The top 5 grammar errors that make you (and your company) look bad

What are the most embarrassing workplace mishaps? Not being fully dressed on Zoom? Unexpected cameos from family members? Forgetting a colleague’s name? When it comes to employee reputation, nothing is as damaging as a glaring grammatical error in a work email or memo.

What’s the worst grammar mistake you can make at work? Recently, researchers at TIDIO polled 1,839 participants to determine which errors have the potential to leave the worst impression on colleagues. “In the digital space, where written text dominates, common grammar mistakes can profoundly influence your image,” the authors wrote in the survey. “People perceive those making grammar mistakes as ‘lazy’ or ‘uneducated,’ especially in the professional setting.” Just over 95% of all the respondents polled agreed that grammar mistakes can heavily influence the perception of a person and 97.2%


Are You Really Communicating? Don’t Try To ‘Wing It’

Apparently, a lot of people in politics, academe, business and even (especially?) in the so-called communication world didn’t get the message.

More than half a century ago, author and columnist Sydney Harris offered some wise counsel that seems especially relevant today: “The words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.” Apparently, a lot of people in politics, academe, business and even (especially?) in the so-called communication world didn’t get the message. A good primer on the basics can be found in Mastering Communication at Work: How to Lead, Manage, and Influence. Written by Ethan F. Becker and


The real threat to the empire of English

It is not Mandarin or translation tech that muddies the language’s prospects, but the rise of bullshit

At the time of writing, I have no clear idea what “gaslighting” means. Nor ‘“benching”, “mirroring”, “sealioning” or — an asset-management boutique? — “grey rock”. “Performative”, I do, but the world seemed to live without the word, the use of which has itself become performative, until five minutes ago. None of this even gets into the Anthony Burgess-grade neologisms of identity politics. And not to “both-sides” this — why is it always a verb? — but conservatives are hardly above an in-phrase or two. What did “virtue-signalling” add to “sanctimony”?


Writing: ideas for practical use

At one time or another, most of us have an occasion to write to others by email or letters, if it be to thank, complain — or just to send greetings.

Here are some tips that may be helpful to you. 1. Consider a refreshing salutation such as “Good morning” or “Good day,” which might capture your reader’s attention sooner. And, it’s unique. 2. After making your point, give a reason, then concisely explain the reason. Close with re-stating your point. 3. Give as much attention to correct grammar and punctuation with an email as you would with a hand-written or typed letter, particularly for business matters. The response may be sooner. 4. Send a hand-written thank-you note following an interview


6 Ways for Entrepreneurs to Beat Writer's Block

Here are some tips from a professional writer who rode the writer's block rodeo and came out alive.

I make a living as a writer and support a family doing it. Writer’s block is simply not an option for me. I no longer have trouble with writer’s block, whether on my personal writing projects or in the work I do for clients. But between 2013 and 2016, I went through an excruciating ordeal of writer’s block with my personal writing. That experience turned out to be a crucible from which I emerged stronger and better as a writer. Here’s what I learned from it. 1. You need readers


Three Common Marketing Communication Mistakes — And How To Fix Them

I think it's safe to say that we're doing more in marketing and sales but producing less.

Over the past year, we've all been inundated with messages. Stores were at limited capacity or completely closed, employees shifted to remote work and virtual school took over, so our inboxes and social media became our primary avenues for communication. No longer are we catching up at the water cooler, but instead via email or messaging apps, and it's noisy in there. Businesses grasping to keep revenue flowing found their marketing efforts buried deep under the urgent messages of "don't forget your 8 a.m. meeting" and "your child's virtual class


Grammar Guy: Don’t be so negative

After all, I think we could all benefit from a healthy dose of positivity.

There’s an old saying: two wrongs don’t make a right. The idea is (for example) if your neighbor wrongs you by borrowing your hedge clippers and forgets to return them, it doesn’t make things better to send a large, unwanted pizza delivery to his house so he has to pay for it. Those two negatives don’t make a positive. Also, it kind of makes you a jerk. In English, two negatives actually do make a positive. Most of the time, people don’t realize that using a double negative (also known


Your Career: How to Overcome a Fear of Public Writing

Finding the right general-interest publication for your writing will help mitigate your worries about going public.

Whether you are a professor, an administrator, or a staff member, if you’re interested in public writing, the biggest obstacle you often face is your own fear of a negative reaction. You can always learn how to pitch to an editor or edit out jargon, but there’s no use learning either skill if you are too nervous to write for a nonacademic audience at all. Without the protections of tenure, staff members, administrators, and contingent instructors may be especially uneasy about writing for mainstream publications. Meanwhile, pressure has increased on


Here's How Writing a Book Can Give Your Brand a Much-Needed Boost

Writing a book builds your personal brand and brings significant professional advantages -- and it doesn't have to be as hard as you might think.

We're living in the ever-growing digital information world. Billions of consumers log onto the internet and social media daily to access business, learning and connection-building opportunities. An entire world of knowledge is in the palm of our hands if we own a smartphone; information is easier to obtain than ever before. Content keeps consumers in touch, and over the years, the means of content distribution have steadily transformed: YouTube has become the new TV, podcasts have become the new radio and written content is indexed for all to consume for


Why is PR writing so important?

Because just 3% to 45% of releases actually get the word out PR professionals have been married to the traditional PR writing approach since Ivy Lee created the news release more than 100 years ago.

Why, then, do we need a new approach? With an estimated 3,000 releases going out over the wires each day — that’s one every 29 seconds — the impact of your traditional PR piece ain’t what it used to be. In fact, fewer than 50% of all traditional PR pieces ever get covered, according to PR Newswire’s own research. Dennis L. Wilcox and Lawrence W. Nolte, authors of Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques, go further. They estimate that some 55% to 97% of all PR pieces sent to media


Why Emotionally Intelligent Minds Embrace the Rule of 'Writing in Reverse'

Learn to 'write in reverse,' and change the way you communicate

"You can't be serious." My team leader had just sent a text message, looking for an update on a task he had delegated: I was supposed to set up a team-building activity for our team's monthly meeting. Only problem was it had been a super busy month, and I hadn't done it yet. I still had a couple of weeks to get it ready, but he wanted to know where we stood. He also wanted to share some suggestions. This triggered me. I know it shouldn't have; it was a


4 Essentials to Consider when Writing Copy

For businesses big or small, the right copy can mean the difference between making money, gaining customers, attracting employees or not.

Developing compelling copy can be a challenging task, but it isn’t impossible. If you’ve tried writing your marketing materials, you probably did a lot of Googling. While helpful, it can be overwhelming. Here are four essentials to keep in mind when writing for any audience. Write copy that means something. Let’s quickly touch on key messages. Key messages refer to how a business, organization, or company talks about itself and what the brand wants people (including current and potential consumers) to think or remember about their offering. It seems simple,


Writing is a critical life skill and it’s time to focus on it

Far too few school students know how to bring their words to life.

“Words create sentences; sentences create paragraphs; sometimes paragraphs quicken and begin to breathe,” Stephen King wrote in his memoir, On Writing, with a delightful use of the semicolon. But in NSW, far too few school students know how to bring their words to life. Many are leaving school without the ability to express themselves in writing, even though they are entering a digitally-dependent and fast-paced world that increasingly requires them to have writing skills. School students need to know how to write. “We can’t turn kids out of school unemployable,”


Resume-writing tips to help you get past the AI gatekeepers

Tailor your resume to each job you apply, use precise language can help

It was inevitable: When companies made it simple to apply for a job online, applications poured in. To wade through this ever-rising tide of resumes, human resources departments are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence systems to pluck out the candidates deemed to be good fits. So while applying may be as easy as a mouse click, that resume is much more likely to be screened out into oblivion than end up in front of a recruiter. To avoid getting caught by the resume sifter, job seekers should understand the new


5 Communication Mistakes To Avoid In A Job Interview

The way you communicate in a job interview will make or break your chances of getting the job. It doesn’t matter if you’re the most qualified person on paper if you can’t speak confidently about your talents and accomplishments.

Here are five communication mistakes you need to avoid during a job interview: Body language that signals you’re bored or stressed. Nonverbal communication is just as powerful as the words you speak. You could give all the right answers in your interview but never make eye contact with the hiring manager, keep looking up at the clock, or have your arms crossed the entire time. Even with great answers, these nonverbal cues could cost you the job, because they make you seem disinterested or closed off. You’ll want to avoid


Top Tips for Crystal-Clear Business Writing

We’re living in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a digital revolution in which data and content are proliferating at unprecedented speed – an information revolution yielding …

We’re living in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a digital revolution in which data and content are proliferating at unprecedented speed – an information revolution yielding such a plurality of views that it is becoming increasingly difficult to penetrate and convince target audiences. Global brands and corporations are having to adapt to these trends, all of which puts a premium on lucid and powerful writing – writing that stands out in a crowd. There might be a lot of free content out there, but all that does is


How 'Friends’ helps people all over the world learn English

Seventeen years after the final “Friends” episode, students and educators say that the show, still seen widely in syndication around the world, works well as a learning resource.

Photo True or false: In the television show “Friends,” Monica Geller was invited to Rachel Green’s wedding.... The question is part of an English lesson for international students in San Jose, California, that is based entirely on the show’s pilot episode. It was designed by Elif Konus, a teacher from Turkey who once binge-watched “Friends” to improve her own English. The class, and the teacher’s TV habits, illustrate an international phenomenon that emerged in the 1990s and has endured across generations: Young people who aren’t native English speakers appear to


8 Tips to Improve Your Writing as an Entrepreneur

Business leaders have great ideas, but don't always share them clearly in writing. It's time to change that.

Jeff Bradford, an Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) member in Nashville, is the founder of the Bradford Group and president of Bradford Dalton Group, a full-service public relations and advertising agency with offices in Atlanta, Jacksonville, and Nashville. We asked Jeff how you can improve your writing skills. Here's what he shared: I've spent a lifetime learning how to write and edit other people's writing. Below is a collection of tips I've amassed over the years to help you become a better writer. Good writing is good thinking. Too often, I see


The power of the English language today and how to learn it

Top reasons why English is on the top

Undoubtedly, English is the world’s most popular language and the one that is most useful. English is like a common relation that we have with one another. No matter which part of the world we are strolling in, English is likely the only language that can get you going if you do not know the language of that particular region. Whether you are traveling for business, applying for an international job, or trying to make some friends outside your region, English is pretty much the best language option available for


A Word, Please: 5 times when trying too hard makes your grammar worse instead of better

Do you try to use good grammar? That’s great. Chances are your efforts pay off and you’re a better communicator as a result.

But if you try too hard, your efforts can backfire. Grammar rules are based on common usage — the way people speak naturally. So it’s a paradox of language that the more you overthink your grammar and word choices, the more likely you are to goof up. Here are five times when trying too hard makes your grammar worse instead of better. I feel badly. You can say it this way if you want to. “I feel badly” is idiomatic — meaning it’s acceptable simply because it’s so common. But


Three Ways Leaders Can Improve Their One-On-One Communication Skills

When we look at communication challenges and opportunities over the past year, we often look at the macro level: How do we communicate with the organization? How do we facilitate team interaction? How do we better engage our external stakeholders? Many of us have spent far less time considering how we can foster more productive one-on-one interactions between supervisors and direct reports.

I currently lead a team of 35 with seven direct reports within an organization of close to 7,000 employees. I also report up, which means I need feedback to be effective and to grow professionally. Based upon my own experiences, conversations with colleagues and previous consulting engagements, I have three recommendations for how supervisors can better facilitate one-on-one communication with their direct reports in an in-person, hybrid or virtual environment. To be an effective communicator, one needs a well-developed sense of empathy. An effective communicator must understand the concerns of


The Unspoken Privilege Of The English Speaker

For other countries, learning English is considered an obvious essential to success, a stepping stone for opportunities.

The study of foreign languages is at an all-time low in the UK, with over 50 universities in the UK having scrapped language courses or departments altogether since 2000, and the number of students choosing to take the subject at GCSE and A level continuing to drop. Now Brexit is raising concerns over the potential new challenges of hiring language teachers from abroad, and the loss of the Erasmus exchange scheme which so many young people used for language immersion. It’s no surprise, then, that we have all become so



To become a truly data-driven company, you need to collect information from all aspects of the business. Communication tends to be a friction point for many organizations, particularly internal communication. Whether it’s cross-functional teams, collaborating on work or keeping employees up-to-date about the state of the company, it’s challenging to measure success.

Fortunately, there are a few KPIs that help measure the effectiveness of communication in an organization. Here are nine essential communication metrics to track in 2021. Employee Feedback One of the most important sources of information is the employees themselves. Providing a platform for employees to share their feedback and frustrations will give a clear indication of how things are being communicated within the company. Collect quantitative data using simple surveys with scaled answers. For example, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the company’s effectiveness


We Need to Work on Our “Digital Body Language”, Says an Online Communication Expert

My conversation with author and digital body language expert Erica Dhawan

I recently had the chance to connect with author, entrepreneur, and keynote speaker Erica Dhawan about her new book, Digital Body Language. In a time where we are all being asked to communicate digitally more than ever before, Erica offers a useful guide to making our way through this changing digital landscape. We talk about how we can all improve our digital communication, below. You describe yourself as a “21st century collaboration expert.” What does that mean? I’ve studied human innovation and collaboration for over 15 years. What I’ve learned


Writing the Proposal, The Hourglass Method

You’ve submitted a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) and been invited to follow up with a full proposal. Now it’s time to actually write the thing. Here’s a system for making sure that your proposal is inclusive, accurate and compelling. It takes a little time but it’s worth it.

Start with a call for input from all the key people who should have something to say about your program. That means staff members who will do the work; clients who will benefit from the work; perhaps a board member who is knowledgeable about the particular subject; someone from the organization who manages finances. Ask these people to give you their best thinking about the program you plan to submit to the funder. Gather data, comments, first-person experiences, anything and everything you might want to use when you write. Think


Improve Your Content Writing Skills With These 4 Tools

Today I have some content writing resources to help you improve your influence and productivity. Here’s four links with tips and tricks to kick start your work week.

Quality content is important when it comes to attracting new subscribers and followers. There are several great resources available to make your writing stand out like a pro, and create winning articles without the need for outsourcing. Would you like to improve your blog, social media posts, and books for better visibility? Take advantage of these tools, and let me know how these work for you! 1) Better business emails – Email Excellence In order to attract new leads your business needs a professional email. Email Excellence provides helpful tools


15 Essential Communication Skills For Digital Marketers

Digital marketers must communicate well to grow in their careers. Here are 15 communication skills you'll need to succeed.

You can be the most brilliant digital marketer in the world, but if you can’t effectively communicate it won’t matter. In 22 years in this business, I’ve learned just how critical communication skills are to digital marketers. And in this column, you’ll learn how to develop and practice the top 15 communication skills that can drive your success in digital. Ready? Let’s get right to it! 1. The Ability to Listen Not only does listening belong on this list, but there’s also a good reason it’s the first one up.


Confidently Writing About Yourself

I recently helped a friend prepare for a promotion conversation, and another friend update his “About” section on LinkedIn. Both said to me, “Ugh… I hate writing about myself. It’s so hard!” I totally understand this sentiment.

I used to feel that way myself a few years ago. It took a lot of practice through speaking engagements, podcasts, and updating my own resume and LinkedIn profile that I got comfortable using my voice to confidently describe what I do and the value I bring. (Check out my blog post on what to include in your LinkedIn about section) How you write about yourself can positively impact your career and getting contacted about awesome opportunities. Check out my best tips below to confidently write about yourself! Write it


Four Healthy Communication Habits For Virtual Meetings

Usage of video meeting apps is skyrocketing; Zoom reported a 369% increase in sales for quarter four of 2020 alone. According to a recent Upwork survey (via CNBC), one in four Americans is expected to be working remotely by 2025, a staggering 87% increase from pre-pandemic levels. Many of us are getting used to virtual meetings as the norm rather than the exception in our work lives.

Keeping It Real This carries with it the real concern that the more we meet in virtual settings, the less "real" our communications become. I've found that meaningful in-person interactions can be big engagement motivators at work, and 2010 Gallup research found that social time can contribute to lower stress levels. It also fulfills the intrinsic psychological needs we all have. I believe that personal experience can lose fidelity when we're interacting via screens behind layers of technology. “Zoom fatigue” and “Zoom burnout” are becoming common terms (although the symptoms


Communication Lessons Learned From Prince Philip

What would you do if you were one of the most powerful men in the world, without any actual power? This was the role of the recently departed Prince Philip, the trusted husband, confidant and advisor to Queen Elizabeth.

As I looked into this unique man's history and role in shaping that history, it stood out to me that there were many lessons an organization or individual could pull from his life experiences. As a member of the royal family, Prince Philip was always expected to portray a bright, sophisticated, classy demeanor. He was always under very close watch and was not necessarily entitled to much privacy. Attempting to uphold such a pristine reputation was obviously an overwhelming task, but it had to be done in order to protect


May the words be with you: What writers can learn from ‘Star Wars’

After more than 40 years, the Force is still with us. "Star Wars" is everywhere. And so is its influence on the craft of writing.

Among the journalists we know, none is more knowledgeable about the creative legacy of “Star Wars” than Jason Fry. As an independent author, Jason has written more than 30 “Star Wars” books and short stories. He is also the author of his own space adventure series, “Jupiter Pirates,” published by HarperCollins. Before his literary journeys into space, Jason spent 13 years at the Wall Street Journal online as a reporter, editor, columnist, and blogger. He has been a frequent contributor to Poynter, serving as a writer, editor and visiting teacher.


Here’s why students don’t revise what they write – and why they should

When high school students get into the habit of revising their writing, it has a positive impact on the quality of their work.

Despite the proven benefits of revision, students often resist making changes to the initial versions of what they wrote – because it requires additional effort. Or, if they do revise, they only do it in a mediocre way. Finding ways to motivate students to revise their writing is crucial given that only 27% of 12th graders in the U.S. write at a level that is “proficient.” Proficiency in writing refers to correct spelling and grammar, logical presentation of ideas and appropriate use of details and evidence. Learning how to revise


Writing As Thinking: Why Writing Is Still A Critical Skill In Business

Today’s industry leaders can empower their employees, themselves and their organizations by promoting this powerful skill. I believe those who do will elevate their own reputation and success in commerce and society.

I was a science kid in high school; I loved physics and mathematics. When I learned my senior year that I was assigned to the English teacher with a reputation as the most rigorous in school, I dreaded a year of struggle outside my strength areas. Unexpectedly, that class changed my life. She taught me how to think in a way that laid the foundation of my success not only in undergraduate liberal arts but also in science, business and leadership. I leaned on that teacher’s instruction as I pursued


Internationalisation means more than just teaching in English

It was crucial for East Asian universities to put on more courses in English, but now they need to rethink their pedagogy, says Benjamin Tak Yuen Chan

Many East Asian universities have been remarkably successful in their internationalisation efforts over the past decade. There are now 14 universities from the region included in the world’s top 100, according to the latest THE rankings. One significant factor has been the use of English in teaching, which has facilitated the recruitment of overseas students and staff, as well as the expansion of student exchange activities with international partners. The target of Japan’s Top Global University Project to enrol 300,000 foreign students was achieved a year ahead of the 2020


The internet is excluding Asian-Americans who don’t speak English

For millions of people on the wrong side of America's language gap, technology is creating barriers rather than removing them.

Jennifer Xiong spent her summer helping Hmong people in California register to vote in the US presidential election. The Hmong are an ethnic group that come from the mountains of China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand but don’t have a country of their own, and Xiong was a volunteer organizer at Hmong Innovating Politics, or HIP, in Fresno. There are around 300,000 Hmong people in the US, and she spent hours phone-banking and working on ads to run on Hmong radio and TV channels. It was inspiring work. “This was an


Figures of Speech: 40 Ways to Improve your Writing

Figurative speech plays an important role in our ability to communicate with one another. It helps create compelling narratives, and evoke emotion in readers.

With this in mind, this periodic table graphic by Visual Communication Guy groups the 40 different figures of speech into two distinct categories—schemes and tropes. What’s the difference between the two, and how can they help improve your writing? Types of Schemes In linguistics, a scheme is language that plays with sentence structure to make a sentence smoother, or even more persuasive, using syntax, word order, or sounds. Here are four different ways that schemes fiddle with sentence structure. Balance This is especially important when trying to make a sentence


Is It OK When Passive Voice Is Used?

Here’s what you need to know about the passive versus active voice so you can avoid the sort of writerly mistakes I made in college but definitely never make anymore.

Even when you think you’ve got a handle on grammar, you might not realize how easy it is easy to unwittingly venture into lexical territory that would rile your freshman year English teacher. Certainly back in my college days, I had a few teacher’s assistants who would get on my case for using the passive voice. Bright red marker underlined heaps of my prose, with an all-caps warning noting that my argument would be made clearer if I’d only adhere to the active voice when writing papers. At the time,


Finding Your Nonfiction Writing Niche and Understanding Why This Is So Important

Why specialize? It's a question many nonfiction authors face. Author Rick Lauber explains how focusing in on one subject can help your writing create a bigger impact—and even widen your audience.

When nervously venturing into the world of freelance writing many years ago, I began by accepting any story assignment … I was pleased to write, see my name in print, and collect tear sheets of my published work. By casting my net wide, I became a generalist and thought that my being able and open to writing about anything would be beneficial and appealing. Thanks to my aging parents, I’ve since changed my mind. My conclusion came when my parents were diagnosed with respective health conditions (Mom had Parkinson’s disease


The Computers Are Getting Better at Writing

Whatever field you are in, if it uses language, it is about to be transformed.

Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” has a famous opening: “One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin.” The rest of the story follows, logically and ludicrously, from that original degrading miracle. Gregor struggles to get out of bed. His mother tells him that it’s time to go to work. His boss, the chief clerk, shows up and demands that he return to the business no matter what shape he’s in. He cannot. Finally, his father, in a fit of furious


The Six Keys to Positive Communication

Communicating better can help you achieve your goals and deepen your relationships.

When I was 15 years old, I enrolled in a program to study English in what seemed like the middle of nowhere, also known as Iowa. Having grown up in France and Switzerland, I spoke zero English. In Iowa, I couldn’t understand what people were telling me, and I couldn’t express myself. I couldn’t connect with people, I couldn’t create interactions, I couldn’t build friendships. I faced some of the most difficult months of my life because I was in some ways mute, and in some ways deaf. But that


3 Tips For Writing Like A Leader

It is no mystery that certain literary genres call for specific writing styles. If you are writing for a digital audience, keep it simple, short and snazzy.

Textbooks, written primarily for students, ought to cram as much information as possible, not try and trick the reader. Whether or not your paper is accepted into an academic journal has everything to do with how well the journal’s editors believe the essay matches the ethos of their journal. Your success as a communicator hinges on how well your writing matches with the purpose of your genre. It is unlikely that even a talented textbook author would have much success at writing the latest TMZ dish. This is not because


7 outstanding tips for writing content that boosts sales

To establish your position in the niche, you need a powerful magnet that pulls consumers towards your brand. That magnet is content.

Your writing creates the bridge that connects you to your target audience. Compelling sentences can make people feel understood. They can begin to trust you and feel more open to the idea of spending money on your brand. Turn your content into the best sales agent that never goes off duty. Here are some tips on how to transform your writing into a sales-boosting tool. 1. Address and Describe Consumers’ Pain Points Think about this: Why do people buy products? Because they see some form of a solution in them.


Tower Of Babble: Nonnative Speakers Navigate The World Of 'Good' And 'Bad' English

Decades of research show that when a native English speaker enters a conversation among nonnative speakers, understanding goes down.

Picture this: A group of nonnative English speakers is in a room. There are people from Germany, Singapore, South Korea, Nigeria and France. They're having a great time speaking to each other in English, and communication is smooth. And then an American walks into the room. The American speaks quickly, using esoteric jargon ("let's take a holistic approach") and sports idioms ("you hit it out of the park!"). And the conversation trickles to a halt. Decades of research show that when a native English speaker enters a conversation among nonnative


Why reflective writing is a powerful wellbeing tool

One writer explains how journaling changed her life

Every evening after I finish work, while my mind is still whirring with tasks and stresses, I sit down with my notebook and I write. I don’t think about what to write in advance; I just let the words tumble from the tip of my pen. I write about the errands I’ll need to run tomorrow. I write about a problem at work I’m still figuring out, plus some possible solutions, followed by a motivational affirmation to myself: "You will get there!" I write a gift idea for my partner’s


A Secret Feminist History of the Oxford English Dictionary

Pip Williams’ Alternate Story of the English Language

In 1901, the word bondmaid was found missing from the Oxford English Dictionary. By all accounts, bondmaid was the only word to be lost from the first edition. No one knows how, and that is enough for a story, but there are other reasons I wrote The Dictionary of Lost Words. Words, for me, have always been acquaintances rather than friends—I recognize them most of the time, but can’t always describe the detail of their features. I’m prone to mixing metaphors, and in my final year of school I had


The easy way to effective and accessible writing

If you want to write crisply and clearly, effectively and elegantly, not to mention accessibly and impressively, this simple tip will help you with how, says Simon Hall.

Writing styles have changed enormously in recent years. When I attended school, a long period way past, styles tended to be more formal, upright and aloof, as portrayed, I might contend, by the stiffness of this sentence. No longer. Now the world's become much more informal. Short, sharp and simple. Sentences abound which are far from fully formed. With writing like this. It's that which got me thinking about writing styles. Look how informal my writing is for the Cambond website, in the picture. Some of the changing nature of


Making Money With Writing For The Internet

The possibilities with writing for the web are practically endless. You can sell products or services, write an e-book, create content for a website, or just be a general writer.

Writing for the web has become more popular over the years. Thanks to social networking and online content sites, many people around the world now have access to the written word. The possibilities with writing for the web are practically endless. You can sell products or services, write an e-book, create content for a website, or just be a general writer. If you're interested in online copywriting, the following are some of the basic skills that you'll need to master: – Learning how to write a headline is crucial. Without


The way around essay writing

The main aim was not to learn English, but pass the examination.

A few days ago, a seven-year-old student in the US wrote an adorable letter to a clothing company, expressing her disapproval of girls' jeans with fake pockets. 'I want front pockets because I want to put my hands in them. I would also like to put things in them.' The company immediately accepted her suggestion and even sent her a few pairs of jeans and shorts with pockets. She wrote the letter as part of her school assignment for writing persuasive letters. The assignment was very thoughtful and the exercise


Here are five ways that having a well-marketed business book can support the needs of your company and brand.

Getting organic traffic is an important part of any Digital Marketing strategy. And the best way to increase your traffic is by getting better rankings on Google.

A solid SEO strategy will help you with that, but there’s more than applying on-page and off-page SEO rules to your blog. SEO writing is a must, and it will guarantee that you’re not neglecting the user experience in your pages. After all, the page experience is one of the most important ranking factors. If you want to better understand SEO writing, keep reading! SEO writing is a way to write content so that it is easy for search engines to see what the content pertains to and whether it


Five Ways Writing Your Book Supports Your Business Success

Whether you are just beginning to outline the chapters of your first book or you have a bookshelf filled with your powerful words, as an entrepreneurial author, you will want to leverage your writing to make an impact on your company and brand.

Here are five ways that having a well-marketed business book can support the needs of your company and brand. 1. Garner credibility as the 'expert.' Having a well-written book that you authored positions you as the go-to person in your field. You can demonstrate your knowledge while adding to the reader’s deeper understanding of the topic. Books can give you the ability to teach and lead through your written word. Personally, I find great joy in being able to tell the world about my expertise, which I was able to


5 Things to Do Before Writing Your Nonfiction Book

These five steps will pull your idea together.

So, you've been hit with the inspiration to start writing a book, and you're ready to hit the keyboard running. This is normally where I would say "go do it" and cheer you on as you begin writing your first sentences. However, if you can take a little bit of time to pull together some extra research before you jump into the writing, you'll be setting your book up for success before you even have the first words written. Whenever I sit down with a new client to start planning


7 effective techniques to build proficiency in English language

Today, students face challenges while learning the English language at a multitude level. Check effective techniques to build proficiency in English language.

The English language contributes to the holistic development of education, employment, technological advancement and bringing communities together, especially in a country represented by linguistic-culture, where it can be a common ground for communication. To communicate eloquently, it is crucial to understand basic grammar rules including tenses, punctuations, articles, parts of speech, which are often overlooked at the foundational level, while learning the language. Today, students face challenges while learning the English language at a multitude level. For instance, for lower grades, the mistakes in language learning often involve the use


A writer’s guide to overcoming procrastination

The next great novel may be at your fingertips—if only you could manage to stop watching YouTube videos.

Storytelling is in our nature and even helps with our mental health. So it’s not surprising that every day people are challenging themselves to finish writing books, essays, or movie scripts. They do it even knowing it can be a daunting task. Because writing is not easy. All the new products from Apple’s’Spring Loaded’ announcement event And as someone who does it for a living, I can confirm that, sadly, there are no hacks or shortcuts. To get some writing done, you actually need to sit down and do the


Content Writing Tips, Tools and Resources

What is content writing? If you want to get answers to this question and want to learn about the best tools and tips that can help you create quality content, this is the perfect post for you. In this short guide, we would explain the basics of content writing. We would also shower some details about the top-notch resources that can be utilized today to create all sorts of content.

Content writing is the process that includes research, writing, proofreading and editing textual content. This process can result in web content, assignments, digital marketing and other relevant purposes. It also includes the writing of blogs and infotainment articles. When you hear ‘content writing’, you would often think about writing articles. Writing articles is indeed a part of content writing, but this process doesn’t only revolve around blogs. Rather it is considered to be important for different types of formats, including: Video scripts Newsletters Speeches Podcasts White papers Web pages YouTube/Facebook


4 keys and a practical exercise to improve your communication as a leader

As a leader, you will know that one of the main challenges that the position presents is being able to communicate efficiently with our collaborators.

The lines that follow can be safely considered a tribute to the great Paul Watzlawick , a pioneer in the theory of human communication. Thank God, the work is much easier to understand than his own surname and today it continues to guide us in understanding this complex and multidimensional phenomenon. I want to introduce you to four of his axioms and then check all their value in relation to leadership. 1. It is impossible not to communicate I propose a simple exercise. Try to stand next to a person


How To Streamline Communication At Your Virtual Office

Virtual offices are now commonplace, especially if most of your customer interactions and transactions take place online. But with this change, we’ve realized that there are plenty of unique challenges that come with working with people that you don’t see face to face every day.

If you’re like most small-business owners, you want to streamline the way people communicate at your virtual office. Stronger communication leads to improved morale and fewer misunderstandings, which contributes to better performance in day-to-day operations. Plus, when your team works hard and works well together, your customers get top-notch service. The bottom line is this — it’s nearly impossible for you to do your best if there are frequent communication breakdowns between individuals and departments. Our goal today is to help you organize the way you interact with everyone on


Eight Strategies To Help You Communicate Effectively And Be A More Influential Leader

Communication is easy to request and tough to deliver. Today we have the most pathways for communicating — face to face, email, phone, text, voicemail, videoconferencing, app platforms (such as Slack) and social media. Communication includes not only the words we use and our body language; it’s also the intention behind those words, the history I have with you and the mindset we each have behind those words at the time we say them.

For an environment of trust, respect and safety to exist, leaders must master the skill of communicating honestly, empathetically and decisively. There are eight strategies you can use to create messages that are impactful, transparent and motivating. 1. Get at the heart of the issue. It’s vital, especially during times of change, that people actually experience your passion, conviction and care. Your caring can touch something in others that inspires them to care as well. Show who you are in your communication through your sincerity and spirit so your message


Leveraging The Power Of Communication In Tech Companies

The remote world has set new trends. In addition to the next generation of business models and hybrid approaches, I also urge companies to reinvent their communications.

I see a dire need for a personalized human-to-human approach in times when physical distance has grown to levels we haven't seen before. Communications help to convey the added value of a business, and therefore, it's important to use them properly. When they apply new communication strategies, companies can see how seamless interaction impacts overall performance. A strong link between internal and external communications is evident to me. There are two complementing elements of brand consistency. According to a 2019 survey from Lucidpress, brand consistency can increase a company's revenue


Why Written Communication Is Important When Working Remotely and Other Productivity Hacks From the Best Remote-First Startups

What has your company been doing to adjust to this new normal?

2020 was a year of disruption in so many ways (no kidding!), one of which was shock therapy in remote working, especially for those who weren’t used to home-office life. Many leaders who were skeptical at first, quickly realized the potential of this new era and reacted by improving own and teams' quality of life, launching new products and services, and generated major cost savings. If you are leader who is looking to implement best practices in your company while working remotely and on a global scale, here are three


Can AI Computers Write Essays Better Than You?

It's possible for artificial intelligence engines to generate content without plagiarism, and it can be hard for you to tell the difference. The content generated by AI is entirely new and will pass a plagiarism detection system.

The world is changing faster than we can keep up with it. It's all happening in the digital age, and now artificial intelligence has become a part of our lives that's difficult to escape. AI is being used for everything from self-driving cars to making food recommendations - but what does this mean for education? There are many benefits that come with implementing AI into classrooms such as increased efficiency and accuracy in grading essays or research papers; however, students could use AI to write essays without their teacher knowing!


Cross-Cultural Communicating

When English is the client’s second language, communication can run into snags, and misunderstandings can innocently develop.

Many of us speak more than one language. As our developing world has expanded and transportation has shortened the distances among differing cultures, our communities have become more diverse – and more interesting. While there are many advantages in being able to speak more than one language, and understand translation of its words, we think in our original and first language. Literal translation, unfortunately, does not deliver all the goods! There are simple expressions typical of each language, there is “slang,” there are variations in the usage of the same


Why you have to dive head-first into English to master it

Scientists whose first language is not English need to speak and write it constantly to gain fluency and become comfortable, says Lia Paola Zambetti.

I had made it — or so I thought. After fulfilling all the requirements, including passing the English test, I moved to London to start my master’s degree. Sure, I had never lived in a predominantly English-speaking country before, but if I had passed the test, I clearly had enough English to live and to thrive on my course, right? Wrong. A couple of days were enough to disabuse me of the notion that passing an English test equated to being able to survive in an English-speaking country. I struggled


English is the language of science — but precision is tough as a non-native speaker

Scientists with a different first language could benefit from mentoring and support to help them communicate their research clearly for global audiences, argues Roey Elnathan.

English is the international language of science, for better or for worse, but most of the world’s scientists speak it as a second language. We shoulder an extra career challenge: not only must we gain command of our science, but we must also be able to write to professional standards in a foreign language to communicate that science. Junior researchers who are not native anglophones will greatly boost their career prospects by finding a good language mentor, and hiring them for important jobs. It’s worth every penny, and it’s a


Jo Ann Beard: What We’re Writing When We Write Personal Essays

In Conversation with Maris Kreizman on The Maris Review Podcast

On writing personal essays: If you write personal essays, you’re really not intending to write about yourself. You may use your own personal experience to launch the piece, but truly what you’re trying to do is make some sort of meaning or sense out of something that’s more universal than it is personal. And so when you sit down to write a personal essay, you’re casting around in your mind for the things that are pivotal moments in your life, or events that had a life-changing aspect to them. On


What the Hell Is Method Writing?

There's always some new way to write better...

What are some tips and tricks you use to write features and pilots? There are lots of ideas floating around the internet that get people excited to sit in the chair and crank out their magnum opus. But not every idea is built the same. Not everyone is worthy. I cruise around looking for these ideas because I am always trying to shake up my routine and challenge myself. Recently, I ran into this idea of "Method Writing," and I wanted to share it with you today. Method Writing Definition


Women Are Writing Themselves Back Into History on Wikipedia

Biographies of men on Wikipedia outnumber those of women by more than four to one. A group of volunteers is now trying to fix this gender gap in the digital historical record

This story originally appeared on If you were on the internet in April 2019, you may recognize computer scientist Katie Bouman, who went viral after her team captured the world’s first image of a black hole and her thrilled reaction was captured on camera. That breakthrough prompted a Wikipedia volunteer to draft her biography for the digital encyclopedia. But the same day, it was nearly pulled by someone else who thought she wasn't notable enough to be included. This incident points to a bigger problem: women feature in less


Reading is a lifelong adventure; so is writing

Books can captivate you. I am sure that my love of reading was extremely helpful as I went through college, law school and graduate school

March. The third month. The month named after Mars, the Roman god of war. What does the month mean to you? For some it is the beginning of spring. For the Irish among us, it is the time of the St. Patrick’s Day celebration. For me, it is the March Hare. The March Hare is the imaginary creature in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” who is the host of an outdoor tea party that Alice attends. I am sure that readers are familiar with this creature. I was not a reader


Are writing skills being left behind during the pandemic?

Writing assessment has come a long way, and students need timely and insightful feedback to hone the communication skills that will carry them through college and career

According to the most recent data from the National Assessment of Educational Performance (NAEP), two-thirds of K-12 students are not writing at levels expected for their grade level. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, writing had not received the same attention as math or reading. Now, as teachers struggle to manage a combination of remote and face-to-face instruction, it is difficult to imagine how students are being encouraged to write regularly. These unique times call for new approaches to writing instruction and assessment. Why is writing so important? Writing is a


How the Simple Act of Daily Writing Can Dramatically Improve Your Mental Health

Research has linked expressive writing to a number of positive health benefits, including fewer stress-related visits to the doctor, improved immune functioning and reduced depressive symptoms.

This story originally appeared on Can a daily writing practice change your brain? The science says yes. Allison Fallon is an author and the founder of Find Your Voice. Fallon's book "The Power of Writing it Down" focuses on the healing that can come from expressive writing. “The biggest thing that writing does for us is it helps us access another part of our brain that we're less likely to use on a daily basis,” Fallon said. The part of our brain used in the writing process is the


Five Tips For Native English Speakers When Working With Global Teams

The future of work is not only remote; it is also global.

The future of work is not just about more remote work and virtual teams. The shift to remote work also means a greater ability and opportunity to work with people worldwide. The future of work is not only remote; it is also global. We will increasingly be collaborating with—and competing with—colleagues and partners from other countries. Getting better at working across cultures is a skill that we need to develop, and understanding how to interact with non-native English speakers is central to that. Yet, it is a skill that many


5 rules for writing a killer resume that you’ve probably never heard before, from a top wealth manager

Throughout my decades-long career as a wealth manager, I’ve read thousands of resumes, many of them from young job seekers. Almost all of them are plain and boring: Education, work experience and skills — that’s it. The vast majority of them get tossed in the wastebasket. So what should you put on your resume that will actually help you get the job, or at least land an interview?

