WRITING THAT CONNECTS
Language is power: with the right words, you can market, sell, inspire, inform, and influence. Don’t know where to start? First, jot down your goals and ideas. Then find someone who understands your purpose, style, audience, company’s culture, and budget to help you translate your thoughts into print.
Readers like intelligent, engaging, conversational language. They like straightforward speech that’s easy to read and understand. They like crisp, efficient content that speaks to their problems. They especially like stories.
As they begin to read, they ask themselves: What is this? Why am I getting it? What do you want me to do? And you’d best be prepared to tell them.
The purpose of business writing is to produce positive change by persuading and informing—while keeping your readers’ goodwill. Business writing is action-oriented, user-centered, well-organized, persuasive and interesting. No matter which of these written communications you need, their success depends on their power to connect, motivate, and satisfy:
|Brand stories||Reports||Letters of recommendation|
|Case studies||Instructional materials||Personal statements|
|Speeches||Performance evaluations||Customer response letters|
|White papers||Business letters||Thank you letters/Apologies|
Annie Russo writes clear, concise, straightforward, and stylish business communications. They’re entertaining, yet professional: informative, yet readable. To see a variety of writing style samples, click Annie Russo’s Cure for Writer’s Block.
Do you know just what you mean but don’t know how to say it? Then let me write it for you.
White papers for you to download, read, and consider.
Simply click on the title of each white paper to read it here in your browser window (each paper will open in a new window).
To download, right-click (PC) or option-click (Mac), and follow the prompts to download the PDF file to your computer.
Words are more powerful than we sometimes realize. The words you choose affect how your message is received – and how your audience will respond. Language can and does change lives!
In this white paper, you’ll learn immediate, practical steps you can take to reframe your statements, requests, and comments to powerfully affect how your words are heard, and what action people take based on what you say to them.
Not too long ago, Conventional Wisdom taught us to “Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.” Yet in our age of globalization and cultural diversity, there’s a far more effective rule of thumb: “Do unto others as they want to be done unto.” But first you have to find out how they want to be treated.
This white paper describes a method for guesstimating a person’s dominant communication style by observing the extent to which they’re (1) open or guarded, and (2) direct or indirect – and then explains how to adapt to someone’s preferred communication mode. To paraphrase Warren Bennis, When you really get where people are coming from – and they get that you get them – they’re more likely to let you take them where you want them to go.
“They” used to say that “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” If that’s the case, many of us would choose to skip breakfast. Feedback can feel like criticism, and nobody wants to swallow disparaging words!
But there’s a better, easier, more comfortable way to offer your point of view and receive another person’s perspective: through collaboration. This white paper describes the “Four A” approach to feedback, which minimizes defensiveness and acknowledges the positive intent of the other person’s opinion.
In the first century BC, Publilius Syrus wrote, “A good reputation is more valuable than money.” Fast-forward to the 21st century AD, when a good reputation is essential for making money. Thanks to the connectivity of our amazing internet, the world knows what we do, how we do it, and what our customers think of our products and services.
Can we control our reputation? Do we ever get a second chance to make a first impression? Absolutely. This white paper explains how to establish a reputation in a new environment, and how to enhance your reputation from where you now stand.
Rightly or wrongly, others evaluate our professional and personal success according to how well we fulfill their expectations. Fortunately, we can learn how to manage expectations (others’ and our own) before reality strikes and dashes our assumptions. We can narrow the gap between what others assume or hope will happen, and what’s likely to happen.
This white paper describes an easy four-step model for setting expectations, and then uses the model to demonstrate setting expectations for common situations: establishing accountability, handling unsolicited sales calls, helping people get to the point, and ending non-productive conversations.
Stuff happens and people disagree. Sometimes differences of opinion are interesting and fun to debate; sometimes they morph into full-blown conflicts. But even an outright dispute doesn’t have to be awkward, painful, or threatening to a relationship. Settling disagreements is an acquired skill, like learning effective communication or process improvement.
In addition to presenting a model for deconstructing conflict, this white paper focuses on the important elements of managing differences, and reveals some insider tips and cautions so you don’t have to learn The Hard Way.
Uh oh! Dealing with an angry person isn’t high on most people’s preferred activities list: it activates our “freeze-fight-flight” instinct and increases our anxiety. On the other hand, it’s better to deal with someone’s irritation while it’s still in a “liquid state” instead of when it’s solidified into a lost customer.
In this white paper, you’ll read about a dependable technique for helping customers solve their problems. You’ll understand how to fulfill another’s personal and practical needs, learn the benefits of attentive listening, and placate an agitated person with “pausitiveness.”
Sample a Buffet of Writing Styles
Style—It’s the way we put together one sentence or one thousand: it’s our voice in print. Style is subjective: different readers have different ideas about how language should sound in their “mind’s ear.” Stylish writing is tasteful and contemporary. A compelling style means that how you write doesn’t detract from what you write. The right style can powerfully influence your readers.
Most writers—and publications—have a signature style, a creative fingerprint. Check out these samples to see which ones feel right to you.