Natalie Canavor

Business communication: author, writer, teacher, presenter


WHY: The silver bullet of business writing

May 12, 2018

Tags: How to write, business writing, business messages, learning to write, writing emails, persuasive writing

Recently I led a business writing workshop for young mid-level accountants. One of my scenarios called for a memo asking a subordinate to perform an unattractive task: spend part of the weekend reading material about a client prospect that the writer would pitch in person on Monday.

"Just say, 'Jerry read the attached file and report to me Monday at 9 a.m. sharp,'" one person suggested. But consider the result, I pointed out: a resentful employee who'll do a halfway job.

Much better to write a memo that would generate support and enthusiasm, I began. A (more…)

Better Business Writing: Tips from a Fiction Master

November 7, 2017

Tags: Business writing, business messages, better writing, learning to write, Hemingway, clear writing, business writing models

The idea that good writing is an inborn skill--or not--is probably the biggest roadblock to successful business communication. Maybe some great fiction writers are naturals, but most, like Hemingway, tell us that they never stop practicing the craft.

When it comes to business writing––everything from everyday emails to “big” documents like proposals and reports––practice also helps, I won’t kid you. But toss out the ideas that undermine (more…)

Business Writing: Feeling blocked? 9 ways to unfreeze yourself and your message

August 4, 2017

Tags: Writer's block, business messages, overcoming writer's block, learning to write, business writing tips

“Writer’s block” is a convenient catch-all name for our reluctance to put things on paper, physically or virtually, when we need to. It’s not the sole province of fiction writers. Businesspeople too may feel stalled when they want to write a blog, produce a challenging proposal or solve a problem with the right email or letter. I find that many people fear the idea of writing on its own account.

Most cases of business-writer’s block can be treated by identifying the problem—and moving past it. See it as tough love for our communicating selves.

Here are 10 practical ways to unfreeze yourself to write successful business messages and documents. Try out one or more of the techniques that resonate with you. (more…)

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