They’re the things that may seem trivial, but that jump out at the person scanning the resume. And despite what you may have heard from career experts, they’re the little details that possibly have nothing to do with where you worked or went to school. Here are my top five resume tips that you’ve probably never heard before: 1. Include at least one unusual thing about you Instead of padding your resume with lots of menial tasks, like “client interface” or “presenting sales materials,” save room for at least one


Gerry Goldstein: A time for talking up our language

April just happens to be National English Month, with the 23rd annually set by the United Nations as “U.N. English Day.

You’ve got to sympathize with people who set out to learn English. The well documented pitfalls of our mother tongue can be summed up by this waggish, head-spinning advice to those who try: “English is difficult. It can be understood though through tough thorough thought.” And how to explain to an English-language newcomer that a house burning down is also burning up? Or that “fat chance” and “slim chance” mean the same thing? It might also stump a novice to learn there’s grammatical logic in the sentence, “All the faith


Grammar Moses: When that extra comma really matters

Newspapers generally eschew the Oxford comma as vestigial, but we're not above using it when it adds clarity to a sentence. What kind of clarity? When it creates an undeniable separation between the final two items.

I view Oxford comma afficionados as belt-and-suspenders people. They'll tell you how adding a comma after the penultimate item in a list is how it's done in literature and how it provides clarity (using it even when it doesn't add clarity). It's there, you know, just in case. Perhaps I just like to live dangerously. After all, I haven't worn a belt or suspenders in more than a year now, because the elastic waistband on my business casual sweatpants fulfills the mission. Newspapers generally eschew the Oxford comma as vestigial,


In good writing, author and reader are witnesses

The pleasure of reading includes experiencing what the narrator observes

The core role of the writer is witness. A position that places the writer as seer, processer and responder. A cumulative action that is far from passive. In fact, the documenting, the response, is the very action many moments need to come alive. Like a tree that goes down in the woods to only make an unappreciated sound, moments that are not witnessed are only partially alive. To write, to create, is to be the vessel that celebrates and reveres the existence of that or those being observed. Whether it’s


Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Neglecting Research

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is neglecting research.

Everyone makes mistakes—even writers—but that's okay because each mistake is a great learning opportunity. The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them early in the process. Note: The mistakes in this series aren't focused on grammar rules, though we offer help in that area as well. Rather, we're looking at bigger picture mistakes and mishaps, including the error of using too much exposition, neglecting research, or researching too much. This week's writing mistake writers make is trying to


The 11 extremely common grammar mistakes that make people cringe—and make you look less smart: Word experts

No matter what type of work you do, good grammar is relevant for all organizations, and it can make a big difference in your career path.

As Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, an online repair manual company, wrote in a Harvard Business Review article, “if job hopefuls can’t distinguish between ‘to’ and ‘too,’ their applications go into the bin.” A bit harsh? Sure, but he’s not alone. Again and again, we’ve heard managers complain about employees not knowing how to write a correct English sentence. Here’s a look at 11 of the most common grammar mistakes — the ones we, as word experts and podcast hosts of NPR’s “You’re Saying it Wrong,” have heard about the


How To Get More Done With Fewer But Smarter Communication Tools

With remote work here to stay, it's time for companies to reevaluate hasty implementations and streamline communication tools.

The rapid shift to remote work last year forced businesses to make equally rapid decisions about the tools and platforms that they use to help employees stay productive and collaborative—some of which were not enterprise-ready and many of which overlap. With remote work here to stay, it's time for companies to reevaluate hasty implementations and streamline communication tools.McKinsey's recent report on "The Next Normal" reiterated this point: "The Covid-19 crisis has created an imperative for companies to reconfigure their operations — and an opportunity to transform them. To the extent


Gender bias in the workplace starts with communication during recruitment

Eighty percent of jobs are communicated to people informally and these communications are often riddled with gender bias, providing a female (versus male) candidate with a less positive description of a leadership position, especially when the decision maker is more conservative. These are the findings of a new study by Ekaterina Netchaeva, of Bocconi University's Department of Management and Technology, looking at the role gender bias may play in the leadership gap between men and women.

The persistence of a gender wage gap indicates that while discrimination is ending, bias lingers. The World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2020 found "there is still a 31.4% average gender gap that remains to be closed globally." With this in mind, Prof. Netchaeva teamed up with two colleagues on a research project to look at the role gender bias may play in the leadership gap. In the private sector, women occupy only 29% of senior-level executive positions despite comprising 48% of the entire private sector workforce. "We wanted


10 Measures That Improve Internal Communication

With so many workforces remote, it's time to fortify and improve channels of communication.

With the majority of the population working from home and socially distancing to stop the spread of Covid-19, boardroom meetings have turned into Zoom calls, office friendships have moved over to Slack and WhatsApp, and there is an enormous physical separation between colleagues. This past year has upended the corporate office structure as we know it and has brought on many unique challenges that, if not overcome, can negatively contribute to the long-term success of a company. Entrepreneurs leading fast-growing companies with expanding workforces need to ensure that they adjust


The struggle of studying English in the 21st century

The current state of “cancel culture” has sparked the debate over whether or not we should hold people and media from the past to the same standards we have today.

It’s become normal to open Twitter nowadays and see a person, a movie, a TV show or a book from the past exposed for being problematic. The current state of “cancel culture” has sparked the debate over whether or not we should hold people and media from the past to the same standards we have today. Many people say, “things were different back then” as a way to excuse some of the behaviors that are deemed inexcusable today. The response to that statement is usually, “why are we celebrating people


How To Be A More Inclusive Leader: Improve Your Communication

Want to be a more inclusive leader? You need to communicate in an inclusive way.

Inclusive communication indicates that you value and respect every person’s background, viewpoints, beliefs and contributions, whether they’re employees, customers or other stakeholders — which is a basic definition of an inclusive leader. And, in doing so, you’ll set yourself apart. That’s because even with all the emphasis on how leaders need to be more inclusive, very few leaders talk the walk. Yes, you read that right. Even though many leaders say they want to be more inclusive, their actions — including the language they use — tell a different story.


How To Learn Academic Writing Skills: A Comprehensive Guide

Academic writing is a formal, organized, and concise form of writing providing factual knowledge backed up by evidence and logic and directed towards a scholarly audience. If you are a student, researcher, or professor in any discipline, you will use academic writing to convey your ideas and thoughts formally.

Academic writing is a formal, organized, and concise form of writing providing factual knowledge backed up by evidence and logic and directed towards a scholarly audience. If you are a student, researcher, or professor in any discipline, you will use academic writing to convey your ideas and thoughts formally. Some typical academic writing examples include research papers, essays, thesis, dissertations, reports, literary analysis, and abstracts. In this article, you will find all the necessary detail to learn about academic writing; its types, features, skills required, and ways to improve your


Grammar Guy: A discourse on cursing

The verb “swear” comes from the Old English word “swerian,” which means “to take an oath.”

I've been contemplating a new parenting tactic: pre-emptively teaching my son bad words. Miles is 7, and he will someday know all the same expletives as I do. Because of this, I surmise that he ought to learn the words in context from his dad. That’s why I’ve started a spreadsheet in which I rank bad words from the tamest to the most profane. I’ll teach him two words per year with proper context and word origins, and keep instructing him until I exhaust the list. While this may be


Writing jobs, you can do from home that are fun yet simple

Becoming a professional paper writer who is also passionate about what they do is quite fulfilling.

Most people, when they have to select a profession as a writer, is to get their bread and butter from it. They have absolutely no passion for it. Paper writing is one of the professions in which you never succeed with passion. I’ve seen plenty of people who are not successful in this field due to a nonserious attitude. Here we will discuss some key points for being a successful writer and the different sorts of paper writing. In order to strengthen your skill as a paper writer, I would


Why The MENA Needs A Workforce That Is Proficient In English

The foremost driver of employability and the most sought-after skillset for employers in the MENA region is English proficiency. Yet, the MENA region unfortunately boasts the world's lowest English proficiency rate.

Before founding to tackle the English proficiency gap in the MENA region, I led learning and development for a global company where I was responsible for upskilling over 15,000 people. One of the biggest lessons I learned during that time was that we need to acknowledge, accept, and learn how to live with one of the most unfortunate biases in a work setting, which is what I call the communication skills bias. The communications skills bias is one’s assumption of a communicator’s IQ, capability, and potential based solely on


5 tips for successful digital communication

Are digital communication challenges leaving you and your network lost in translation? Here are five tips for getting it right.

When we talk to each other face-to-face, we rely on a variety of visual and behavioural cues to communicate our feelings and interpret others’ reactions. With so many of our in-person interactions replaced by virtual meetings and digital communication channels, we have to rely on reading body language, postures, emotions and gestures through the screen. In the early stages of the pandemic, it seems most workers coped well. It is when we rely purely on text, via email, text messaging or Slack conversations that we lose the personal touch. Tone


Freelance writing: The gateway into the world of professional writing

Every aspiring writer has their dream of publishing their breakout hit. Whether you are a journalist, magazine writer or a blogger, you want to get your name out and have an audience for your work. It can be tough to figure out where to start your writing career, but there is a way you can write about the things you want to and make money: freelance writing.

As the name suggests, freelance writing allows you to operate as a freelancer for different organizations, meaning that you will be your own boss and determine when and with who you work with. However, this isn’t as easy as it sounds, as it will require a great deal of patience and time management skills. Good for you, though, we are going to break down the things you need to know to start off your freelance writing venture. The first step to freelancing is getting your name out there. That means


FRANK TALK: Good people who edit good

Today, there’s an offer for an intellectual product that would make a mockery of the centuries-long struggles of editors to use an ellipsis properly (for God’s sake, you treat it like a three-letter word with spaces fore and aft).

The cold metallic-like menace of artificial intelligence taking away the jobs of happy-go-lucky Homo sapiens never worried me much. I toiled away in blissful ignorance, never concerned that AI could possibly imitate what I do – let alone replace me. Well, the self-aware, artificially intelligent chickens have come home to roost. Sure, AI could one day perform surgery, create breakthroughs in astrophysics, and even solve many of the universe’s mysteries due to its ability to learn. All well and good. But what about something important, something vital to humankind? What


Stephen King is asking for grammar help on Twitter

Top-selling, highly prolific and award-winning writer Stephen King reached out for writing help on Twitter. In doing so, he addressed a mystery.

King, whose works include “The Shining,” “Misery” and “It,” suggested Sunday night that the country needs more films featuring tap dancing. “What America needs are more tap-dancing movies,” King tweeted. “You can’t be sad when there’s tap-dancing going on.” About an hour later, the 73-year-old horror author followed up his statement with a question. How many times have we fallen for this? Unable to let it go, King then called for assistance. “Help me, Grammar Police,” he wrote. Sure enough, his Twitter followers responded to his 911. One King fan,


Incisive, informative and impressive writing

If you've got a something important to write, this is the way to get it noticed, appreciated and ensure it has impact, says Simon Hall.

One of the most common, and saddest failings I see in professional life is: - The Death of a Good Idea This blog runs through why it often happens, and how to prevent it. Don't get me wrong. Having a great idea is a good start, but alone it isn't enough. What's the point if you can't communicate it well, meaning no one hears it, understands it, and puts it into action? This is how to write to ensure your idea makes a mark, gets taken seriously, and means it's


To Have Better Remote Meetings, Create A Team Communication Charter

Who enjoys meetings? Even before Covid-19 upended how we work, meetings were one of the most dreaded aspects of the working day. ince Covid-19, we have been having more meetings, but they have been shorter, with the net effect that we spend 11.5% less time in meetings every day. That is welcome news!

But we still need meetings. To ensure that meetings occur in an atmosphere of productivity, clarity, and enjoyment, teams need to discuss how they will run their meetings. This discussion can be done by verbal agreement or summarized in an email, but the best approach is to create a Communication Charter. A Communication Charter is a short document that sets out how the team will communicate to get its work done. It defines what tools the team will use in meetings and other communications, how those tools will be used


Teen Writers Deserve Better Than the Teen Writing Scene

Trying to be a young phenom was terrible for my self-esteem—and even worse for my writing

A few weeks ago, I spoke on a virtual panel at Phillips Academy Andover called “Life After Teen Writing.” This title might seem confusing—how can there be an after to a life that has barely begun? But for many ambitious young writers, it can be hard to imagine what comes next after you age out of the circuit of high school writing contests. This wasn’t the first time I’ve spoken on a panel like this—these discussions of what comes next after teen writing are more common than you’d think, given


When writing about race, abuse follows. Especially for journalists of color and women.

It leaves reporters in a no-win situation: Either write about important subjects and face hate, or leave crucial subjects unexplored.

The harassment and hate directed at national news outlets in the “fake news” hasn’t trickled down to smaller markets. It’s always been there. Virginian-Pilot reporters know when the abusive emails and virulent voicemails are coming. If a story touches on race or other disparities, the abuse is sure to come. And they know who will be targeted the most: Black sources and subjects, reporters of color, women. Racial slurs, made-up insults. Wishing harm on reporters. The hate stops journalists in their tracks. They wonder about the person who sent it


Twelve creative tips from Women’s Prize winning authors

From Eimear McBride to Kamila Shamsie, we asked previous Women’s Prize for Fiction winners what key tip they would give to others writing creatively.

Read on for valuable insights for anyone trying to be creative in 2021, but especially if you are entering Discoveries, our new writing development programme. Discoveries is now open for submissions until January 17th 2021, seeking the most talented and original new female writing voices in the UK and Ireland. To enter, submit the opening (up to) 10,000 words of your novel and a one-page synopsis of up to 1,000 words. Find out more about the prize and how to enter here. A M Homes (2013 winner with May We


Five Tips For Writing Effective Email Subject Lines

It makes sense for email marketers to put more than a little thought into crafting an effective subject line.

Many email marketers consider the subject line to be the single most important factor in an email campaign’s success. I’m not sure I would go quite that far, but it is a key factor in whether your email is even opened — and generally, if a recipient doesn’t open your email, they can’t exactly engage with the content. Much like trying to catch someone’s attention in a conversation, the subject line may be your one chance to spark interest and begin a conversation. Your email content still needs to deliver


Why women should be writing emails like their male colleagues (that means getting rid of exclamation marks and kisses)

It might be time to go easy on the exclamation marks.

Writing emails is an artform, especially in a year where communication with our colleagues has been completely virtual thanks to WFH. For women especially, we can often feel like the way we write emails needs to reflect our manner. This is why we tend to sign off our emails with a ‘x’ or pepper it with exclamation marks to let the receiver know that we are in! a! friendly! mood! Apologising profusely is our forte, saying ‘sorry’ before we ask the receiver if they can do something that is part


Writing is great for business. Here’s how you can get good at it

Many entrepreneurs swear by the power of writing. It clarifies your thinking. Here’s how you can get good at it.

Writing forces a certain clarity in thinking. That’s why it’s such an important part of how some of the world’s largest companies work. Marketing guru Seth Godin writes a blog every day! It is not only a great tool in the entrepreneur’s arsenal but also helpful for everyone including employees who work in marketing, engineering, or sales. It’s super useful for people who are looking to create a personal brand as well. If you got to this paragraph, it means I haven’t lost you already and that’s good enough for


Why Writing is So Important

In 2021, the easiest way to communicate is through text. Since cell phones and computers arrived, it seems the urge to hand write anything has almost become obsolete. When in reality, writing is one of the most important things we can do.

Often times we hear people dismiss writing because they feel it takes too long or they feel it’s useless. But it’s been proven that writing helps in more ways than we can think of. Writing has been a very important part of history and always will. I personally enjoy writing and encouraging others to write because there’s many benefits. Self Awareness Writing your feelings, your plans, and your struggles can really help. When you write things down, you can see things from a more clear perspective. You’re able to assess


The 5 Best Communication Tools for Digital Marketing Agencies

Between distributed teams and the shifting channel preferences of clients, digital marketing agencies have faced serious communication challenges in 2020. To overcome them, the right tools are indispensable.

This post explores some of the best communication tools currently available for digital marketing agencies - from all-in-one solutions like NextOS and staples like Zoom to dark horses such as Nifty. Whatever your agency’s communication pain points are, these solutions can address them. Identify Communication Needs and Pain Points Before you get down to the gritty business of looking at tools and comparing them, you need to clearly define your communication needs. What are your agency’s pain points? Juggling different channels for marketing and customer service? Or ensuring effective communication


Writers need to learn and practice the principles of clarity

A language virus, rampant in our culture, may not be deadly, but it fogs the mind and conveys a meaning contrary to what a writer intends.

Flash back to almost two weeks ago, when the top story in the national news was the car crash that almost cost Tiger Woods his life. His car went out of control, left the road and rolled over, leaving him trapped inside the wreckage. Now consider this sentence, delivered by a veteran reporter for the flagship newscast of a major TV network: "Showing no signs of impairment, firefighters used an ax to extract him." That sentence says firefighters showed no signs of impairment. In fact, the sheriff said it was


How Improving Communication Can Drive Financial Agility

Achieving and maintaining greater adaptability is critical to companies’ growth. And experiences with Covid-19 have prompted businesses to become more agile.

In late 2020, Forbes Insights conducted a survey on behalf of Capital One in which 1,001 U.S. mid-market executives were asked about the importance of agility within their organizations. How effectively did their companies adjust their business models when necessary? How well did their employees handle the transition from in-office to remote? The vast majority (82%) agreed that achieving and maintaining greater agility is critical for their firms’ growth, and that their experiences with Covid-19 are prompting their enterprises to cultivate agility (83%). While fewer than half of the respondents


Making ‘Less Is More’ Your Communication Mantra

People have a highly limited capacity to handle data—so why would you ask them to process more and more?

Over our 30 years of experience in industry, we consistently hear a clear, collective cry from leaders: Communication within their company is poor, and it’s hurting the business. The engineering team persistently fails to provide timely notifications of design changes to the shop floor. Then, to add insult to injury, the shop floor fails to inform the sales team of late deliverables. And then, where the rubber meets the road, customers are left high and dry, with some eventually taking their business elsewhere. Many companies attempt to address such communication


Great Ways To Enhance Your English-Speaking Skills If You’re Not A Native Speaker

There’s always room for improvement.

There is no doubt that the English language is pretty complicated. Though in terms of grammar, it is relatively more straightforward than many languages around the world, but when it comes to pronunciation, many find themselves stumbling. After years of carefully studying this language, you would have expected your conversations to become effortless, but it’s possible that many still do not understand what you are trying to say. Some of this might be due to the presence of a heavy accent, the difference in the speed of your speech or


12 Best-Kept Email Writing Secrets Of Communication Pros

Among the many specialized skills communications professionals rely upon every day, one is the ability to put their own unique touch on every piece they create while staying true to the brand.

Of course, blog posts and press releases don’t require the same level of personalization that emails do to capture the reader’s attention. So how do professional communicators craft more intimate and personable email messaging while adhering to a brand’s voice, tone and style? Below, members of Forbes Communications Council discuss 12 of the best-kept email writing secrets that they’ve leveraged in their own work. 1. Let Your Personality Show Make it personal and let your personality show. Especially if it’s a pitch, do research on the outlet and the contact



These five tactics will help simplify and clarify your technical copy.

What is jargon, anyway? In a literal sense, jargon is simply a word or phrase that requires specialized knowledge for the reader to understand. For our purposes — which include helping people at technical companies write clearly about their offerings — that definition isn’t practical. Most of us only think of the word “jargon” in a negative sense. It’s something we’re supposed to avoid in our writing at all costs. But that’s not quite accurate. After all, good writing and technical writing are not antonyms. If the audience on your


The Importance of Improving Communication Skills in 2021

Communication is a skill; effective communication is an art. Those who can master it know that there is no hurdle they can’t overcome in life. This was made all the more apparent to us after we fell face-first into the 2020 dilemma – COVID-19.

Accept your virtual self When your physical being betrays you, learn to rely on your virtual self. Yes, learning business communication skills are crucial in 2021. We can’t forget the past try to relive a pre-pandemic life. All the communication inefficiency you came across last year is a lesson for the future – it’s something we need to work on. This one’s all about the importance of improving the way we communicate. Getting to know useful software, getting educated online, and utilizing technology for your own good – that’s what


How To Keep Teams Communicating: 11 Proven Strategies

In addition to trust, clear communication is foundational to any professional team’s success. If its members have problems communicating with each other, it will not only reduce the team’s overall effectiveness, but could also damage morale, individual performance and even the bottom line.

As their manager, you can help pinpoint issues with a team’s communication, but it is up to the team members themselves to fix those problems. To ensure that the process of identifying and solving a team’s communication problems won’t devolve into a blame game or result in further miscommunication, focus on strengthening practical communication skills. Below, 11 professionals from Forbes Agency Council look at the most effective ways to locate and fix the issues hindering communication between team members before they cause a ripple effect. 1. Get To The Root


Eight ways writing improves academic performances of students

Writing stimulates the brain and boosts the academic performances of students. Also, writing boosts the IQ of students.

Writing is an activity that cannot be avoided by students in school. Whether it is a term paper or an analytical essay or even the highly regarded thesis or dissertations, every student will always be required to write something at one point or the other. While the internet is populated with writing agencies like that offer quick solutions to your writing needs as a student, writing on your own will boost your abilities and capabilities in several ways. Writing stimulates the brain and boosts the academic performances of students.


How to Write a Gratitude Letter

Concerned about a friend or a loved one who may be feeling the winter doldrums? Try writing them a gratitude letter.

If you are looking to make someone — even yourself — feel better during what has been a hard winter of the pandemic, consider writing a gratitude letter. You can think of it as a slightly longer and more meaningful thank you note, but instead of offering thanks for a physical gift, you are offering thanks for something that was done or said. There are two excellent reasons for writing a gratitude letter: It will make you feel really good, and it will make the recipient feel great. Among the


IT skills: Why communication is key in 2021

In times of great change, strong communication skills are essential. Here's why – and how to develop them

Today’s evolving IT landscape and the disruption we all experienced over the past year have made communication skills more important than ever. For new IT hires, the ability to communicate and build partnerships with all departments is critical. Mass automation leads to mass change, and this can be challenging at scale. We are an Robotic Process Automation (RPA) company, and intelligent automation is at the heart of our IT strategy. For this reason, we hire people who are exceptional at communicating and partnering with their peers as well as others


3 Top Skills SEO Content Writers Need to Succeed

It takes more than just great writing chops to create search-optimized content. Here are the top SEO content writing skills it takes to succeed.

I’ve been working with other SEO industry professionals of all stripes, from technical SEO specialists to web developers, for decades. I feel that every individual in an SEO setting needs to bring some innate skill to a role, but there is also expertise that is often learned best on the job itself. SEO content writers know this as well as anyone. If you want to enter digital marketing as a content marketer, you might be surprised that strong writing skills are necessary but not sufficient. There are plenty of core



Professor Délice Williams makes UD’s writing requirement fun and engaging — even for the non-English major

Editor’s note: First-year students, prospective students (and some of their parents) wonder and worry how they will handle the academic transition from high school to college. In a series of stories, UDaily speaks with University of Delaware professors who teach courses commonly taken by students during their first year on campus. In this story, Délice Williams, associate director of composition and assistant professor of English, explains how she teaches writing. The class, called "English 110 - Seminar in Composition," is the only course required for every UD undergraduate. A universal


Now Is Time To Help Students Learning English As A Second Language, Experts Say

Luther Burbank High School senior Emili Carrillo is finding ways to learn English — but lately, school isn’t making that easy.

The 17-year-old moved from Mexico nearly four years ago with her dad, and works part-time as a cashier at a grocery store. “Working has helped me a lot, because I have to practice my English,” Carillo said about chatting with customers on the job. But learning English at her South Sacramento school — an entirely computer-based activity since last March — is another matter. “It’s been hard for me,” she said about attending classes online, which eliminates opportunities to practice English with peers. “When we were at school … we


Changes in writing style provide clues to group identity

Small changes to people's writing style can reveal which social group they 'belong to' at a given moment, new research shows.

Groups are central to human identity, and most people are part of multiple groups based on shared interests or characteristics -- ranging from local clubs to national identity. When one of these group memberships becomes relevant in a particular situation, behaviour tends to follow the norms of this group so that people behave "appropriately." The new study -- by the University of Exeter, Imperial College London, University College London and Lancaster University -- demonstrates that group normative behaviour is reflected in a person's writing style. It also shows that assessing


4 Ways Writing a Book Will Transform You

Why writing a book is a powerful marketing and differentiation conduit for entrepreneurs.

In the fall of 2005, an unexpected conversation with Lee Huebner and his sagacious advice laid the foundation for my skill diversification, and successful stint as an online news media and publishing entrepreneur. An alumnus of Harvard University and Northwestern University, Lee had served as the publisher and CEO of the Paris-based International Herald Tribune, considered the first global newspaper. He had also chaired the American Chamber of Commerce in France. Lee’s advice on the benefits of becoming an author and its cogency in strengthening the entrepreneurial brand deeply influenced


It’s Time to Embrace the Singular ‘They’

Grammar snobs may shudder in disgust at this idea, but it’s time to normalize the use of they/them as singular pronouns. It’s 2021; no more of this “he or she, his or her” stuff.

It’s perfectly reasonable to use gender-neutral pronouns in casual conversation—both written and verbal—and as it turns out, it even makes perfect grammatical sense. Though the use of these words as plural pronouns is a hardwired trait, you won’t be defying traditional grammar convention if you decide to upend the rule. You may, however, have to endure the righteous hand-wringing of certain grammar purists who insist you’re committing a horrible faux-pas. The only thing is, they’re the ones who are wrong. If somebody wants to refer to a person whose gender


Empower Employees To Share Their Communication Preferences

When lockdowns began in March 2020, millions of Americans started working from home almost overnight. Organizations leaned on technology and digital tools to maintain productivity and social connection and to address the mental health needs of employees.

Today, many have been working from home for nearly a year, and our personal lives have largely gone ‘remote’ as well. Zoom meetings are ubiquitous, even for friend and family gatherings; telemedicine is increasingly popular, and many have stayed physically fit thanks to new availability of virtual classes and training programs. Digital tools have delivered significant value to the working population. This trend shows no signs of stopping. Studies estimate that 36.2 million Americans (1 in 4) will be working remotely by 2025, an 87% increase from pre-pandemic levels. However,


Tips to improve your writing skills

Reading more, developing outline and avoiding plagiarism are few tips that falls under the skills

You might never have thought of yourself as a writer. But consciously, or unconsciously, you do write a lot. Think about the time you wrote a text message to a friend on WhatsApp or a birthday post on Instagram. However, these are informal and personal forms of writing. More often than not, most of us feel the need to polish our writing skills when faced with writing a piece for a formal occasion, be it an email or an essay. If you are such a person, we have got you


How difficult is it to learn the English language?

The great Wurlitzer of language, the most perfect all-purpose instrument

DEAR RICHARD: Congratulations on your wonderful “Tense Time with Verbs” poem and its eminently well-deserved display at the Planet Word Museum. I’m glad visitors to the museum will get to enjoy it. The verb tenses in your poem make me reflect that the English language is just impenetrable for anyone not born to it! —Judith Leggett, Escondido The English language gains its reputation for difficulty largely from its spelling inconsistencies. For example, manslaughter and man’s laughter, each containing the same letters in the same order, are pronounced very differently. In


Focus on precision in your writing

Make what you write say what you mean

Years ago I ambled from my backyard to a neighbor's and told him I admired the trellis he was building. He wheeled toward me and said, "You work much with teak?" I erupted into laughter, but stopped short and said: "No offense, Jack. I was laughing at myself, because I don't work with anything." Except words. I have no handyman heritage in my family. Yet I've been working with and loving words ever since my mother taught me to read when I was 4; she had me sound out the


Slow Down and Write Better Emails

Misunderstandings are rampant in today’s workplaces. While poor communication habits may feel inevitable with colleagues, we should always strive to engage with clarity and empathy, especially as we come to rely more on remote work and digital communication. What is a good first step to improving our habits? Relearning what it means to read carefully and write clearly.

Not so long ago, we shared information with our colleagues across a table, listening to people’s ideas and responding accordingly. Today, so many of those exchanges happen in written (or typed) form — think email, text, IM — meaning that listening in its traditional sense has been replaced by reading text on a screen. The problem with this, according to the linguist Naomi Baron, is that we comprehend less when we read on a screen than we do when we read print; we devote less time to reading something in


New Ways of Surviving: Writing Through a Global Pandemic

while in the midst of horror - we fed on beauty—and that, my love, is what sustained us. —from “Transit” by Rita Dove

It is hard to pinpoint time. The nadir of the pandemic seems to keep descending lower and lower with new outbreaks and mutated strains of the coronavirus across the globe. I’m trying to trace the beginning. Maybe it starts with March for me. I remember barely being able to move off the couch in the spring of last year. My classes were being switched to Zoom. My court date for my divorce was being pushed back, also due to COVID-19. Back then none of us knew how long this pandemic


My boss’s writing is full of errors, and I want to help her improve

Technology can help, but human intervention may be the most efficient way to help the boss get her message across

Reader: I recently joined a small team at a nonprofit. My supervisor is knowledgeable, hard-working, well connected, full of ideas and kind. Unfortunately, her documents are peppered with typos, and reading her emails is like solving a puzzle. As her program’s support person, I spend a lot of time deciphering and correcting her grammar mistakes. I don’t mind it, but I’m trying to come up with solutions to help her communicate more effectively. Our team is constantly buried in work, and fixing this one issue would make everyone’s life a


How To Rebalance Communication In The Post-Pandemic New Normal

Simply restoring your culture after the pandemic is doomed to fail. You have to evolve it.

Most of you shifted from in-person to virtual communication during the pandemic. Once you’re released from the pandemic restrictions, you’ll shift back. But you won’t shift back far enough or fast enough. And, as discussed last week, simply restoring your culture after the pandemic is doomed to fail. You have to evolve it. How you communicate is a core plank in your culture. Write for one-way communication. Call or video for two-way. And be in-person to build or rebuild relationships based on active listening, trust, and respect. Writing, texting, or


Why digital writing tools are a ‘double-edged sword’ for dyslexic kids

Technology has been incredibly helpful for students with the learning disorder, but some parents and educators worry about children becoming too reliant.

After watching his youngest son beg to draw on a family friend’s iPad, father Joseph Turner grabbed a screenshot of the alphabet and uploaded it to a drawing program on his Surface laptop. Then he handed his son a stylus and showed him how to trace the letters. Turner is an adult with dyslexia and already sees signs of his learning disorder in his two little boys. The digital tracing activity, designed to help his son learn to write, was a hit. Unlike all the paper activity books lying in


Want to sound smarter? Avoid mixing up these 11 most commonly confused words in English

English is filled with words that look alike or sound alike (or both), but mean very different things — so it’s easy to get confused and use the wrong word at the wrong moment. As “word nerds” and podcast hosts of NPR’s “You’re Saying it Wrong,” we’re constantly on the lookout for these mistakes. And we’ve seen them everywhere, from corporate reports, resumes and cover letters, to major publications. But if you’re aware of the different meanings of these words, you won’t fall into the same traps. Here’s a list


10 Ways to Improve Customer Communication to Make More Sales

Communicating with customers is key to converting sales and growing your business. And there are many ways to improve your communication strategies with customers and prospects. Learn how to make the most of your marketing with these tips from members of the online small business community.

Find the Best Lead Magnets for Your Marketing Effective marketing requires finding relevant leads who may turn into recurring customers. Lead magnets help to bring in these potential customers. So what are the best lead magnets for marketing a small business? Ivana Taylor of DIY Marketers dives into the topic here. Increase Contact Form Conversions Contact forms are commonly used by customers who have questions about products or services. And the way you communicate with people after that initial contact can make a major impact. Learn how to increase conversions


Amy Gentry: On Writing Thrillers and Following Your Gut

Thriller author Amy Gentry shares her experience writing her latest novel, Bad Habits, and why it's important to take full ownership of your work.

Amy Gentry is the author of Good as Gone, a New York Times Notable Book, and Last Woman Standing. She is also a book reviewer and essayist whose work has appeared in numerous outlets, including the Chicago Tribune, Salon, the Paris Review, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Austin Chronicle. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Chicago and lives in Austin, Texas. In this post, Gentry shares her experience writing her latest novel, Bad Habits, why it's important to take full ownership of your


Novelists are writing for TV more than ever. How it’s changing the industry

In recent years, novelists have been warmly welcomed — in some cases, energetically recruited — into TV writers rooms. And as much as publishing has changed in the past two decades, television has changed even more.

In 2013, Sheri Holman had just turned 47 and her life was falling apart. Raised in Virginia by a struggling single mom, Holman had bootstrapped herself through college to earn a theater degree, then moved to New York City to pursue acting. When that plan proved unworkable, Holman took a series of temp jobs in publishing, eventually becoming an assistant to an influential literary agent. Throughout the early 1990s, when book advances were soaring, Holman wrote her first novel, “A Stolen Tongue.” Published to raves in 1997, the book built


Guest op-ed: The horror that is academic writing

There is considerable debate in academic circles about whether those with advanced degrees should be given a great deal more respect and money or be given straitjackets in their school color. Being married to one of these people, I can say with all the love and respect in the world that the straitjacket wins, no question.

The problem lies largely with the rules that govern academic writing. There are many, many, many rules and, as far as I can see, their main purpose is to give the writing the joyful zest of a flat tire. But if you want an advanced degree, you must and will be initiated into the dark world of formatting. For example, when you are accepted into any program that uses the popular APA formatting style (brought to you by the American Psychological Association — the same people who specialize in abnormalities


The Quick Tip: Which Writing Routine Will Work for You?

Even well into your career, you may still be figuring out a productive writing practice.

The internet will have you believe that writing 15 minutes a day is the only way to be productive. That may or may not work for you. Other advice suggests that you “write anything, just write” as a way to get your creative juices flowing. Perhaps the best advice: Try a lot of strategies, and adapt them for your goals, your process, and your life context. Here are some ways to stay motivated and writing as you work out which writing habits best suit you: Expand your definition of writing.


Why Writing Is An Asset

The art of writing should be on the endangered species list. Think about this if you are working on getting your message out to the public.

At its foundation, writing is communicating an idea to a reader in an engaging and clear manner. It doesn’t matter if you are writing the next Harry Potter-type blockbuster or instructions to your staff. Good writing shows your mind, and if you are trying to win over an audience, the concept of “you only have one opportunity to make a good first impression” applies. If you look at emails you receive from a variety of people, you will probably observe that many people are in a world of trouble. You


To succeed in an AI world, students must learn the human traits of writing

Our children should no longer be taught just formulaic writing. Instead, writing education should encompass skills that go beyond the capacities of artificial intelligence.

Students across Australia have started the new school year using pencils, pens and keyboards to learn to write. In workplaces, machines are also learning to write, so effectively that within a few years they may write better than humans. Sometimes they already do, as apps like Grammarly and Rephraser demonstrate. Certainly, much everyday writing humans now do may soon be done by machines with artificial intelligence (AI). The predictive text commonly used by phone and email software is a form of AI writing that countless humans use every day. According


Far Away But So Close: Boosting Global Communication With Clients And Staff In 2021

You would probably agree that most aspects of life have been tough during the last 10 months. People barely remember how to hug. This so-called new normal widened the distance between businesses and their audiences. Human communication today is totally different from what we saw some 16 months ago. It has acquired a new form and meaning.

To remain competitive, many companies entered new markets and started considering building even more multicultural teams. When it comes to the global market, one of the biggest challenges for any organization is embracing cross-cultural communication. Yes, Some Good Things Happened In 2020 I keep saying that the world of IT marches to the beat of its own drum: Locations and the distance between them have never been an obstacle, but rather an opportunity to gather the most talented people — wherever they are. Think of an orchestra where musicians use


Michael Perry: Award-worthy writing requires both inspiration and perspiration

Awards invite scrutiny, and scrutiny makes me sweaty.

Today at sunrise I received a text from a friend: “Congratulations on your recent award!” This was news to me, and as does news in general, it made me nervous. Awards news even more so. Awards invite scrutiny, and scrutiny makes me sweaty. Ironically, I once won an award for a magazine article I wrote about being sweaty. The trophy is propped atop a pole barn girt overlooking my workbench. It is covered in sawdust and needs a polish. Mostly it serves to remind me that I probably shouldn’t be


Judd Apatow on the Painful Art of Writing Personal Comedy

Judd Apatow — the prolific filmmaker and producer responsible for the R-rated comedy boom, the latest entry being the dramedy The King of Staten Island — could never comprehend the benefits his comedic compatriot and Saturday Night Live maestro Lorne Michaels felt from taking a stroll for an hour or more each day. That all changed with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 'King of Staten Island' director and co-writer reveals his talent discovery process (Pete Davidson, Melissa McCarthy), the habit he picked up from 'SNL' boss Lorne Michaels and the aftermath of Trump: "I'm definitely nervous." Apatow, 53, started walking two hours every morning. “It has kept me as close to sane as I get. I’ve always heard that Lorne would take a walk for an hour, hour-and-a-half, every day at lunch. And I would think, ‘Oh my gosh, that sounds so boring, taking a walk, what is that?’ But I


When do you have enough material to start writing your book?

The leap of faith from a shorter work to a full-length book comes with many potential pitfalls including procrastination and self doubt. A new book has tips on how to make that jump with confidence.

The short answer to this is: you will not know until you try. We assume that writers are the ones who have a drive to write and will turn up at the desk no matter what. This doesn’t mean that turning up is always easy. Procrastination can be self-doubt in sheep’s clothing. So can the sense that one does not yet have enough material to begin. But ultimately, the only way to know whether you do or don’t have enough material is to start writing. The fascination with ideas and


Grammar Moses: When in doubt, write around it

The headline is a window into a story. It's also one of newspapering's most interesting (and fun) challenges. How do you convey the nuance of a story in just a few words? How do you alert people that an Anthropologie store is moving into Schaumburg, all in a one-column hed (which is newspaper jargon for "head," which is short for "headline")?

We have a bunch of award-winning headline writers on staff who constantly amaze me. But sometimes even they get stumped. Neil Holdway, who heads up our night copy desk operation, wrote me an overnight note about a particular challenge: "So we struggled with my panel headline on the Illinois vaccination rate, where I said '1 in 12 Illinoisans have their first dose.' Looks OK at first, but really, should it be "1 in 12 has ...'? And then you have 'their' to deal with." Depending upon where you fall on


Writing rejuvenates the brain as much as pumping iron rejuvenates the body

Health experts say that pumping iron – lifting weights – is good for you. So is pumping words, I hasten to add. I pump them both as part of my ongoing regime.

