Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Copyrighting: 3 Quick ang Easy Ways To Perfect Your Writing Style

As a writer and editor, I’ve come across a lot of documents that someone asked me to “look over and tell me what you think.”

Overwhelmingly, I have the same reaction to most: Way too long. Way too stiff. And way too boring.

Nowhere was this more rampant than in a recent gig I had at monthly magazine. I was charged with editing material that had been submitted by business people writing “expert articles.” For the most part, the subject and content manner was fine. But the prose usually made me want to stick a chopstick left from the lunchtime Chinese takeout in my eye. It would have been a smaller headache.

What was wrong with the prose? It was full of jargon, long words, and had about as much spark as stereo instructions. And they were hard to read.

For examole, one article from a vet on common cat sicknesses read like an excerpt from a veterinary school textbook—full of words that I couldn’t even understand, much less check for proper spelling.

Others were full of language like this:

“I felt that it was necessary for me to examine the situation to see what could be done to rectify it. It was determined that a full diagnosis was necessary in order to properly determine the necessary
course of action.”

Swear to you, I’m not making this up. Read this thing out loud…is this
something anyone would say in daily conversation? And I saw this repeated over and over and over…


But this plague of bad writing can be cured. The prescription for readable writing style is simple. All you have to do is look at your piece (or better yet, give it to someone else to read) and honestly answer three, simple questions:
  1. Can this exact same thing be said in fewer words?
  2. Is there any repetitive language?
  3. Could I say this sentence out loud to someone and not sound like a robot?

That’s it! Don’t believe me? We’ll try it with our “necessary course of action” sentence. Take the same thought, check to make sure it’s not repetitive (words or message), cut a bunch of words
and write it like you’d say it daily conversation. It might end up like this:

“When I first saw the patient, it was obvious we’d need a full-diagnosis to know what to
do next.”

Doesn’t it say the exact same thing? But it’s a lot shorter and a lot easier to read. And that’s the key to connecting with your reader.

So when you’re writing anything for public consumption, these three, simple guidelines will help make your writing better and more powerful.

Try it and see!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Top Ways To Improve Your Social Skills

Improve Your Social Skills:

If you are looking for a way to improve your social skills, there are many resources available that will assist you in refining your social skills and improving the way you communicate with others.

It's not only possible to learn how to improve your social skills; it's easier than you think.

Imagine how much simpler your life would be if you could rid yourself of nagging self-doubt and have confidence knowing you can handle any social situation.

Have you ever wondered how some people seem to excel at socializing? Learning how to improve your social skills will give you the ability to know what to say in any situation and be the type of person others love to be around.

You can develop the skills needed to start a conversation with anyone you encounter, deal effectively with awkward situations, accept rejection gracefully, and win the approval and appreciation of all that you encounter.

You will be able to read the body language of others, effectively solve problems, and develop the ability to diffuse sensitive situations with seemingly little effort.

In the process of learning how to improve your social skills, your self-esteem will soar and your confidence will reach an all-time high.

Here are 6 great tips you can use today:

1. Awareness of your own interaction with other people is the first step in improving your social skills.

Learn to identify which types of situations make you uncomfortable and then modify your behavior to achieve positive results is a critical step in improving your social skills.

You can learn to become aware of behaviors in other people that prompt you to respond in negative ways and modify your own behavior to turn the situation into a positive experience.

2. You must accept responsibility for your own behavior and do not fear apologizing for errors in judgment or insensitive actions.

Asking others for honest feedback about the way you interact with others can be very helpful. Accept the negative feedback along with the positive and make changes accordingly.

3. Your non-verbal communication is equally as important as the things that you say. Positive body language is extremely important in your interactions with other people.

If your words and your actions do not match, you will have a difficult time succeeding in social situations.

4. In order to learn how to improve your social skills, you must become and great listener. You must fight the urge to respond immediately and really listen to what the other person is trying to communicate.

Offering suggestions or criticism before you are certain of the other person's intent can only lead to frustration for both parties.

5. Improving your social skills is a process and cannot be accomplished overnight. Trying to improve or change too many things at once will be counter-productive.

You will become discouraged and overwhelmed if you attempt to change your entire personality all at once. Choose one or two traits at a time and work on those over a period of time. Learn to take advantage of your personal strengths and make a positive impact on others.

6. Maximize your positive personality traits and use them in your interactions with others. Good communication and great listening skills are the most important tools you can use in improving your social skills.

You can learn how to improve your social skills by developing excellent listening skills, learning to resolve problems and conflicts, understanding body language, and accepting responsibility for your own negative behavior.

Determination and self-awareness will make your desire to improve your social skills a reality.
Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently produced a very popular free report:10 Simple Steps to Developing Communication Confidence. This report reveals the secret strategies all high achievers use to communicate with charm and impact. Apply now because it is available for a limited time only at: http://www.howtotalkwithconfidence.com/report.htm