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    I’m often asked, “What’s the biggest mistake people make when they write?” The answer? They simply start writing – and fail to do their best thinking first. Here’s a fix: Before you start […]
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    1. Circle every weak “to be” verb: be, am, is, are, was, were. Rewrite as many as you can using action verbs. 2. Make two sentences out of one long sentence. 3. Circle every pronoun: he, […]
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    Think about the last time you delivered a Big Hairy Audacious Presentation to your management team, customers, prospects or peers. How did your prep go? Were you awash in so much awesome material […]
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    Have you ever attended an event with a cadre of amazing speakers – one after the next – that still felt a bit stilted? Disjointed? Disorganized? Even downright awkward? Maybe that’s because the […]
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    There we were – stuck in the boardroom on a Tuesday afternoon, three drafts in on a keynote speech – and I’d pretty much wrung all the best stuff out of my executive’s […]
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    Have you ever heard a public speaker say these things? “Look at this chart on the screen. You probably can’t read it, but …” Or how about this? “I’m a numbers guy, so […]
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    Will your next speech be somewhere far away from home? If so, challenge yourself to find a link to the local region – and mention it early in your remarks to create immediate […]
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    Hammered hard into my head during journalism school was the Write Tight mantra.  Back then paper didn’t stretch; the online world didn’t exist. So your story had to fit the space on the […]
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    I was interviewing a client for a speech on leadership when he interrupted my latest question and asked, “So what about you? Are you a risk-taker?”  I stopped typing, not often on the […]
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    I enjoyed hearing veteran journalist Gene Policinski of the Newseum Institute talk about “The Future of Principles” at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., last month.  Policinski, chief operating officer of the […]
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