At 86, I have become fanatic about staying alive. I don’t mean just breathing. I mean trying to make each day a good one and the next one marginally better… or at least only marginally worse. Use it or lose it. Devote part of each day to staying healthy – both mentally and physically. Let me share my day with you, particularly the role that writing plays. I warm up each day, sometimes while it’s still dark, with mental gymnastics. A half hour or so of online Trivia Crack in


Are you 'writing,' or 'keyboarding?'

Typing becomes the tool to achieve what your brain desires.

I’ve been rummaging around lately thinking about “writing” which is a fairly common adjective, versus “keyboarding” which we all can do pretty much robotically. Older sages, such as myself, like to comment on kids nowadays having fantastic thumb muscles. I cannot remember when I started learning typing (the skill that predated keyboarding) but it was probably as a senior in high school. It is a skill I am glad I learned. It is a tool that is still valuable. Writing using a phone keyboard may become a more popular tool


When It Comes To Writing Your Executive Resume, Start With What You Don't Want To Do

Many senior professionals can often have a hard time separating what they can do from what they truly want to do when looking at their next step.

Senior professionals and executives with 20-30 years of experience often have a treasure trove of achievements to bring to a potential employer. These richly experienced people have found themselves in situations ranging from visible and positive to those situations that are unexpected and loathsome. But these individuals typically take it all in stride, like the professionals they were trained to be, and work through these situations most often triumphantly and with dignity. What often happens, though, is these executives and senior professionals have a massive list of achievements. Some of


The Puzzling Gap In Research On Writing Instruction

There isn’t much good research on writing instruction. And the research that does exist has overlooked a key question: Should we teach students to write sentences before asking them to write at length?

Writing may be the hardest thing we ask students to do in school. Studies have shown that writing places a huge burden on “working memory,” a term used to describe what happens in the mind when it processes information. Inexperienced writers may be trying to juggle everything from forming letters of the alphabet (if they’re young) to choosing words to use, spelling them, structuring sentences, and generally organizing their thoughts. Working memory can hold only about four items for perhaps 10 to 15 seconds before becoming overwhelmed. The best way


Actor And Author Ethan Hawke: Writing 'Forces You To Think Through Things'

The novel is called A Bright Ray of Darkness and the author — Ethan Hawke — is someone who might know a thing or two about what life for the main character is like.

A famous young actor's marriage to a pop mega-star is crumbling. To get away from the real-life drama, William Harding immerses himself in the role of Hotspur in glittering Broadway production of Shakespeare's Henry IV. The novel is called A Bright Ray of Darkness and the author — Ethan Hawke — is someone who might know a thing or two about what life for the main character is like. This isn't Hawke's first novel — early in his writing career he tried to steer away from autobiographical fiction, and was


How Ineffective Communication Costs Businesses — And What to Do About It

Business success hinges on how well companies engage with their customers. Interactions must be clear, concise, and consistently on-brand to deliver remarkable experiences and instill brand loyalty.

When customer interactions do not meet these standards, it is often because the best-intended communications strategies break down. This happens frequently and creates tremendous costs for companies by eroding the customer experience (CX), making it harder for employees to do their job, and causing delays in meeting business objectives. For example, even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts estimated that poorly written communication costs businesses a staggering $400 billion annually. The pre-pandemic challenge facing businesses already pointed to the need to improve communications between companies, customers, and employees.


How communication tools can fuel burnout—and what to do about it

Juggling too many types of email, messaging, and project management tools can cause inefficiency and tech overload. Here’s how to rein in the chaos.

Think about the number of communication tools you use in a workday. In addition to checking email, you may be logging on to an instant messaging platform, as well as using a project management platform, content management system, or another collaboration platform. You probably are asking colleagues and clients whether they prefer phone calls or video chats. So it’s no wonder that when it comes to tracking down a document, or an exchange you had with your direct report last week, you find yourself searching your inbox, Slack DMs, and


How To Become A Respected Leader — 3 Communication Skills

As a leader, communication is a necessary skill that can break or make an organization.

If you aim to become a leader, are transitioning into a leadership role, or are struggling as a leader currently, you need to master these three critical skills. Consistency: When someone approaches you with a question or turns to you for guidance, they should be able to trust that you will respond in a positive and reliable way. Failing to be consistent with your words, behavior, and demeanor can damage trust relationships. As Hanna puts it, “I don't ever want anyone to ever wonder what kind of mood I'm going


Writing emails proves most valuable professional skill

Writer, Haleigh Cadd, describes the process of effective communication via email

In a virtual world, communication has become more challenging for students whose opportunities to connect 1:1 with professionals in their goal-industry. For instance, job fairs aren’t happening, and the first impression students used to be able to make can’t happen, either. That is, unless you can convince the professional that you’re a superstar right off the bat in your initial email to them. Thus, here are a few golden rules that can guide your email creation–regardless if you’re sending a ‘Hello’ email to potential employer or a ‘I need answers


Better Business Writing at Your Fingertips

Following are some simple tips that will help your writing stand out and bolster your professional image. Master these few guidelines and catapult your business writing skills to new heights.

I write fairly regularly as a columnist for the SHRM HR Daily Newsletter, and some of you may know my books, many of which focus on proper workplace documentation: how to draft stronger performance reviews, corrective action notices and scripted tough conversations, and even "wordsmith" books that help you find the right phrase for those difficult-to-describe situations. So I'm probably a little over the top when it comes to appreciating grammar and excellent writing practices, but for this article, that's likely a good thing. As HR professionals, we can all


3 Communication Strategies That Make The Bill And Melinda Gates 2021 Letter So Compelling

Every year I look forward to the Gates Foundation letter because Bill and Melinda Gates are serious students of communication. They use a variety of writing and delivery techniques to make complex information easy to understand and compelling to read.

The 2021 Bill and Melinda Gates letter delivers data-driven information about the pandemic in an engaging way. Engagement is critical because if people don’t understand science, they’ll be less likely to act on the information. 1. Use simple language. Real simple. Most experts try to impress people with how much they know. They use big words and arcane jargon that few people outside of the field can understand. Effective communicators like Bill and Melinda do the opposite. The more complex the topic, the simpler the words they use. For example,


3 Ways Leaders Can Improve Their Communication In 2021

Whether addressing the nation or tackling a problem in the workplace, leaders can use some simple communication techniques to build rapport, diffuse workplace conflict, and smooth the way for a mutually successful outcome.

Over the last year, the UK government has been accused of sending mixed messages about the Covid-19 pandemic. Christmas was on, and then it was off. In early January, parents were told to 'absolutely' send their children to school before directing schools to close the next day. Now, vaccine efficacy is in the headlines due to the government's decision to delay the second Covid-19 vaccine from three to 12 weeks. Difficult times lead to difficult decisions. Rapidly shifting situations often mean communicating a hard decision today, which could be right


Communication Lessons From A Maddening Year

As a professional communicator, I've learned a lot during this quarantined time. I think we can all relate. Life lessons have been full of hard moments and frustrating instances. Then again, when we've least expected it, the good and bright and merry have peaked through and reminded us that there's hope to cling to and to give away.

Nine months after the pandemic started, I find myself tucked into my home office — something that's become a sought-after mainstay since Covid-19 entered the scene and my company went home to stay safe from it all. I remember those early conversations when planning for "what might be" or "maybe even could be" took up the time I didn't think I'd ultimately have to give away. But then it all became real-life. And, well, here we are in the middle of the winter season working from home during a Covid-19


Embracing Imperfection: On Writing in a Second Language

Kaori Fujimoto Recounts the Challenges of Finding Her Voice in a Different Tongue

More than twenty years ago, walking into a foreign bookstore in Tokyo, the first thing I noted was a slightly musty yet soothing scent. It came from the paper used for these books and magazines, which had been shipped from overseas—the paper either thicker or thinner, and certainly rougher, than its counterpart in Japanese publications. Breathing in the unfamiliar smell, I walked through the dimly lit aisles lined by stacks and shelves with a somewhat disorganized feel. I had ventured into this well-known bookstore to buy a copy of The


Top 5 Resume Writing Tips

Texas Career Engagement offers tips and tricks to get your resume in tiptop shape for job and internship hunting

As summer approaches and graduation nears for the Class of 2021, students may be beginning to look for jobs and internships. In applying to these positions, you typically need a resume that summarizes your professional experiences and is usually one page in length at the start of your career. Regardless, whether you are a soon-to-be-graduating student or seasoned professional, having an updated and tailored resume is important should opportunities arise. Here are some helpful tips from Texas Career Engagement to get your resume ready and in tiptop shape: 1. Be


4 Ways to Always Have Fresh Writing Ideas

Strategies to ensure you always have something worthwhile to say

Often, when people say, “I don’t know what to write,” they really mean one of two things: They haven’t spent enough time formulating their ideas, or they’re trying to write something they don’t really believe in. Many years ago, I started writing fiction — or rather, I tried to start writing fiction. My attempts never amounted to anything, and for years, I didn’t understand why. It wasn’t until I read an essay on writing by Arthur Schopenhauer, the German pessimist, that it finally clicked. “There are above all two kinds



At a glance, copywriting and UX writing may seem closely related — but really, they’re about entirely different things.

“One main goal of copywriting is to get attention, to be memorable,” Rachel Radway, a UX writer at the digital workspace MURAL, told me. The best UX writing, meanwhile, is forgettable. When done well, it guides the user through an online experience step by step, whether it’s getting logged on or depositing a check. The language is clear and concise, and it strives to make the experience as frictionless as possible. WHAT IS UX WRITING? UX writing aims to create a seamless experience for users through effective labeling. Clear and



I believe writing can be a key to better triathlon performance, a reduction in stress, and greater enjoyment of the sport. Thoughtful writing will help you to focus like a laser on executing the race and performing well.

I have read many articles on swim training, cycling, running, transitions, strength training, nutrition, and sleep. However, I haven’t read much about the benefits of writing. So, I've outlined four writing assignments for triathletes: An equipment checklist (If you’re only going to do one, this is the one!) A race day setup checklist A post-race assessment for each race A pre-race plan for each race The equipment checklist It seems like every time that I have gone to USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships, I have heard a pre-race announcement


Editorial Article: ‘A scientific discovery is only as good as its communication’

Meet this week’s Reviewer in the Spotlight, Dr. Noelle Cutter, a humanitarian who loves helping people whether it’s patients, students, or scientific peers through her reviews

Lab product reviews can change the world by helping other scientists find the best equipment to accelerate their vital work. Here at SelectScience, we are dedicated to promoting peer-to-peer communication that will make the difference - but we couldn't do it without our esteemed reviewers. In this regular new feature, we put the spotlight on some of our most dedicated and impactful reviewers and find out what inspires them to keep sharing their knowledge with the global scientific community. For this week’s ‘Reviewer in the Spotlight’, we speak with Dr.


Words That Define The COVID-19 Pandemic With Grammar Girl

Word of the Year

Both Merriam Webster’s and named “pandemic” their word of the year for 2020. On March 11, 2020, the day the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, the word fueled Merriam Webster’s single largest spike in dictionary traffic in 2020, an increase of more than 115,806% over searches the same day in 2019. By ALL SIDES STAFF • JAN 25, 2021


Advice For Writing Your Success Story From Award-Winning Playwright And Author, Trey Anthony

On October 14, 2007, Trey Anthony’s ‘da Kink in My Hair debuted on Global Television. It was a historic moment. The show was the first primetime program to be created, written, and produced by a Black woman for a major Canadian network.

But Anthony’s success story started long before that. ‘da Kink in My Hair was originally a stage play that debuted in 2001, breaking box office records in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. The play earned Anthony four NAACP awards, including Best Playwright. Since ‘da Kink in My Hair, Anthony has created and produced another wildly successful play, How Black Mothers Say I Love You, worked in production for Women’s Television Network (now known as the W Network), and developed her career as a motivational speaker and lifestyle coach. This


3 ways communication will change after the pandemic

How will we speak to each other when we are all back together? A communications expert makes some bold predictions.

Much has been written about how work has changed since the start of the pandemic. We’ve all read plenty about adjusting to virtual communication and how work hours have become undefined. Even the workweek has shifted (note that I’m writing this on a Saturday). I have observed social clues from clients and peers in this “new normal,” and I’ve started to think about how communication will be different when (and if) we go back to in-person meetings and workspaces. Here are a few predictions: OVERSHARING AND UNDER-PRODUCING During the first


Five Trends Signalling A New Era In Communication

It is crucial that companies not only pivot their communication strategies to continue growing but also find a way to adapt to the new trends and stay relevant during times of change.

Public relations (PR) has always needed to be nimble to adapt to the ever-changing business landscape and its audience. As such, PR strategies are constantly evolving– and 2021 will see the beginning of a new era of communication. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, businesses were forced to find new ways to operate, transform, and communicate with their customers effectively. Against this uncertain backdrop, it is crucial that companies not only pivot their communication strategies to continue growing but also find a way to adapt to


Want To Grow Your Career? 6 Surprising Ways To Write Your Future

January can be a long dark month. Winter is dragging on and so is the pandemic. But you want to recharge and re-energize your career in the new year. You may be in need of something just a little unexpected.

This is it. With devices, keypads and voice recognition, handwriting is becoming a thing of the past and a lost art. But the one thing we still write by hand is our signatures. Just in time for National Handwriting Day on January 23 (who knew there was a day for acknowledging handwriting?), you will want to know your signature can betray key elements of your personality. The timing is good. With the beginning of a new year, now is the time to consider who you are, how you want to


The Tenth Commandment Of Strategic Planning: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

There is a great saying that if all you have in your toolbox is a hammer then everything will look like a nail. Knowing how to communicate is a learned skill and often times we have to choose our skill sets very carefully based on the situation.

In all my trainings and coaching one very critical piece that many CEOs need help with is their communication style. While some are very direct (which can cause pain) most are not direct, nor open nor honest for many reasons I've written about previously. Today, I’d like to share various communication strategies that can be very effective when done properly and for the right reasons. One such strategy is "radical candor." Author Kim Scott coined this term when her then-boss at Google, Sheryl Sandberg, used very direct, open and honest


12 Practical Ways To Ensure Effective Communication Among Multicultural Team Members

Businesses need to ensure that all team members can communicate and collaborate regardless of time, language or cultural differences—but how? Below, 12 members of Forbes Human Resources Council share ways companies can promote good communication between employees from different locations and cultural backgrounds.

One of the benefits companies find when embracing remote work models is a sudden expansion of the available workforce. When a physical location is no longer a limiting factor, hiring teams can seek out the best new talent from around the globe. International hires can bring invaluable new ideas and capabilities to a team. Still, there are new contingencies companies will need to prepare for, including varied time zones, cultural norms and communication barriers. 1. Ensure each team member’s culture and language are respected. Create a culture of transparency and


A Word, Please: Where there’s a there’s, there’s controversy

It’s hard to mess up subject-verb agreement when the syntax is so straightforward.

What do you think of the sentence “There’s multiple opportunities for youngsters”? How about “There’s many people who wish to travel”? How about “There’s a lot of students who wish to travel”? If you’re like most English speakers, you’re fine with it. Chances are, you use these forms yourself. Nothing wrong with that. But if you’re like me or reader Elaine in Long Beach, you’re not a fan. And there’s nothing wrong with that, either. Don’t see the issue? Compare the above sentences to these slightly modified versions: “There are


4 Ways to Significantly Improve Your Essay Writing Skills

Essay writing is something that anyone can do if they understand the writing basics. An academic essay should be presented consistently and logically, whether written by the student or the essay writing service providers.

The key to writing persuasive, informative, and valuable academic essays that can allow you to get high grades in the university is to have the right skills. You can improve your essay writing skills in the following ways. Create an outline The best essay writers are the ones who ensure that they have an idea of what they want to write before they begin writing. The simplest way to break down an essay and create a compelling argument is to create an outline before you write. Understand what you will


Want to Write a Book This Year? These Tools Can Help

We spoke to two award-winning authors for their tips on how to make it from start to finish. Here's how they take notes, organize chapters, and—yes—get comfy.

2020 WAS NOT the year I wrote my first book—but it was the year I started thinking about it. And in typical freelance writer fashion, I decided to take advantage of my position and get some advice on how to go about it from people much more accomplished than me under the guise of researching this article. Here’s what I managed to learn. A Way to Take Notes Apparently books don’t spring fully formed from the ether. You kind of have to work on them, brainstorming different ideas, doing research,


How to Begin Writing Your Lead-Generating Non-Fiction Book

A non-fiction book, written by an entrepreneur or professional, can boost status and authority, but it can be difficult to know where to start

Writing a book. It’s one of the most commonly held aspirations, yet is somehow perceived to be one of the most overwhelming and problematic roads to navigate. And when this life goal is coupled with the knowledge and recognition that a book can also mean huge business growth and enhanced levels of authority and status for business owners, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, coaches, mentors, thought leaders and speakers (just to name a few), frustration can reach an all-time high when the pathway seems unclear. All too often, this can mean that the



For those who are looking to write more efficiently, there are a few tips to keep in mind.

There are a lot of people who are wondering how they can become more efficient when it comes to writing essays. One of the major fears about writing is that people are unsure of exactly how long it is going to take. Most people have a general idea of how quickly they read. Most people also understand how quickly they can work math problems. On the other hand, depending on the topic of your writing, it can take anywhere from a few minutes to several days. For those who are


Five ways to improve your writing in 2021

For anyone who would like to get better at writing in 2021 there are a few steps that would be of immense help if one were to follow them judiciously and if you already have some tips that would be great. With the known fact that no man is an island, the first step maybe would be to look outside for some help from professional writers.

Plan your work The foundation to anything is very vital to its success or failure. With writing, the story isn't that different. Most times we are of the view that our basics might be enough but being able to read and write to be honest is never enough. The basics here would involve spellings, punctuations, grammar and so on. Of course we all had English classes or else writing and reading this article would be impossible but there is more to writing which is the reason there are still seminars


The power of a budget plan in grant writing

Ethan Wilk, who begins an undergraduate programme this autumn, explains how a detailed outline of his proposed expenses and timeline helped him to win a competitive award to study endangered trout.

I awoke one morning last June to a blaring bedside alarm that nearly gave me a heart attack. That shock, however, paled in comparison to the one that followed when I read my e-mail — I had won a Harvard CBE Sustainability Grant, an environmental award of up to US$20,000 that is typically conferred on a cohort of students and faculty members at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I’m an 18-year-old high-school student. I had applied for the grant to support my research into the use of blockchain technology for


You’re probably making these common communication mistakes. Here are 3 ways to fix them

The founder of On Point Speaking says that for many of us, communication is confusing—especially now.

For many of us, communication is confusing—especially now. There is a reason why so many companies are now investing in soft skills and communication training. “In a survey of 2,800 senior managers at U.S. businesses,” the Wall Street Journal reported, “just under 40% said strategic changes prompted by COVID-19 required more frequent communications from leadership and improved collaboration within and across teams.” Yet a recent McKinsey Global Survey found that “87% of executives said they were experiencing skill gaps-but less than half of the respondents had a clear sense of


How Expressive Writing Can Help Reduce Stress in Patients with Cancer

In an interview with CURE®, Dr. Lawrence An discusses how expressive writing can be a tool to reduce stress in patients with cancer.

When dealing with a cancer diagnosis, an individual may find themselves spending more time in a “fight or flight” state, which, in turn, can have negative impacts on stress levels and even the immune system. That’s why researchers at The University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center created a new expressive writing tool called “Making Meaning” that aims to help patients put their thoughts and feelings into words. In an interview with CURE®, Dr. Lawrence An, co-director of the Center for Health Communications Research at the cancer center, explained why the



Finance research papers are assigned to help students build their research skills and assess their grasp of course concepts. While all assignments can be challenging, finance research papers are relatively more demanding than most projects. They require extensive knowledge of course theories and concepts and a good understanding of the rules of research, formatting and citations.

Effective finance research papers are created based on unique and interesting topics. You will be expected to consult works done by authorities in your field at this academic level, using credible evidence to support arguments. There will also be other requirements, including those that determine whether to include tables, graphs, and mind maps for your assignment. Don't panic if you doubt your ability to create an impressive finance research paper. Here, we present some important tips on how to ace this important assignment. Start by Reading the Requirements From the


Writing to Win: How to Quickly Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged

“The reader is impatient,” says Glenn Kramon, Stanford GSB lecturer in management and editor at the New York Times. “Start with the most important conclusion and then explain how you got there.”

Matt Abrahams: Emails, slack messages, technical documentation, memos, product pitches, the ability to write well is critical to business success. Yet many of us feel insecure about our writing ability, while others simply don’t spend any time thinking about it. I’m Matt Abrahams and I teach Strategic Communication at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Welcome to Think Fast. Talk Smart, the Podcast. Today we are so fortunate to be joined by Glenn Kramon. Glenn has been an editor at the New York Times for close to 35 years. He also


The Efficacy of the Incorporation of First Language in ESL English Grammar Learning

English is a language possessing 1.75 billion speakers, including 375 million English-as-a-second-language (ESL) learners across the globe, according to the British Council

Learners are dissuaded from incorporating their first language (L1) while learning English due to the belief that the best means to acquire a new language is to learn it monolingually, which has been proposed since the late nineteenth century (Hall & Cook, 2012). However, this assumption has been in dispute by numerous scholars who identify the efficacy of the incorporation of L1 in English learning (e.g. Brooks-Lewis, 2009; Wach, 2016). Schwarzer and Luke (2001) listed the various roles of L1, encompassing “L1 as a collaborative tool, L1 as a scaffolding


Why does grammar matter?

After 20 years of teaching academic writing to both native speakers and English language learners, I can attest that at some point, just about everyone asks me why, or even whether, grammar matters.

There is more than one way to define grammar. Linguists – the people who study language – define “grammar” as a description of how a language operates. Though some people use it to bully people for making mistakes, grammar is not a way to decide if language is right or wrong. Everyone makes mistakes, and the English language is amazingly flexible in how its pieces can be put together and understood. That’s because English is a “living” language, actively spoken by people worldwide. It grows and changes, picking up new


Improve yourself in 2021 by improving your writing

Most of us can improve ourselves by improving our writing. For a quick start in this new year, let's highlight a few trouble spots.

A friend of mine collects self-improvement books published more than a century ago, containing wisdom their authors had gleaned long before modern gurus borrowed from them and flooded the market with workshops, retreats and videos. Most of us can improve ourselves by improving our writing. For a quick start in this new year, let's highlight a few trouble spots. In my bookcase, one collection that focuses on the craft of writing, "How to Write a Sentence" by Stanley Fish, offers this formula: "Sentence craft equals sentence comprehension equals sentence appreciation."


Grammar Guy: From ‘adorkable’ to ‘zhuzh’: words you’ll be surprised to find in the dictionar

The 21st century is an uncharted landscape of post-postmodernism. Truth can be whatever we want it to be at any given moment — or whatever. It’s up to you.

After consulting with a handful of the top dictionaries (including Merriam-Webster, the Oxford English Dictionary, the Macmillan Dictionary, and Oxford Dictionaries), I have found the following word entries in at least one of them. After all, dictionaries don’t decide which words are words — they simply report on which words are being used out in the wild. Here’s the unbelievable list. Adorkable. This word made it into the OED’s latest addition of words in December 2020. It’s an adjective that means “unfashionable or socially awkward in a way regarded


4 SEO Techniques for Promoting Your Growing Business

Search engine optimization (SEO) has become an essential part of modern marketing. Basically, this process’s end goal is to increase the foot traffic of a certain site or page online. It assists in making your business’s online presence effective to the highest degree possible. In the age of constant internet usage and rampant e-commerce, this presence is vital to nurture.

So, here are four SEO techniques for promoting your growing business. 1. Accumulate Content As your business grows, the amount of information about it should expand as well. Therefore, you need to be producing more content than before. This can come in many different forms. You could create blog posts or even humorous videos surrounding your company. These don’t need to be purely promotional either. In fact, it often looks better if the content is objective and simply mentions your name and purpose. This creates more trust between the writer


How SEO Can Boost Customer Experience

SEO is about optimizing websites for machines: search engines. But search engines serve human beings. And some of those human beings are your customers. Improving your SEO can, in turn, improve your customer experience.

However, much like customers, search engines are fickle. They use a number of factors to determine how to rank sites for certain terms. And what one user sees may not be the same set of results another does, depending on their individual search histories. SEO isn’t just about getting your website in front of people, though. It’s also about providing searchers with reliable, up-to-date information and a solid user experience. Search engine algorithms can distinguish between helpful sites and those packed with keywords for the sake of luring traffic. Because


Our Words Matter: Writing in the Age of Communication

We may lack the talent to match these commanders of language, but most of us, once taught, are capable of handling words with care in order to put together sentences and paragraphs that might aid us in every written endeavor from love letters to office memos.

In the fall the war was always there, but we did not go to it any more. It was cold in the fall in Milan and the dark came very early. Then the electric lights came on, and it was pleasant along the streets looking in the windows. There was much game hanging outside the shops, and the snow powdered in the fur of the foxes and the wind blew their tails. The deer hung stiff and heavy and empty, and small birds blew in the wind and the wind


8 Tips for Students Who Hate Essay Writing

Even if you hate essay writing, it's a critical component of higher education. Discover eight top tips for students who despise writing...

So you’ve never been a fan of writing. Nor do you enjoy reading books for pleasure. You don’t even understand why people enjoy it. As life would have it, though, you need to write dozens of essays and tests in order to get a degree; there is no other way than to find a solution to get you through the dreading writing tasks. The good thing is, you are not the only one who feels this way. And consequently, there are a few tips your predecessors took upon to handle


As a Writer, I’m Not Ready to Throw in the Towel

Parkinson’s entered my life at 34. Along with writing, I journaled daily. Journaling was my way of working through hard things in my life and the lessons learned from those trials. It was also my way of keeping track of the blessings granted to me.

Ever since I can remember, I have loved to write short stories, articles, poems, novels, essays, and more. I entered some of my writing into contests, won a few (mostly in the short stories category), and received a few awards. As a young teenager, I asked my grandmother to read a story I wrote for school. When she finished, she praised me for how good she thought it was and told me I should be a writer. A few years later, my creative writing teacher in high school told me


Mameve Medwed on her intuitive writing process: ‘I just kind of follow my pencil’

In “Minus Me,” her sixth novel, Mameve Medwed sketches a happy marriage between competent Annie and clueless Sam, one threatened only by a dire diagnosis facing Annie. Keeping the news to herself, Annie begins writing a life manual to help guide Sam after she’s gone.

The book wasn’t the product of an outline. “It would be so boring if I knew exactly what I was going to do. I’m always sort of two sentences ahead of myself,” Medwed said. “I just kind of follow my pencil.” One thing she does decide before she begins writing: the book’s geographical setting. That’s often been Cambridge, where she’s lived for several decades. “Minus Me” takes place mostly in the writer’s native Maine, in a fictional small town — smaller than Medwed’s hometown of Bangor — where Sam and


17 Approaches for Encouraging Students to Revise Their Writing

Six ways to answer the magic question: How do we get students to want to revise their writing?

The new question-of-the-week is: How do you get students to want to revise their writing? "Authentic audience" 1. Offer them authentic assignments, not arbitrary prompts. I find that when my students are invested in the assignment, they are much more likely to care about their writing and want to make it better. Let them take a stance on a controversial issue that matters to them for a debate, propose a solution to a real-world problem as a TED-talk script, or have them choose two high-interest topics to compare/contrast. 2. Have


Writing From the Heart: Realistic resolutions

Drop the sugar, embrace the gratitude.

Every year I make New Year’s resolutions, and every year I give them up by Jan. 6. The list has gotten shorter and shorter as time has gone by, but always at the top is no more sugar. By about Jan. 4, my coffee without honey (which as we all know is just another form of sugar) is not fun anymore, and I am missing spaghetti to the point of having withdrawal symptoms. Pasta is white flour (which as we all know turns into sugar). So by Jan. 5 I


The Writer’s Desk: Off-beat advice to improve your writing

Happy New Year. Hopefully you’ve adjusted to the new normal, found your rhythm, and are able to write again. Below are some uncommon tips I use when the words won’t flow.

Look for ideas on Post Secrets In order for a story to captivate your audience the stakes must be high. Everyone has secrets, and you’ll find plenty of high-stake ideas from other people’s secrets. On PostSecret, people anonymously mail-in their written confessions on a postcard, and selected secrets are posted on the web page. Many of the secrets shared are heartbreaking, yet also demonstrate resilience. For example, “I am so poor that when I’m driving, I actually look for places that would be good to live in if I ever


12 Smart Ways To Create The Most Engaging Email Newsletter

Newsletters have always been a reliable format for company communications and marketing. However, a newsletter will only serve its purpose if it is engaging enough to tempt recipients into opening and reading it.

With so many people working from home these days, professionals are relying on their inboxes to bring them news, information and entertainment more than ever before. Consequently, email newsletters are seeing a surge in popularity. How can a business craft an email newsletter that excites and hooks readers, leaving them wanting more? Here, 12 members of Forbes Communications Council share their insights into how to create email newsletters that draw readers in effortlessly. 1. Be Consistent And Make It Useful Being consistent by sending your newsletter on the same day


The Cost Of 'Natural' Business Communications For Multilingual Entrepreneurs

Though English is not my first language, it's the primary language of my professional life and has been for many years. At times, this has brought unique challenges — a central one being the problem of sounding "natural."

As a company founder, earlier in my career, I needed to write English communications that sounded credible enough to sell our product to established — and at times rather traditional — organizations. My grammar and mechanics were excellent. I scored high on English aptitude tests like the GMAT and TOEFL to get into graduate schools. In some ways, I had a better command of English than most native speakers. However, something was off. My MBA classmates said something about how the way I wrote didn't quite feel "normal," equating it


How to create the perfect CV for 2021

“Many job seekers will be switching industries in 2021, due to the impact of COVID-19 on the job market. For this you will need to repurpose your CV — but it’s not as hard as you think”

This year has been a difficult time for job seekers. The unemployment rate in the UK surged to its highest level in over three years in the summer, as the pandemic continued to hit jobs. Meanwhile, redundancies rose to their highest level since 2009, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Many businesses have put a hiatus on recruitment, and those which are hiring are receiving huge numbers of applications. It might be tricky to get your CV noticed and land a new job, but it isn’t impossible. The


Excel At Written Communication For Admission To Your Dream University

beautifully written essay may help a student create a compelling story for their university admissions. A mediocre work product with unclear thoughts and grammatical errors may affect a young professionals' chances for promotion.

Give a man a fish, he will eat today, but teach a man to fish and he will eat forever. - Ancient Chinese proverb. The college admission season is here again. Like other years, several students and parents are stressed about writing high quality essays, motivation letters and statements of purpose. While their urgency is understandable, good writing skills are developed over time and provide a lifelong advantage. A beautifully written essay may help a student create a compelling story for their university admissions. A mediocre work product with unclear


Communications in a post-Covid era: what 2020 has taught us about how to communicate better

In a year unlike any other, there have been many stand-out moments where the power of communication (both good and bad) has proven to be critical in uniting or dividing us all around a common challenge or issue.

From the global pandemic, to the US election and the Black Lives Matter movement, some of the most important events in recent times will be defined by a single quote, tweet, press conference or image, reinforcing the critical role of communications for brands, politicians, celebrities and leaders, particularly in times of crisis. Here in the UK millions gathered around their TVs for daily news briefings from the Prime Minister and health advisors in the early days of the pandemic, and the success or failure of these communications went on to


The web must change its business model if it wants to become truly global and multilingual

The dominance of the English language on the web is fueled by an ad-supported Internet, writes Samir Patil—but direct payments to content creators could help fix that.

The multilingual web emerged within two years of the birth of the standards in 1994 that created the web as we know it. The motto of the internationalization task force was “Making the World Wide Web world wide!” But despite that early vision and commitment, today English is the dominant language of the Internet. It accounts for about 60% of all web content, and incredibly, this percentage is growing despite the fact that a vast majority of new Internet users are from non–English-speaking countries like India and China. The main


If you write this word in an email, it could cost you the job

Before you press end on your next email or jump in a Zoom conference call with your higher-ups, make sure you never say “whatever” unless you want to annoy them.

Finding the right language to use in an email or in meetings can sometimes feel like skating on ice. There are moments where familiarity could make you feel comfortable and become less strict with the words you use, whether it be telling a joke or saying what you have to say however you feel. But before you press end on your next email or jump in a Zoom conference call with your higher-ups, make sure you never say “whatever” unless you want to annoy them. “Whatever” has been coined as


8 Ways To Get Your Personal Brand Ready For 2021

To truly hit the ground running in 2021, you need to take stock of your personal brand right now. Follow these easy steps to upgrade up your online presence and prepare for your outreach, so when you start networking in 2021, you're looking fresh as a daisy.

I know what you're thinking. It's year-end, and it's time to relax from the hideous year that was 2020. You have a lot to do in 2021, but you'll do that heavy lifting in January! Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I am assigning you some homework due on January 1st. To truly hit the ground running in 2021, you need to take stock of your personal brand right now. Follow these easy steps to upgrade up your online presence and prepare for your outreach,


Buffett to graduates: ‘There’s never been a better time’

Billionaire investor, philanthropist and Husker alumnus Warren Buffett told the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s December graduates to look for careers they’re passionate about and to keep learning.

The chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, who graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1951, recently participated in a recorded phone conversation with Chancellor Ronnie Green that served as the keynote address during the university’s virtual graduation celebration Dec. 19. Buffett said he enjoyed every minute of his time at Nebraska. He transferred to his home-state university after two years at the Wharton School of Pennsylvania and said he had terrific professors at Nebraska who not only imparted knowledge, but had a rapport with students. He said the business


The future of travel writing in the post-pandemic world

2020 has forced writers to experiment with new storytelling formats, focusing on staycations, sustainable tourism and diversity. Some of these changes are here to stay

With governments imposing lockdowns, planes grounded, and travel corridors continuously opening and closing like a revolving door, this year the travel writing industry has been paralysed by the pandemic. Despite this, many writers have found innovative ways of continuing their work. "Dream now, go later" From reflective pieces on past trips to features on destinations that we can look forward to visiting after the pandemic, the world of travel writing has come up with new ways to tell stories. Some travel writers experimented with more news-oriented articles that examined the


This is the best way to write that post-interview thank-you note

In a new report from TopResume, recruiters admitted caring less about employment gaps, and more about cover letters and thank-you notes than before the COVID-19 crisis.

According to new data from TopResume, a little gratitude can have a big impact—on your chances of getting a job, that is. Surveying over 300 hiring managers, recruiters, and HR professionals to find out how their hiring practices have changed since March, TopResume discovered that employers care even more about interview thank-you notes now than before the COVID-19 crisis. The majority (68%) of hiring professionals agreed that the interview thank-you has become more significant, one-fifth (20%) were neutral on the topic, and a mere 12% disagreed. In-person interviews are not


Four Ways To Effectively Personalize Your Marketing Emails

If you’re like many business owners, you want to use email marketing to grow your company. Emails are an excellent way to get to know your audience and build customer personas. At the same time, you can use what you learn to create targeted promotions to lead to more sales and engagement.

The key to building a highly effective email marketing strategy is personalization. Consumers expect businesses to use what they know to create and showcase relevant content, offers and messaging. Failure to meet this standard could result in people leaving your site who may have otherwise enjoyed your product or service. Today, I'm going to help you add personalization to your email marketing campaign. To accomplish this task, we will explore four effective ways to add a personal touch to your marketing emails. 1. Personalize The Subject Line The subject line


4 tips on writing the perfect holiday card during COVID-19

Cards are a great way to check in with friends and loved ones, says designer Erin Leroux

Sadly, many holiday traditions just can't happen during COVID-19: Big parties, crowded dinners and kissing under the mistletoe are all recipes for potential disaster amid the second wave of the pandemic. But one activity that is still allowed is the simple act of sending a card through the mail. It's a long-standing tradition that artist Erin Leroux said is particularly well-suited to our current moment. "It's a really easy way to send a simple message to your friends and family," said Leroux, founder of the Kitchener-based card and stationery company


The Art of Writing Strongly Worded Emails

Have you ever worked with someone and wanted to express your feelings towards them in an unfriendly manner? If not, you are lying to yourself.

Indifferences at work are not just common but rather inevitable and if you’re very unlucky, insufferable. The more involved you are, the more opportunities there are to discover that everyone might not be on the same page as you. Thankfully, Zoom enables us to keep one from indulging in indecent or violent behaviour as otherwise you might have a case of sore punches, broken fingers, and an expired career. It’s common knowledge that when such indiscrepancies occur, they stem from either lack of appropriate framing, grave miscommunication, or a pure


5 Principles for Setting Up an Excellent Business Communications Infrastructure

Good communication means better business. There are few industries in which the effective sharing of information isn’t crucial. Making communication frictionless and efficient, though, is often easier said than done. Especially if you don’t have the right communications infrastructure to start with.

A business communications infrastructure is the technology that facilitates commercial communication. It can include everything from a simple desk phone, to cold calling software, to smart devices connected to the Internet of Things. Your infrastructure needs to cover your present communication needs and keep you covered for the future. Research states that 98% of executives consider ineffective communication to be the main cause of failures in business. Companies with unclear or inaccurate business communications are far less productive than those with a proper system set up. So how can you


11 Tips for Proofreading Emails

Email lets us communicate — or miscommunicate — at the speed of light. That’s why proofreading email is so important. Grammatical errors, bad links, and missing attachments signal a lack of professionalism, and a confusing sentence can send the wrong message altogether.

A solid email marketing strategy is at the heart of most digital marketing campaigns, so it’s important that your emails always look professional and polished. This guide to effective email proofreading can help — as long as you follow these tips: Take a break Know your usual mistakes Use a proofreading tool Check subjects and headlines Verify names and pronouns Read out loud Check links and attachments Verify facts and dates Check your tone Simplify Bring in support 1. Take a break It’s hard to correct errors while you’re still


5 Ways You Can Be More Direct In An Email (And Get The Answers You Need)

Being direct does not mean you have to be abrasive. Being direct means being clear. When you communicate clearly, work gets done. Make it a priority to be clear, particularly when it comes to work email.

