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Welcome to the blog of author and speechwriter/ coach, Joan Detz.
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How to edit your own writing

Here’s a good reference book, described as “the essential guide to prose revision” …

Line by Line: How to Edit Your Own Writing

The front cover reads: “The one book that shows you how to make what you say as good as what you mean” – all written with one-syllable words.

It’s an excellent learning tool for any writer who wants to get better.

Author: Claire Kehrwald Cook

Copyright: Modern Language Association of America

Joan’s tech tips: Communicate their way

Good communication is not about what you want to say.

Good communication is about what the other person wants/needs to hear. More important, it’s how the other person wants/needs to hear from you.

You’ll be more successful when your communication styles match.

Examples:

If someone emails you to request information, email the information. Don’t waste their time by interrupting their day with a phone call. They don’t want a call. They want an email with the necessary info.

If someone phones and asks you to call back, call back … unless you want to send a clear signal that you wish to limit the interaction.  Quite often, limiting interaction is the wise communication choice. If that’s the case, reply with a short courteous email (it will save your time – and theirs). Or, when necessary, simply don’t respond. They’ll get the message.

If someone texts you and requires an immediate response, then text back prompty. Absolutely do not bother them with a phone call.

Summary: Do not bother people with unrequested, or unnecessary, or unwanted phone calls. There’s a reason people choose to text or email you. Pretty much, that reason is: “I don’t want to waste time. Let’s keep this short.”

It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It by Joan Detz

“Fresh advice … keen insights … short, memorable lessons. A pithy manual … an excellent tool.” (Publishers Weekly)

Joan’s Tech Tips: An occasional series of quirky tips for anyone who has to communicate

Now: two Chinese editions of How To Write & Give A Speech

About two years ago, St Martin’s Press did a contract for the Mainland China edition of How To Write & Give A Speech. That Chinese edition (with simplified characters) has just been published in Mainland China. I don’t have my author’s copy yet, but when I get the book, I’ll post and share the details.

Now: A few weeks ago, St Martin’s Press sold a new Chinese language edition that will be published in Taiwan (with traditional characters). The upcoming Taiwan edition will offer Chinese rights worldwide (excluding Mainland China).

Speechwriting and public speaking are global skills. I’m grateful to the translators who have made – and are still making – How To Write & Give A Speech available in multiple languages.

If you care about newspapers

Many hotels offer free digital access to newspapers during your stay. Other hotels across the USA offer print copies of local newspapers and/or national newspapers, maybe USA Today.

Don’t take any of this for granted.

Let your hotels know you value free/easy access to newspapers.

In particular, let hotels know you value local newspapers. Speak up for local journalism while it’s still here.

Local journalism matters – everywhere.

Philadelphia’s “Cellicon Valley”

Monday, June 3 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Philadelphia has become an epicenter of novel medical research, and it is now known as “Cellicon Valley” based on its historic and innovative R&D activities and milestones.

The Monday June 3 tour will visit some of the leading R&D-focused organizations in Philadelphia’s University City neighborhood, located just 15 minutes from the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Explore Pennovation Center, Schuylkill Yards, and the uCity Square: University City Science Center, CIC & BioLabs@CIC. Pennovation .

Science, bio, and tech writers: Learn about “Cellicon Valley”  – and keep on top of new developments in your own city, as well.

Writers write

Quote from poet Donna Hilbert:

“One of the most annoying questions I field from non-writers is ‘Are you still writing?’ Might as well ask if I’m still breathing.”

Writers write. That’s what we do. And many of us pretty much want to do it forever.

It’s who we are.

Was your speech successful?

Measure the success of each presentation. You have many options:

  • Use audience evaluation forms
  • Ask a trusted colleague to observe
  • Record yourself
  • Create a twitter hashtag for your program – and check the activity
  • Post a summary of your message on LinkedIn – and note the interest
  • Did the host ask you to return?
  • Did audience members ask you to speak at their meetings/conferences?

Do not bother people on Mondays

Joan’s Tech Tips: an occasional series of quirky tips for anyone who has to communicate

Mondays are not a good day to bother people. Monday mornings are the worst. People feel overwhelmed with the tasks already in front of them. Many wonder how they’ll manage the week’s deadlines. Some wonder how they’ll make it through the day.

It doesn’t  matter what technology you use to communicate – the “Avoid-Monday-hassles” principle stays the same. Before you reach out to colleagues with a text, an email, a tweet, a request, a demand, a long report, a phone call, an impromptu “drop by”, or a paper airplane with coded messaging, think. Ask yourself, “Does this person want/need this message [read: “intrusion”] right now? Could it wait a few hours? Would I get a better response if I waited until tomorrow?” The answer is probably yes.

Whatever you do, don’t initiate networking suggestions on a rushed Monday morning. (“Hi, I’m looking for a job in your field, and I thought it might be great to get together for coffee an hour  this week.”) Bad timing. Don’t initiate philanthropy requests on Monday morning. Bad timing. Don’t ask someone to make a two-year commitment to chair a big committee on a Monday morning. Bad timing.

What works best on a Monday? A short bit of one-way communication (text, email, vmail) that gives the recipient some good news and doesn’t require a lengthy reply.  Acceptable examples: Your proposal  was accepted … Your grant has been approved … Your new desk will arrive on Thursday … Your department will get a summer Friday schedule, with work ending at 1pm.

Communication works better when you think about the other person’s needs/wants. Timing matters.

March is #WomensHistoryMonth … ALL of March (not just the first few days)

When the calendar goes from February to March, Women’s History Month gets a lot of attention. But as March progresses, the attention drops off.

A presentation tip for speakers wanting to honor Women’s History Month:

Include visuals – not just in your presentation, but also in the announcements for your presentation and in the follow up social media.

Libraries offer terrific visual collections – diverse and inclusive. Tap into these images. Give your audience fresh images to convey the wide range of women’s achievements.

Consider the Library of Congress. Download photos, posters & more from their Free to Use and Reuse site: loc.gov/free-to-use/?l… #WomensHistoryMonth pic.twitter.com/FinKQIH2Jv

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