Something You Should Know about Business Writing

Slogans & Taglines

April 7, 2014


Interview with Steve Cone, author of the book Powerlines: Words That Sell Brands, Grip Fans, and Sometimes Change History




Mike Carruthers:
"A diamond is forever", "You're in good hands with Allstate" - these are examples of slogans or taglines that have been around for a long time.


Steve Cone:
Today very few break through and it's because lack of attention to the importance of a few words to sell a brand.

Steve Cone

Etiquette For The Modern Workplace

August 1, 2013


Interview with Valerie Sokolosky, author of the book Do It Right! The New Book of Business Etiquette




Mike Carruthers: 
If you remember no other etiquette rule, particularly workplace etiquette, remember this… 


Valerie Sokolosky:
When in doubt, don't. And that goes to, "Oh dear, should I wear this today?" Well if you're in doubt, don't. It goes to behaviors, "Oh dear, should I say this, should I do this?"

Valerie Sokolosky

Common Grammar Mistakes

February 15, 2013


Interview with June Cassagrande, author of the book Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies: A Guide to Language for Fun and Spite




Mike Carruthers:
Grammatically speaking the sentence, "Try and get this done." is wrong.


June Casagrande:
Some grammarians make a case for "try and" but grammatically speaking it is kind of non-sequiter. It doesn't make sense.

June Cassagrande

The Fonts You Use

September 11, 2012


Interview with Simon Garfield, author of the book Just My Type: A Book About Fonts




Mike Carruthers:
Go to write something on your computer and you have a ton of different type styles to choose from. There are over 100 thousand of them in the world with more on the way. Don’t we have enough?


Simon Garfield:
You could say the same argument for love songs or landscape paintings. You think oh well there surely must be enough in the world but actually we are a creative race.

Simon Garfield

Be A Better Writer

August 17, 2012


Interview with Fred Lybrand, creator of The Writing Course




Mike Carruthers:
What is good writing?


Fred Lybrand:
There are two pieces to good writing; one is just getting it correct. And when it's correct, it means people can understand what you actually said.

Fred Lybrand

Making Electronic Communication More Personal

May 3, 2012


Interview with D.A. Benton, author of the book The Virtual Executive: How to Act Like a CEO Online and Offline




Mike Carruthers:
So much communication today is electronic and not face-to-face so trying to personalize that communication can be very helpful. For example the subject line in an email.


D.A. Benton:
Putting someone else’s name in the subject line statistically improves the chance they will open it, personalizes it, humanizes it.

D. A. Benton 


September 22, 2011


Interview with Simon Garfield, author of the book Just My Type: A Book About Fonts




Mike Carruthers:
If you type on a computer you know that you can choose one of countless typefaces.


Simon Garfield:
There were thousands of type designers and there are thousands now still trying to find a way of making a new “a” or a new “b” and it’s an art.

Simon Garfield

Techniques To Be A Better Writer

September 1, 2011


Interview with Sandra Lamb, author of the book How to Write It: Complete Guide to Everything You'll Ever Write




Mike Carruthers:
Have you ever had to write something and had trouble saying what it is that you want to say? Well, here’s some help


Sandra Lamb:
Think through your message all the way from beginning to end and be able to state what you are going to write in 1 message sentence.

Sandra Lamb

Using Pictures To Explain Or Persuade

February 25, 2011


Interview with Dan Roam, author of the book The Back of the Napkin (Expanded Edition): Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures




Mike Carruthers:
If you go to meetings much, you know that most of the time people talk and talk and talk and it can all be pretty boring. And yet…


Dan Roam:
The moment that someone pulls out a piece of paper and says, "Let me explain my idea with a picture," magic takes place in the room every single time.

Dan Roam

Secrets Of Better Writing - Part 2

November 11, 2010


Interview with Diana Young, author of the book Be a Brilliant Business Writer: Write Well, Write Fast, and Whip the Competition




Mike Carruthers:
People actually make judgments about you based on your style of writing.


Diana Young:
Actually there was a guy at Princeton, Daniel Oppenheimer who studied this and found out that people judged writers to be less intelligent when they used complicated words, complex sentence structure and even hard to read fonts or design.


Diana Young

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