Email language and the back and forth messages that often ensue can undermine your productivity, as well the productivity of your teammates. You have the ability to make email work for you. Here are five tips to help you be more direct in your written communications at work: 1. Ask a question if you need an answer. Questions beg answers. Reserve questions for information you need from the recipient. Use statements only for information you want to share but to which you don’t need an answer. To illustrate, write, “Who


GOoD ENgLiSh? WTF Is That? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

LMAO, WTF, TIL and TL;DR aren’t just an exasperating farrago of digitalese. Internet patois carries a subversive social power.

Of the many apologies I owe for my years of being an idiot online, the first is owed to my childhood classmates. Somewhere on some Silicon Valley server, bey­ond my own reach, are early-2000s MSN Messenger chats in which I have, with proper title-casing and punctuation, accused them of complicity in the downfall of the English language. Their crime: using GTG and LOL. I didn’t know, at 12 and 13, that living languages exist in a permanent state of such downfallings, constantly welcoming new additions as new shared experiences call


Want to Win Someone Over? Talk Like They Do.

What does it take to become a more convincing communicator? New research suggests that linguistic mirroring — that is, adjusting your communication style to match that of your audience — is an effective tool to increase your ability to influence others. In this piece, the authors describe four key dimensions of linguistic mirroring, as well as several tactical strategies for leaders looking to win over a client, judge, or other important evaluator. Ultimately, they argue that building genuine relationships with key evaluators is the best way to gain insight into their linguistic preferences — but it’s up to all of us to make sure that we use the power of linguistic mirroring for good.

Whether you’re pitching a big client, presenting to an executive, or attempting to win over a judge, a strong preexisting relationship with the person who’s evaluating you is likely to make you much more effective. Why is that? In our recent research, forthcoming in Administrative Science Quarterly, we found that preexisting relationships give people greater insight into how their evaluators think, reason, interpret, and process evidence, helping them tailor their messages with a process we call linguistic mirroring. For example, if you know that your evaluator favors linear, logical reasoning


Write for Rights

Every December, people around the world write millions of letters, emails, tweets, Facebook posts and postcards for those whose human rights are under attack, in what has become the world’s biggest human rights event.

“Write for Rights is all about individuals helping other individuals, and this way of expressing our shared humanity has never been more important and relevant.” “The power of individual action to save lives and hold governments to account must never be underestimated. Year on year we see the powerful impact that simply writing a letter or email can deliver.” Write for Rights mobilizes hundreds of thousands of people around the world to change the lives of individuals at risk through taking action. Amnesty International's Write for Rights campaign will run


Presentations And Presentation Skills In The Age Of Virtual Meetings

Since Zoom, Microsoft Teams and other similar virtual platforms have transformed corporate life — possibly forever — it’s time to get with the program.

Many lessons that we teach about how to construct and deliver an effective, memorable presentation are obsolete in the virtual meeting age; however, many of the techniques and tools that we’ve shared with clients for decades are even more important. Since Zoom, Microsoft Teams and other similar virtual platforms have transformed corporate life — possibly forever — and it’s time to get with the program. Here are a few pointers about what’s changed and some ideas for solutions. Our clients and contacts are asking how best to make eye contact


Six Ways To Write A Press Release That Gets Noticed

You can create a brilliant press release even if you didn’t do great in your composition class.

A well-written press release is an introduction to your company and increases your visibility as an industry expert within your community and beyond. You can create a brilliant press release even if you didn’t do great in your composition class. These are the six facets of a well-written press release. Falling short on just one could have a negative effect on your success. Luckily, there are simple steps to follow. The Most Important Question Does this really deserve a press release? A press release highlights the story. It's newsworthy and


Being polite in work emails is more important than ever

2020 has upped the value of the polite, swift and considerate email

Last week a 14-word email landed in my inbox from someone called Greg who did not like a column I had just written about green investments. “Grass is green,” it said. “You going to invest in that too? What a goofy article.” There is much to admire in an email like this. It was short. It had a point and its meaning was more or less clear. Alas, it fell down on another measure. It was unpleasant. This comes with the territory if you are lucky enough to be paid


16 Ways To Maintain Client Communication

Modern companies that rely on repeat business can't afford to lose contact with their clients, and as consumer behavior continually shifts, engaging clients and prospects can be a tricky business.

Many businesses have a communication problem—whether by not having enough channels to engage customers or by using too many channels to maintain effective communication across all of them. In either case, client communication suffers. Modern companies that rely on repeat business can't afford to lose contact with their clients, and as consumer behavior continually shifts, engaging clients and prospects can be a tricky business. If a business needs to maintain its client communication channels, it needs to be more proactive and deploy specific strategies to improve its approach. Here, 16


Writing For SEO: Seven Tips To Rank Higher On Google Organically

Writing without SEO in mind hurts your business. Google one of your services or products. Are you on page one of the search results, hopefully ranking in the top five positions?

If you’re not in the top five organic (not paid) positions, you’re missing out on 70.4% of traffic. According to Search Engine Journal, a study that took into account 80 million keywords and billions of results reported the following clicks on the top positions: 1. 28.5% 2. 15.7% 3. 11% 4. 8% 5. 7.2% Nowadays, browsers are wise. They trust a top organic result for a search query over the top paid Google Ad. Anyone with a huge budget can consistently rank at the top of Google Ads. Much more


5 ways to improve your English proficiency as a non-native English speaker

Speaking and understanding English is not the same for native and non-native speakers.

When you're a non-native speaker of English, it can be hard matching the standards set by the true owners of the language. On the one hand, there's the issue of accent - your native accent might be totally different from that of native English speakers. And on the other hand is the issue of getting acquainted with the language - understanding the rudiments of the English language. In short, speaking and understanding English is not the same for native and non-native speakers. However, as a non-native speaker, there are things


5 Marketing Emails That Drive Sales

While often the goal of email marketing is sales, the first priority is building a relationship with customers, which in turn can lead to many sales over time.

Email marketing pays off, in a big way. Connecting with customers through email earns between $30 and $50 for nearly every dollar invested, according to the UK-based Data & Marketing Association. Emails that customers find useful and interesting to read keep your subscribers wanting more and incentivize them to stay subscribed to your list. While often the goal of email marketing is sales, the first priority is building a relationship with customers, which in turn can lead to many sales over time. Each email should have a clearly defined goal


How To Build Hype Around A New Product

If you want to find success with your next big release, you must know how to build hype around your new product.

Businesses around the globe are always making new products. Some of those products catch on, while others disappear into obscurity almost instantly. Odds are, you would rather be in the former category. You want to design a fantastic new product and get tons of sales and engagement. If you want to find success with your next big release, you must know how to build hype around your new product. You have a whole host of marketing channels that you can use to spread brand awareness and get people invested in


4 Best Apps for Academic Writers

Convenience and comfort when writing an essay have greatly bolstered writing essays, all in the account of the recent tech advancements.

Students now can enjoy a hassle-free editing and writing process, which enables them to deliver every course work with ease and within the stipulated time. Besides, everyone can access these apps irrespective of their geographical location, provided they have a phone, laptop, and secure and reliable internet connection. Besides offering stress-free writing and editing features, the software help students deliver error-free native-like content, which bolsters their chances of getting better grades. That said, there are many apps to use, but here’s a brief look at the top 4 apps for


Your grammar guide to the 2020 election

Even if we don’t know exactly who won yet in the elderly man popularity contest known as this year’s presidential election, you at least want to sound smart when you’re talking and/or writing about this year’s contest.

Great job, you voted! You exercised your right as a non-felonious adult American citizen to democratically elect the people who will represent us in our state and federal governments for the next few years. Even if we don’t know exactly who won yet in the elderly man popularity contest known as this year’s presidential election, you at least want to sound smart when you’re talking and/or writing about this year’s contest. Here are some tips on how to sound like a regular Doris Kearns Goodwin while chatting about politics. First


Top Business Skills for Success on the Job

Improving your business skills will help you succeed in your career.

AT THEIR CORE, businesses are basically groups of people working toward a common goal. The more effectively these people can work together, the more successful a business can be. If collaboration is the wheel that helps the business progress, business skills are the lubricant that keeps the wheel turning smoothly. No matter what your industry or job, strong business acumen will help you succeed. This guide explores the top business skills everyone should have and how you can improve your business acumen. What Are Business Skills? Business skills are a



Distance learning and remote teaching have increased reliance on tech making it a reality, and able to traverse borders with less regard for physical geo-locations.

Learning Language Online is now seamless with AI-backed Language Apps There are numerous restrictions that prevent online learning from being ubiquitous such as internet accessibility, access to learning platforms, adequate attention for learners individually, and language barriers. Video-based learning could be enough for urban pupils, but for rural areas, connectivity becomes low, less reliable, and interrupted lessons. For international students, pursuing higher education or probably taking vocational courses, a lack in fluency in English or any other intermediary languages can play a significant role in limiting proper online learning. Learning


Building blocks of language evolved before humans split from chimps and monkeys

The ability to piece together relationships between word groups appeared at least 40 million years ago.

The building blocks of human language were around at least 40 million years ago, long before humans evolved, scientists have discovered. Researchers recently found that humanity's last shared ancestor with great apes and monkeys — our closest primate relatives — had evolved the ability to detect relationships between groups of sounds, a foundational skill for understanding language, according to the new study. Structurally, language is made up of sentences, and in a sentence, every word has meaning. But meaning also comes from grammar, or how the words are arranged. Being


4 Common Grammar Mistakes in Writing to Avoid

What are the most common grammatical errors in writing? This is a question that many people ask when they are writing an essay, report, letter, or even an article. A lot of people would think that they are the only ones making mistakes, but that is not true. All sorts of errors in writing exist.

The biggest problem that most writers face is the fact that they do not pay enough attention to the grammar rules. This is a very important aspect of writing because when you write and have to proofread your work, there will be no point in editing your work if you do not take care of your grammar. If you want to be an effective writer then you need to learn and apply the correct grammar rules for your topic. If you learn the rules of writing in English then you


You’re Better Off Not Responding To These 4 Types Of Emails

In certain situations no response is probably the best response.

Responsiveness is certainly one of the golden rules of teaming and simple workplace professionalism. Indeed, responding promptly to emails (ideally within 24 hours) even if just to confirm receipt of a task or clarify that you don’t have the requested information is a best practice that everyone should embrace. But the truth is that in certain situations no response is probably the best response. Let’s explore four of these situations where you may be better off not responding at all. #1 – Contentious Group Emails Have you ever been included


Science’s English dominance hinders diversity—but the community can work toward change

These types of struggles often live only as anecdotes and as harsh realities of the job among nonnative speakers. But Ramírez Castañeda’s results add to a small yet growing body of work providing concrete evidence of how language barriers affect nonnative English speakers and hinder diversity in science.

When Valeria Ramírez Castañeda was a biology master’s student at the University of Los Andes in Colombia, the thought of writing her thesis in English gave her a headache. Writing it in Spanish would fulfill her graduation requirement—but if she wrote it in English, it would be far easier to turn it into a paper she could immediately submit for publication. Ramírez Castañeda tried, but after weeks of frustration she gave up. “It was impossible,” she says. “With the little time I had and with all the mental effort it


The Top 10 Communication Lessons An Entrepreneur Can Learn

Every successful business leader needs to know how to communicate effectively. Both written and verbal communication skills are crucial if you want to build and maintain strong relationships with your employees, customers and partners.

These essential communications insights are often learned throughout an entrepreneur’s journey, and sometimes they can come to you through unexpected career situations. That’s why we asked the members of Young Entrepreneur Council to share the best communication lessons they’ve learned during their careers so far. Here are their top 10 lessons and why each was so impactful. 1. Be Transparent Above All Else Transparency is incredibly important in building trust with internal and external stakeholders. Withholding and hiding information leads to feelings of distrust and opens the door for false


Email Marketing: Still The Most Powerful Tool To Take Your Business To The Next Level

The key to running a successful business is enticing customers and clients to do business with you. So whether you’re scrambling to lure customers back during a global pandemic or expanding your markets during “normal” business times, the question is, How do you do that? What are the best ways to get customers to come to your store, website, restaurant, office, etc.?

We all know the answer: it’s marketing. But marketing is not a simple process. There are various practices, tactics, and strategies that are part of an overall marketing plan—and they are constantly evolving. It can make formulating a marketing plan for your small business overwhelming. To help simplify the process, there is one marketing method that has maintained its claim to fame. Email marketing still promises to deliver the highest ROI of all marketing channels—$42 back for every dollar you spend. That’s not to say email as an industry, and


5 Words You’re Probably Using Incorrectly

Did you know “anyways” is not a word? And “factoid” doesn’t mean a small piece of information?

ANXIOUS Wrong meaning: Excited, eager Right meaning: In a fit of nervousness, considering all that could go wrong If you say you are anxious to get your new puppy or to start your vacation in Florida, you are saying you are anticipating these things with dread, fear or — as the word implies — anxiety. You are likely just eager to do those things. Use eager when you are excited for or about something: “I’m so eager for my week off at Christmas!” and anxious when you are dreading something:


Grammar Guy: Through the ears

Oronyms are words or phrases that sound similar that you mishear in a sentence.

Do you ever think you see something but it’s really something else? I’m not talking about mirages, rather, sometimes our eyes just fool us. For instance, I have a beard, and for weeks now it has looked as though I accidentally shaved too closely on this spot under my chin. As a result, it looks like there’s a chunk missing from my beard. Since I’ve been wearing a face-covering at work and in public, I haven’t seen the spot in many mirrors, however, I caught a glance the other day,


13 Smart Strategies To Write Better Copy

All professional copywriters have certain "tricks of the trade" when it comes to hitting the mark with copy. From creating the right idea to developing it into full copy with its own voice and tone, each of these experts has a method they apply to ensure that the composition fulfills the creator's requirements.

As easy as copywriting might seem to business professionals, dedicated copywriters know it's a learned skill with its own required talent. All professional copywriters have certain "tricks of the trade" when it comes to hitting the mark with copy. From creating the right idea to developing it into full copy with its own voice and tone, each of these experts has a method they apply to ensure that the composition fulfills the creator's requirements. What are these secret tricks and tips that pro copywriters use to analyze and refine their


12 Best And Worst Communication Practices From The Second Trump-Biden Televised Debate

In addition to making their best arguments why they should occupy the White House for the next four years, the two political leaders provided business leaders with several examples of best and worst communication practices.

In their last debate before Election Day, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden showed their true colors — again — before a national television audience. In addition to making their best arguments why they should occupy the White House for the next four years, the two political leaders provided business leaders with several examples of best and worst communication practices. In crisis situations, executives should embrace the best practices — and avoid the worst ones at all cost. Best Practices Connect With Your Audience Biden directed many


Send This Email to Have a Better Day

The key to falling back in love with your inbox is as simple as writing one email every day: a thank you note.

Hello, my name is Amy and I have 8,888 unread emails in my inbox. I know! But between marketing pitches for publications where I worked three jobs ago (update your lists, people!) and increasingly dramatic calls to sign political petitions (I admit signing up to textbank for campaigns was a bad call for this reason), I really can’t keep up. I tend to meet every “new message” notification with a shudder of dread. Of course it wasn’t always this way — I used to love email! These days, however, I


6 Ways to Promote Effective Communication in the Workplace

Whatever your walk of life, being a great communicator is a critical skill. But why is communication in the workplace important?

In a recent survey, employers listed their top five most in-demand skills for new hires. Four out of five skills were speaking, listening, writing, and presentation. This shows a clear focus on our ability to engage others and discuss ideas. The way we interact has evolved too. Video conferencing has increased. So has the reliance on workplace messaging apps. As a result, connecting with colleagues in different locations is our everyday experience. As technology plays an ever-growing role in our workplace communication, how do we take the benefits and avoid


Star Trek: Is The Phrase "To Boldly Go" Grammatically Incorrect?

Star Trek's intro infamously includes the phrase "to boldly go," which is a split infinitive - but are split infinitives bad grammar or not?

Is Star Trek's iconic introduction quote - "to boldly go" - actually grammatically incorrect? The line features at the front of episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation, spoken by their respective Enterprise captains, and arguably sounds a lot more poetic than the alternative, "to go boldly," might have. Despite this, it's actually been a subject of some controversy among grammar enthusiasts. In English grammar, the phrase “to boldly go” is a split infinitive, which English classes warn to never write. A split infinitive,


Writing Email Subject Lines That Get Opened: 5 Tips To Get You Started

A successful email campaign starts with a great subject line. The best subject lines are often descriptive or personal, giving the reader a reason to read the rest of your content. But capturing the attention of your subscribers is easier said than done.

If you’re struggling with low email open rates, here are five surefire tips that you can use to write email subject lines. If you want your emails to be opened, and read, spend 4 minutes watching the video, or read on for the tips 1. Be Descriptive Your email subscribers are busy – often too busy for subject lines that don’t contain any information about the email’s content. Generic email subject lines don’t give your readers any incentive to click on them. No matter how good the content of the


4 ways to build trust with employees (especially when you can’t see them)

These days, you may not speak to your employees in-person, but you can still promote a trusting relationship.

Now that working remotely has become the norm, supervisors are realizing the challenges of leading a team they can’t see. It makes sense that they’re struggling: After all, managing employees remotely requires different skills than managing them face-to-face. The sudden arrival of the pandemic meant they had precious little time to prepare. Different industries will face different challenges when it comes to managing staff from afar. But whether you’re in charge of a team of engineers, designers, or bread bakers, there’s one element that’s absolutely critical: trust. A lack of


Is English the lingua franca of science? Not for everyone

For much of the world—in particular, the global south, where English is not a common second language—English limits entry into the the world of science and limits public access to scientific results, even when they pertain to a person's own country.

English has become the de facto language of science: International conferences are held in English, the world's top scientific journals are in English and academics in non-English speaking countries get promoted based on their publications in English language journals. Even scientific jargon is in English—most non-English speakers use English terms and don't bother inventing equivalent words in their native languages. Yet, for much of the world—in particular, the global south, where English is not a common second language—English limits entry into the the world of science and limits public access


On Vocabulary in Writing

Bad writing bamboozles readers with highfalutin gobbledygook. Don't you want all the Latinate words (e.g., bamboozle, highfalutin, and gobbledygook) in the previous sentence replaced with easy Anglo-Saxon words?

Back in the mid-90s when I was majoring in English literature at a public university in Dhaka, Bangladesh, I was a cricket buff. For the Bangladeshis, cricket was a transnational love affair in the 90s. We didn't have a national cricket team of international standard the way we do now. Most of us used to root either for India or Pakistan, though some used to savor the brutal beauty of Caribbean cricket. India was my favorite team. Watching India play was not enough. I became curious about the players. I


Why Your Startup Needs An Email Newsletter

Marketing isn't always a top priority in the pre-launch phase of a business startup. Your plate as a founder is beyond full. Your offering is still in development. People need to get to know you even when it's early. This is where starting an email newsletter can help.

Marketing isn't always a top priority in the pre-launch phase of a business startup. Your plate as a founder is beyond full. Your offering is still in development. People need to get to know you even when it's early. This is where starting an email newsletter can help. I can hear you from here. Email? Really? Hear me out. Adobe found the average consumer spends about 2.5 hours checking personal email on a typical weekday. More than three-fourths of marketers reported seeing an increase in email engagement in 2019. And


Communication has become way too impersonal

We live in an increasingly impersonal world dominated by technology. Technology is wonderful when it works.

Writing a newspaper column is not as easy as you might think. I’ve started and stopped this week at least three times. I’ve erased — excuse me, deleted — my words more times than I want to admit to you. I guess that means I’ve put a little extra thought into this space this week. The first effort was entirely too personal and I got about five paragraphs in and didn’t like the way I was whining. I’ve always worn my feelings on my sleeve and I suspect that by


Grammar Guy: A slightly more perfect present

This year has been rough, especially for the U.S. The country has been on fire, we’re dealing with a global pandemic, and both racial injustice and political unrest continue to dominate the headlines. So, my question is: was the past better, or will the future bring us brighter days?

To be honest with you, that’s above my paygrade. I can’t guarantee the quality of your past, present or future, but I can help you understand the present perfect tense. Yes, times are tense, but learning about the present perfect tense can be fun! The present perfect is a verb tense that is used in two different ways: to indicate something has happened at a time in the unspecified past and to show something has happened in the past that continues to occur in the present. Clear as mud, right?


7 Basic Ways to Improve Your Academic Writing Skills

Academic writing is one of the most critical and repetitive activities in a college. If you are a student at a university, you must be familiar with academic writing. However, many students continuously struggle in producing quality academic papers that the professor requires.

Use Active Voice Using active voice in sentences is one of the most basic rules you should follow while academic writing? For example, the statement, “The maid cleaned my house,” should be termed as, “The maid cleaned the house.” Using active voice instead of passive voice is that it helps in the clarity of the document. Having a clear and unambiguous writing style is very important to craft a well written academic paper. An active voice achieves clarity because it becomes clear for the reader about who is taking action


A shortcut to help you write anything

Today’s tip is a tool to get your creative juices flowing: the writing plan spreadsheet.

How it works: Whenever you need to tackle an ambitious writing project — a speech, a screenplay, even a lengthy email — begin by mapping out the structure in a spreadsheet. Use one column to create your skeleton, listing the rough sections or points you want to hit, and then use a second column to flesh out each one. If you’d like, you can keep adding additional columns that get increasingly granular, sketching out subsections or certain lines or details you’d like to include. Why do it? The hardest part


Do You Love Writing or Receiving Letters?

Snail mail is making a comeback during the pandemic. Have you written any letters lately? Do you think that now is a good time to start?

Have you ever received a memorable letter? If so, what was it like to see an envelope with your name on it? What did you feel as you unfolded the letter and began to read? Did it feel different than getting an email, phone call or text? Why or why not? Conversely, have you ever written a meaningful letter to someone else? Why did you choose that old-fashioned form of communication over a quicker and more convenient one? Snail mail and handwritten messages are on the rise during the coronavirus


Eight ways to vastly improve your communication skills

Truth is, even those of us who are good communicators aren’t nearly as good as we think we are.

When it comes to communication, we all tend to think we’re pretty good at it. Truth is, even those of us who are good communicators aren’t nearly as good as we think we are. This overestimation of our ability to communicate is magnified when interacting with people we spend the most time with. Researchers at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business put this theory to the test and what they discovered is startling. In the study, the researchers paired subjects with people they knew well and then again


Creating culture during the chaos of Covid


Keen to kickstart: Some employees will be keen to return to workplaces, particularly if they experienced isolation and loneliness during lockdown. Coming into contact with colleagues and clients again can be important in maintaining a sense of community – especially in SMEs, where workplaces often have a more familial feel. Making sure that workplaces are carefully assessed for Covid safety measures, and communicating steps taken – such as socially distanced desks and sanitising stations – is an important element of employees returning. Multiple benefits can be reaped from returning to


5 Tried-and-True Ways to Boost Traffic to Your Website

You may have high-quality content on your website but unless you can get visitors to read it, it will serve no purpose.

There are many different ways to get more traffic to a website, some of which are more successful than others. The following five ways to get more traffic have been successfully used by most top bloggers. 1. Add new content constantly Having a product review app on product pages is a great way to constantly get new reviews so the search engines see regular activity and new content on these pages. Removing stale, outdated content from webpages and adding new sections is also necessary to keep pages relevant. Blog writing


A Unique Approach To Writing A Better Company Bio

Your words on that about page need to carry your visitors from start to finish. Tell them a story so engrossing they’ll keep reading to the end.

When I used to attend live events, I always enjoyed listening to the speakers’ bios. They were more than just their names and what they did. Their bios were crafted to resonate with the audience and, often, the event they were speaking at. That got me thinking about a company's about page. We’ve all got one, but they’re often pretty dull. They describe what your business does and maybe your mission or values, but that’s it. What if you could create a company bio that was engaging, compelling and maybe


Curtis Honeycutt | Grammar Guy: Breaking the rules: Starting sentences with conjunctions

I'm here to tell you it's time to let coordinating conjunctions be the star of the sentence. Let them bat leadoff in your unstoppable word lineup.

I've never been to a "con." What I mean by this, of course, is a major "convention" (unless you count the Southern Baptist convention back in 2004, but that's a story for a different column). I'm talking about conventions such as Comic-Con, Dragon Con and the D23 Expo, a convention devoted to all things Disney. I'm not enough of a fanboy in any of the above categories to travel great distances in order to buy a limited-edition comic book. Today, I'd like to suggest a new convention for all the


Three Reasons CEOs Should Write A Book

Self-published books can be just as effective at growing your business and your brand — and increasingly so, as more and more resources for authors become available.

Over two decades in the communications industry, I've worked with many CEOs and executives to help cultivate book ideas, develop their audience and use their book to speak directly to that audience. I've seen how these books have opened up new opportunities for both the authors and their organizations. One misconception among CEOs and executives is that if you write a book, it needs to be a bestseller (or it needs to be published by one of the big five) to be successful. But self-published books can be just as


The New Normal: Remote Work Requires New Skills And Old Values

If we are going to be leaders of the future, we must be agile, resilient and intentional. And the current working environment during the pandemic exemplifies the need for these values more than ever.

With the pandemic entering its seventh month and no end in sight, it’s essential to adapt to the demands of the public health crisis if we are going to stay in business. That means we have lost the liberty to be purists. We must adjust. We must change the way we work. We have two choices, or a combination of the two. We can demand that all employees report to the office in person and make appropriate changes to keep them safe, such as spreading out to maintain social distance


Do you want to improve your communication skills? Here are 8 ways to do it

These tactics include how to listen, when to ask questions, and connect emotionally.

When it comes to communication, we all tend to think that we are pretty good at it. The truth is that even those of us who are good communicators are not as good as we think. This overestimation of our communication skills is magnified when we interact with the people with whom we spend the most time. Researchers at the University of Chicago School of Business put this theory to the test, and what they discovered is surprising. In the study, the researchers paired the subjects with people they knew


15 Tips That Will Improve Your Writing Today

Learning how to write well is a process that can always be improved. Apply these 15 tactics to elevate your writing to the next level.

Back in 2007, freelancer writers like myself were paid crap per piece of website content. Due to the youthful tastes of search engines and digital content, algorithms were much simpler to conquer. The goal was the more content, the better. More content equals better rankings. Better rankings equal stronger profit. “The more content, the better” remains a significant saying across websites today. Back then, the game plan was to pump out as much as possible, which typically resulted in zero quality. For me, that meant $5 for rewritten press releases


Three Actions To Raise Your Visibility While Working From Home

Being future-ready means knowing how to improve skills like communication and relationship-building. It means selling ideas, practicing empathy and giving constructive feedback, all while working remotely.

As if dealing with a pandemic wasn’t enough. Worldwide, conversations with my clients have revealed there also lurks an emotional health crisis, a jobs crisis, a consumer behavior crisis, a data analytics crisis and a purchasing power crisis. Yet, we know that a crisis brings both danger and opportunity. Our opportunity is mixed in with the myriad of changes in the way we live, educate our children and work. Being visible in your organization still matters. It’s just the way you go about it that looks different. Being future-ready means


How to Become a Copywriter

Everyone writes. But not everyone's a writer. It's a distinction that copywriters have to make every day.

Copywriting is both an art and a science. You want to get your idea across to your audience as quickly as possible – but each and every word choice can make or break the entire message. So, what is copywriting? "Copywriting is a type of writing which focuses on marketing or promotion of a product, service or event," said Mary SanGiovanni, an MFA adjunct faculty member and a longtime freelance writer. "The tone of the language and the word choice are geared toward interesting others in what is being marketed.


4 silent exercises to improve your listening and communication skills that you can easily do from home

Over the years, to improve my communication skills, I've tried every trick in the book. From both my own experience and those of my coaching clients, the four silent exercises below have the most potential to add weight to your spoken word.

Growing up with a severe speech impediment and social anxiety, I was terrified of meeting new people. That changed, however, when at the age of 23 I took a sales job to overcome this fear. At the time I didn't have any intention of staying in the job for long. My plan was to simply get in front of as many people as I could in the short-term to learn how to better connect with people in the future. As I expected, for the first months on the job I


Want to improve your English for International studies? Follow these 5 tips

When they say English connects the world, they are not farther from the truth. It is a language that permeates through all political, social, and cultural barriers and has found a place in one way or another in our lives.

However, there are clear disparities so far as fluency in English is concerned. Many countries such as Japan and Germany do not have a large English-speaking population, and even English-speaking countries such as the United States of America may not have fluent speakers. English, like any other language, requires attention and practice. If you want to study abroad and come from a country where English is not a native language, English will come really handy and should be practiced. This is also important for those who come from English-speaking countries.


9 Valuable Skills You Can Learn at Home

The COVID19 pandemic made various changes in society. People started to work from home. There is also a schedule for going to the grocery store. Furthermore, some students are studying from home.

Most families also decided to homeschool their kids, which means that they will have less time to study and learn. It is because kids have different attention span and processing. Therefore, through homeschooling, they can even learn more. If you are a parent homeschooling his or her kid, a high school or college student who is spending most of their time at home, the following are nine valuable skills you can learn at home and teach your kids or younger siblings. 1. English English is a universal language that everyone


How does grammar help writing? And who should teach it?

A recent report into Australia’s NAPLAN results showed that in 2019 close to a quarter of boys and 10 per cent of girls in year 9 were not meeting the minimum standards. These figures suggest something is seriously wrong with how we teach writing in high schools.

In response, many commentators, including former NSW premier Bob Carr and a former head of the NSW Education Standards Authority, Tom Alegounarias, have called for more explicit teaching of writing in high schools and for teachers to be trained in grammar at universities. However, amid this debate, there has been little discussion of what grammar is and how it helps writing. For many, grammar conjures up vague memories that prepositions are things you should not finish sentences with – or, better still, with which you should not finish a sentence.


The more you learn about grammar, the less grammary it becomes

What is grammar? For those who might choose to skip over this article, the answer might well be "who cares?" And who can blame them?

For many Australians, grammar wasn't taught in school. That doesn't mean their English is poor. They can communicate well enough without knowing who from whom. But many of us do care. We develop a curiosity about the English language. And luckily there's a ready-made answer to this question: Grammar is the rulebook of a language. In our eagerness to know more about grammar, it is only natural that we want to learn the rules. And they're not hard to find. Reference guides, Google, your well-spoken neighbour. The rules are accessible


Three Essential Digital Marketing Channels In 2020

To say 2020 has been a challenging time for marketing professionals would be an understatement. While some companies and industries are affected more than others, every marketer has needed to take a step back and reevaluate their marketing strategies to adapt to a suddenly changed landscape.

Many companies may take this opportunity to jump on board the newest platforms and marketing channels to engage with their audiences in entirely new ways. There are certainly good reasons to test new communication channels, but when you are reassessing your marketing plan, don't ignore some of the more tried-and-true digital marketing strategies that already have a track record of success. Here are three well-established digital marketing channels that you should consider either adding to your strategy or ramping up. Email When it comes to digital marketing, email is the


5 effective ways to communicate with customers

It goes without saying, but customers are the cornerstone for any business. This is why your company must go above and beyond with its customer service. The more satisfied your client base, the more sales you’re ultimately going to rack up.

To keep your customers happy, one big step to take is to ensure your communication methods are on point. You don’t only want it to be easy to send out messages to your customers, but also vice versa. Your customers shouldn’t have any issue getting in touch with your business. Before the internet rose to prominence, there were three main methods of communication: telephone, snail-mail, and in-person. These days, however, there are many ways to get in touch with people. There’s just one question: Which communication methods are the best


10 Tried-And-True Email Marketing Tactics That Actually Work

Despite the numerous digital communications channels available today, email is still one of the best ways to get and stay in touch with your customers. Email marketing is notorious for its high return on investment, and with nearly 4 billion active email users, there’s a huge potential audience waiting to receive your messages.

However, email is only effective if you follow a well-planned strategy—one that doesn’t involve bombarding your subscribers or sending sales pitch after sales pitch. If you want to improve your email marketing efforts, follow these 10 tried-and-true methods recommended by the members of Young Entrepreneur Council. 1. Write A Good Subject Line Writing good email subject lines is helpful to any email marketing campaign. You can have the best content in the email, but it’s doing you no good if you send it with a poor subject line. Use power


Getting bad news early is good news

In the business world it may seem odd to say that it’s good to get bad news.

As managers, certainly we would always prefer to receive good news, but unfortunately we all know that’s not always the case. The concept of this week’s column is that when bad things happen, such as a project running late, a tenuous meeting with a customer or an expense item that is over budget, as the manager, the earlier you are informed of the issue the easier it is to solve or at least minimize its effect. Having an early working system within your organization is hard to create and often


Why the words we say matter

Great communication plays a vital role in solving almost every problem in the workplace. How well leaders communicate has everything to do with how well employees engage in their work, how they take feedback, and whether or not they feel a sense of meaning and purpose. This type of communication is incredibly hard. It doesn't come naturally to most.

Remember, in all communication, there is a sender and a receiver. Both are coming from different places with different points of view. And great communication is not just about people understanding what you are trying to say (although that is a big part of it). It's also about how people react to your words and how they feel about you afterward. Great communicators are great influencers. They are powerful culture-builders. They are masters at managing relationships, attracting and retaining talent, and, ultimately, driving performance inside their organization. This is why


The storytelling system that sits behind good content marketing

Even in B2B communications, we can use gripping storytelling to maximise impact - and it turns out the formula is reasonably simple.

Sit down and let me tell you a story. No, not the one about that lad with the oversized vegetables. Nor the one about a wonderful house made out of biscuit. Or even that one with the irritating talking snowman. This one’s about how something that might seem more suited to the playground can actually help to make your marketing a lot more effective. Predating many other forms of communication, storytelling was the most effective way for our ancestors to share important knowledge; those people who told the best stories


Grammar Guy: You'll flip for these types of words

If I started to tell you about something called “ambigram,” you might think it’s one of two things: either a new graham cracker that doubles as a sleep aid or a new social media platform for people who are can use both hands equally well. In fact, an ambigram is neither of those things. Let’s figure out what it is!

Unlike a palindrome such as “racecar,” where the letters are the same if the word is reversed, an ambigram is a word that can be read as the same word from different angles. Other names used for ambigrams include vertical palindromes, designatures and inversions. For today’s lesson, I’d like to discuss my favorite type of ambigram, the “natural rotational” ambigram. In order for this to make sense, let’s start with an example. The word “dollop” (with a lowercase “d”) is a great example. If you rotate the word “dollop” 180


How leaders can introduce effective communication in the workplace

In uncertain times, it’s more important than ever for managers to both demonstrate and encourage effective communication in the workplace

Poor communication can result in distrust, conflict and even employee turnover. On the flip side, strong employee communication can be a great retention tool — this is key, as 81% of employers are concerned about holding on to top talent, according to recent research commissioned by Robert Half. Good communication can boost morale and productivity and engender loyalty. Do you find some members of your team seem to be constantly frustrated? Is there suddenly an unhealthy amount of office gossip? Is morale suffering? These may be signs that the lines


So you think you can write?

How its and it’s, the singular they, subject-verb disagreements, inconsistent tenses, and other elements of bad English drive us crazy

Mind your language. And I don’t mean it as an idiom, meaning to speak politely. But if you must pepper your language with invectives, the more you need to mind. Mind your tenses, your subject-verb agreement, your noun-pronoun agreement, your spelling, or else the expletive you hurl out will bounce right back at you. I once witnessed an altercation between two co-workers. And one of them, the feistier of the two, hissed, “Peace off!” The other used it as an opportunity to hit back, “It’s piss off, stupid!” That was


Try These 4 Easy Steps To Start Learning English Today

If you are reading this article, chances are you want to speak better English. Whether you are trying for a job in your own country, looking to move to an English-speaking nation for a better life or even if you want to just learn a new language, congratulations! For you have made a great decision to learn this language.

English has the highest number of non-native speakers in the world. This makes it the perfect language for business, because of its global reach. If you learn English, you can communicate with people from over 90 different countries. With so many benefits to learning the language, the only question right now is ‘how do I do it?’ Here are four ways you can learn English in only 30 days. Business success With over a billion speakers in the world, English is a dominant language for business and can help you


Business communication in 2020

COVID-19 has transformed the world as we know it. Masks and social distancing are now part of our daily lives along with video calls. It’s no longer business as usual and overnight, companies have pivoted to survive in these unpredictable times.

COVID-19 has transformed the world as we know it. Masks and social distancing are now part of our daily lives along with video calls. It’s no longer business as usual and overnight, companies have pivoted to survive in these unpredictable times. More than ever, clear lines of communication are essential. Simply put, communication is key. It’s even more important when you’re running an international business. Here are two ways to show your customers around the world that you care. More than ever, clear lines of communication are essential. Simply put,


16 Ways Employers Can Create An Effective Virtual Onboarding Experience

The business world is migrating online. As a result, companies will need to develop new onboarding practices that cater specifically to remote workers.

With shelter-in-place orders requiring myriad workers to start telecommuting, several businesses have found this preferable to having employees come in. A problem arises when a company decides to hire someone new, while still relying on the in-person onboarding exercises that they've utilized for so long. It's impossible to onboard a new hire virtually using an in-person methodology. As a result, companies will need to develop new onboarding practices that cater specifically to remote workers. Sixteen experts from Forbes Human Resources Council offer their insight to how employers can establish practical


Six Tips for Sending out a Streamlined Message to Staff

Patrick Donadio has a simple phrase that sums up what he feels is the importance of good communication: “What people aren’t up on, they’re down on.”

And that’s just the beginning. That small seed of doubt breeds assumptions and fear begins to take over, which can wreak havoc on your staff and shop culture. That’s only more exacerbated by the rampant anxiety and uncertainty that 2020 has ushered in for many people. "We’re in a less connected environment in that we can’t see each other,” says Donadio, a communications coach and author. “When you can’t manage by walking around, remember the value of keeping people informed. The more people are informed, the more they’ll be connected.”


How to Maintain Soft Communication and Consistent Touch Points with Your Professional Network

It’s so easy to be forgotten today when we are not seeing each other in person on a regular basis. That means the onus is on you to maintain relationships with your professional network with the tools you have – and right now that’s virtually.

The most compelling reason to contact someone in your professional network is to provide them with something useful — and, trust me, people really want to hear from others, especially during this very isolating time of the pandemic. Your goal right now should be to keep in touch with your professional network and to provide information of value to them that enables you to showcase your expertise without being boastful or salesy. If you do this right, you’ll never have to sell anything or use an elevator pitch. Very often


Is Remote Work Good Or Bad For Employee Engagement? Your Leadership Holds The Answer

Remote work is here to stay.

