question to ask is: What isn’t business writing? It isn’t what you may have learned in school: that sentences must paint pictures using many descriptive adjectives. It isn’t the essay you wrote in university where, in order to meet the word count, you “padded” it with unnecessary words or quotes. It…

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A Better Business Writing Guide for Performance Reviews

Conducting a performance review isn’t easy. However, when I saw the following question posed in The HR Capitalist: “Will Algorithms Ultimately Write Coaching Scripts for Managers?” the concept of automated people management seemed preposterous. Yet, computer analysis measuring employee productivity is already in use in some sectors, as Steve Boese notes in his blog post, “Maybe…

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A word cloud of computer security related tags and terms

How Plain Language Can Improve Cybersecurity

The recent cyber attack on Twitter, Paypal, Netflix, the New York Times and other major businesses — all on the same day — demonstrated how incredibly vulnerable we are to cyber exploitation. These are businesses that I tend to think of as very secure. Of course, what online business is totally secure, really? I learned this…

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Scrabble-type letter tiles spell out the words English, Langauge, Speak, Learn. Used to illustrate the concept of Why Improving Employee ESL Skills is Good Business.

Why Improving Employee ESL Skills is Good Business

The other day I received an email message from a businessman, who is not a native English speaker. He included the following disclaimer after his signature, “Please apologize any spelling mistakes as this message was sent from my mobile phone.” Clearly, this disclaimer is not a solution to his English communication problem; it’s more a…

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