Saturday, May 27, 2006

Business Writing Tip 9

Thorough research can be the lynch pin or tipping point when you must persuade. You can write forever, but without proper supporting documentation or references to illustrate the veracity or merit of your statements, you'll lose the discerning in your audience. Critical readers need something they can rely on to justify making a decision. If you don't enable them to readily see that reliable information, you'll lose their interest.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Writing Tip 8

For those aspiring to be writers, don't be too hard on yourself.  Most good writers took quite a while to become good.  It's a process of time, experience, and recognition of your incompetencies.  Be true to yourself, recognizing what you are, instead of trying to be what you are not.  Adopt writing practices and disciplines that work for you, that make you comfortable, instead of rushing to embrace what works for others.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Business Writing Tip 7

When writing for others, you may find it necessary to accommodate their style, but do so only if you don't compromise substance or clarity.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Writing Tip 6

Organization -

Take the time before you start writing to outline the major subjects and points to be covered. Scrutinize the outline for orderly, logical flow, and balance. Much of your outline may come from notes you have compiled as thoughts were occurring to you. You don't need to have an outline before you start compiling notes, but the outline will help organize the notes.

Then start writing.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Opinions and Writing

While everyone has the right to an opinion, most opinions are valueless, mere emotional expressions, or repeated rhetoric. Opinions expressed without a supporting argument are worthless and quickly dismissed. Opinions expressed with substantive support have value, and merit attention, because they inform, educate, or engage the listener or reader.

If you had more facts, or different facts, your opinion would likely change. (Unless your opinion is based upon clear and unchanging values.) A mistake commonly made is to assume that the facts as one understands them are in fact the real facts. Few permit themselves to see what they can't see. That is, the facts that do not appear to them.

Copyright 2006 David K. Speaker

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Your view of things is always dependent upon your perspective. One must therefore be cognizant of one's perspective in order to see clearly.

- David K. Speaker

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Little Advantanges

"Human Felicity is produced not so much by great Pieces of good Fortune that seldom happen, as by little Advantages that occur every Day."

-- Benjamin Franklin (Autobiography, 1771)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Bad Records Breed Conflict

Few people I encounter are able to focus their minds eye on the plight of another when considering their own course of conduct regarding that person. Empathy, as a standard part of one's interactive arsenal, is rarely seen and not to be expected.

Few people I encounter fairly, accurately, or regularly recall the benefits bestowed upon them by another, when it comes time to hold that other to account (regardless of the subject of the accounting). Their accounting recollection is remarkably one-sided and self-serving. They focus only on what they've given or what costs they've incurred, and what they're owed ... forgetting what they've received. It's only their side of the story that they are concerned with, only their viewpoint that they consider. They naturally resist a genuine effort to observe the whole picture from both sides. Much conflict originates here.

Time passing erodes the quality of memory, and not only distorts what is recalled, but magically creates history recalled that did not actually occur. It is a natural cognitive defense mechanism.

When bestowing benefits upon another always keep a record, a ledger or journal, so that when it comes time to account, history is clear, and memories cannot be selective.

- David Speaker

Copyright 2004 David K. Speaker

Monday, May 01, 2006

Business Writing Tip 5

Business Writing Tip 5 - Ambiguity -

Do you know when you are being ambiguous? If not, you should. Ambiguity is something the skilled writer controls; it is usually a flaw, as its presence leads to confusion. Why? Because an ambiguous word is one capable of more than one meaning. It is rare that a writer's object is to confuse the reader. Knowing when ambiguity serves your purpose vs. when it encumbers your writing requires that the writer understand its utility and features.

Ambiguity should not be confused with vagueness. They are distinct. Sometimes vagueness is a useful tool, as when limiting the disclosure of information or the full context.