While most businesses have made such arrangements work in the short term, how will employee engagement play out in the long run? How will you maintain team cohesiveness when some employees return to the office while others continue to work at home? What about companies that decide to transition to a largely remote model? To some extent, the pandemic only accelerated existing trends toward more flexible work arrangements that include at least some remote work. Millennials, in particular, value the freedom to juggle work and life as they see fit.


Common Communication Barriers and How to Overcome Them

We all know that good communication is essential to strong relationships in both our work and personal lives. Communication is the glue that holds relationships, families, and friendships together. At work, it can be the difference between a project succeeding or failing – or even a business floundering or thriving.

There’s also a financial incentive to get communication right. According to Dynamic Signal’s 2019 Annual State of Employee Communications and Engagement, 52% of companies reported lost revenue due to poor communication. No-one is born a great communicator. It is a skill we must all learn if we want to succeed at work, grow our businesses, and maintain strong relationships with important stakeholders. Fortunately, it isn’t too hard to learn how to communicate well. There are a few common traps that hinder workplace communication. I see them again and again, and


The art of effective communication

In a world that contains so many word choices, coupled with nuances in delivery method and tone, perhaps it is no wonder that effective communication can be tricky. But to triumph over the tricky simply requires a few techniques.

The number of words in the English language is 1,057,379.6. This is the estimate by the Global Language Monitor as of January 2020. While 1 million words is a generally accepted count by several independent entities, I’m left to wonder which word exactly accounts for the 0.6. But I digress. In a world that contains this many word choices, coupled with nuances in delivery method and tone, perhaps it is no wonder that effective communication can be tricky. But to triumph over the tricky simply requires a few techniques. Wordsmithing:


10 Checkpoints For Effective Organizational Communication

“Communication is everything.” This is a common phrase in nearly all aspects of life involving two or more people — and it is true. Effective communication is a common theme behind many successes, while ineffective communication is a common theme behind many failures. But what is communication? In short, communication is simply the sharing and transferring of information and meaning. In its most basic flow, it follows this sequence: Sender encodes a message and delivers it, then receiver decodes it and responds, becoming the new sender. Yet, if it’s so


Seven Key Elements Of Effective Content Marketing

Having a strong content strategy can be game-changing for your business. From improved SEO and thought leadership in your industry to increased organic traffic, more email subscribers and an edge over your competitors, there's no arguing that investing in content is well worth the effort.

Whether you have a strategy that needs a refresh or are starting from scratch, these are some key pillars that have helped us build a content strategy poised to stand the test of time. Before you start publishing, make a plan. If you thought the actual writing was the beginning of the content creation process, think again. In reality, the writing happens closer to the middle — and it's much easier when you've put a few other steps in place first. The building blocks for your strategy should include conducting


Breaking the English Language Barrier in Scientific Research

Wordvice reporter Andrew Kim explains how non-native English speakers can overcome common mistakes when writing research texts.

Science is the universal language of discovery, ideas, and improvements across time and distance. However, science itself uses a universal language, and not everyone is on an even playing field when it comes to receiving recognition for their contributions. The reality is that practically any important scientific report will be published in English. The Nature of Science Publishing In research, success is largely based on the number and impact of one’s publications. Poor writing can be an obstacle or an outright deal-breaker in getting published. An article must pass through


5 Tips to Improve Your Business Writing Skills

Here is one of the main features of business writing: it always has a particular purpose, whether it be communication, lead acquisition, increasing brand awareness, or helping people to use your products. To create effective textual content, you should take into account the purpose of this content and choose the right format, style, and structure.

Many people who become entrepreneurs or start their small businesses don’t think of how important business writing is. The truth is that you will have to write a lot: emails, marketing materials, blog posts, press releases, etc. It’s great if you have a team of experienced professional writers who can do this work for you. However, many businesses don’t have the necessary budget so they need to deal with writing tasks without any help from professionals. Besides, you cannot delegate business writing to random people. They should understand the specifics


Interacting Virtually? 15 Bad Communication Habits To Break

Technology has increasingly become the medium of modern communications, especially in the COVID-19 era. With so many of our interactions happening on digital platforms, we need to become experts in clearly communicating with each other through email, video conferencing and instant messaging.

It’s easy to cause misunderstandings—or worse, unintentionally offend others—if you have poor digital communication skills. That’s why we asked members of Forbes Coaches Council which common bad habits they’ve observed in online interactions and how to break them. Follow their advice to boost your virtual communication etiquette. Members of Forbes Coaches Council detail bad virtual communication habits and what people should do instead. 1. Talking To Yourself One of the worst habits in communication is talking to yourself. What I mean by this is that you talk to others from


TWTS: It's only an adverb

Some grammarians say “only” is the most misplaced adverb in the English language.

We’re only telling you this because we love you. Or maybe we’re telling you this only because we love you. Maybe we’re telling you only this because we love you. Actually, we just want you to think about the word “only.” Also, we love you. Adverbs can modify multiple parts of speech including verbs, other adverbs, adjectives, even entire clauses. They’re also mobile. Look at how the adverb “quickly” jumps around in these sentences: “She quickly wrote the email.” “She wrote the email quickly.” “Quickly, she wrote the email.” In


7 email writing must-haves

Whether you are an individual promoting a service or product or a large conglomerate or anything in between, chances are you are partaking in some type of email marketing campaign. Email is a staple in business communications.

From reaching out to new customers to gauging the interest of prospects, there are various aspects to email marketing, and people are constantly trying to find the right balance between connecting and selling. Given that email is such a popular means of business communication if you are not already engaging in it, chances are you are looking into ways to use email marketing to promote your product or service. Starting from deciding whether or not you need an email signature to decide the type of tone your email is going


Have a grammatically correct return to your educational school year school

Just before the holiday break I think it is important to talk to you young people about the use of good grammar in your daily life.

It would be easy for me to over emphasize the importance of good grammar. I could say that, “Bad grammar is the leading cause of unemployment in today’s economy,” or, “Without good grammar you won’t get that new I-pad or those $200 Sneakers that you have been pushing your parents for.” The truth is that grammar is not the most important thing in the world. The possibility that there might not be an NFL season this year is the most important thing in the world. But as we all know,


Content Writing Vs. Copywriting In Digital Marketing: What's The Difference?

Not all forms of content creation are the same, however. There's content writing, but there's also copywriting. While both are used in digital marketing campaigns, they have starkly different purposes. If you use digital marketing to promote your business, you should learn the nuances that distinguish content writing from copywriting.

Content creation is an integral part of digital marketing. It’s also common knowledge that users will not discover your business when browsing the internet unless you create content. Content is the driving force behind all successful digital marketing campaigns, including search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns and social media marketing (SMM). Each piece of content signals a new opportunity for your business to connect with prospective customers. What Is Content Writing? Content writing involves the creation of text content to educate or entertain readers. It may drive sales


Report: Students are not spending enough time writing

Students don't spend enough time writing, and writing is not practiced across the curriculum, new research by The Learning Agency shows.

Only about 25% of middle-schoolers and 31% of high school students practice writing 30 minutes a day, which curriculum experts say is the minimum amount of time necessary. A slightly greater number of middle school (33%) and high school students (34%) only spend 15 minutes a day writing. In addition, only 15% of 8th-graders and 13% of 12th-graders practice persuasive writing each week, though it’s considered a key skill for college success and in the workplace. Students also aren’t practicing their writing skills in non-ELA classes such as math and


Your To-Do List Is, in Fact, Too Long

“How was your day?” my wife, Eleanor, asked me one night. “Great,” I answered, sharing a few highlights. Then I added, “But also frustrating, because I didn’t get through everything I had planned.” She smiled empathically. “You say that every single day.” She was right: I did. And it was frustrating. Although I’m embarrassed to admit that (I did write 18 Minutes, a book about managing time), admitting a problem is essential to addressing it. The productivity problem is especially challenging these days, when many of us are working from


The 11 Most Important Hard & Soft Skills Marketers Need to Have

What hard and soft skills do you need to speak the right marketing language and connect with audiences? Learn the most important ones here.

Picture this: You’re wearing many hats as far as marketing goes. You’re ready to rock the digital marketing sphere. Not so fast! You could be lacking in the soft skillset department, and you might not be able to speak the marketing language fluently. This mistake may compromise your exposure, distancing you from the online population. We’re talking billions, here. The internet population is, well, vast. Don’t believe it? I’ll show you the stats: A whopping 40% of the world’s population is online, every single day. 6 billion Google searches have


What the epidemic of poor writing across media highlights about the vital role of editing

We have always taken the English language and made it work for us, in an admirably jugaad-filled manner. Now, the lines are blurred. It's good writing vs appalling writing, and bad editing plays a major part in the latter.

The epidemic has been creeping up on us for a while now, much before the viral pestilence hit. Sadly enough, it's also going to be around well after the latter loses its sting. As a manuscript editor, I've been a dismayed observer of this scourge which I term 'language lacunae'. We have always taken the English language and made it work for us, in an admirably jugaad-filled manner. However, back then, we could tell the difference between good writing and indifferent writing. What's more, it mattered then. Now, the lines


Four Simple Tips For Writing Effective Blog Posts

Blogging is, without a doubt, one of the most effective ways to grow your small business. If your goal is to get consumers to visit your website and eventually buy your product or service, you have to give them a reason to stick around.

The content you post on your site can help you generate more traffic, engage with your audience, boost your sales and even increase your SEO score. With all of this in mind, there are numerous factors you have to consider when you're writing articles for your blog. Today, we are going to look at some of those factors and how to make the most of your content. My tips will help you write compelling, engaging posts for your users regardless of your business size or industry. Let's dive in! 1.


Three Email Best Practices For High-Performing Campaigns

Creating effective and high-performing email marketing campaigns is a challenging endeavor for any marketer.

While on the surface, an email seems to be a fairly straightforward marketing channel, there are many important foundational aspects that fall into areas such as legal compliance, technical development, database management, analysis and, of course, more traditional marketing aspects like the content, offer, call to action, etc. When you dig into the details, running a successful email marketing program can seem complicated. However, if you start with some basic best practices, you can get your email program off on the right foot. Here are three useful areas to focus


To Be An Effective Communicator, Take An Analytical Approach To Storytelling

Stories are powerful communication tools. We tend to pay more attention to narratives because they carry more emotional content and are easier for us to remember.

A good story follows this basic structure: • Beginning: Setting the stage and introducing the protagonist and antagonist characters. • Middle: Rising action that reveals a conflict and builds to a climax. • End: Falling action that shows the consequences of the climax and a resolution. When it comes to making sound decisions, facts matter. That’s why a foundation of trustworthy business communication is built with verified data. Communicators, however, often face challenges when asked to analyze and tell data stories: • Creative communicators are fluent in words and images,



He singlehandedly rid linguistics of a stultifying (and technically mistaken) behaviorism

Noam Chomsky (right, in 2017) is, in my view, the best scientist of the past half-century. His work fascinates me, which is not a necessary criterion for being a great scientist—but it helps! I hasten to add that I do not share his politics—I’m of a conservative bent. But his theory of linguistics is brilliant and represents an anthropological, biological, and even metaphysical insight unrivaled in science since relativity and quantum mechanics. A case can be made that Chomsky’s insights are more profound than even those of modern physics, because


3 reasons you fail at communication in the workplace and how to improve

A no-BS guide for people who suck at communicating with coworkers. Which means you. Also, me.

I used to think I was good at communication. You probably think, like I once did, you’re clear when you talk to people at work (or email or text them), and it’s easy for them to understand exactly what you mean. And you’d be utterly, completely wrong. Communicating is the most important thing in our lives and the hardest thing for us to do well. Transferring information from one person to another via any path will always be inherently difficult and fraught with danger… or it will until we have


Remove That From Your Writing (Grammar Rules)

There are many common ways to write with more concision. For instance, if you remove that from your writing, you'll still retain the same meaning with fewer characters. Learn more, including examples, here.

I'm better about it now, but one problem I've struggled with for years is using the word "that" a little too much. Or maybe a lot too much. As such, that is a word that I'm constantly removing from sentences. (I mean, "As such, that is a word I'm constantly removing from sentences.") Often, the word "that" is a placeholder for nothing in particular. For me, it's almost like a railing that I constantly use in my language. But more times than not, I find that if I remove all


How to Engage Your Email Subscribers More Efficiently

Want more people to read your emails? Here is how to engage your subscribers more efficiently and boost email marketing ROI.

Within every email list, the interest among your subscribers will vary. Some people will read every single one of your emails, others will never click to open one. While you can't engage everyone all the time, you can constantly strive to improve and in doing so, you will increase engagement. One thing that can help you is to get a good idea of how your emails are doing and how your metrics compare to the average open and click-through rates. Although it varies based on the industry you are in,


Using these 6 power words in a follow-up email almost guarantees you’ll get the offer

Writing a follow-up email after a job interview is an excellent way to reinforce your interest in the position, and it gives you one more chance to sell yourself.

The best follow-up emails are short and sweet, and believe it or not, there are certain keywords that will improve your chances of getting a job offer. The next time you follow up after a job interview, try to include a few of these power words in your message to boost your chances of a callback. Use I will, not I can. As you tout your abilities, using the word “will” instead of “can” implies that you’re ready to hit the ground running. For example, “I will use my experience


PAPERWORK: I have great respect for grammar, me really do

Me love words. That’s right. Suck it up grammar gurus. I broke a rule there, didn’t I? Or could I say, didn’t me? Ha. Still doing it.

I am here to confess. No — proclaim ... that I enjoy breaking the rules. Grammar rules. And sometimes behavior rules: Remember the first time you colored outside the lines? And how about that Pig Latin? Atthay asway unfay. So yeah. I think every now and then it is OK to play with the grammar rules. Keyword “play.” I am not a vandal. I do not want to torch textbooks. Or cause harm. And let me etch in stone that I have great respect for English teachers and their mission.


The Three C’s: Cultivating Connection, Communication, And Collaboration

Imagine if Batman never left the Bat Cave. Or if Superman spent all day in the Fortress of Solitude, watching TV. Not very compelling, is it? The fact is that superheroes need to interact with other people, or their superpowers go to waste. The same is true for you.

You could cultivate all the knowledge, skills, and values you need to make an exceptional impact on the world, but unless you get out and interact with other people, you’ll never realize your full potential. This holds true even during these uncertain times as we are forced, in many cases, to communicate and socialize with our friends, family, and colleagues via phone calls and video conferences. What takes you beyond personal development to the next level of performance is mastery of interpersonal skills. That’s why Interpersonal Mastery is the second


4 ways to improve your writing and communication in your free time

Whether you’re looking for a job or are among the millions of remote workers, your writing skills have never been more important. Here’s how to brush up and get better.

Great communication is critical in nearly any workplace, and now that we’re communicating digitally more than we ever were pre-COVID-19, you need to make sure your written messages have the impact you want. Whether you’re among the 17.8 million Americans who are currently unemployed as a result of COVID-19 or are part of the 62% of people who are still employed but working from home, you may have some extra time on your hands. One of the ways to be productive with that time is to work on your writing


14 Critical Tips For Creating Personalized Copy

Consumers want to be treated as individuals by the brands they interact with and support – not like mere numbers on a quarterly report. This is why many consumers shy away from companies that send out generic advertising and emails. Customized copy that's written to appeal specifically to a consumer is what people have come to expect from businesses.

However, despite the widespread demand for personalized copy, its supply is remarkably small. This reality stems from how difficult it is to craft truly effective personalized copy. To help, 14 contributors to Forbes Communications Council look at what a business should keep in mind when it intends to utilize personalized copy in its marketing strategies. 1. First Get To Know Your Audience "Personalized" means more than just using a prospect or client’s name. Do they regularly interact with your content? Have you studied their interactions to know what they're interested


Learn How to Engage Gen Z With Email Marketing

Don't believe the stories you've read about how Gen Zers don't use email.

Generation Z, the cohort of people born after Millennials, was supposedly the kryptonite of every digital marketer. Gen Zers don't check their email, they have short attention spans, and have grown up in an “always-on” tech environment. These kinds of pronouncements are always popular in the marketing world — someone is always proclaiming that something “is dead” with each new technology or culture shift, so this talk about Gen Z isn’t a big deal. Marketers are used to adapting and evolving as the world changes around them, and learning how


10 Ways to Consistently Ace Customer Communication

As businesses scale, it becomes even more challenging to be able to communicate effectively with every customer. To survive in this competitive market, one critical factor is enhanced customer communication.

Over the years, we have seen an explosion of different communication channels. With this rise, the real challenge lies in choosing the right communication that suits your business. It is also important to look out for emerging trends in customer communication and start adapting to them. What is customer communication? Customer communication is communication with your customers through several different ways right from email marketing to electronic bill presentment. It is generally all the communication that takes place on behalf of the company to its customers. Keeping your customers delighted



When it comes to public relations, press releases are essential to make sure you get the right idea across. The best way to do this is to get a press release distribution service on board to help you write the perfect press release for your business. To help you understand the basics of writing the best press release, we’ve come up with some tips for you.

Whether you choose to go for a professional or not, you should know all the right ways to write a press release and things that you need to avoid. So, stay tuned to know the best way to write a press release. Create an attention-grabbing headline You need to catch the reader with the headlines you make. Don’t make them too long as you might bore the reader. You have to come up with witty, smart, attention-grabbing headlines. These need to be short so that you can keep your audience


The, almost, lost art of letter writing

Letter writing isn’t a lost art...not completely...not yet. Rather, we have put aside this most personal way of conveying our thoughts in favour of the immediacy of email and texting. Even more than speaking with someone face-to-face, hand-written words carry our intents and subtleties with unequaled precision.

I miss correspondence...writing letters...and receiving them. There is something gloriously special about the entire process. Sitting in a comfortable chair...real fountain pen in hand...its nib gliding colourful ink across stationery whose look and feel define luxury...and permanence. Letter writing isn’t a lost art...not completely...not yet. Rather, we have put aside this most personal way of conveying our thoughts in favour of the immediacy of email and texting. Even more than speaking with someone face-to-face, hand-written words carry our intents and subtleties with unequaled precision. In my lifetime, it was the


How to prepare for the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test in 2020

The TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test is now available for those who are unable to take the English language proficiency test at a centre due to public health concerns.

The home edition will be identical in content, format and on-screen experience to the ones in test centres. The main difference is it will be taken on your own computer at home and monitored by a human proctor online through ProctorU®. From now until September 30, 2020, at-home tests are available around the clock four days per week, and appointments may be available as early as 24 hours after you’ve registered. (plz follow AP style for date) Here’s how to prepare for the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test. Take


The HULK Actually Speaks Better English Than Most Avengers

Although many may claim the Hulk as a simple-minded brute with a limited vocabulary, the Jade Giant once lectured people on proper grammar and usage!

Most people consider The Incredible Hulk a dull-witted brute, with a vocabulary often limited to his two-word catchphrase, “Hulk Smash!” However, this isn't necessarily true. Hulk's human half, Dr. Bruce Banner, is considered one of the world's smartest men and the Green Goliath's own intelligence and ability to speak has gone through many changes over the years. As a result, there have been many versions of the Hulk - including some who are not only very articulate but sticklers for proper grammar. In The Incredible Hulk #420, The Hulk actually


Research suggests ways voice assistants could accommodate non-native English speakers

In a test conducted by speech recognition testing lab Vocalize, both Siri and Alexa failed to understand speakers with Chinese accents 22% of the time.

In a paper published on the preprint server, researchers at the University of College Dublin investigated how non-native English users experience voice assistants — specifically Google Assistant — compared with native users. By identifying the semantic and stylistic differences between commands the two groups of speakers used throughout the course of experiments, the coauthors say their work demonstrates the importance of expanding the types of users recruited into research to ensure assistants are designed with inclusivity in mind. A growing body of research shows that voice assistants including Siri,


How to Create a Personal Brand During COVID-19

When laying out your strategy, you probably never thought you’d be creating your personal brand during COVID-19, a global health crisis that caught everybody off guard. But here we are.

So what now? Do you continue with your personal branding strategy or do you hit the pause button? If you do continue, what is different? We’ve got answers for you! First off, let’s clarify what we mean by a personal brand. Just like Apple and Coke have brands, individuals do to. It’s your reputation and how you’re perceived. Unfortunately, some people don’t give it a moment’s thought and let others define them. By acknowledging and building your personal brand, you’re taking control over it. Whether we’re talking about personal branding



How should a business that provides services rather than goods use emails to communicate with clients? Here are some best practices.

In this piece, I want to take a look at services businesses and what types of emails you should consider and automate as your business scales. Many of the email types that I discussed in part one also apply here, but a services business should also consider a handful of additional emails. The most significant difference between e-commerce and services businesses is that, in a services model, you will likely have fewer transactional interactions with your customers. For that reason, it’s vital to become an industry expert in all that


How to make a great impression during the “new normal”

There are a lot of things that have changed in the last few months. Our workplaces, our social lives, and how we meet and connect all look different. Even with all the changes, the need to intentional about making a good first impression is still very much a matter of importance.

Lisa Mitchell, Communications Expert & Founder of Power Body Language, shares how we can make a great impression during this “new normal.” The basic goal of making a good first impression hasn’t changed Your first impression is still an important communication tool that can work in your favor or against you based on how it’s executed. The goal of the first impressions is to help build connection and trust, and hopefully to open up the opportunity for additional conversation and consideration. Even in our modified mid-pandemic world, that purpose hasn’t


10 Critical Soft Skills For Communicators

As soft skills are an essential part of dealing with other employees within the workplace, communicators need to harness these skills and fine-tune them if they want to achieve success.

Success isn't just due to how well you use your innate skills. A much-overlooked facet of success is the use of soft skills. As soft skills are an essential part of dealing with other employees within the workplace, communicators need to harness these skills and fine-tune them if they want to achieve success. Without a proper appreciation for the person they are communicating with and how their communication methods affect the target, they may fail at their task. Below, 10 members of Forbes Communications Council share their opinions on what


Helping my Immigrant Mother Write an Email Made me Understand How Women of Color are Uniquely Capable of Revolutionizing the English Language

To err is human. But if you’re a woman of color, erring is inconceivable. Women of color can’t afford to make any errors, not just grammatical ones, because the room for error is so small.

The shortest way to teleport inside someone’s head is by editing their writing. I realized this was true in January of 9th grade when my mom peered at my laptop on the living room couch. “Dikka*,” she asked me, carefully, “How should I tell your teacher that I am concerned about your grade?” For most Indian-American children, what she just asked me would have been the sentence that begins all nightmares. But I was safe, for two reasons: 1) the crisp 89 that I had gotten on my English midterm


The language of COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has injected into society a new grammar of navigating life and its realities. We must learn to adapt to this new normal.

When humanity grapples with unexpected and shocking experiences, the existing terms seem inadequate in capturing the consequent fear, grief and trauma. Human languages have to make room for newer expressions and widen the scope of existing words. Last month, the Oxford English dictionary made an extraordinary update to include COVID-19 and a few other words related to the pandemic. The dictionary’s executive editor explained that an “exponential rise in usage of a single word in a very short period of time, and for that word to come overwhelmingly to dominate


How to Effectively Communicate to Your Organization in Turbulent Times

Those who do it well will be able to project a vision for the future and map out a practical path forward.

During times of rapid change, our ability to adapt to a situation and respond will be tested. These are the times when a leader’s ability to communicate will make the difference between success and failure, regardless of whether they are in the C-suite or on the front line. Those who communicate well will be able to project a vision for the future, map out a practical path forward and create understanding of the implications — all of which are imperative during ambiguous and turbulent times. Therefore, strong communication is more


How To Cold Pitch A VC In the Time Of Covid-19

The magical thing about a cold email is the way is can insert you into a network that you otherwise wouldn’t have access to. This broadening and diversification of your connections can be incredibly powerful.

60% of Venture Capitalists are white men who went to Stanford or Harvard. If you went to one of these schools, chances are, you have at least a warm connection to a few venture capitalists. And this gives you a huge advantage over the other 7 billion people in the world, who still may be incredibly intelligent, driven and visionary. Although they may be building something that can change the world, and possibly for a different demographic of people than the typical founder, they may not have the luxury of


The Importance of Communication in Business

Business communication is a method of sharing information between staff, customers, outside companies, and investors. In fact, effective business communication is crucial for maintaining a successful business. There’s no way a business can function effectively without it. Incorporating steady and reliable communication methods with your workforce, suppliers, shareholders, and of course, your customers is essential.

Productive communication skills is one of the primary attributes required to increase your company’s revenue and to make certain that your business continues to thrive. Business communication also includes: Introducing alternatives and fresh concepts creates a productive climate that will help your business outperform your competitors. Devising strategies assures that the most up-to-date, concise data is consistently available and communicated to your internal and external attendees. Carrying through decisions and explaining your resolutions clearly in order to increase the probability of your company’s goals materializing Organizing and achieving effective commerce


Grammar Guy: Irregular nouns abound

English is weird. According to, the English language borrows up to 80 percent of its words from other languages. In fact, English words are composed of 350 other languages. No wonder we can’t spell.

I’ve written before about how many wacky animals don’t follow plural noun rules, such as “goose,” “deer,” “sheep” and “ox.” Animals are wild; they don’t play by the rules. Then again, most of them don’t speak English, either. Some irregular nouns only exist in their singular form; these nouns are called “singulare tantum,” which means “can only be singular” in Latin. These types of nouns usually refer to uncountable, or mass nouns such as “bread,” “rice,” “salt,” “gravel,” and “water.” In order to quantify mass nouns, we need to qualify


3 Tips That Will Improve Your Essay Writing Skills

The sad truth is that not everyone is capable of creating a brilliant piece of writing. Some students are non-native English speakers and don't have enough knowledge of the English language grammar and punctuation rules. While others simply don't have enough skills to put their thoughts together and write that academic assignment.

If you are a college student that feels unable to write an essay, even a very simple one, take a break and relax for a moment. Nowadays, most of the students write out of necessity and very rare out of curiosity. Being persuaded to write a paper makes it very difficult for the students to concentrate on a topic that they find not interesting. Since academic writing is an integral part of the whole education system, students have no choice but to learn to cope with it. Every one of


The 5 things you should be doing to build trust with your business audience through your written communication

$400 billion. Yes, billion with a “b.” That’s how much poor writing costs American businesses every year. From text messages and emails to notes and jargon-filled reports, you and your employees probably spend more than half of your working day writing.

And, you learned to write through formal education that taught you how to use words to express complete thoughts, but your instructors may have failed to effectively teach you to write for others and build their trust. Writing for others is essential for establishing your credibility and getting those others to trust you. You know your own intentions and goals when it comes to content you’ve written — but others don’t. And there are both internal and external instances in which establishing and maintaining trust is important. Imagine writing an


How to Write Anything

Rules you can use to write anything you want to write — from a book to a tweet

You are a writer. You tweet. You email. You Slack. You text. Multiple times a day, you look at a blank screen and you fill it with words — your own words written in your own style for an audience you hope to persuade, amuse, inform. Here at Forge, we think there’s no activity more connected to the self — and no skill more improvable — than what we type into those screens. So, all this week, we’ve been publishing stories about how to write the things we write every


Mind your language: is it ever OK to correct someone's grammar?

If you find yourself doing it, consider this: are you genuinely attempting to help, or just trying to gain the upper hand?

After Sunday’s episode of reality TV drama 90 Day Fiancé, people were left with an important question: is it ever OK to correct someone’s grammar? The show follows long-distance couples in a pressure cooker: when the foreign lovers of American citizens move to the US, with just 90 days to decide whether to get married before their visas run out. Sunday’s episode saw couple Stephanie Matto and Erika Owens hash out what went wrong in their failed relationship, and some viewers suggested that a screenshot showing an exchange between them


We Work Harder When We Know Someone’s Watching

In the current pandemic, finding motivation for those working in self-isolation presents unique challenges. Many people struggle more than ever to efficiently get their work done in their home offices and to focus on video conferences and email exchanges. But it’s easy to overlook another key source of motivation, which is conspicuously absent for many workers in the current circumstances: the presence of other people.

Social psychologists have known for decades that people are motivated to work harder when others are watching. When they are observed, people run faster, are more creative, and think harder about problems. These effects occur for several reasons. For one, people want to impress others through their performance, and thus try harder. Anyone who has ever stayed in the office late when their boss was still around experienced this phenomenon. However, the presence of others has a further and more fundamental effect on people. Not only does it affect what


Learning a language during quarantine: Where and how to start

Expert says no one has the innate ability to learn a language faster than anyone else

Many have contemplated learning a foreign language at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, many have also dropped the idea when faced with the difficulties involved. The truth is, however, that picking up a new language does not have to be so difficult, after all. According to Stephen Krashen, a linguistics expert who specializes in theories of language acquisition and development, it is a myth that some people are more adept at learning languages than others. Krashen believes that no one has the innate ability to learn a language faster


7 Tips for International Students Writing Business Essays

Nobody will read essays in a student’s native language unless it is English. That is why international students must improve their English to write fluently and with fewer mistakes.

International students are often afraid to write academic essays. They argue that they cannot be equal to native speakers who study with them. In fact, a student's ability to write an effective essay does not depend on nationality. Only those students who work hard and are aware of college requirements can succeed in business essay writing. Custom writers offer seven tips for international students who write business essays and want to succeed. Tip 1. Improve your English Experts suggest five ways to do that. Read in English daily and vary


8 Tools and Tips to Use When Self-Editing Your Work

Anyone who has ever had to finalize a report or send an important email knows how valuable a second pair of eyes can be. A second reader can help you catch mistakes in your own work, highlight awkward turns of phrase, and tell you when something doesn’t make sense. But what if you can’t find someone to help before your deadline?

Between global pandemics and new work from home policies, it can be more difficult than ever to get a teammate to scan your documents. When you’re on a deadline and can’t find help, it’s easy to start second-guessing the quality of your work. If you find yourself stuck without a proofreader, here are eight tools and tips you can use to self-edit your own work. 1. Grammar Tools The most straightforward self-editing tools you’ll find are the advanced grammar tools like Grammarly, ProWritingAid, or Hemingway App. The latest on the


President Donald Trump's unique speaking style — particularly his penchant to go on never ending tangents — crashed an AI robot trained to recognize patterns in speech.

To understand Trump, an AI bot had to be de-programmed from using English grammar. It uses 11 million words from Trump's remarks to tell when he's angry or lying

Whenever it seems like it's too hard to keep track of everything President Donald Trump is saying, now there's a bot for that. Margaret, named after the meticulous West Wing character, catalogues all of Trump's spoken words, tweets and other utterances to compile in its database — more than 11 million of the president's words dating back to 1976. A new Los Angeles Times profile of its creator, Bill Frischling, traces the history of the bot, which is used by Amazon for help with Trump-related queries on its Alexa devices.


Meet the Internet’s unsung heroes: Wikipedia’s human collaborators

Though we take it for granted, their collective work has left the world a better place for us all.

It would be impossible to imagine the world today without Wikipedia — a fact that students around the world can gratefully attest to. Although editor bots often steal the limelight in conversations about this great resource, a lot of people have been putting in a lot of work to make Wikipedia what it is today. Wikipedia actually has a pretty interesting page dedicated to tracking the most prolific authors on the site. All contributors are equal in the eyes of the site and its userbase, so this list isn’t about


How These Women Leaders Are Redefining Communication During the COVID-19 Age

As the COVID-19 crisis is taking over the world, critical spotlight has been placed on how world leaders, and particularly women, engaged with their people.

Several think pieces with the headline “Are Female Leaders Statistically Better At Handling The Coronavirus Crisis?” and “Female world leaders are handling coronavirus crisis ‘in a really impressive manner,” have been shared widely. Yet the idea isn’t really what all ‘female’ leaders have that male leaders don’t, but the fact that, despite being a minority, these women are redefining leadership in their own way along with inspiring other future women leaders. Their success, in this case, is significant to highlight. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacina Ardern, for instance, is bringing


Here's when you should Slack, email or call an employee

Let's talk about ... well, talking.

Last week, I spoke with leaders of companies that have always operated remotely to learn their secrets to success and I realized it all boiled down to one thing: Good, clear communication. First, the good news: We have an abundance of tools at our disposal to talk to each other without being in the same space. Now, the bad news: We have an abundance of tools at our disposal to talk to each other without being in the same space. Having so many forms of communication means that messages can


4 Tips To Help You Send More Effective Networking Emails

Whether you’re launching a virtual job search or hoping to deepen your professional relationships while working from home, using email to network brings with it several unique challenges and opportunities.

Email is a productivity tool that is primarily used to quickly exchange information. It lacks many of the essential elements that help you make a stronger connection in person (or on video), such as allowing eye contact, body language or the ability to share a laugh together. Unlike a live conversation, you can’t predict when you will receive a response from your emails which further stifles the potential for the kind of back and forth exchange that leads to an authentic dialogue. Despite these challenges, neglecting to network through email



Online learning has become more and more common, whether for comfort, adapting to work hours or just having the freedom to study from anywhere. And now with the coronavirus pandemic, as people are having to stay at home, it has become more important than ever.

The measures put in place by governments and entities to allow workers and students to do their daily tasks from home confirms that it is possible to carry out these activities from anywhere, with just a computer or smartphone. What makes online learning so interesting? Online learning has been growing – in the last decade, the number of online courses, degrees, and masters have greatly increased. Here are some of the positive aspects of online learning: Technology has changed everything. Learning through videos, voice recognition, automatic corrections, and live exams,



The digital age has changed the learning landscape dramatically. Not only is it easy to learn English online in self-paced programs, but it is also amazingly easy to immerse yourself an English environment for at least part of each day.

For decades, immersion has been considered one of the more efficient and thorough ways of learning a foreign language. The theory is that putting yourself in an environment where all, or a large majority, of the language spoken, is a second language you will naturally learn the language. Immersion also allows for continued growth. Immersion has a number of drawbacks. The skills acquired are mostly conversational with only basic written language skills, and the ability to immerse yourself in another culture was not available to everyone. The digital age has


8 online courses to improve language, communication and writing skills

Get through this quarantine as a more skilled communicator, leader and influencer. Here is the list of courses you can pursue online to help you ace soft-skills and advance your career.

If negotiating a conflict or writing a professional email gives you jitters, then you need to work on your communication skills. Here are a couple of courses which you can pursue to improve all aspects of your learning. Business English communication skills specialisation: The course is offered by University of Washington and is available at online learning platform Coursera. It focuses on improving the ability to speak, write and understand English in professional settings. Business planning, meetings, presentations, emails and other forms of business communication are covered under the six-month


China to offer global students online courses in English

BEIJING - China's universities and colleges will offer a number of high-quality courses in English to global students via an international online teaching platform to promote the massive online open course (MOOC).

The international platform is still under construction, and two online teaching websites, and, were first included in the program, Wu Yan, a higher education official from the Ministry of Education (MOE), said at a video conference held in Beijing on Friday on the construction of the program. The MOE will set up a committee to promote the construction of the platform and curricula while establishing an expert team to guide the operation and management of the platform, Wu said. "For more than 40 years of reform and opening


New rules of email: Managing email risks during the coronavirus crisis

With so many employees working from home during the coronavirus crisis, the time is right for an email refresher. Your organization’s employees must maintain professional email communications with coworkers and clients, whether working from cubicles or couches.

Here are four rules to help ensure employees create businesslike, compliant email—even when working at their kitchen tables. Enforce email policy. Whether at headquarters or home, employees must adhere to the organization’s email policy. Make sure remote workers understand that policy compliance is mandatory, whether using the company’s email systems, accounts, and devices or their own personal tools and technologies. Conduct online training to remind remote employees of the many federal/state laws and industry/government regulations governing email content, use, and records. You don’t want to lose otherwise-valuable staff over at-home


How to Edit Your Own Writing

Writing is hard, but don’t overlook the difficulty — and the importance — of editing your own work before letting others see it. Here’s how.

The secret to good writing is good editing. It’s what separates hastily written, randomly punctuated, incoherent rants from learned polemics and op-eds, and cringe-worthy fan fiction from a critically acclaimed novel. By the time this article is done, I’ll have edited and rewritten each line at least a few times. Here’s how to start editing your own work. Understand that what you write first is a draft It doesn’t matter how good you think you are as a writer — the first words you put on the page are a


Grammar Guy: A glossary of social isolation terms

We have so many new phrases that didn’t exist in our common parlance a month ago, and now they’re part of every press conference, news alert and headline. Well, buckle up, buttercup; today we’re going to discuss a few terms related to staying put.

I hope you are sheltering in place and staying healthy. I’m still not used to “shelter” as a verb, but I’m here for it. I’m here at home, parking my backside on my couch for the sake of my neighbors’ collective health. The point is, we need to stay home right now to help “flatten the curve.” I have a feeling my own curves will not get flattened as a result of my sheltering in place. We have so many new phrases that didn’t exist in our common parlance a


Nurturing language skills for future generations

Communication skills crucial for career and personal success in a globalised world

Language has always been our main way of communicating with one another. We begin to develop our language skills in infancy, learning intuitively from our parents and those around us the native language we speak today. Centuries ago, people only knew what they could reach and see in their immediate surroundings, and that was reflected in the language they used. As our world advances and new technologies are introduced, the more we are exposed to elements beyond what we know from daily experience. Travel and communication technology, from movies and


Female authors lead International Booker Prize’s 2020 shortlist

Six international writers have been shortlisted for this year’s prestigious literary prize, which is awarded to the best book translated into English and published in the United Kingdom or Ireland.

The contenders of the International Booker Prize, who are mostly women for the second year in a row, were announced on April 2 in London. “Each of our shortlisted books restlessly reinvents received narratives, from foundational myths to family folklore, plunging us into discomforting and elating encounters with selves in a state of transition. Whether capturing a deftly imagined dystopia or incandescent flows of language, these are tremendous feats of translation, which in these isolating times, represent the pinnacle of an art-form rooted in dialogue,” Ted Hodgkinson, chair of the


Demonstrating Leadership in Times of Crisis

As a leader, are you wondering about how your team is coping with the crises that are causing social distancing in all of its forms – school, work, reduced hours and curfews? Is it just good enough to wonder or shouldn’t we be asking and engaging our teams?

A friend called me up, just to ask me how I was coping and yes, I really told her! At the end of the conversation I thanked her for asking me. This conversation also allowed me to ponder on the issues that have been lagging in my subconscious and brought into focus the stress and tension I felt by our new “normal” or “abnormal”. This is a leadership trait, expressing empathy and reaching out to your team at this time can motivate and show that you are a leader that


How To Communicate With The Media For Better Results: 10 Expert Tips

Interacting with the media in the right way can help raise the profile of the company and its products.

