Be consistent at all levels of writing I’ve read a lot of board papers lately and been reminded of the need for consistency at every level of a paper. Consistent messaging provides clarity while inconsistent messaging leads to questioning and distrust. When your formatting, word choice and styles are consistent, no feature stands out to […]
I was at a networking meeting recently, and someone said: ‘Once you’ve written an online course, you can’t write the copy for the website. You must engage a professional copywriter.’
The group murmured assent and I sat silent because I write my own copy for my online courses and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Greetings and sign-offs vary depending on the formality of the communication.
In a letter, the conventional greeting is:
Dear Sally (without a comma)
If you don’t know the person, some writers address the person as Mr/Ms or, alternatively, use their full name.
Some word pairs are used so frequently together that they sound odd when reversed. They are called binomials and trinomials. On a plane trip, I was offered ‘cheese and biscuits’ and it jarred. I would’ve said ‘biscuits and cheese’.
I discovered that such pairs are called ‘binomials’ and when they sound odd reversed, they are ‘irreversible binomials’.
Is blogging worth it for you and your business?
In 2017, I tossed up between attending a plain language conference in New Zealand and a blogging conference on the Gold Coast. The blogging conference won because I thought I would learn practical tips I could apply to my blogging.
I am not a fan of purpose statements in board papers because they are unnecessary and cover information that is not strictly speaking a purpose. With a noting (information) paper, it is obvious the purpose of the paper is to inform. With a decision paper, the directors know that an approval is being sought and […]
There are two aspects to writing board paper recommendations: what you say and how you say it, i.e. styles. Content of board paper recommendations Most organisations have two types of papers – decision and noting (information). Some have discussion papers as well, and they are similar to a noting paper. Decision recommendations in board papersIn […]
A basic catchcry of business-writing articles and training is ‘write for your audience’. Yet what does this mean in practice? I don’t think this is as straightforward as it sounds and I am going to look at this question from my own experience of: Teaching people how to write better board papers Writing my e-newsletter […]
Most board papers are short and some people argue that a summary is not necessary. I like a summary in a decision-making board paper because it lets me know what the paper is about and why the recommendation matters. (Most recommendations are at the beginning of board papers these days, but even if they are […]
Everyone wants to read concise board reports and papers, but lately I have noticed an over-emphasis on length as a criterion. For instance, I have heard about one board telling management to reduce its board pack by two-thirds, and another board setting a page limit of two pages for board and committee papers. But what […]