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How and why I can help you become a better communicator

If you didn't learn to write well in school, you're not alone. Few of us did. I should know--I was an English major.

Once I was launched in my professional work, it took me a while to know the academic style I'd mastered didn't get the best results. So I began a long period of trial and error. I looked everywhere for the best advice and studied scriptwriting, fiction writing, public relations, digital platforms, copywriting and a lot more. I constantly analyzed what I was reading and what worked in different media.

As I moved along in my successive careers as a magazine editor, corporate communicator and communications contractor, I gradually figured out how to reach an audience with the right content, language and tone. And like magic, results became much better..

I also realized that a simple planning structure works for every kind of writing:print, digital, oral. An email, job application, thank-you note, video script, proposal, report , website--whatever. For years I'd noticed how people all around me were missing opportunities and generally messing up because their writing was mediocre or worse.

And I thought: I can help! I can save people from all the trial and error of my own learning process and jumpstart them on the road to strategic communication and all its rewards.

I began teaching workshops for colleagues, then business and professional groups and businesses. I became an adjunct professor of graduate writing courses at NYU. Of course, in helping other people build their writing skills, my ideas about practical communication evolved further.

To share more widely, I started writing practical books to help people improve their own writing with down-to-earth techniques. It doesn't take grammar lesson, but an approach more in the spirit of psychology and detective work.

Two more realizations hit me:

1. Good communication in just about all media, including visual and oral, starts with the same thinking structure as good writing. If you want to be a strong presenter, video maker, or social media leader, best start with writing. If you want to think well on your feet, use writing.

2. Good writing is based on psychology: Who is the person you're writing or talking to? How doe he see the world? How can you match what you want with that perspective? Build good relationships, and be perceived the way you'd like?
That was where my newest book, Workplace Genie, comes in. I co-authored with Susan Dowell, a childhood friend turned master hypnotherapist, to create a set of strategies that help readers transform how they interact at work and create happier environments for themselves. It's all about how to bring out your best self--and other people's best selves.

Check out my books and see if one sounds right for you. And if you read it and the ideas help you, let me know how--I'd love to hear about your personal experiences.