Aside from advertising, one of the most effective ways to build consumer confidence in a brand is to get positive media coverage on it. Buyers enjoy learning about products in a space that they look to for news and reviews. As a result, interacting with the media in the right way can help raise the profile of the company and its products. However, with the sheer number of outlets and audiences to cover, it can be difficult for a new brand to figure out how to best engage and communicate


Introducing Microsoft Editor – Bring out your best writer wherever you write

Bring out your best writer anywhere you write with Microsoft Editor, your intelligent writing assistant.

Bring out your best writer anywhere you write with Microsoft Editor, your intelligent writing assistant. Many of us are working or attending school remotely, and with so much communication happening through writing it is more than important than ever that you communicate clearly. Microsoft Editor, an AI-powered service that enables you to write with confidence in 20+ languages, can help. Write polished prose, craft impressive emails, and posts on your favorite sites like LinkedIn, Gmail, Facebook, and more. Anyone can access the essential Editor capabilities, such as spelling and basic


Getting Things Done: 3 Hacks

Productivity largely boils down to three key factors: effective communication, clear purpose, and relentless execution.

Time is one of our most precious resources. It’s difficult to create. Impossible to buy. And it inevitably gets away from us. Which is why it’s important for you and your team to master the tools needed to control the use of their time, regardless of conditions. I’ve studied productivity for the last 20 years. For myself and for my teams. And while I’ve espoused many principles from books like “Getting Things Done” by David Allen, I’ve found that productivity largely boils down to three key factors: effective communication, clear


Free software to help with your startup business

When it comes to starting a business, one decision entrepreneurs will have to make is what software they should use. Ideally, they want to choose software that allows their business to grow, excel, and meet goals.

Entrepreneurs that are just starting out, however, may be on a limited budget and may not be able to afford some of the software used by larger companies. And with limited funds, they may have to make challenging decisions — should they invest their money into website software in order to improve their marketing strategies or should they purchase a VoIP phone system to improve customer relations? If you’re in the process of starting a business but have limited funds, finding free software to help with your startup needs is


4 Quick Tips to Improve Your Business Writing

Whether you are an entrepreneur eager for funding, or a mid-level manager whose life is lived on email, strong professional writing is essential to accelerating your impact. But professional writing is not easy.

At the Harvard Kennedy School, where I teach writing, I see professionals struggle every day with writing that is confusing, long-winded, and unclear. Fortunately, the way to improve is simple: Good writing focuses only what your audience needs. Nothing more. For many of us who learned how to write in college—where our writing was about showing how smart we were or how well we knew the material—putting the audience first takes practice. You can start by making it easier for your reader to find your main point by sharing important


How To Overcome The 'One-Inch-Tall' Barrier And Improve Cross-Cultural Communication

Although Chinese is the most commonly spoken language, some quip that broken English must be the most spoken language in global business. When only 20% of the world population speaks English and fewer than one-third of them use it as their first language, there are ample opportunities for miscommunication and frustration.

"Speaking English is exhausting," says Pope Francis's character in the Netflix biographical movie The Two Popes. "A terrible language — so many exceptions to every rule," responds Pope Benedict, played by Anthony Hopkins. Even as they both spoke multiple languages, they shared a common distress of non-native English speakers who use English as a foreign language (which is different from using it as the second language). I can relate. During my first year as an international student in the United States, I often had to take a Tylenol after a


4 tips that will help international students master academic writing

Writing academically helps you learn how to be an effective communicator, think analytically and critically, and organise your thoughts in a clear and concise manner. For international students without strong English writing skills, it will also help them become better writers and master the English language.

For most university students, a significant amount of time in a semester is typically spent writing academic papers. It’s important to master this skill, as it will help you in your future career no matter which field you end up in. Writing academically helps you learn how to be an effective communicator, think analytically and critically, and organise your thoughts in a clear and concise manner. For international students without strong English writing skills, it will also help them become better writers and master the English language. Here are some


Writing emails at university: Quick tips for international students

You’re in a foreign country for the first time. The lecturers don’t look like you and you don’t feel your English is good enough.

But you need help with an assignment. Or how to prepare for a pop quiz. Or guidance on how to apply for that OPT stint. You need to email your university lecturers and staff. A lil’ intimidating? Yes. Insurmountable? No. This challenge can be easily overcome with a few simple practices. Here are some tips you can follow for effective, professional communication at university, with anyone at all. Address & sign off respectfully It’s best to address your recipient with their suitable title and surname (eg. Dear Mr Smith). However,


Could AI make language learning obsolete? 

The Babel fish of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy seemed like a distant science fiction reality until Google launched their Pixel Buds with real-time translation in 2017; the latest iteration now being Pixel Buds 2.

Many companies are throwing their hat into the translation technology ring. Web translation software is being surpassed by portable, state-of-the-art technology in the form of earpieces, hand-held devices and apps, all of which are enabling users to quickly navigate our multilingual world on-the-go. Most recently, American Airlines announced it is testing interpreter mode for Google Assistant to help communication between their employees and travellers who speak a different language. In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has drastically enhanced the accuracy and quality of foreign language translations – allowing machines to help break down language barriers


Publishing in English Presents Challenges for International Authors

When submitting manuscripts to Western journals, authors face issues that go beyond language barriers.

China is the world leader in the quantity of scientific publications, with a total of 426,000, or nearly one-fifth the total number of 2016 science and engineering papers listed in the Scopus database, according to a 2018 report from the National Science Foundation. Taking into account Chinese-language journals not listed in Scopus, a separate analysis published last year concluded that the country’s overall contribution was even greater, with more than one-third the global scientific articles published in 2016 coming from China. While these numbers point to a greater scientific profile


International Women's Day: Closing the online gender gap

Women have been underrepresented throughout history and the internet is no different. On International Women's Day, Kate Rimmington takes a look at the efforts of volunteers dedicated to raising their online profile.

When 24-year-old artist and illustrator Efa Lois was studying architecture she noticed the lack of female role models in the field. Working as an illustrator alongside her degree, she began to realise this was not just a problem in architecture. "I was having conversations and realised I didn't know much about Welsh women in the history of Wales and the people I was speaking to didn't know much either." She finished her degree and began working for the Design Commission, but in her spare time she started researching, writing and


3 Impacts Of Coronavirus On College Admissions

The college admissions and college consulting industries have been fueled by international enrollment growth. But the spread of COVID-19 could change the landscape of college admissions for the foreseeable future. Here are three impacts we have identified as of February 2020.

Reduced Access To Standardized Tests. Within Mainland China, sittings for the major entrance examinations have been canceled for the months of February and March. These cancellations include major examinations like the TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT, which are required by many college and graduate programs. The National Association of College Admissions Counseling has made a statement to encourage universities to be flexible with applicants; however, universities are not mandated to comply with this recommendation and no prominent universities have made public statements as of February 2020. At the


Improving Your Business Writing

Writing may feel unproductive or unnecessary in a business context beyond what you put on your website and marketing materials, but it’s a valuable tool for getting your name and your message out into the world.

Writing is one of the fundamental ways that we communicate, and yet for its importance, so many of us are tentative about using our writing to communicate with others beyond the audience for our emails. Undoubtedly there’s some trepidation upon seeing and reading those who are so proficient in the medium — compared with them, the rest of us are just thrashing away at a keyboard, trying to string two sentences together, or apart. We think that writing is best left to the writers, and our energies are better devoted


How Japanese and English merged to create a new language

Engrish is what happens when English mistakes appear in Japanese advertising, on products like T-shirts and stationary, or on restaurant menus.

When John Dougill first came to Japan 30 years ago, he spotted an odd phrase adorning his neighborhood butcher's shop in Kyoto. Instead of "meat shop," its sign read "flesh shop." Dougill assumed shop staff weren't aware of their English-language error. But when he flagged it to the owners, they nodded politely at him. But they didn't change the sign. "It didn't matter if the sign said 'flesh' or 'fresh' or 'meat,'" recalls Dougill, a professor at Ryukoku University, who has researched the use of English in Japan. "It was


How to Write a Great Essay If English is Not Your Native Language

For international students whose primary language is not English, writing a college essay can be challenging. But English competence is not everything when it comes to writing well. Even native English speakers can struggle without the right approach.

For international students whose primary language is not English, writing a college essay can be challenging. But English competence is not everything when it comes to writing well. Even native English speakers can struggle without the right approach. Maurice Boissiere, lecturer and adjunct professor for English writing at the University of Maryland, confirms this view. "I have taught international students with A's on their essays as well as local students failing the class," Boissiere said. "Really the point is to ask questions." Those questions help clarify the point or focus


Opportunities and challenges as lessons go online amid the coronavirus outbreak

Taking advantage of the moment, online educational companies have started taking their operations online.

The February 8 Lantern Festival is supposed to mark the beginning of a new semester for schools across China, but this year students are still on an extended winter vacation due to the coronavirus outbreak. To prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, China's Ministry of Education (MOE) in late January announced to postpone the 2020 spring semester for schools and further required on Tuesday that extracurricular training organizations are not allowed to start classes early without authorization. Switching online Taking advantage of the moment, online educational companies have started


Coronavirus: English-language schools in Hong Kong and China use AI to teach students remotely

Exclusive: A UK tech firm has given schools free access to its AI system so pupils can continue to learn without a teacher being in the room

English-language schools in China are using artificial intelligence to teach students remotely while they are closed by coronavirus. A UK tech company has given schools free access to its AI system so pupils can continue to learn without a teacher being in the room with them. To help stop the spread of the coronavirus, all Hong Kong schools have been shut until at least 2 March, while students across mainland China face long school closures and isolation. Twenty-five impacted schools have already taken up the offer, but Century said it


Communication apps and English are key to global reach

The English language remains a barrier for global communication and collaboration at many Japanese firms. The shortage of people who can conduct business in English is a key obstacle to global collaboration.

The cross-border flow of people and goods have been disrupted in recent weeks by the spread of the coronavirus — now designated as a global health emergency by the World Health Organization. Government and businesses have suspended travel to and from China, and dozens of countries have banned the entry of people who had recently been to the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak originated, or China itself. The Global Risk Report 2020 by the World Economic Forum lists the outbreak of infectious diseases as a high impact risk


Beijing talks its way past Hong Kong in English proficiency, but Shanghai tops China rankings for sixth year in a row

Company behind survey of young, English-speaking Chinese professionals credits travel and international trade for Shanghai’s commanding position Growing middle class with aspirations to educate children overseas also plays big part in greater English use

Professionals in Shanghai and Beijing are more proficient in English than their Hong Kong counterparts, according to a global study of listening and reading skills in the language in countries where it is not a mother tongue. Shanghai was the best-performing Chinese city in the study for the sixth year in a row, while Beijing beat Hong Kong to second place for a third time, language training firm EF English First’s 2019 proficiency index showed on Wednesday. Beijing also made second place in 2014 and 2015. Overall English proficiency of


I Am Thankful For My Writing Tools

Today is Thanksgiving, so I wish to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for modern day writing.

Aeschylus the Greek playwright, who was (supposedly) killed by a falling turtle when an eagle mistook his bald head for a rock, wrote the Oresteia on paper made from reeds. I bless Staples and all trees everywhere. The medieval monks copied books by hand. It could take up to a year to make a copy of a book. They were works of art with colors that have never been repeated. I am grateful for my printer and its ten pages a minute. Shakespeare wrote with a quill pen using an


Is Bad Business Writing Killing Your Career And Business?

Checklist: 6 Criteria for Effective Business Writing

A few weeks ago, I received an email from one of my book publishers asking me to sign an amendment to a contract. From the salutation, I could tell the email had gone to several authors. As I read the transmittal email, my first thought? The publisher’s email has been hacked. This is a phishing attempt. The email had convoluted sentences, punctuation errors, and layout problems galore. Scrutinizing the URL closer, I saw no problem there. It definitely seemed to have originated from my publisher. But knowing how clever scammers


6 Rules to Rock Social (Media) Networking for Business

Social networks are not just powerful promotion tools. If you are trying to get clients, media mentions and good opportunities in your industry to grow a name for yourself and your brand, social media can definitely make the job easier.

Obviously, social networking for business is not like networking to make new friends (well, that might happen, too, but it’s not your goal, right?) What you want to achieve here is results — that is, clients, engagement, and opportunities. This post gives you 6 rules to rock networking for business on social media and increase productivity in every session. 1. Targeting the Engagement Who is your customer or audience, and what do they need? Who do you want to engage and make business with? You should keep these two guiding


Eight Reasons Why Customers Don't Open Your Emails (And How You Can Fix It)

Email marketing is still a very productive method of reaching out to customers and establishing rapport. Even further, developing an e-newsletter is one of the best ways that companies currently have to maintain their outreach with existing clients.

However, as useful as email marketing is, the average user is inundated with dozens of emails every day, meaning many businesses end up getting lost in the clutter. While they may have important news or information to share, these businesses fall short of actually securing leads or persuading customers to open their emails. Here, eight members of Young Entrepreneur Council examine some of the factors that may be preventing businesses from connecting with their clients and how they can creatively overcome these hurdles. 1. Failure To Segment Your customers are


7 Ways to Increase Customer Retention

The key to your business's success is making sure you are able to keep your customers coming back again and again.

Businesses grow by acquiring new customers, but they thrive by keeping their existing ones happy. Businesses need to put in the effort to retain current customers. Doing so can be even more important than acquiring new ones. There is compelling data that backs up the need for businesses to focus on their customer retention strategies: Acquiring new customers can cost five to 25 times as much as retaining one Repeat customers spend around 67% more than newer customers It's clear that you should avoid getting complacent regarding the customers you


Why English translation needs the native touch

When Japan’s new National Stadium was unveiled last month, visitors were greeted with several examples of oddly worded English on the signage there: “Hello, Our Stadium,” “Joho no Mori” and “Please Push the Under Button,” were but some of the phrases.

When Japan’s new National Stadium was unveiled last month, visitors were greeted with several examples of oddly worded English on the signage there: “Hello, Our Stadium,” “Joho no Mori” and “Please Push the Under Button,” were but some of the phrases. Given that the stadium is intended to put Japan’s best face forward to the world at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and that more than a billion dollars was spent building it, you have to wonder why apparently so little thought was given to how the English signs would come


Should you send an email or talk in person? 5 work scenarios where face-to-face is better

Should you send an email or talk in person? 5 work scenarios where face-to-face is better November 11, 2019 | Adapted from an article written by Michelle Perkins, first published on, November 7, 2019 In today's world, we express ourselves through so many different technological channels that we have to decide, with every communication, the best mode of transmitting an idea, thought, or question.

In turn, this has added an extra decision to every interaction we have. Some communications do not take much thought. For instance, I know that the best way to get a response from my kids is by texting them. At the office, coworkers often productively work out everyday issues by using email, while a hiring manager would want to see and speak to a prospective candidate. It is when the decision about which line of communication to take is not so obvious that we have a choice to make. The


6 grammar rules to break for your marketing content

Let’s be honest, the majority of content we read nowadays is just not formal — and it doesn’t need to be.

Formality has a time and place, but content marketing is not always it. Some of the most effective content sounds as if the writer is speaking to the reader. It’s conversational, witty, honest, blunt, real. And it works because it’s done intelligently. The saying goes, “you must know the rules in order to break them.” But breaking grammar rules is not as simple as writing how you speak. It has to be done in a way that makes sense to your audience. So, let’s chat about some grammar rules that


How To Create An Outstanding Email Marketing Campaign: 15 Tips From Communications Experts

Getting noticed is the first step to establishing a rapport, but it's too easy to slip through the cracks and end up just another email that goes into the trash.

Most people don't click through every email they get. Thanks to bulk management services by major email providers, a large volume of users simply skim through the emails and delete them en masse. How, then, can a company come up with a way to stand out from the crowd? To help businesses struggling with the reality of being noticed, 15 experts from Forbes Communications Council advise on the best methods to employ when crafting email marketing so that it's productive and stands out from the rest of the chaff that


6 smart tips for writing effective emails

A host of mediums have come up for sharing messages and information, but email still rules as the king of professional business communication. Studies have predicted that by 2020, the total number of email users would reach 3 billion. That's almost half the global population.

Emails enable record-keeping, allow immediate transmission, and provide a low cost consuming method of communication through providers like Yahoo, Gmail or Hotmail. In spite of such myriad benefits, many emails fail to yield the desired results, owing to the lack of the right structure, tone, and content. An oversight in any of these factors increases the chances of miscommunication and can rob a message of its efficacy. So, to write a mail that conveys its meaning and message with clarity, follow the tips given below: 1. Make your subject line


5 Simple Tips to Encourage Employee Participation in Brand Building

Marketing is a discipline that is in constant flux, whether due to new platforms or software, consumer shifts or any other range of updates.

Traditional marketing used to just mean looking to connect with consumers, turning casual users into loyal brand adopters, or going out and finding new people in need of your company’s product or services. However, in today’s world of decreasing trust, and credibility wariness between brands and consumers, internal marketing has become just as important as the external marketing we have been accustomed to. Consumer trust is at an all-time low, with people tuning out the constant stream of ads presented to them. Only 33% of buyers trust messages from a


5 Tips for Fostering Effective Communication in the Workplace

For a workplace to be comfortable and productive, effective communication needs to be a priority.

But this is one aspect of corporate life that can often fall through the cracks—if work is getting done, why does HR or higher management have to concern themselves with how people are communicating with each other? This attitude is erroneous, to say the least. If this is part of your strategy, your business plan template needs to be updated. In the current climate, when there are so many companies outsourcing work to other countries, or liaising with remote teams, communication is more necessary than ever. How can companies ensure


How Small Businesses Can Utilize Technology to Serve Their Customers Better

Tips for utilizing small business technology to serve your clients better

The process of achieving professional goals in a small business is often constrained by a lack of resources. This is particularly true as you try to create the best and lasting impression on existing and potential clients. Fortunately, you can utilize small business technology to serve your clients better and hence make significant profits. How can this be done? Well, here are the tips: Technology Helps You to Communicate With Clients One of the key aspects of enhancing customer service is effective communication. This incorporates both listening to clients’ needs


Four steps that make writing less overwhelming

If you want to increase your productivity and be better at making steady progress on big writing projects, here are four things you can do:

For many people, the easiest thing to procrastinate about is working on a big report, or really anything that requires a substantial amount of writing. With each new assignment, you tell yourself, “This one will be different. I'll be productive and get started right away.” But it’s hard, so you put it off. And then even when you finally convince yourself to get started, it’s easy to let almost any other task take precedence. Eventually, there’s no way to put it off more—the deadline is looming—and so you have to


Why Good Grammar is Important in Business Communication

If you still think you can get away with mistakes during business communication, here are some reasons why you need to understand is that couldn’t be further from the truth and know how good grammar can improve your business.

Few businesses now, even the smallest ones, are solely dependent on their local area and local language to sell, as businesses are expanding on a global level, thanks to the technology that makes that possible. No matter what your business is and how you market it, you will always have to depend on the written word to spread your message and your product or service to others. Whether it’s just a short tweet or status, an email, to the more complex writing of a blog or a company profile, you


How to write an effective follow-up email

If there is anything that’s guaranteed to send your nerves into overdrive, it’s sitting at your computer, figuring out how to follow-up on something you needed, well, yesterday.

Much of business communication is conducted digitally, making it essential to develop smart tactics and effective strategies to make your job easier and more productive. While there are certain benefits to having conversations via email, it also makes it more likely people will drop the ball and miss a message. As executive career coach Elizabeth Pearson explains, data suggests that 70% of responses are generated by the second to the fourth email in a sequence. This means it’s likely your first note will go unanswered, so a follow-up is necessary.


Five Basic Principles Of Highly Effective Leadership

Leadership is not easy. There are a lot of moving parts and a great deal of responsibility. Great leaders don’t just "manage," they clarify the future for their team and customers. To help ensure success, here are some principles all great leaders should know.

Create A Shared Vision A leader must be clear on their vision. They need to define and clarify the direction in which they want the team to go and the process in which they will follow to achieve their vision. It is the job of the leader to communicate this vision to the team clearly and directly to make sure all parties both understand and are committed to that vision. There are many ways to communicate your vision. You can create a mission statement, post it around the workplace, and


7 texting mistakes that can ruin your reputation at work

Smartphones have changed how we communicate, and we're drifting more and more towards texting, "pinging," "slacking," or "g-chatting" our colleagues.

I don't have to tell you this because you've seen it in every news story, on every TV channel and at every dinner table you've come into contact with over the last few years: everyone's obsessed with their smartphones. They've changed how we communicate, and we're drifting more and more towards texting, "pinging," "slacking," or "g-chatting" our colleagues. While we learned how to write a letter in grade school, then learned to write an email through immense practice (and a bit of rickrolling), how do we write a text that's


How to strike the right tone in all your emails, texts, and social posts

When we’re writing, the audience can’t see our face, hear our voice, or note our body language. Our words alone have to communicate our meaning to someone else.

We write all the time. We text friends, we email colleagues, we post on social media—we even draft articles (like I am right now). And when we’re writing, the audience can’t see our face, hear our voice, or note our body language. Our words alone have to communicate our meaning to someone else. Even if it’s someone you know, there’s always a chance that what you’ve written could be interpreted in a wildly different way than you intended. This might happen for any number of reasons. The person could be


7 Communication Blunders to Avoid as a Leader

The communication process is intricate and, as leaders, it’s our duty to be lifelong learners on how we can better connect with those around us.

Communication in its purest form is simply transferring information from one source to another, whether it be through a written, verbal and/or nonverbal exchange. While the definition may be simple, the actual communication process is a lot more complex than its meaning lets on. We all aspire to be leaders who are effective communicators but, oftentimes, we miss the mark. Some leaders don’t communicate often enough, which results in a lack of clarity that increases confusion and leads to mistakes. Other leaders communicate too much, causing their teams to have


ENL vs ESL Essay Writers: Pros and Cons

Most academic assistance companies offer you a choice between several categories of writers. There are ENL experts, which are writers for whom English is a native language, and the ESL category, which stands for specialists who perceive English as their second language.

Papers completed by native speakers are more expensive; however, ghost-writing services assure you that the 20-40% you have to pay for a higher category of a writer can dramatically improve the quality of your assignments. But does it? Why are ENL writers more expensive? It is all about the place where an employee lives. Most ENL writers are from the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand; so, from countries where minimum wages are high. To make their living, these writers have to demand more money for their work.


3 Reasons to Pay Attention to Niche Social Networks

For businesses, social-media groups present a massive opportunity for brands to connect more intimately and efficiently with their target audience.

Social-media groups provide an ideal space for people to unite and interact based on common interests. Instead of passively sifting through irrelevant content on a general feed, users can participate in conversations related to their specific needs. For businesses, social-media groups present a massive opportunity for brands to connect more intimately and efficiently with their target audience. Rather than trying to reach everyone, social communities are more productive as they allow businesses to reach a dedicated group of people. Companies are likely familiar with groups on major social networks like


To Strike the Right Tone in Work Emails, Look Out for These Mistakes

Despite the rise of Slack and inter-office chat apps, email is not going away. It's still very much a part of our day-to-day work lives.

While there are various strategies for getting a handle on your inbox, it's still wise to cultivate your professional email writing skills to communicate more efficiently and effectively. The writing app Grammarly polled 3,400 of its users to get insight into their email writing habits. Here are the takeaways from their workplace email report. Getting the tone right Casual, yet professional? Firm, but light-hearted? No one wants to come across as too aggressive, but no one wants to be a pushover either. Coming across as too informal is also risky.


5 Essential Skills Required to Succeed as an Entrepreneur

Being an entrepreneur is like being a mother. One has to be skilled in multiple ways to be ready to deal with most crisis situations.

Ask any entrepreneur and they will be able to narrate a list of skills they have picked up on their journey to establish their business from a fledgling idea to a full blown profitable company. One’s success relies on their ability to adopt and implement the following five essential skills which are required to succeed as an entrepreneur: 1. Willingness to Learn: Learning is a continuous and lifelong process. Most people make the mistake of restricting their knowledge development to their academic timelines. This rookie mistake and the attitude to


English, the gateway to immense opportunities

English, the gateway to immense opportunities September 18, 2019 | Adapted from an article written by Shwetha S, first published on, September 17, 2019 English has become the primary language of communication in today’s world. A person gains recognition based on their English-speaking skills, both in professional and personal fields.

Today we live in the age of globalization. Anything produced or invented anywhere around the world takes on a global character or can easily become a household name. To keep pace with globalization, we need to learn and use English. Conversely, globalization requires a single language for international communication. For various reasons English has achieved the prestige of global language. As a result, it has crossed the national borders of native English-speaking countries and reached those with other mother tongues. English is no longer a unique possession of the British


11 traits you need to be an effective remote worker

As more and more companies are allowing their employees to work remotely, it's important for workers to consider the type of work environment that's best for them.

Although working remotely can sound like a dream come true, the truth is that not everyone is cut out for it. In an office setting, you likely have your manager or boss sitting nearby and regular in-person meetings and check-ins with them. But when you're several or even thousands of miles away, you need self-discipline to be productive, stay on track and meet your deadlines. As more and more companies are allowing their employees to work remotely — there was a 159% increase in remote work between 2005 and 2017,


How Social Media Platforms Can Create Effective Networks For Women In Business

I have always been a supporter of women in business, not only because I am a woman, but because I believe that the present generation of young women presents the highest chance to change the mostly male-dominated field of business.

A study found that women business leaders are more optimistic than their male counterparts on the issues of revenue and growth. While this may come as a surprise to many, I am not shocked by the findings. I have always been a supporter of women in business, not only because I am a woman, but because I believe that the present generation of young women presents the highest chance to change the mostly male-dominated field of business. The "Women in the Workplace 2018" report found that only 1 in 5


4 Strategies to Become a Better Leader Through Writing

Many are surprised to find out that good leaders are also good writers. But, in fact, writing is an incredible tool that professionals can use to perfect some skills. Which, coincidentally, are the same skills one needs to become a great leader.

Good writing skills involve being able to get messages across clearly and efficiently. This is one of the most important traits of a reputable leader. But writing contributes to multiple other ways to shaping leaders. Let’s see how. #1. Turn what crosses your mind into great content You may not be the most talented writer, but you can always strive to cultivate and improve your writing skills. You may have great ideas, suggestions, advice and so on. But if you don’t share them with plenty of people, they won’t be


11 Social Media Marketing Strategies for Ecommerce Websites

Social media is one of those things, like high waisted shorts or people still using the hashtag #nomnoms, that you either love or really hate. But, if you’re an ecommerce company, it can be kind of cringe-worthy.

Between Facebook, Instagram, and new social networks like Vero and Steemit, where do you start? As Brent Csutoras, co-owner and adviser of Search Engine Journal, puts it: “In 2019, businesses need to really take the time to understand their customers and how they interact with the brand on each social media site, and then engage with them in the right tone, with the right medium, and in their communities.” So to help get your ecommerce website one hell of a social media strategy, I’ve picked out 11 tips to share


7 Tips To Better Your Business Communications This Year

Looking for ways to improve your business this year? There are many different ways that you can do this, but one of the most effective is to improve your business communications.

When a company is able to better the flow of communication it can help in many different ways, including increased productivity, efficiency, morale, and professionalism, plus it can also create a positive working atmosphere which everyone can benefit from. Improving communications is particularly important for businesses that struggle in this area, but even those with good communication can often find ways to improve. Here are a few ideas of ways in which you can better your business communications in 2019. 1. Open-Plan Office Good communication requires the right environment. An


How do we measure language fluency?

What does the word “fluent” actually mean? In lay circles, this term has come to equal "native-level proficient", with no grey area between the bumbling beginner and the mellifluous master.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s youth, military record, and marital status may distinguish him from the other 2020 US Presidential Election candidates, but it’s his rumoured proficiency in seven languages that really has people talking. This seemingly magical feat is especially impressive in predominantly monolingual countries like the United States and the United Kingdom (where, respectively, roughly 80% and 62% of the population speaks only English). But where such enviable talent creates an aura of mystique, it also inevitably arouses curiosity. When former US Senator Claire McCaskill asked Buttigieg to comment on


How to ensure effective team communication

All teams face challenges in communication. Information gets lost; personality differences lead to frustrations and people get stuck in their own responsibilities. Without realizing it, even the smallest of teams break down because they fail to communicate effectively.

Communication, in theory, should be easy. The problem is we often get busy with our own workload and forget to share pertinent information with fellow team members. Sometimes things happen so quickly, we don’t even have the time to let people know. Often the problem is due to a lack of systems, but in addition to that we simply don’t get the chance often enough to sit down with our colleagues and really talk. If you want to improve communication on your team, start with three simple efforts: 1) Team


Build Trust With Consumers Through Social Media Strategy

In today’s social media landscape, there is chatter, and it is often difficult to break through the noise.

Year after year, my team and I here at TWIO Brand have built social media strategies that help brands go from average to trusted. We take consumers on a R.I.D.E. that responds, informs, drives and entertains them enough to build community. Here are the four grounding principles we follow. These can help any brand or company go from average to trusted through social media strategy. 1. The first principle is to respond. One of the fastest-changing elements of social media is the consumer’s expectation to see a response instantly. It


Leadership Tips: Effective Communication

Simply put, we need to work with other people in nearly any endeavor, and yet for all of the thought and consideration given to developing the many aspects and qualities involved in running a business, we’ve yet to perfect perhaps the most basic one: communication.

What we hope to achieve, in business and in life, we largely achieve together, working with others towards a common goal, or aided in our drive for a singular one. Simply put, we need to work with other people in nearly any endeavor, and yet for all of the thought and consideration given to developing the many aspects and qualities involved in running a business, we’ve yet to perfect perhaps the most basic one: communication. Part of that can be chalked up to the nature of our humanity; we’re flawed


14 Dos and Don’ts of Blogging You Need to Know

In order to use blogging to communicate with your audience and drive traffic to your website, you need to understand some important do’s and don’ts

Blogging is one of the most cost-effective and efficient marketing tools available for business owners and entrepreneurs. In order to use blogging to communicate with your audience and drive traffic to your website, you need to understand some important do’s and don’ts. Keep reading to discover what they are and how you can get the most out of your business’ blog. The Benefits Of Blogging For Your Business Blogging has many powerful benefits for your company and will help your brand in tremendous ways, from boosting visibility to establishing credibility.


Gmail rolls out better, smarter spell check and grammar corrections for G Suite

Services like Grammarly are trying to up the quality of your email copy, but now Google is taking some initiative itself by bringing improved spell check capabilities and grammar suggestions to Gmail.

The company says that G Suite users will soon notice inline suggestions, powered by machine learning, that appear as you type out an email. And Gmail will edit some autocorrect “common spelling mistakes” without you having to click anything or take any extra steps. Aside from misspellings, it’ll also detect mistaken verb tense. From the composer’s perspective, the main benefit is that you’ll no longer have to manually click “check spelling” in the compose window for Gmail to analyze your email. Instead, red lines appear under misspellings and blue lines


3 Things to Double-Check Before You Hit Send on That Email

You’re so proud of this email. The design is outstanding, and the copy is so convincing, it would convert the Dalai Lama himself. So, why wait? You hit “Send” and watch your open rate updating by the minute. People are loving it. One of your subscribers even replies to congratulate you. Oh, wait… they’re writing to let you know your main link is broken. Has this ever happened to you? You probably see other organizations failing to double-check basic components of their emails before hitting the “send” button. We all


4 Reasons why bad writing skills kills your company's productivity

Badly written emails that are too long, unclear, or poorly organized monopolize time. In fact, the level of productivity drops altogether when business people have to deal with lousy writing.

There’s something that you may not have guessed causing friction and slowing your business down. It’s not just workers who are doing it, it’s management, too. As a result, this mystery issue is making everyone’s jobs much more difficult. You guessed right; bad business writing is the culprit. Business people spend a lot of time reading and writing, from estimates to articles to emails. Since communication is a large part of their job, it’s safe to assume that a sizeable portion of that time gets spent on emails. Badly written


Four Ways To Brand Your Company On Social Media

There are 2.77 billion users across social media platforms, and they spend an average of 136 minutes on social media each day.

Social media is a fantastic tool to enhance your company’s online presence. According to Statista, there are 2.77 billion users across social media platforms, and they spend an average of 136 minutes on social media each day. Approximately 90% of U.S. businesses are online with social media business accounts. These facts are motivating more companies to improve their branding techniques to stand out from all the clutter. It is becoming more challenging to keep customers interested and engaged for as long as possible. The following tips will help companies brand


5 steps to write an appealing first email to a potential client

First emails in both B2B and B2C email lead generation efforts are imperative.

Are you looking to optimize the templates of first emails to send to your potential customers? Then you need to know as many best practices as possible, in making the right impression. The importance of first emails in both B2B and B2C email lead generation effort cannot be overstated. Take welcome emails, for example. These are the first emails that online businesses send to leads and customers. For instance, they are sent to new newsletter subscribers and people who have just completed a purchase online. Their superior performance compared to


14 Ways To Improve Bad Communication Habits In The Digital Age

For better and for worse, the digital age has changed the way we communicate in nearly every facet of our lives. The workplace is no exception to this rule.

While technology can increase productivity by making it easier to efficiently share information, it can also lead to some poor habits when it comes to interacting with others. The members of Forbes Coaches Council know the importance of good communication skills, especially among colleagues. We asked a group of them to share some bad workplace communication habits they see most often nowadays, and how you and your team can improve those skills with 14 easy steps. 1. Practice Maintaining Eye Contact It’s difficult to hold a conversation with someone in


Employee Advocacy: Your Secret Weapon For Social Media Success

In today’s crowded social media landscape, many brands struggle to stand out and connect with their audiences. Fortunately, companies have easy access to a secret weapon—their employees.

In today’s crowded social media landscape, many brands struggle to stand out and connect with their audiences. Even if metrics such as follower counts grow, engagement remains low and yields little productive value. Fortunately, companies have easy access to a secret weapon—their employees. If brands can get their own employees to post about them on social media, they stand a much better chance of resonating with audiences and expanding their reach. This strategy, known as employee advocacy, works primarily because it gets to the heart of what’s required for companies


3 Tips For Writing Great Email Copy

Planning an email campaign starts by thinking about what you want to achieve; But, once you get to writing email content, it’s time to stop focusing on you/your company/ your product and think about your audience.

It’s Not About You Planning an email campaign starts by thinking about what you want to achieve; the new product you’re excited to promote; how the email will impact sales, etc. But, once you get to writing email content, it’s time to stop focusing on you/your company/ your product and think about your audience. What do they care about? It’s not the cool features of your new product, it’s the benefits it will deliver to your customer. Think about what’s in it for them. Make sure the final content is



Somehow, we still fail to deliver effective business communication and the impact to the business is realized in delays, re-work, money, and political repositioning.

We have all been there. The business meeting where everyone interjects with their opinions and no one takes any notes. The next month there is a follow-up meeting that consists of the very same discussions except that the participants have spent the entire month becoming more emotionally invested, and still there is no one taking notes. A year later the same discussions continue, and we hear it stated that, all evidence to the contrary, there is progress. We scratch our heads and try to have a positive outlook that things



Artificial intelligence is increasingly becoming the tool of choice for many email marketers, who find data-driven personalization can boost both subject lines and full messages.

Contemplating where to employ artificial intelligence? Email may be the right choice, because it can add a lot of value to messages, as well as boost productivity and efficiency -whether or not you’re going all in. Even AI that helps decide the subject line can really stand out. Among the tactics AI is enabling: A data-based decider of the basics. Your association probably already uses basic email tactics, such as A/B testing of subject lines and send time. While Practical Ecommerce’s Carolyn Nye said AI can help tweak these processes


Small Business Marketing on a Budget

Even though you do not need an unlimited budget to market digitally, you do need a solid strategy so that you are targeting the right audience and creating the right message about your small business.

Small businesses are often operating on a tight budget, which can make finding the money for quality marketing a tough task. Fortunately, we live in a digital age that provides many ways to productively market your business digitally on a very small budget in order to grow your customer base and your own reputation. However, even though you do not need an unlimited budget to market digitally, you do need a solid strategy so that you are targeting the right audience and creating the right message about your small business.


The importance of proofreading your digital signage

It's important that your digital signage message text be accurate. Yes, we're talking about spelling, punctuation and grammar. And yes, it is important.

Digital signage is a visual medium, and much of the information you wish to impart can be done with images, icons and videos. These can do a lot of the work, but you're also going to have to use text, and the words we choose not only decide how effective the communication is, but how trustworthy our messaging is perceived to be. It's important that your digital signage message text be accurate. Yes, we're talking about spelling, punctuation and grammar. And yes, it is important. A study a few years


How to Improve Your Business Writing

However, effective communication is imperative in business. Without good communication – especially with clients and business partners – you run the risk of initiating a project, developing a new product, or launching a new strategic initiative in a way that leads to dead ends.

If you work in business, you might not view professional writing as critical. After all, the real challenges involve profit margins, employee retention and marketing. It's possible that you hire someone to write marketing literature or social media content anyway. However, effective communication is imperative in business. Without good communication – especially with clients and business partners – you run the risk of initiating a project, developing a new product, or launching a new strategic initiative in a way that leads to dead ends. Customers won't understand your business objectives,


Stop The Scroll: Four Tips For Creating Thumb-Stopping Social Media Ads

Social media advertising has proven to be one of the most versatile, cost-effective strategies that businesses can use to reach their target audience and boost sales.

Do you remember the television ads of yesteryear, where the volume was slightly higher and “Big Al” shouted out the best deals on his used cars in an attempt to get your attention? Well, thumb-stopping ads on social media are today’s equivalent tactic. It’s no secret that a social media presence is essential for connecting with consumers and efficiently spreading brand awareness. However, brands need to go beyond simply having an account if they want to leverage social media platforms in a productive and meaningful way that makes a difference


Ways You Can Use Technology To Improve Writing Skills

Technology has drastically changed how we do things in the 21st century. So many systems have been simplified through the use of customized applications made to look easy, and writing is one of them. It is also not just simplifying the process but as well as improving the final product of that process.

Before the use of laptops and computers to typewrite essays, papers and thesis were introduced. We were accustomed to handwritten and outdated means, which were awkwardly slow for use. However, currently, times have changed, and it has brought innovation to almost every sector of the industry. The writing was never left behind, and we now have incredible applications that writers and students can utilize to their benefits. We understand how hard it can get writing your papers because not everyone has the right skills to write a high-quality paper. However,


5 Automated Email Marketing Messages You Should Be Using

Email marketing is one of the most productive and effective marketing tactics available to businesses today, but the power of email marketing grows exponentially when you utilize productivity tools to increase efficiency by automatically sending targeted messages based on specific customer behaviors rather than doing it manually.

