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…


Punctuation Matters

Whenever I solicit grammar questions from an audience, many of the questions relate to punctuation. Punctuation is a crucial part of good writing. It tells us where to stop, where to pause, and it marks off the exact words someone is saying. But it does so much more than that. Judicious and correct use of…


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…


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…

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…

a vintage cartoon depiction of a media in the form of a man holding a microphone and a scrip

How To Get Results with Today’s Media

I often find that dealing with media seems to fall into two distinct categories– either a slam dunk experience that requires little effort or a scourge to be avoided at all cost. Sometimes, it can be a little of both. The key to media success is to better understand the rules of engagement. Why contact…

a greek statue is used to illustrate the art of persuasion

The Ancient Art of Persuasion

You might not realize how often we rely on the ancient art of persuasion in our everyday lives. But we do it quite often, if you think about it. Some of the most obvious instances, where we do it, are in the work place. For example, we need to be persuasive when we apply for…