Talking Chairs
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Thought-provoking quotes from “Str...

Always a little behind in my TV watching, I recently finished the Netflix series “Stranger Things.” Perhaps the best way to describe it is as a cross between the “The X-Files” and “Freaks and Geeks,” with a smattering of “Red Dawn,” “E.T. the Extra Terrestrial,” “It” and “The Thing.” The dialogue, foreshadowing and pacing make the show a writer’s dream. The ‘80s references, the soundtrack and the atmosphere make it pure fun. Here are a few of my favorite quotations from characters in the series: 1. “Mornings are for coffee and...
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How to rein in your runaway projects

April marks the beginning of “presentation season” for our marketing department. It’s a two-month period when we focus on a mammoth project that once sucked up time and resources all year long. At my company, we produce an array of presentations for staffers to use when meeting with their various clients. There is a new business presentation (for prospects), an account services presentation (for standard clients) and several line-of-business presentations for specialized clients. We work with different departments and different sets of stakeholders for each...
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How to begin a difficult conversation

Despite having read “Crucial Conversations” (McGraw-Hill) more than once and attending countless presentations on delivering bad news and managing conflict, I’ve never been very skilled in this area. I dread these types of personal interactions, and I’m ashamed to admit that I do what I can to get out of them — at home and at work. But recently I was in a situation where I could no longer avoid a difficult conversation. So I did what many other writers, PR pros and corporate communicators would do: I treated the conversation as a writing assignment. What started...
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5 reasons to eliminate jargon

Jargon is a beast that many writers battle regularly. I made the following edits to the first paragraph of an article for my company’s website. The article was written by one of our in-house cyber security experts. Original sentence: “Cyber criminals are using a spectrum of attack vectors—ransomware, phishing attacks and other malware infections—to obtain illicit access to electronic protected health information (ePHI).” Revised sentence: “Cyber criminals are using a spectrum of techniques —ransomware, phishing attacks and other malware infections—to obtain...
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13 quotes to share with your marketing-c...

Sometimes, a great quotation is all you need to get inspired. Whatever form your department’s shared board takes—an idea board on Pinterest, a marker board in the conference room, a bulletin board in the break room, or a channel on Slack—here are a few great quotes about writing to share with your team: “A sentence should never be cruel and unusual.” —William C. Burton, attorney “We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out.” —Winston Churchill “Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.” —Ray...