The reality is no small business owner has time to write individual messages and send them to people one-by-one at just the right times. Even if you have the budget to hire a staff or agency to help you, there aren’t enough hours in the day to manually leverage every email marketing opportunity available to you. That’s where automation changes the game. Here are five email marketing messages that you can set up to go out to customers and subscribers automatically based on behavioral triggers, which are practically guaranteed to


The 9 Skills It Takes to Succeed as a Freelance Writer

Owning your own freelance writing business requires a specific skill set centered around strong work habits and good communication skills. Before you jump in feet first, take some time to figure out if you have the following skills: Strong writing skills While you don’t need to be an expert on everything to succeed in this field, the most basic tool you must have is great writing ability. You can learn the other skills to succeed with selling your freelance work, but you must be extremely confident in all aspects of


Why No One Reads Your Emails And How To Fix That

Below are tips to tackle the common errors we make when communicating via email, increasing productivity by increasing the chances that when you send an email it causes the reaction you were hoping for.

You send the email and you may have even put some serious effort into making sure that it speaks to the person you’re sending it to. But you fail to get the response you wanted or sometimes a response at all. What went wrong? Below are tips to tackle the common errors we make when communicating via email, increasing productivity by increasing the chances that when you send an email it causes the reaction you were hoping for. Know when to and when not to use email. Email isn’t the


How To Win At Client Communication

Humans communicate all the time, but that doesn’t mean communication is easy. If you want to attract and retain the right clients, you need to be an all-star, productive communicator.

Did you know that 82% of all customers expect an immediate response from brands? That’s according to HubSpot’s 2018 “Consumer Customer Support Survey,” which surveyed 1,000 consumers. You have some leeway if you work in a business-to-business (B2B) space, but the fact is that your customers expect efficient and effective communication. Humans communicate all the time, but that doesn’t mean communication is easy. If you want to attract and retain the right clients, you need to be an all-star, productive communicator. Why Is Communication So Important? Communication isn’t a fluffy


Six Ways To Write A Winning LinkedIn Summary

Let’s take this writing project step-by-step to make it easier for you to create a more effective Summary.

1. Write in First Person Contrary to what you may have done in the past, Summaries are no longer advertisements written like they came off a press release, a job description or a resume. That is the initial challenge as writing in the first person means you are writing about yourself. Displaying your personality. Talking about you using “I.” Many people treat this part of their profile as a biography, but that is a mistake. To be effective, you need to really write it more like a self-marketing pitch but


Five Tips Leaders Can Use To Communicate Better

Do I really know myself as a leader? This question probes into the very understanding of how an individual prefers to behave in a natural setting. For the most part, the responses normally drive the axiom, “What you see is what you get.”

Some years back, we were retained to lead a community and business leadership program. My task was to kick off the week by conducting a leadership workshop. The theme was self-awareness, and I sought to help participants answer one central question: Do I really know myself as a leader? This question probes into the very understanding of how an individual prefers to behave in a natural setting. For the most part, the responses normally drive the axiom, “What you see is what you get.” Throughout the preparation process, three of


Best UX: Tips for Writing Microcopy That Converts

Great UX content and microcopy guides users within a product and helps them interact with it. It assists users in solving their problems and helps them achieve their goals. Compelling UX content motivates the right behaviors and inspires users’ loyalty and love for your brand.

How can you make your user experience (UX) content and microcopy compelling? Great UX content and microcopy guides users within a product and helps them interact with it. It assists users in solving their problems and helps them achieve their goals. Compelling UX content motivates the right behaviors and inspires users’ loyalty and love for your brand. Now imagine your app’s users get stuck because the instructions on how to proceed to checkout are unclear. Or think about an error popping up followed by an error message that does nothing.


Effective Messaging For Non-Storytellers

If you were to ask me to tell you a story, I would first go silent and then stutter as I racked my brain to come up with a good one.

Everyone loves a good story. There are people like Gary Vaynerchuk who could make a trip to the vending machine sound like an exotic epic adventure, people like Jocko Willink who have courageously fought in battles and lived to tell us about it, and people like Oprah who came from homes of heartbreak but defied all odds, disrupted their industry and changed our world. And then there are people like me, who are naturally concise, fear misleading people with possible exaggeration and have enjoyed fairly comfortable but not exciting lives.


Social Media Trends to Look Out for in 2019

Going into the New Year, be sure to have your social media marketing strategies top of mind.

Social media has come a long way, and it’s definitely here to stay as a marketing tactic. Going into the New Year, be sure to have your social media marketing strategies top of mind. Increasing your brand awareness, strengthening customer loyalty, and validating your brand are a few reasons why you should never shy away from social media marketing. Have a big social media presence—build relationships and communicate with your market and customers. Doing so will make a difference! What’s Happening Now Each year, many trends come and go. As


What does your body language say about you? 5 gestures you should pay attention to

We communicate with our bodies and how we do it is a reflection of our identity.

As human beings, we are communicating with each other constantly, whether or not we are aware of it; even without speaking a word, we can transmit what we think and feel. We continuously transmit a message through our physical presence, our appearance, our facial expressions, the way we dress, and our posture. Body language sometimes has an even greater impact than our words because of all the visual information we provide, often unconsciously. Among the various parts of our body, it’s clear that our face has an especially large capacity


Do You Have A Communication Playbook? If Not, It's Time To Create One

Do you have standards or guidelines for how you want your people to communicate? Do they know what’s expected of them when they’re in front of clients or talking to their teams? Have you posted a playbook or provided reference tools?

At the risk of sounding cheeky, if you said no, why not? My motto has long been “communication is the currency of success” -- simply put, it's how we get things done. More specifically, we communicate in order to serve customers and clients, to manage and motivate, to persuade and sell and to inform. It’s how we build careers and businesses. It’s not enough to simply broadcast a set of words or dump a load of information; we need to do it thoughtfully and strategically. We assume that the smart,



Fiscal budgeting is upon us, and it's time to look into 2019 to plan new projects. For most, customer engagement and experience is top of mind, and a huge player in that space is around communications and specifically targeting clients via the medium they choose.

While there may be some uncertainty on what 2019 holds for regulations and market behavior, one thing remains the same- you still have to communicate with customers, whether in the form of a statement, letter or marketing campaign. That said, here are some communications trends and predictions to keep in mind while looking for ways to utilize and leverage business-critical data delivery to drive incremental revenue and strengthen customer relationships: 1. Social messaging is taking over Sixty-two percent of millennials are more loyal to brands that engage them via Over-the-Top


Language for Nomads

We are pleased to introduce Lauri Iungman, our newest member to the team, who is kick-starting the relaunch of our blog as we transition from Mailfixer to Her first piece offers an intimate introduction to our Lauri.

Living in a foreign country with a foreign language and culture is overwhelming. Communicating effectively and professionally in your second or third language can feel close to impossible – at least initially. Unfortunately, I know this feeling all too well. I moved to Israel from Australia four years ago and I was thrilled I could continue working as a veterinary nurse, which I had done for the seven years prior. There were so much that was foreign moving from Sydney to Tel Aviv, and so it was comforting to know


How to Write a Better Fundraising Letter

Make Your Letter Personable, Specific and Easy-to-Read

Just like copywriting, writing great fundraising letters is not for the amateur. While businesses can often afford to pay the big bucks for great copywriting, nonprofits often depend on in-house staff to write that important letter and to put together a direct mail package. Don't despair. You can do it even if you're no more than a one-person shop. Here to help are the cardinal rules of writing a fundraising letter, adapted from Mal Warwick's immensely useful How to Write Successful Fundraising Letters. Use "I" and "You," but mostly "You."


8 simple ways to become a better business writer

Let’s face it: Everyday business writing can be hard. Facing down a blank page or screen, you want to get your point across to your colleagues or audience, but it’s sometimes a painful process if the words don’t come naturally or English is your second language.

Fortunately, it’s not necessary to be an award-winning scribe to be an effective business communicator. So, before you write your next email or report, keep these tips in mind: WRITE FOR THE READER, NOT FOR YOURSELF. It sounds basic, but good writing starts with knowing your audience, yet the most common problem is that people write for themselves, says executive business writing coach Mary Cullen. “We write from our own perspective rather than the perspective of the reader. In business writing, there aren’t that many firm rules because so much


Our tendency to translate gender literally

Gender issues create a whole lot of questions during translation that are not only challenging because a mistranslation could change textual meaning, but it could go so far as to cause offense.

A Look at Three Main Gender Issues Grammatical Gender: Grammatical gender refers to gender assigned to nouns. Some languages do this and others do not. Two main problems arise when translating between these two systems: The source language uses a gender-specific article or pronoun, but the target language does not have such. There are times when the gendered use of “you” may be grammatical only, but there may be other times when it is important that the “you” refers to a boy or girl given the context of the text.


Don’t send an email without doing these three things

You probably don’t put much thought into crafting an email, which means it’s likely you are making some potentially embarrassing mistakes.

You may have received training on giving a good presentation or writing a successful business proposal, but few of us spend as much time learning how to craft a good email. It’s quick and easy, but few of us give much thought to shooting off an email, so that makes it ripe for misuse. “Email is simultaneously messy, imperfect, overwhelming, and impoverished,” says Nick Morgan, author of Can You Hear Me? How to Connect with People in a Virtual World. “Email is so easy to send that it’s become a


The Latest B2B Content Marketing Trends, Statistics and Insights for 2019

Content marketing is without a doubt, an evolving discipline and one that both marketers and organizations continue to work out.

Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs recently released their B2B Content Marketing: 2019 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America research. The ninth annual report is packed with findings collected from B2B marketers representing a full range of industries, functional areas and company sizes. As the findings support, content marketing is without a doubt, an evolving discipline and one that both marketers and organizations continue to work out. Here are some key insights from the report: Most marketers consider their B2B content marketing efforts to be successful This year’s report indicates marketers have


7 skills every professional IT resume needs

Communication. Political savvy. Emotional intelligence. Here’s how to show these skills and 4 other must-haves in your IT resume.

When it comes to creating an effective IT resume today, forget about tasks: Think accomplishments and so-called soft skills. As organizations look for candidates to help lead their transformational efforts, with life-or-death consequences for the business, they’re looking for not only knowledge of technologies themselves, but also the suite of personal and professional skills required to translate that technology into positive business outcomes. Can you handle difficult conversations? Deal with confrontation? “Things that were nice to have in the past have now become absolutely essential for CIOs,” Suzanne Adams, research


5 SEO Best Practices for Content Development

If you create great content but no one sees it, does it provide any value for your business? Most likely not.

We’ve all heard it time and again, but it’s worth reiterating: Developing content as part of your marketing efforts, be it blog posts, webinars, videos or even new pages on your website, is only half the battle. The other half is getting that content in front of the right people at the right time. While one of the best ways to deliver your content to the right audience is to promote it on a variety of channels, such as on social networks or in email campaigns, that requires you to


This Experiment Reveals the Best Way to Send a Cold Email

Cold emails are one of business’s greatest paradoxes. We all know what bad cold emails look like -- after all, we receive and delete them all the time -- but we can’t seem to stop ourselves from sending bad ones, either. We see mistakes, and then we repeat them.

It’s time to stop that cycle. Cold emails are an unfortunate necessity; we’ll always need to reach people we’re not connected to. But the secret to sending a great email isn’t hidden: It’s sitting right there in your own inbox. All you need to do is look, consider what makes you respond to emails and then repeat that for other people. To illustrate this, I recently ran an experiment on LinkedIn. I asked my followers to tell me two things: 1. What people cold-email them about the most. 2. What


10 Writing Tips: Improve Your Communication, Look Smarter & Get What You Want

Bad writing is wasting your time.

Eighty-one percent of businesspeople surveyed for the State of Business Writing report said that bad business writing—that which is too long, poorly organized, unclear, and full of jargon and errors—wastes “a lot” of their time. Of course, I’m a content manager by trade, so poor writing works out for me in the job security department. But it’s also painful to watch, like Charlie Sheen post-2009 or Donald Trump’s understanding of how Google works. Let’s do better. I’m here to help. Here are my 10 biggest tips to improve your writing,


Nine Ways To Boost Company Culture With Remote Workers

These days, many teams are made up of both in-house and remote staff. But this type of office arrangement is not without its challenges. After all, with part of the team not physically present, it can be harder to communicate, check in and maintain a cohesive company culture. Fortunately, technology has helped to bridge that gap.

1. Live your company values every day. A coherent company culture happens by being consistent in living the values every day, from the founders and the leadership team down to the framework and documentation where that culture is executed. We encourage ad-hoc informal meetings, when walking to get coffee or doing other non-work experiences, for further bonding time. - Arry Yu, StormX 2. Celebrate your company culture. We have a #kudos channel on Slack and a #failwall channel, in addition to fun ones such as #photos and #music. These channels


Slogging Through Email Is Probably Why You're Worried About Your Productivity

As a professional speaker and trainer, I meet new clients almost every week. When I ask what their biggest challenge is at work, the most common response is, “I am overwhelmed.” When I ask what is overwhelming them, they almost always say email communication.

As George Bernard Shawn once said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” This seems to be backed by data. Research by The McKinsey Global Institute found the average employee spends 13 hours a week reading and responding to email. That's 28 percent of a person's work time. To put it in perspective a little more, that's 650 hours -- or 16 weeks -- a year spent on email. So the question that comes up time and time again is “how do we


Five Steps To Improving The Overlooked Skill Of Effective Email Communication

Communication is critical to a successful IT career and organization and can be quite detrimental if it goes unaddressed.

In an information technology (IT) organization, effective communication is a core competency that is often overlooked. As leaders build technology teams, we focus on employees that have strong technical aptitude, problem-solving skills and how a person’s demeanor and attitude will fit into the team. However, we can take communication skills for granted. Why do we do this? Communication is critical to a successful IT career and organization and can be quite detrimental if it goes unaddressed. Communication integrates the business with IT. The more they know, the more they feel


This 5-Second, Science-Based Tweak Makes Women More Productive, Especially in August

Here's a little known fact: according to multiple, peer-reviewed scientific studies, employees in offices that are "too cold" have lower productivity. I put "too cold" in quotes because what's "too cold" for you might be "too warm" for me.

To address the subjectivity of office temperature, most companies set their thermostats to the 'Standard 55' guideline, which assumes the average worker is a 40-year-old man dressed in a business suit, i.e. the average office worker in the 1960s. Unfortunately, what feels "just right" to today's button-downed male baby boomer male often feels "too cold" for women of any age because, as science has repeatedly shown, women get colder faster and more easily than men. Specifically, women on average have higher core body temperatures than men, especially women using hormonal



If you're an entrepreneur, you'll always want your business to run as smoothly as possible. Many a time, your key areas of focus are skillsets like time-management and leadership. These skills are important but there is one skill that is underrated and is always overlooked and that is communication.

Now, why is good communication necessary at a workplace? Simply because the perils of miscommunications are huge and sometimes unaffordable. Miscommunication at home can lead to feelings being hurt and damaged relationships. At a workplace, it can decrease productivity, hurt feelings, and makes the work environment quite toxic. When the communication is clear, effective, and two-way, it helps in clearing the mind which leads to decrease in stress and conflict. When there is decrease in conflict and the minds are clear on what to do, the productivity automatically increases. So,


Maintaining (and Increasing) Employee Productivity during the World Cup and Beyond

With 'Football’s Coming Home Syndrome' spreading to every office globally, managers all around the world will have been particularly focused on one thing – employee productivity.

Home or away? There are clearly contrasting opinions when it comes to the World Cups impact on productivity. On the one hand, reports that a poll of over 2,000 UK workers conducted by revealed the average number of unauthorized absences expected for each football fan could be as a high as four days. Using this figure, a median seven-hour working day, the UK’s average earnings per hour and viewing figures from the last World Cup the report estimates it could cost the UK’s economy up to £13bn. On


13 Checkpoints Marketing Execs Can Use To Assess Their Communications Plans

Every good communications professional needs to have benchmarks that measure the success of their communications plan. You must consider what is working with your strategy and how you can strengthen it as you move forward.

Developing checkpoints is a good way to determine if you are hitting all the marks and checking all the boxes along the way. This helps you establish the success of your communications plan -- and if tweaking needs to be done. Below, 13 members of Forbes Communications Council share the one checkpoint that marketing executives can use to grade themselves on the strength of their communications plans. Here’s what they had to say: 1. Authenticity The main checkpoint marketers should focus on in their communications plans is authenticity. Regardless of


The 7 Communication Hurdles Stifling Your Company’s Efficiency

One of the biggest sources of inefficiency in your company is going to be communication.

It underlies almost every productive action within your business, whether it’s conveying instructions to a subordinate or disclosing your results to a client or investor; accordingly, even a small inefficiency in your lines of communication can result in a major loss of time/money. Fortunately, knowing the key hurdles to effective communication—and learning to overcome them—can help you smooth out these problem areas and build a more efficient business. How Communication Affects Your Efficiency Ultimately, your business’s efficiency is impacted in three key ways: Message accuracy. If you convey the wrong


How Is Content Marketing Changing in 2018?

Content marketing is an ever-changing practice, but that’s no excuse for staying behind instead of keeping up with the trends. 2018 has already been a great year for content marketing, and it’s only going to get better through the rest of the year.

If you want to make sure you get on the right tracks early enough to reap the benefits before 2019, you need to get familiar with where content marketing is heading in 2018 and how to adjust for it. Trends Set to Continue in 2018 What do we expect to see throughout the rest of 2018 in the world of content marketing? Here are some of the trends that are continuing to gain momentum: Increased Personalization People are growing more and more interested in content that is hyper-personalized to their


4 Ways Businesses Should Be Using Press Releases — But Many Aren’t

Ah yes, press releases: a staple of the business collateral landscape that has not just survived the transition from the print to the digital world, but has thrived. Indeed, thanks to the “evergreen” nature of web content, press releases are the brand marketing gift that keeps on giving.

However, despite their proven value — and staggeringly high ROI compared to most other forms of conventional brand building — many businesses aren’t happily aboard the press-release bus. And frankly, the biggest reason is that they don’t know what to announce. If your business is caught in this knowledge gap, here are four ways that you can use press releases to drive and increase brand visibility: Milestones Milestone announcements make excellent press releases, because they convey business growth — which is a core part of strategic brand marketing. Examples include


Simple Tools You Can Use to Manage Your Time and Increase Productivity

In today's professional landscape, workers -- especially millennials -- report that productivity is hard to achieve. According to a recent Gallup survey, 55 percent of Millennial workers reported they aren't engaged enough at work and their productivity suffers as a result.

Whether it's the distractions of an open office, high stress levels or persistent procrastination, the barriers to productivity in the workplace can be burdensome. For many workers, the ability to work efficiently relies on a combination of factors like motivation, time management, training, mentorship and talent. But, a large part of increased efficiency is also one's ability to learn. In today's professional landscape, workers -- especially millennials -- report that productivity is hard to achieve. According to a recent Gallup survey, 55 percent of Millennial workers reported they aren't engaged


The most annoying things about the English language, from people who are learning it

English is the most studied language in the world, with 1.5 billion people learning it. But just because English is popular doesn't make it easy.

Many English learners have vented about the most annoying aspects of the language in the obvious place: the internet. Their complaints range from its confusing spelling to its abundance of synonyms with barely imperceptible differences in meaning. We looked at comment threads on Reddit, Quora, and other forums to compile 11 of the most annoying things about English, straight from people who are attempting to learn the language themselves. English speakers say 'an hour and a half,' but not 'two hours and a half' "Hour and a half. Two and


How to Hook Your Audience Within the First 60 Seconds

Start with the power your audience craves.

How you open and close your presentation decides everything. Nothing matters more for effectiveness. The internet is full of great ideas for how to open and how to close speeches. You’ll be ahead of most speakers if you can just avoid the most common error. I’d like to focus on a more specific question: how to choose an opening and closing, rather than which one to choose. The “how” question is vital, because everything about your speech rides on your ability to mesmerize the audience from the first nanosecond to


8 Tips for Writing a Great Press Release

Press releases are an essential element of any public relations strategy. These short, compelling documents detail product releases, event announcements and other newsworthy items a company produces.

Indeed, great press releases do more than keep the media and the industry-at-large informed of your company’s recent developments. They are meant to pique the interest of journalists, who may seek to cover the topic further. Crafting a great press release is often the first step in securing a magazine feature or television interview — and thus, more visibility and new customers. Considering that journalists are flooded with potential stories and pitches on a daily basis, making yours stand out from the pack is crucial. While the format for a


How the Single Most Important Feature on LinkedIn Just Got Even More Powerful

LinkedIn recently restored some key components of the most popular (and powerful) feature on the platform. Here's how to take advantage.

f you want to win new business and build a valuable network on LinkedIn, it's all about understanding how to find (and utilize) context for a one-on-one conversation. With the plethora of available data on all 550 million members of the world's largest social platform for professionals, LinkedIn makes "cold" introductions and exchanges easy to accomplish. Taking just a few moments to glance at someone's LinkedIn profile gives you any number of potential ice-breakers or conversation starters--where someone lives, his or her job title, where he or she attended school,


4 Ways To Combat Workplace Communication Breakdowns

A recent report by The Economist Intelligence Unit and Lucidchart examines different communication styles in the workplace and the effects they have on organizations.

Spend a day in any office, and you’ll quickly observe the multitude of different communication styles present in the workplace. Some people like to stick to facts and figures; others love to ask about your latest family vacation. Some people’s eyes glaze over if you start by diving into nitty-gritty details; others panic if you don’t start a project with a robust timeline in place. What’s not quite so readily apparent is the impact these differences can have on the workplace. A recent report by The Economist Intelligence Unit and


How to Put the Trust Back Into Email Marketing

Email marketing has become a dirty word, but we can make things better. To regain the trust of subscribers, email marketers can look to the ideals and practices of the old-fashioned personal newsletter.

I receive too many emails from brands. The frequency is high and the relevance low. I get product offers when I’m not in the market to purchase and content offers with no relevance to my role. If I recall opting in to a company’s emails, I respectfully unsubscribe. Otherwise, I click “block” or “report as spam.” Email marketing has become a dirty word, but we can make things better. To regain the trust of subscribers, email marketers can look to the ideals and practices of the old-fashioned personal newsletter. Personal


Biz Smarts: In age of texting, email etiquette is vital

We have become a texting society, where full sentences have become a thing of the past. We communicate in acronyms, memes, or worse, an inferior form of hieroglyphics called emojis. In business, communication matters.

According to a recent study, a typical corporate email user sends and receives about 110 messages daily. Given that email is still our most common form of communication in business, we should all put in a little more effort. After all, if you’re emailing a client or customer, you don’t want them to think you’re too busy, careless or illiterate. We have a policy that every email recipient must be addressed by name. It may or may not include a salutation, but it will definitely include a name at minimum.


Four Types of Emails I Actually Open and Why

Email marketing has taken a back seat in recent years to newer digital marketing channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google. However, marketing and sales teams all around the world are still using email to drive results.

In the early days of email marketing, open rates could be as high as 75 to 85 percent. Today, the average email open rate is just above 20 percent. With email being such a saturated marketing channel, the trick is writing emails that people actually feel compelled to open and read. Time spent crafting compelling email content is time well spent. Not only are emails easy to track and analyze, they also allow you the option to segment based on different types of customers and leads. It is important to


Why Investing in Gender Equality is Crucial for Your Business’s Future

Brands that are willing to go beyond the baseline "we believe in gender equality" and really take a stand can attract an even more loyal customer base.

We just saw another International Women’s Day come and go, and the interest in this 100-year-old holiday is greater than ever. For proof, just look to Google’s Think with Google blog. According to Google’s data, “International Women’s Day reached peak search interest in March 2017–the same month that global search interest in gender equality reached its highest point.” Given the prevalence of women’s issues in the overall cultural conversation – from the #MeToo movement, to the continued push for equal pay, to the ongoing conversations about how race and gender


The Emotionally Intelligent Way To Cold-Email People (If You Must)

People don’t love being contacted out of the blue. So you need an opening line that puts your recipient front and center. Here are five ways to craft one.

I get about 10 cold emails a day. Most are from PR firms who know I’m a Fast Company contributor and want me to write about their clients. If the first line fails to draw me in, I hit delete; if I like the sound of it, I’ll read on. Same goes for cold phone calls from organizations pitching financial advice or seeking money for a charity: That opening statement is everything. How do you create an opening–whether for an email or a phone call–that makes the person at the


10 Ideas To Help You Integrate Email Marketing With Social Media

10 of the most helpful tips on how to integrate email marketing with a social media strategy to increase conversion and engagement, achieving the best results for your clients.

Digital marketing is the epitome of every modern business. Achieving a goal through the means presented by web tools, an online strategy often requires the coherence of a message throughout social media, email marketing and a website strategy. Yet, in most cases, due to the specialization of experts within a certain spectrum of the digital marketing space, businesses are left with segregated online presence. Today, it’s common to see a brand have astounding social media pages, while its website is left with an age-old design. A diverse and active email


Making a Great First Impression

It takes just a quick glance, maybe three seconds, for someone to evaluate you when you meet for the first time. In this short time, the other person forms an opinion about you based on your appearance, your body language, your demeanor, your mannerisms, and how you are dressed.

With every new encounter, you are evaluated and yet another person's impression of you is formed. These first impressions can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo, making those first encounters extremely important, for they set the tone for all the relationships that follows. So, whether they are in your career or social life, it's important to know how to create a good first impression. This article provides some useful tips to help you do this. Be on Time Someone you are meeting for the first time is not interested


How Winter Olympics skills apply (sort of) to internal communication

Workplace survival requires the precision of a master curler, the nerve of a bobsled pilot and the agility of a slalom skier. Let the messaging games begin.

What do communicators have in common with figure skaters? Style points count, but it’s mostly about execution and sticking the landing. Thankfully, triple lutzes, ice dancing and shiny outfits are not required at most offices, but we all have an audience—and judges—to whom we’re beholden. In observance of the 2018 Winter Olympics, here are four more events communicators might recognize: 1. Curling the stones of strategy. Communicators aren’t typically tasked with gliding polished granite stones onto concentric circles, but successful communication does require precision, teamwork and strategy. It takes a


Here’s a 30-Second Test to See If Your Content Has Any Chance of Taking Off

Every piece of content should do one of two things: help a reader learn something new or feel a strong emotion. Delete everything else.

Here’s a sad story I see all the time. I see a hellbent content creator commit a ton of time, for the sake of being consistent, only to create so-so content that nobody cares about. How many company blogs do you know publish multiple times a week and receive a total of zero comments and zero shares on their articles? They spend time and money to write a story that nobody reads. It’s sad. To fix this, I want to give you a framework to help you create outstanding content,


Grammarly Fixed a Security Vulnerability, but It Still Can’t Fix Our Writing

Last week, Google security researcher Tavis Ormandy identified a bug in Grammarly’s Chrome extension that threatened to let “any website … login to as you and access all your documents, history, logs, and all other data.” To its credit, Grammarly quickly responded to the report and closed the hole.

If you spend enough time online—and if you’re reading this, you almost certainly do—you’ve probably been exposed to the ubiquitous advertising for a product called Grammarly. In a video that’s been viewed almost 300 million times on YouTube, the company promises that its app and browser extension can help you identify “errors that other spelling and grammar checkers just can’t catch.” In a more recent spot (“Write The [sic] Future”), Grammarly shows off some of its advanced capabilities, promising that it will help you avoid accidental plagiarism, use semicolons properly,


40 Different Email Greetings You Can Use in Your Next Message

Jokes aside, You wouldn’t think that your email greeting would be that complicated to write. But, I’ve learned that landing on that perfect sentence that seamlessly segues into the rest of my note is an art form in and of itself.

Do you know what I just spent way too long doing? Scrolling through all of my sent messages. I realized two very important (and slightly embarrassing) things: One: I send way too many emails. I mean way too many. Two: I start nearly every single one with “I hope you’re doing well!” Seriously. Every. Single. One. Has anyone ever been full of more hope than me? Jokes aside, You wouldn’t think that your email greeting would be that complicated to write. But, I’ve learned that landing on that perfect sentence


Robot Writing, AI, and Marketing: It’s the End of the World as We Know It

Picture if you will, dear reader, the marketing apocalypse, a place where human-powered engines are less and less relevant and we are facing a new dawn: robot writing, triggered email campaigns, automated social scheduling and responses, ways to track users wherever they go.

Oh, hang on. Isn’t that . . . ? Yeah, it is. We would say welcome to the future, but that scares an awful lot of people. Case in point: all these stories about the robots coming to take our marketing jobs. There is legitimate worry in our industry today, and with good reason. AI and marketing are a perfect mix; so much of what we do involves crunching data and analytics. Surely that’s prime AI territory? But first, some housekeeping. The definition of AI has merged and melded since


How to Make Online Networking Work for You

While face-to-face networking is still the best way to grow your network of substantial relationships, online networking shouldn't be ignored. Learn how to jump in and do it right.

Who's best suited for online networking? On the one hand, the answer is obvious: Anyone with a computer and an internet connection can access the growing number of social networking sites on the web. The less obvious answer, however, is based on you and your interactive and time management preferences. Do you enjoy spending time on your computer? Some personality types avoid computer-based interactions as much as possible, while others seem drawn to their monitors, tablets and phones like moths to light bulbs. There's no right or wrong about it,


5 content distribution strategies for 2018

Yes, content is important. Google loves quality content. Your visitors love content. But writing content for the sake of writing content simply makes no sense. If your marketing department has a mandate that you must write x number of blog posts per month, you need to change direction — and here’s why.

I personally feel that the most overused digital marketing phrase is “Content is king.” Yes, content is important. Google loves quality content. Your visitors love content. But writing content for the sake of writing content simply makes no sense. If your marketing department has a mandate that you must write x number of blog posts per month, you need to change direction — and here’s why. On WordPress alone, 86.4 million blog posts are published every month. That’s a lot of content! Sadly, most of the content that’s posted is


Holiday networking emails: If you don’t write now, you may regret it later

When it comes to networking, holiday emails are “a low-hanging fruit,” said Jodi Glickman, CEO of Great on the Job, a communications company.

Here’s something to add to your seemingly unending list of holiday to-do’s: networking emails. You might be tempted to bury your head in the myriad work deadlines and family errands that already haunt your dreams these days. But, really, you should face up to reality: The holidays are one of the best networking opportunities you’ll get all year, according to career gurus. No, we’re not talking about the company Christmas party. We’re talking about touching base with current and former professional contacts: Bosses and colleagues present and past, former clients


3 New Email Marketing Trends You’re Company Will See in 2018

Any successful business has to be prepared to roll with the times.

This year is rapidly coming to an end. While most of us are busy preparing for the holidays, it’ll eventually be time to get back to work for the new year. And, a new year means new things to look out for in order to improve your business. You’ve probably noticed a lot of different trends this past year and hopefully, those helped you bring in more leads over the last 12 months. But, any successful business has to be prepared to roll with the times. Are you ready? Here


5 Key Holiday Email Marketing Tips for 2017

Email marketers must start preparing for one of the most important and busiest quarters of the year - the Holiday season.

Regular strategies used for email campaigns throughout the rest of the year may not be enough to cut through the inbox clutter during the holiday season. This calls for email marketers to define their holiday-specific marketing goals, and create email campaigns that stand out. We've collated five proven holiday email marketing tips to help boost your campaigns. Tip #1: Plan Smart & Plan Early "Rushed projects never return great results." - Sam Hurley, Founder of OPTIM-EYEZ. Most email marketers begin planning their marketing strategies months before the holidays begin, so


4 Subtle Ways to Make Your Chatbot More Human

Today’s chatbots are different, and Siri is a great example. Not only does she respond to conventional queries, but she can crack jokes, make suggestions and even help you perform certain actions, like make a calendar appointment or place a food order.

The bots of yesteryear were not nearly as capable as the bots of today. Ask anyone on the street, and they’ll remember the “chatbots” from services like AIM and MSN Messenger. They could answer questions and return search results, similar to Alexa or Siri, but they weren’t impressive, at least not in a human way. There was always the truth right there in front of you. You were talking to a computer programmed to answer and respond in a specific way. It was not a real, thinking, breathing person, advanced


The True Cost Of Poor Communication

As individuals, poor communication essentially equals an inability to communicate our value to the team — and a loss of value could mean the loss of a job. There’s a bigger picture, too: Collectively, poor communication can disrupt business on a fundamental level.

We all aspire to be better communicators. We all know that communicating well will help us accomplish our goals, impress our colleagues and our superiors and generate business. We all want to feel confident and project leadership. But while we see the benefits of good communication, we generally think about poor communication as a momentary setback. We fail to see the ways in which poor communication costs us personally over the long term, in a loss of credibility and a drag on advancement. As individuals, poor communication essentially equals an



Professor Tsedal Neeley, of the Organizational Behavior unit at the Harvard Business School, has spent years studying Rakuten’s ground-breaking Englishnization policy, which has seen English adopted as the company’s official language. In this recent TED talk, she describes her findings. First published on


English - The International Language Powering World Trade

English is the most widely studied second language in the world and its role as a communicative currency means that ensuring consistent standards of English across the world is central to its value.

Being multilingual is an increasingly important business skill as world markets become more globalized and interconnected than ever before. As new economies develop rapidly, the value of being able to speak Mandarin, Arabic and Hindi is increasing. However, English remains the leading international language, with an estimated 1.5 billion speakers across the world. The dominance of English is colossal; the most widely used language the world has ever seen. It is the language of modern scholarship, the internet and technology, the global media and advertising, international politics and diplomacy, and


6 Communication Tips to Strengthen Your Company's Culture

Teams often get tripped up by semantics as members interact. Here's how to model clear, consistent messaging and foster a more respectful work environment.

Humans are great but imperfect creatures. To convey meaning, we must talk. While ants work consistently as part of their queen’s hivemind, we get tripped up by semantics as we deliver and receive messages. In the workplace, this can make the difference between a job well done and a total communication disaster. If you’re an entrepreneur, a founder or a CEO, you might make the mistake of overlooking the role internal communications play in your business' success. Good leaders must set the example and the standard for great communication. They


Writing Productivity: 19 Tips to Increase Your Business Blog Output

Writing productivity is crucial when it comes to creating a successful business blog.

Not everyone is a writer. For a business owner making a first foray into blogging, output can quickly become a noticeable problem. It helps to maintain a writing and publication schedule. Below are some writing productivity tips to help you succeed with your business blog. It doesn’t really matter if you are in the b2b or b2c space – with the right habits in place, you can achieve better results. Writing Productivity Tips: Advance Planning – When you take the time to plan out your blogging schedule, it serves as


Easy Email Marketing Hacks to Attract More Customers

As a marketer, you can take advantage of the “Two-Second Rule” by paying attention to just a few key areas so that people will take action on the email you’ve sent. The “Two-Second Rule” revolves around the idea that we only have two seconds to grab a reader’s attention.

If you’re like me, you check your inbox first thing in the morning and you quickly scan that list of messages. Your brain quickly prioritizes which emails need your attention first, and they all get classified as: read now, read later, or read never — delete. Throughout the day, we repeat those actions whenever we check our inboxes. Our inboxes are flooded with messages from clients, colleagues, loved ones, and spammers every day. So, how can a business stand out from the pack? As a marketer, you can take advantage


14 Proven Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills

Successful leaders are able to meaningfully communicate with others. Steve Jobs inspired his employees to strive for perfect hardware products. Jack Welch mentored the senior leadership team of GE to new heights. Jeff Bezos is known for articulating the Amazon ethos clearly to employees and the world. All of these leaders possess outstanding leadership skills.

Here are 14 ways you can improve your communication skills in order to become a more effective leader. 1. Learn the basics of nonverbal communication. One study found that nonverbal communication accounted for 55 percent of how an audience perceived a presenter. That means that the majority of what you say is communicated not through words, but through physical cues. To communicate clearly and confidently, adopt proper posture. Avoid slouching, folding your arms or making yourself appear smaller than you are. Instead, fill up the space you are given, maintain


How to email, as explained by a Brooklyn VC

Here’s a bone for the liberal arts–minded among us in the startup world: writing good emails is a seriously important part of business.

Venture capitalist Shaun Abrahamson, of Urban Us, broke it down for us in a Medium post last week, Founder Emails, a subject with which he is no doubt deeply experienced. Last week we covered his fund’s new cohort of nine urban tech startups, chosen in conjunction with Urban-X, the Greenpoint accelerator. “Early stage startup email is not like your current email,” Abrahamson writes. Email “can impact your ability to find early customers and investors.” Here are some of our favorite of Abrahamson’s tips, summarized: You have to respond reasonably quickly,


Think email newsletters are dead? Think again

Forget what you read, online newsletters are far from dead, says Keyler Weber, account manager at integrated agency Stratitude. She says when an agency creates an outstanding newsletter, people will click on it and read it – there are four explanations for this resurgence in popularity.

Agencies shouldn't write off newsletters just yet. Here's why agencies should be spending more time on their newsletters: 1. It’s personal When a newsletter is personalized, you create a connection and start building a relationship with that subscriber. Compare this personalization feature to social media, radio, or print media, where your communication or brand message is seen by everyone. Newsletters are a direct way of communicating with your audience, so use first names in the design, create VIP lists with targeted offers, and let your personality shine through in your


The Role And Importance Of Communication In The International Trade Environment

Communication consists of so many dimensions and is a very complex subject. While discussing communication, one has to look at several aspects regarding the subject. You have to identify different skills, components and challenges in the environment of communication, though it doesn't end there.

A communication line also goes beyond the borders of your business and stretch to international companies. To successfully trade across international borders, you have to analyse the country and culture of the people whom you are trading with. You have to get a feeling for the way they do business and also for customs or manners that could offend them. People from a different background will feel honoured and will be much more open to business if they can see that you respect their ways. Because of this reason, it


Native English Speakers are the World's Worst Communicators

“A lot of native speakers are happy that English has become the world’s global language. They feel they don’t have to spend time learning another language,” says Chong. “But… often you have a boardroom full of people from different countries communicating in English and all understanding each other and then suddenly the American or Brit walks into the room and nobody can understand them.”

It was just one word in one email, but it triggered huge financial losses for a multinational company. The message, written in English, was sent by a native speaker to a colleague for whom English was a second language. Unsure of the word, the recipient found two contradictory meanings in his dictionary. He acted on the wrong one. Months later, senior management investigated why the project had flopped, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. “It all traced back to this one word,” says Chia Suan Chong, a UK-based communications skills


16 Effective Ways To Break Bad Communication Habits

Members of the Forbes Coaches Council offered 16 simple and effective methods for breaking bad communication habits and building better ones.

