Posts Tagged: communications

Proof that Your Impossible is Possible

Possible bluefeet blogpost

Even successful people need someone to follow.

 

Do you have one of those “back-of-the-mind” goals – something that you’ve always wanted to try but it just seems too big? Or maybe someone on your team is stuck and you know she can do more.

 

Tap into the power of having someone to follow. If you’re trying to kick-start your speaking career or launch a non-profit, find someone who’s done it. If you want to help someone else grow, connect her with someone she can emulate.

 

“The fastest way to do the things you don’t think can be done is to hang around people already doing them.”

– Scott Dinsmore, founder of Live Your Legend

I Need Space! White Space

White Space bluefeet blog post by Lilli Cloud

 

Ever open an email or see a PowerPoint with the wall of words? It shuts me down.

I’ve gotten to the point where if I see a presenter with a PowerPoint slide that’s crammed with text, I have to avert my eyes. It’s too painful and distracting. And I can’t hear a thing they’re saying.

Same with email. I had a friend who always wrote her emails all in one, giant paragraph. Even if it wasn’t very long (and sometimes it was), as soon as I saw the wall of copy, I closed it to read “later.” It completely overwhelmed me in the middle of a busy day.

White space is a critical design element, but you don’t have to be a graphic artist to use it.

Here are five ways to use white space in day-to-day business writing:

Short Paragraphs

Throw out what you learned in high school English. A paragraph doesn’t have to have a topic sentence, several supporting sentences and a conclusion.

Instead, group common, logical ideas together. Hit return, and move onto the next thing.

It’s okay to have only one sentence in a paragraph.

Simple Sentences

Short is best. Multiple clauses rarely belong in business writing. Instead, hit the period and start a new sentence. This will result in crisp, clear writing.

Even the space after the period (only one is needed) helps open up your copy. More important, it opens up space in the brain of your readers.

Active Subheads

Use them to communicate, rather than as a simple label – so a reader gets the gist just from scanning the subheads. This will guide the reader through your topics. You can do this even in an email of only a few paragraphs.

Use Bullets and Numbers

You know this, but you don’t always do it. Reading things in a bulleted list is much easier to comprehend.

Simple Words

Choose use instead of utilize. Please!

For PowerPoint, consider doing some of your slides Apple-esque, with just a few words on a slide and nothing else. Ahhhh. I’m more relaxed just thinking about it.

For those of you concerned about being too abrupt, remember what your mother told you — please and thank you go a long way. Open with a short, polite greeting and close with another.

It is possible to be both thoughtful and efficient. In fact, being efficient is thoughtful to your reader.

The Cure for Corporate Speak

The Cure for Corporate Speak bluefeet blog post by Lilli Cloud

Corporate speak is so last century.

From formal conference presentations to corporate staff meetings, jargon and formality are dying a slow death. It’s about time. After all, we’re only human. It would be great if we’d just talk to one another.

Harvard Business Review researched this with corporate leaders. Separately, Alan Alda, in his program Stony Brook University, is teaching scientists how to speak in plain English.

Some call this dumbing down. We say it’s smartening up.

So stick with your smart-sounding talk if you want, but the big money is on those who can actually make a connection.

The Cure for Corporate Speak bluefeet blog post by Lilli CloudThe Cure for Corporate Speak bluefeet blog post by Lilli CloudThe Cure for Corporate Speak bluefeet blog post by Lilli Cloud

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