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  • Clear Writing Becomes Part of Your Personal Brand

    Clear writing comes from clear thinking.

    Whether writing an email, a proposal, an article, here’s a simple 4-step test to ask yourself. It’s a must after each completed document before you hit “send.” It is equally important after each paragraph, even each sentence:

    1. What am I trying to say?
    2. Have I said it in a concise manner?
    3. Is it clear to someone reading it for the first time?
    4. Why should the reader care; what’s in it for them?

    This last question is to nudge the reader’s curiosity along to continue reading. The author of “On Writing Well”, William Zinsser, says #4 is to cajole with freshness, or novelty, or paradox, or humor, or purpose — with an unusual idea, an interesting fact, or a question — something to make the reader smile and linger on what you wrote. He also writes that your writing improves in direct ratio to the number of things you keep out that shouldn’t be there.

    So this post is a reminder to try and write even the most mundane message in a clear and direct way without being pompous or pretentiousness. That’s where your humanity and warmth will cause people to always want to read what you wrote and will more likely positively respond.

    D.A. (Debra) Benton has been helping great individuals and organizations get even better for over 20 years. Just as exceptional athletes rely on excellent coaching to hone their skills, Debra's clients rely on her advice to advance their careers. She focuses on what is truly important to convert what you and your organization want to be from a vision into a reality. TopCEOCoaches.com ranks her in the World's Top 10 CEO Coaches noting she is the top female. And as conference keynote speaker she is routinely rated in the top 2%. Her client list reads like a “Who's Who” of executives in companies ranging from Microsoft, McDonald's, Kraft, American Express, Merrill Lynch, United Airlines, and PricewaterhouseCoopers to the Washington Beltway and U.S.Border Patrol. *She is the author of ten award-winning and best-selling business books including The Virtual Executive and CEO Material. She has written for the Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Fast Company. She has been featured in USA Today, Fortune, The New York Times, and Time; she has appeared on Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, and CBS with Diane Sawyer. To learn more Debra advising leaders, coaching, facilitating a workshop, or speaking: www.debrabenton.com

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