Regardless of industry, a leader's role often involves managing the flow of information between team members, departments and other company stakeholders. That's why it's critical for all professionals to practice good communication habits and ensure that all involved parties are receiving messages loud and clear. But even the best of us sometimes slip up and don't communicate as well as we could. We interrupt others during meetings; we send typo-riddled emails from our smartphones; we get defensive and react instead of truly listening and processing the words we hear. 1.


5 Writing Tricks That Will Keep Readers With Short Attention Spans Interested

Ask any copywriter to name their biggest challenge today, and ten to one will tell you it’s writing for the ever-shrinking attention span.

Whether we really do have shorter attention spans than goldfish, as the news tells us, or we’re just lazier, there’s no denying our tolerance for lengthy, complicated text has nosedived in recent years. For those in the business of writing cold emails every day, this is a constant source of frustration. It’s hard enough to get a potential buyer past the subject line of a message, so it’s downright disheartening to know that when you do, there’s no guarantee someone will read to the end. How many of us simply


This Email From Google's CEO to Employees Teaches Some Major Lessons in Leadership

In six short paragraphs, Sundar Pichai shows us how to respond to a crisis--and demonstrates how much words matter.

At this point, you've probably heard about "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber," a controversial memo written by a Google employee that went viral over the weekend. The 10-page manifesto argues (among other things) that women on average have a "lower stress tolerance" and are more prone to "neuroticism" than men. According to the author, these traits are due to fundamental "biological differences" and make men and women better suited for different kinds of jobs. At this point, I've read the memo multiple times, which has brought me to the following conclusion:


5 secrets Steve Jobs can teach us about writing effective emails

Their email exchange offers insight into what to do — and what not to do — when writing business emails. Murdoch’s notes are a classic example of how most of us tend to write: long, with multiple ideas and no clear message. Jobs used simple tactics to dominate the correspondence.

Five days before the release of the first iPad, James Murdoch, a high-ranking executive at News Corp., exchanged a flurry of emails with Steve Jobs. Murdoch and Jobs couldn’t reach an agreement that would allow HarperCollins, a publisher owned by NewsCorp, to add its books to the Apple store before the launch. Their email exchange offers insight into what to do — and what not to do — when writing business emails. Murdoch’s notes are a classic example of how most of us tend to write: long, with multiple ideas


The 5 Most Effective Ways To Market Yourself (And They're All Free)

The success of your career is your business. Whether you are a solo-entrepreneur, run a business or are an employee, you need to market yourself. And you do not need to spend money to get started. Focus on getting your name out there and building a presence so that you can get to the next level.

Here are five free ways to market yourself: 1. Write. One of the best ways to get your name out there and build credibility is to write and share your thoughts publicly. Write a post on LinkedIn. Submit a piece to an online platform or newspaper. Put yourself out there, and start becoming searchable. 2. Get quoted. Writers and journalists like to include quotes from experts to bolster their argument. You want to be that expert. Being quoted by someone else gets you recognized by a different audience to widen


No Matter Your Business, Words Are Your Business

Virtually everyone in the working world has had the experience of sitting down to write something, only to crumble at the thought of someone else reading it. Conversely, most everyone has dashed off a chat message, social media post or something else without thinking twice, then regretted it. One marks a brain block, the other, impulsivity.

What they have in common is this: whether it be through email, marketing, advertising or some other medium, communicating through the written word can be tricky and even nerve-racking, especially when it comes to your business. There’s good reason for that. Here’s what’s at stake. Your brand – Even when you aren’t around to talk about your business, your brand is. Your brand makes people remember you. Brand is also all-encompassing. And that means so are the words you use in everything from sales and marketing collateral, to website content,


Proofing emails is never a mistake

Have you ever received an email from a friend, colleague or even your boss that was filled with poor grammar and spelling mistakes? I have, and it certainly makes it hard to work out the sender’s intent when you’re so distracted by there . . . they’re . . . their poor grammar.

The power of words can’t be underestimated. They have the power to influence people, attract new clients and are generally a great way to communicate our thoughts and ideas. Businesses often spend a lot of money on marketing and corporate branding, but if you or your staff are sloppy in correspondence with the outside world, this good work can all be undone. Social media has many common terms abbreviated (btw and ttyl), but you can’t assume the person receiving it in a business sense knows what you’re talking about. Thanks


Image for the Entrepreneur

Definition: The perception people have of your business when they hear your company name. A business's image is composed of an infinite variety of facts, events, personal histories, advertising and goals that work together to make an impression on the public.

The key to having an image you can grow with is to match it to your target market. For starters, that involves knowing who your target market is. Second, you have to carefully and consistently build an image around that market. Any mismatches between your image and your target market's needs is likely to be pretty obvious. For instance, if you have an economical image but you're marketing to an affluent customer who spends freely, you need to change that before you can achieve significant growth. Here are some image


7 Blog Post Ideas That Will Engage Your Readers Every Time

It’s pretty much a no-brainer that you should have a blog these days.

Blogging is an important element of a successful content marketing strategy. A strong blog boosts your SEO, engages your audience, and drives action by encouraging readers to make a purchase or sign up for your email list. It’s pretty much a no-brainer that you should have a blog these days. But making the commitment to consistently create high-quality content is no easy task for small business owners. Especially if they don’t consider themselves to be strong writers. Luckily, there are a few tried and true blog post types that are


How Effective Business Writing Can Earn Fortunes

A well written business document is a powerful medium that tells a lot about you to your clients and customers.

Good writing skills are necessary for the success of any startup or business. Businesses that incorporate clear and concise writing practices always have a competitive edge over their competitors. A well written business document is a powerful medium that tells a lot about you to your clients and customers. Oscar Wilde himself once said: “Writing can feel painful, but it's incredibly rewarding.” In today’s competitive world, business writing is no less than a challenging job because writers have to responsibly speak on behalf of companies, find the right words and


Email etiquette: Should we be using emojis and smiley faces in the workplace?

Why there is no standard when it comes to email etiquette?

Emails are ubiquitous in a modern, globalized workforce. However, a well-crafted email can make the sender appear approachable and competent, while a poorly constructed one is less persuasive, and leaves recipients less willing to comply with the request. Alongside making requests and providing information, emails help us build rapport in the workplace and long-term business relationships. So it's unsurprising that there's a sizable market for help with email etiquette. An internet search for "email etiquette" generates 433,000 results, while a search for books on email etiquette fetches 76 titles (on


It's Time To Spring Clean Your Resume And LinkedIn Profile

Spring cleaning your job marketing tools doesn’t have to be as tiring as cleaning your whole house. It’s easy if you know the things to edit for maximum impact.

Do you like spring cleaning? I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, you’re going to spend a day dusting, washing and throwing away old stuff. On the other hand, the sparkly clean feeling afterward makes it worth it. Like spring cleaning, updating your resume and LinkedIn can be tedious but the payoff is amazing. An updated resume gives you an upper hand when an unexpected guest (e.g., a job offer or recruiter) comes calling. Spring cleaning your job marketing tools doesn’t have to be as tiring as cleaning



It’s hard not to feel an uneasiness about relinquishing the one capability—language—where humans have a leg up on machines.

A couple years ago, Google came up with an idea for eliminating the pesky task of writing emails. Instead of asking people to type sentences into a blank box like they’ve always done, the company started providing automatic replies that could be sent with a tap of a button. The feature, called Smart Reply, relied on Google’s machine learning brains to generate quippy responses based on the content of the received email. A note from a friend suggesting a dinner plan might be met with a “Sounds great!” or “Looking


How to Kick Start Your Writing to Boost your Personal Brand

One of the best ways to become known as the expert is to write. You could write to or for newsletters (association, corporate, community), newspapers (community, business, trade, weekly, daily), or magazines (general, trade, association, business).

Write a letter to the editor This is the easiest way to be published. Watch for an issue that you feel strongly about or that touches your business. The issue doesn't have to relate to your business. This is just a chance for people to know you. Take a stand. If you can make your communication funny, that is even better. Write it well. The editors will correct grammar and edit for length. Sign the letter with your name and a moniker that you like, or your business name. If


10 Common Writing Mistakes You're Probably Making, According to Data From Millions of People

With the rise of modern technology and possibilities for remote work, the written word has become more important than ever.

Of course, nobody's perfect, and an occasional mistake or typo isn't the end of the world. But if your written communication is consistently sloppy or riddled with errors, you can leave others with a bad impression, or mistakenly convey the wrong idea. So, what are some of the most common writing mistakes to look out for? Microsoft recently combed through the data provided by millions of subscribers to create a list of the 10 most confusing word or phrase pairs in the English language. If you want to improve your


Content and Email Marketing Statistics

A winning content marketing strategy combines blogging and email marketing.

Because while your blog is the best channel for making noise online, establishing your brand, and being found on search engines, email marketing generates a more intimate connection with your audience and builds mutual trust. And in synergy, their power is multiplied. Maximize your marketing by incorporating the following blogging and email marketing statistics: Blogging 60% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority. 1 in 10 blog posts are compounding, meaning organic search increases their traffic over time. Compounding blog posts make up 10% of


Google Is Using Artificial Intelligence to Make a Huge Change to Its Translate Tool

Teaching machines to truly understand natural language has been one of the biggest challenges facing computer scientists working to advance artificial intelligence. But Google has made real progress in getting computers to look at language as more than just a bag of words, and these advancements are now making their way into its products.

Google Translate, for example, is getting a technical makeover with the introduction of Neural Machine Translation (NMT). Starting today, you’ll notice vast improvements for any translations with Hindi, Russian and Vietnamese. This follows the first go at utilizing NMT in Translate last November, when English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Turkish all saw the same improvement. “We have 103 languages overall, and our goal is to get all of them working with neural nets,” a Google spokesperson told the Observer. He added the rollout of the remaining


5 tips to make cold emails work for you

Entrepreneur Adam Lyons changed his life when he contacted billionaire investor and "Shark Tank" star Mark Cuban. Lyons received a response from Cuban, who believes in the power of email, and the correspondence led to a lucrative deal for both.

Here are 5 things I learned about how to send the kind of cold email that gets a warm response. 1. Don't be afraid of never hearing back It happens to all of us and, yes, rejection hurts. But if you're optimistic about a potential opportunity, all you can do is try. Over the years, I've had cold emails go unanswered. That's life. I just moved on. 2. Don't be pushy Going overboard with follow-ups can be off-putting and ensure that your communication will go unanswered. In each case above,


How to Email Busy People and Get a Response

The key to attracting anyone’s attention through writing is by using engaging and persuasive prose. Good prose is welcome by a busy reader. In addition, keeping your content short and to the point increases the chance of getting a response.

I recall a time when emails were the preferred means of communication. Email was widely adopted, both for social and business purposes. Maybe this is why most people send lengthy emails that can easily be confused for an essay. At the moment, there are more avenues for social engagement, such as texting and social media. On the other hand, emails have become the dominant means of communication for people in business. With this in mind, you need to make sure the emails you write will be read and understood. The


Why You Need to Send More Email Than You Think

I’m sure you’ve asked yourself, “How often should I send email?” Weekly? Monthly? Any time sales are low?

Start with this question: How many times do you have to ask kids to do something? Usually, more than once. It’s often the same with email marketing. It’s not that people on your email list are children, it’s that they’re busy and your business isn’t their top priority. If you don’t ask multiple times, you might miss out on sales. Are you missing out on sales because you’re not sending enough email? When it comes to email, there are three things you probably want to do more of: Segment, Simplify,


Communications in Turbulent Times

Now is as good a time as ever to remember that all communications—even the briefest of email messages—are an extension of yourself and your institution. As basic as it may sound, it would do us all a world of good to remember the three key elements of effective communication: message, audience and medium.

We’re two months into a new presidency and the US has never been more outwardly divided. And this division is bringing increasing awareness of the impact that our words have on the people around us. But for as much turmoil as we seem to be facing, we’re facing an equal amount of opportunity, particularly when it comes to the exchange of ideas and information—i.e., communication. And there are no easy answers on anything, it seems. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. But there are certain ways that we can guard against


31 Practical Tips to Improve Your Writing Overnight

I don’t know any writer who doesn’t want to be better at the craft. I’d be dishonest if I didn’t tell you that the best way to improve your writing is to write. But just telling you to write isn’t overly helpful. Instead, here are some things (big and small) you can do to improve your writing now.

1. Improve your information gathering As they say, “garbage in, garbage out.” You can’t write good stories if your information gathering is flawed. 2. Read everything Good writers are avid readers. Making time to read every day will improve your writing, whether what you read is well written or not. You’ll have more ideas and model positive examples while avoiding negative ones. 3. Keep an idea file You can’t write if you don’t have a topic to write about. Organize your ideas by writing them down, clipping them out, etc.,


Should You Email Like a Man? (There's a Difference)

In Honor of International Women's Day - Whether you hail from Mars or Venus may say a lot about how you email--and how your colleagues perceive you.

CNBC news anchor Maria Bartiromo announced during a segment on Closing Bell that one of her New Year’s resolutions was to start "emailing like a guy." What does that mean, exactly?, websites like Business Insider were quick to question. It might be more straightforward than you think, says Deborah Tannen, a linguistics professor at Georgetown University and author of You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation. Consider the colleague who signs business correspondence "xo" or softens an authoritative statement with a smiley face. There's one in your office,


Email Marketing Hacks: Read This Checklist Before Hitting Send

Sending a bulk email is an irreversible process. You cannot undo it, edit it, or pull it back from the subscriber’s inbox. As there is no second chance, the wisdom is in ensuring that you send the right email the first time. Period. Mailchimp outrightly suggests to “recruit someone to proof the campaign for you.” In this post, we have identified some of the common, yet not so obvious mistakes, which email marketers make when setting up their email marketing campaigns.

Let’s take a look… 1. Ambiguous subject line The subject line is critical to your open rate so it's understandable why marketers advise using mystery, questions, offers or their combination in the subject line. Now before I make my point, two quick pointers: 68% of emails are opened on mobile devices An average mobile user receives 60 notifications a day Now think back again, users get your email notifications on mobile and they are overwhelmed already. The number of notifications they receive has surpassed their ability to view them all.


Why Good Writing Skills Are a Game Changer for Businesses

Top-notch brands can only be built by securing effective communication among the various factors. Therefore, improving your writing skills is the most important thing you need to work on for securing business growth.

Most emerging entrepreneurs spend at least 2-3 hours a day trying to guess the skills they need to have boost their businesses' performance level. Undoubtedly, communication skills rank on top of all the required skills, and this pertains not only to the company's CEO, but also its employees, regardless of their position. Top-notch brands can only be built by securing effective communication among the various factors. Therefore, improving your writing skills is the most important thing you need to work on for securing business growth. Well-written texts boost credibility This


The One Email Every Founder Should Know How to Write to Investors

You have to keep your investors in the loop, even when you aren't fundraising. Here's how.

So you raised your first round of funding. Good for you! Seriously, it takes a tremendous amount of work to close a round, so you should feel great about that. But regardless of the size of your round or the stage of your company, the hard truth is that you’re probably going to have to fundraise again. One of the most important and low-effort things you can do is send out a standard group update email in a consistent format. Right off the bat, that's potentially bad news. Fewer deals


Spelling mistakes 'cost millions' in lost online sales

An online entrepreneur says that poor spelling is costing the UK millions of pounds in lost revenue for internet businesses.

Charles Duncombe says an analysis of website figures shows a single spelling mistake can cut online sales in half. Mr Duncombe says when recruiting staff he has been "shocked at the poor quality of written English". Sales figures suggest misspellings put off consumers who could have concerns about a website's credibility, he says. The concerns were echoed by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), whose head of education and skills warned that too many employers were having to invest in remedial literacy lessons for their staff. Written word Mr Duncombe,


5 Phrases You Should Never Use in a Sales Email

Good email copy writing speaks to individuals, not consumer groups. The reader wants the writing to appeal to her unique wants, needs, and pain points. Cliches do just the opposite.

Using a canned email template, or overly familiar phrases that add no value, only expose the sender’s laziness. By failing to craft a thoughtful and relevant email from scratch, you greatly reduce your chances of making a strong connection with your prospective customers. From the reader’s perspective, cliches feel hollow. They send red flags that the sender is lazy, thoughtless, or even fake. And even if the rest of the email is otherwise solid, one cliche can kill all appeal. As you sit down to write your next sales email,


Why Bad Spelling Means Bad Business and How To Fix It

“Good grammar is a predictor of professional success”

How do the following sentences make you feel? “I went to there office last week.” “Our buisness center is in New York.” “We provide serviced office’s and meeting room’s.” You’re probably wincing right now. Sadly, incorrect sentences like these are all too common. Of course nobody is immune and despite best efforts, sometimes spelling and grammar mistakes slip through the net. At Allwork, we hold our hands up too. Here’s one we made earlier (now corrected!): Typos like these are easy to fix. But unless you’re quick off the mark,


Foundations for writing stellar outreach emails

Sending cold outreach emails can be a daunting task and you need to know how to create effective emails that produce results.

Cold outreach emails. Heard about em’? If you haven’t, you’re in the right spot. If you have, then you may know email gives you a 2x higher ROI than cold calling, networking, or trade shows. So why isn’t everyone killing it with cold outreach emails? Sending cold outreach emails can be a daunting task and you need to know how to create effective emails that produce results. Today, we’re going to remove some of those barriers and help you build a solid foundation for stellar outreach emails. 7 Building Blocks


The 1 Sentence That Will Make (or Break) Your LinkedIn Profile

Here's the first step needed to create a client-attracting, lead-generating LinkedIn profile.

There are still so many misconceptions on how LinkedIn can be used, especially when it comes to winning new business for yourself on the platform. Case in point: Did you realize that LinkedIn is actually one of the most powerful, B2B-themed search engines on the planet? With nearly 500 million professionals in 200 countries, and with two new members joining every second, you have a whole lot of potential clients and customers under the same digital roof. Because LinkedIn is a searchable database, similar to Google, users can type in


5 Methods: How to Develop Good Writing Skills in English

Many young students and mature people want to improve their writing skills but they do not know how to reach this goal. The internet offers us thousands of techniques, the majority of which are completely useless. However, there are several basic rules that can definitely help you master the skill of good writing in English.

Everyone is supposed to know English if he or she wants to be called a well-educated person nowadays. Although many people are good at oral conversation, their writing skills are very poor. Apparently, it is not enough to speak well. One should also be able to express his or her thoughts on paper. Sometimes it is necessary to create a business document or simply write a Facebook message to your companion abroad. The simplest text requires profound knowledge of English. Many young students and mature people want to improve their


7 Tips for Writing the Perfect Email

Being able to communicate effectively is one of the most essential skills anyone can possess. No matter what it is you need, what it is you do, or where it is you want to go, your ability to communicate in such a way that actually warrants the response you desire— and in the time frame you hope to receive it — is vital to your success.

Here’s how to be a more effective communicator before shooting off an email: 1. Ace the subject line. This one’s simple. Either I know you already (and would recognize your name in the “from” field), or I don’t. Of course, if I already have a pre-established relationship with you, I’m probably going to be more inclined to open your email and see what you have to say. If I don’t know you yet, you’re going to need to pay extra special attention to what you put in the subject line.


Looking Ahead: 2017 Email Trend Report

It may be surprising to some, but the recent explosion of businesses using social media has done little to eclipse the power of email marketing. As an easy-to-implement, low-cost and highly effective form of marketing, email continues to thrive.

In fact, McKinsey recently found email is 40 times more effective at attracting new customers than Facebook or Twitter. While email may be the old industry stalwart, it is constantly evolving — every year marketers must adapt this tried-and-true tool to meet the changing needs and habits of consumers. Inevitably, new trends emerge as these strategies begin to produce exciting results. Here are a few of the email marketing trends predicted to take off in 2017: Meaningful brand experiences: It’s simple: when you create positive user experiences, consumers will have


5 Principles for Better Communication in the Global Workplace

A Project Management Institute study found that one out of five projects is unsuccessful due to ineffective communications, translating to $75 million at risk for every $1 billion spent.

Anyone who has worked in a global team setting has likely witnessed firsthand how communication problems are much more than inconveniences. They can be damaging and costly. A Project Management Institute study found that one out of five projects is unsuccessful due to ineffective communications, translating to $75 million at risk for every $1 billion spent. When my colleague and I began to study this problem with engineers working together from four continents, we found communication problems stemmed in part from assumptions the engineers had about communication. Common ways people


6 mistakes you should never make in a work email

So much day-to-day communication at work happens via email on or apps like Google Hangouts or Slack. Yet most employees never receive formal training in email writing, because it's just like communicating in person, right? Not really. A CEO of a $16 billion business says that the way you write emails could help or hinder your career.

CNBC asked several career experts to share their biggest do's and don'ts of email writing. Here are their top rules: 1. Don't hit 'send' when you're emotional You may feel sorely tempted, at times of peak frustration, to fire off something quick and furious. But avoid that kind of email: It could come back to haunt you. "Do not email when you're angry, hungry or tired," says Stefanie Ziev, executive and life coach. "Check in with your mental state and mindset before you press 'send.'" Get up from your desk,


The Word of the Year Has Just Been Announced (No, It’s Not Yuge, But It’s Ugly)

Can one word define 2016? says it can.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always felt a little other. Funny name, peculiar face. You know the sort of thing. Mind you, I’ve always felt that pretty much everyone else is a little bit other too. Otherwise, we’d all be the same and where’s the sport in that? It’s a little sad, then, that xenophobia has just been named the Word of the Year by The word site explained that this word — meaning “fear or hatred of foreigners, people from different cultures, or strangers” — began



You can communicate with a native speaker if you have only a mild proficiency in English, but being truly fluent in the language offers many advantages, particularly in the business world.

Fluency The word fluent comes from the Latin root meaning ‘flow’ Fluency is a speech language term that means the smoothness or flow with which sounds, syllables, words and phrases are joined together when speaking quickly Language fluency is used informally to denote a high level of language proficiency, whereby language use if smooth and flowing, as opposed to slow and halted When it comes to communicating in more than one language fluency is certainly desirable, but it is not essential for communication to take place. You can communicate with


Pro Tips for Crafting the Best Mass Emails

Mass emails are the key to sales success, here are pro tips for crafting effective messages at scale.

Look we know: you just want to copy and paste. You do it, I do it, God does it. Honestly, who the hell (besides your mom) wants to rewrite every email as a unique treasure? But, seriously, if you are going to send a mass email, it can't look like a mass email because then your relationship with the recipient will be far worse than it was before you sent it. I was motivated to write this piece by receiving yet another "Dear Investor" message on Linkedin, which always manages


What Are the Benefits of Effective Business Communication?

Good communication is essential to managing and working in a productive and efficient workplace. An expert on business, the former dean of Harvard's Business School, Robert Kent, stated that, “In business, communication is everything.” Since communication can be both verbal and written, focus on fine tuning all types for peak performance in your business.

Financial Savings According to 2004 survey of business leaders performed by the National Commission on Writing, "writing is almost a universal professional skill required in service industries, as well as finance, insurance and real estate." The median cost of training each employee on better writing skills is approximately $950. Depending on the needs and size of your company as well as the employee's existing skill level, educating your staff could be a costly venture. Hiring employees with good writing abilities already in place will save you the additional educational expenses.


How to Give Negative Feedback Over Email

When it comes to delicate interactions — say, giving and receiving feedback — email seems to act like some strange form of kryptonite. How many times have you received a poorly worded critique that sent you into a fit of anger? Or sent someone else some mild feedback only to have the receiver respond with a disproportionate level of outrage? What is it about email that makes us so socially inept?

At the core of the problem is a lack of social cues. Normally when we communicate with someone in person or even on the phone, we are picking up on things like facial expressions, physical gestures, and vocal tone and deciding what to do next based on those cues. When we communicate through email, however, that social feedback loop is absent. This results in what psychologist Daniel Goleman calls a natural “negativity bias” toward email. Goleman argues that if the sender feels positive about an email, then the receiver usually


8 Reasons Why Email is Still the Killer App – For Now

Email is still alive and well. It’s still the technology to beat. That’s true whether you’re trying to collaborate with coworkers, sell stuff, reach an important person, or keep an audience engaged. Like it, love it or hate it, email is still the killer app.

Email is the oldest technology of the Internet. It’s even older than the Internet itself, if you define “the Internet” as when the government computer network known as ARPANET first started passing information via TCP/IP. That wonkitude happened all the way back in 1983. By then, email was already five years old. Yep – email was born way back in 1978. It was created by V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, who was 14 at the time (darn teenagers). He built it on assignment. The University of Medicine and Dentistry of Newark, New


Professionalism + Personality = Results

Being professional -conducting one's self professionally, writing in a professional manner, working efficiently and effectively- must go hand-in-hand with being personal. This is the difference between being human, engaging, and ultimately getting what you want, to coming across artificial.

"Right now I'm just delighted to be alive and to have had a nice long bath." Richard Branson Take Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin everything, for example. He is one of the most famous, successful personalities in business today. How did he win the world over? It was by approaching his audience openly and unreservedly. His brand carries a certain connotation with the personality of the man himself—fun and friendly, indeed triumphant; which translated into market dominance. He is able to connect, by blending competence with charisma. A good


Get Your Writing Noticed

Words can have an enormous impact on your business when used effectively. But it seems every business all over the world is using them. After 14 years in the words game, I'm happy to offer a few tips to ensure your writing stands out from the crowd.

1. Marketing Content Marketing content has a single purpose - sales. Choose language that precisely and creatively describes your product or service and reflects your brand, and eliminate unnecessary or secondary material. Address your target audiences' needs and make them understand how only your product can fulfill them. Opt for hooks and unexpected semantics that shock the reader to attention. 2. Startup Materials The startup world is saturated - it seems that everyone has an idea these days. Consumers, businesses and investors have millions of options. So the more focused


The Only Guide you need to Craft the Perfect Product Listing

There is so much online chatter about creating the perfect listing for your online store. But how do you actually write a product listing to optimize your sale and search ranking?

Here are some tips about how to write to sell. Tip # 1: Choose your Keywords Keywords are the basis of a product listing. So look at your product from every angle and use your senses to select five single-word descriptors. What does it look like, what are its features and how would it make you feel if it was yours? These words should appear in your title, in the metatag - the first 100 characters of the product description, and be weaved into your copy a couple more times


So you're going Global with your Brand

Entering new markets with your business is a challenging move which requires a road map of nuanced strategies that engage your target audience, but which also preserve your brand identity. Your content marketing strategy is a key factor to unlocking new markets.

Here are a few localization tips to get you going: Tip# 1: Know Your Content If you haven’t yet done a stock take of your business’ content, then now would be the time to determine your content marketing assets. Analyze the channels and topics that most inspired your customers to interact. This will show you the strongest brand buy-in and your most obvious starting point. Tip # 2: Know Your Audience You’ll need exposure and familiarity with your target culture in order to truly convert your customers. Know who they


Don't forget the coffee...

It's August. The children are home - activity-less. This is weekly-post number 20. And my page is empty. I've been on a journey to unearth the inspiration to write since 5:30 this morning. And not simply an exercise in artistic expression (which after 38 years I am yet to accomplish); but the composition of marketing content that provides an added value for my readers.

As the morning unraveled, the muse for decent content surfaced and with it, some tips about how to craft a blank canvass when all else fails. Tip # 1: Check the system The 5:30 wake up was due to a Mailfix that came in from a customer in California. Being an early-stage startup, I'm still in micromanagement mode and when possible, I like to supervise the ins and outs of the traffic going through our site. I was pleased. The platform still works; Mailfixers are fixing and Mailfixers are checking,


How to get your Audience on Board with your Brand

A great backstory for your brand can trigger an emotional connection between your audience and your company, as well as ultimately increase your ROI on any marketing campaign. So how do you best share the story of your company’s creation to make your audience buy into your brand?

Here are five tips to crafting and perfecting a story that will convey the passion that brought you to start your business in the first place, and may also serve as the backbone for your brand. Tip # 1: Captivate your Audience Consider what life experiences inspired you to build your company and offer your products and/or services. As an example, the company You Need a Budget has a captivating backstory that chronicles the budgetary hardships of a young couple who want to start a family. This personal life experience


Royale With Cheese

We hire Mailfixers who are native-English speaking expats embedded in the culture and language of our clients. Why?

Because for a US business working with French colleagues, it might be very strange to receive an email that says that they'll check it out on Viadeo. What the hell is Viadeo? Our savvy French Mailfixers know to include in brackets that Viadeo is France's local answer to LinkedIn. Along the same vein, we received an email from a Vietnamese art dealer who wished the recipient a ‘happy new year’ well passed January 1. An Anglo-expat Mailfixer living in Vietnam would know to clarify this sentence for their audience, in


The Blacklist of "Biz-Speak"

We all employ biz-speak but what are the biggest offenders that should be used sparingly?

Writing emails to business contacts can not only be a bit intimidating, it can also be repetitive. These two factors combined can lead to spitting out the same cliché expressions and “biz-speak” over and over again. Now the truth is that there's no real harm in employing the same words that everybody else uses in business, especially since you’re writing to different people; but at the same time, "biz-speak" is somewhat questionable when it comes to creating a professional and authentic impression, and getting the response you want. Most importantly


Your Email; Your Brand

Whether you’re undertaking your first sales pitch, or you have an ongoing dialogue, the way you write will shape your image.

When you’re writing an email, business or otherwise, every aspect of your writing from your tone to your vocabulary is not only a reflection on your personal brand, but it’s an expression of the professional brand that you represent. Whether you’re undertaking your first sales pitch, or you have an ongoing dialogue, the way you write will shape your image. So enjoy these emailing tips and optimize your brand. Your Pre-Defined Professional Self However left-field it may seem, take a moment to mentally list the keywords that will navigate your


10 Tips to Boost your LinkedIn Profile

inkedIn is a must-have tool for professionals across fields, but it’s also one of the least understood social networks. Mixing social with business doesn’t always go well, and getting the balance perfect on your LinkedIn profile is crucial for your career.

Rephraser specializes in getting your written profile just right! Here are 10 tips to boost your LinkedIn Profile: TIP #1: Highlight your Headline: This is your first impression so it needs to be flawless. Make it descriptive of your current position without it being too wordy. If you’re a job seeker, make it clear and concise. With so few words having so much visibility, your headline reflects your brand; ensure that the text is precise and professional. TIP #2 Polish your Job Descriptions: Your professional background is almost always of


English Empire

But on this absurd morning, your office has been metamorphosed. We're not talking a brand new coffee machine and some new energy-saving LEDs – we're talking about a complete relinquishment of the language that you, your coworkers, and even your entire nation speak, defeated by a foreign language that you heard while travelling, or in movies set in faraway lands…from the cafeteria menus to the building directory.

Most days at the office are like Groundhog Day – up the lift, through the doors, a nod of the head and continue to your work station. But on this absurd morning, your office has been metamorphosed. We're not talking a brand new coffee machine and some new energy-saving LEDs – we're talking about a complete relinquishment of the language that you, your coworkers, and even your entire nation speak, defeated by a foreign language that you heard while traveling, or in movies set in faraway lands…from the cafeteria menus


Get Your Email Body Into Shape

What these blogs tend to leave out is the actual content of your mail-out or newsletter. But actually, the body of the email should be optimized in exactly the same way; the text must be precise, concise and engaging.

The Usual Suspects You've brushed up on marketing tools 101 and now you're on a mission to become the best email campaigner. You'll notice that most of the marketing blogs focus on key actionable moments. They'll describe how to make sure that recipients actually open the email by crafting a subject line that 1. won’t go to junk, and 2. will rouse enough curiosity to warrant a click. The next pivot will be the call to action – that is, metamorphosing your readers to consumers via your website or landing


The Importance of Being Edited

Why is it that people who write so beautifully, who are so able to communicate via the written word, and who surely know how to write correctly, need editors to copy edit and proofread their work?

Have you ever read the acknowledgment page on your favorite novel? It pays tribute to the book's editor. Why is it that people who write so beautifully, who are so able to communicate via the written word, and who surely know how to write correctly, need editors to copy edit and proofread their work? It's quite simple – a second and even third set of eyes can make sure that your writing is truly ready to go. And when English isn't your first language, and yet professionalism is your goal,


The Glass Ceiling: Not Just for Women

Language difficulties, cultural barriers, and the pure time cost that it takes many non-native speakers to compose an email in English are getting in the way of opportunities for too many people and companies around the world.

Whether you're a non-native speaker living and working in an English-speaking country, or a person who works in a company that deals with international clients, or anyone else who has to deal with English correspondence on a regular basis, you may have noticed that the English used in business settings – and especially in emails – is a bit different from simple conversational English that you might hear while you’re out and about. As email depends so heavily on the reader’s perception, business emails tend to err on the side


Localization vs. Translation

Rephraser enables non-native English speakers to localize their language, making sure that it is culturally appropriate and conveys the intended message, in addition to being grammatically correct and fluently-written.

We often receive emails at Rephraser that have evidently been put through an electronic translator, a Google Translate or one of its competitors, and then sent to us for a clean-up. Actually, we love the challenge of deciphering the true meaning of the text and working out what the writer is trying to convey. However, translations are limited in that translators (automatic or human) translate words, even sentences and stay true to the text. Yet just because words are translated, they don't necessarily communicate the intended message of the author


How English Became King

Marking the great William Shakespeare’s birthday, April 23 is English language day at the United Nations.

Although Shakespeare's English is generally coveted by literature buffs only, business English is the only way to thrive in today's global environment. Some companies have even set English as the language of internal communications despite being headquartered in a non-English speaking country, including major global players such as Samsung, Rakuten and more recently Air France. Today, nearly 1.8 billion people around the world speak English - 350 million as their first language and more than 430 million speak English as their second language. How did English become the global lingua


5 Ways to Email Charm

If you’re wondering how to turn a regular email into correspondence that oozes old school charm and guarantees your reader's engagement, here are our top 5 tips for expressing yourself in a more charming fashion:

Charm is a quality so innate that it's hard to describe and seemingly even harder to acquire. Charm is about being genuinely interested in your peers, remembering their names and creating a rapport. Yet just like correspondence, charm is an art that can be learned and honed, and manifest in all kinds of interactions. If you’re wondering how to turn a regular email into correspondence that oozes old school charm and guarantees your reader's engagement, here are our top 5 tips for expressing yourself in a more charming fashion: 1.


Uber For English

Not only has Uber become a household name it's become an uber concept describing a whole new sector of the global economy.

There are scores of blog posts and articles that try to distinguish between the concepts of the gig economy, sharing economy, collaborative economy, peer-to-peer economy, marketplace and the on demand economy. We're not here to try and differentiate between features and economic systems, but we do know that they all share qualities that make them part of what we’ve all begun calling the "Uber Economy". The Uber economy provides individuals the ability to generate supplementary income or even full time income by utilizing an unused asset – a car, a


10 Awesome Tools for Entrepreneurs

Although having my own international communications consultancy was an experience in small-scale entrepreneurship, when I finally decided to create something scalable, I was forced to engage with a whole new world. On my journey, I have discovered some awesome tools that have allowed me to become more professional, effective and efficient.

Here's our top 10 picks for the most innovative, creative and useful tools for you to check out: 1. Asana Being organized is the key to creating a strong business foundation. With a business whose strategy is built on the gig economy, remote working and using local talents to implement local tasks, team members in different cities and countries can stay up-to-date and on task with Asana. 2. Canva Canva enables you to create almost any digital graphic you need, with negligible graphic design skills. We've designed business cards, posters,


Correct doesn’t mean Formal; it just means Professional

When I was explaining Mailfixer to a long-time client and senior member of his field, he responded by saying "Oh – so you make the writing formal". I immediately answered "No! We make it correct, we make it professional".

In actual fact, it's because of this kind of misperception that people struggle to get the nuances of professionally-written English emails correct, even when their grasp of English writing might be quite good. I thought it was probably worth exploring the difference between correct and formal when it comes to communication. What Do “Professional” and “Formal” Really Mean? Before defining what distinguishes the two, let’s take a brief look at what each concept implies. “Professional” means that you’re acting in a business-like manner, while “formal” is used to refer to


The Language of the Sharing Economy

Today, the internet has made it easier than ever to connect people who need something, with people who have that specific item.

The "sharing", "collaborative" or "gig" economy is revolutionizing the way people view their potential opportunities. Where once you may have needed training, education and experience in a specific field in order to take advantage of skills you may already have, today we can immediately and easily engage the assets we have at our disposal in order to augment our income, and even help others and the environment along the way. Today, the internet has made it easier than ever to connect people who need something, with people who have that


10 Tips for Crafting the Perfect English Email

A poorly written email – whether you’re following a lead, making a sales pitch or corresponding with an investor – reflects badly on you and your business. For those whom English is not their native language, it can be a challenge to craft an email that represents you in the most positive light.

In today’s digital age, writing an email is about much more than simple correspondence. It’s about making an impression and creating a relationship with clients, customers and colleagues; it's about communication. A poorly written email – whether you’re following a lead, making a sales pitch or corresponding with an investor – reflects badly on you and your business. For those whom English is not their native language, it can be a challenge to craft an email that represents you in the most positive light. Here are a few tips for


The New "Professional" Entrepreneur

One of the biggest barriers to online businesses around the world is the presentation of your goods or service; the greatest challenge is standing out from a very crowded space. Your presentation or sales pitch creates your first impression in a saturated marketplace and therefore must be conveyed professionally.

The internet has opened up a world of economic opportunity for entrepreneurs, startups, and businesses worldwide. People have developed creative and innovative ways to use all sorts of skills and assets to build businesses or supplement income. These opportunities are part of what is called the “gig" or “sharing economy”. Platforms like Airbnb, Etsy, Fiverr, and eBay have allowed enterprising individuals to create their own opportunities no matter where they are, or what resources they might have available. While anybody with an internet connection and something to sell or rent


Get What You Need From Your Next English Email

For business people, professionals, new entrepreneurs and even students around the world, conveying the right message in English has become increasingly essential to success. On the flip side, incoherent correspondence can have a stronger negative effect than ever before.

One of the most prominent outcomes of globalization and digitization is the emergence of English as the de facto international language. For business people, professionals, new entrepreneurs and even students around the world, conveying the right message in English has become increasingly essential to success. On the flip side, incoherent correspondence can have a stronger negative effect than ever before. Communicating in English can cause a variety of issues to surface for the writer, no matter how seasoned they might be. There are so many nuances –technical and emotional –