Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. The key elements of a sticky idea, they write, are simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotions, and stories.

"Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people."
~ William Butler Yeats

"What's in greatest demand today isn't analysis but synthesis —- seeing the big picture, crossing boundaries, and being able to combine disparate pieces into an arresting new whole."
-- Daniel Pink, A Whole New Mind

“As every Iditarod musher knows, if you’re not the lead dog, the view never changes.”
~ Sarah Palin



if you only have time for one clue this year, this is the one to get...

we are not seats or eyeballs or end users or consumers
we are human beings -- and our reach exceeds your grasp.

deal with it.
--from the Cluetrain Manifesto


"Stories are the language of communities."
~ Charles Garfield and others, as quoted by Stephen Denning in The Leader's Guide to Storytelling: Mastering the Art and Discipline of Business Narrative



"Good communication skills outrank other core business competencies as the number one skill for corporate recruiters looking to hire MBA graduates," according to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), which runs GMAT testing for MBA applicants. You need "style, substance, and content" says this Insead report.


"'The horror of that moment,' the King went on, 'I shall never forget.'
'You will, though,' the Queen said, 'if you don't make a memorandum of it.'"
~ Lewis Carroll

Quick Links

Find Authors

Corporate and technical communications


Copywriting, speechwriting, marketing,
corporate and technical communications, training, and consulting

Here's the part of the website for people who think writing is a good way to make a lot of money (one that doesn't involve writing a bestselling book or movie). If you want to earn a freelance living doing corporate or technical writing or training, or providing e-Learning, you might start with books by a couple of writers who can explain the business end of things: Secrets of a Freelance Writer: How to Make $100,000 a Year or More by Bob Bly (now in its 3rd edition) and The Well-Fed Writer by Peter Bowerman. Be realistic about whether you are capable of doing this kind of writing, which ranges from technical writing to marketing copy — that is, whether you have the skills and whether you have the temperament for it. Personally, I am grateful to Bob Bly for letting me know years ago that I was undercharging for my services, but it takes time and experience to learn whether you are good enough to charge and earn the big bucks. Packaging seems to be important. "Independent consultant" may sound more professional than "freelance writer-editor-coach-teacher-whatever." However you get your foot in the door, the best way to succeed as a writing or editing consultant is to do a good job, so that word of mouth brings you new clients while the old ones help you pay the mortgage.

Writers tend to be introverts, happily alone with their computers, but if you are good at working with people you might consider training. If you can write a how-to manual and also play well with others, consider training, which pays well and can be satisfying. There are organizations that train trainers, including ASTD.

If you're good with technology and can think through the learning process (which is at least as important as knowing how to work the technology), you might want to investigate may want to check out Instructional Design and Learning (IDL). If you want to design programs for distance learning (eLearning), swap ideas with others in the field. On the STC's IDL "sig" (special interest group), members swap stories about their experiences with Lectora, FlashForm, Captivate, PowerPoint, ToolBook, and Authorware (for content creation, including simulations) and eLeap, MindFlash, and RapideL (as hosting solutions).

To create names for use in writing training manuals, mosey over to the Fiction department and check out sites that provide fake and random name generators.


Alternative Income Sources for Writers, Norman Bauman's summary of an ASJA meeting (2002), helpful on technical writing. See also Catherine E. Oliver on what's required for technical writing; How to find and price medical writing jobs (1999); a piece on text retrieval and search engines, all on Bauman's website, Medical Writing in New York.


Anecdote (Australia, "Putting stories to work") offers a free download of Ultimate Guide to Anecdote Circles (PDF, a practical guide to facilitating storytelling and story listening). A blog entry criticizing a Steve Denning video about radical management for not telling stories also offers a Storytest to see if you can spot a story. Good site for insights into storytelling for businesses.

Better User Experience with Storytelling (Part 1, Francisco Inchauste, Smashing Magazine). How user experience professionals and designers are using storytelling to create compelling experiences that build human connections. Read more about the UX Storytellers Project here. Then you will probably want to buy the book: Storytelling for User Experience: Crafting Stories for Better Design by Whitney Quesenbery and Kevin Brooks (foreword by Ginny Redish), about the power of storytelling to improve the user experience. Check it out a bit through Frequently Asked Questions.

Blue Man Group (Alison Shapira on the benefits of writing a "why to" instead of a "how to" manual, explaining a vision so others can carry it out their way)

Copywriting and copywriters
• Evolution of a copywriter and thoughts on copywriting (Paul Lima, Everything You Wanted to Know About Freelance Writing, 10-6-12). In one of his many excellent essays, Don’t shoot me, I’m only the copywriter, Paul explains: "Advertising is one component in the 4P marketing wheel that consists of Product (is it something your target market wants), Price (are you competitively priced), Place (can people find and get to your product) and Promotion (advertising and public relations)," any one of which, if missing, could impede sales, as could factors(economic, political, legal, social/​cultural, technological) in the external business environment. Paul's site is one of several online primers on commercial writing.
• Bob Bly's excellent blog on copywriting
• Bob Bly newsletter archives (top gun on copywriting). See also his free free how-to articles and his blog.
• Bob Bly Interviewed by Michael Senoff (fascinating -- on HardToFind Seminars.com)
• Portfolio, Peter Bowerman
• Portfolio, KNCreative (Ken Norkin's website is a great example of how to display a portfolio). I also like his rate sheet.
• The Copywriter Survival Guide (Danny Thompson's blog).
• the writer underground (formerly Copywriter Underground -- Tom Chandler's excellent blog on copywriting and more; get a quick education by reading his pieces)
• 4 Reasons why being a freelance copywriter is one of the best and safest jobs in today’s new world. (Excess Voice, Nick Usborne's guide to online copywriting)
• The Well-Fed Writer. Income-boosting resources for commercial writers (copywriters, business writers, corporate writers or marketing writers) by Peter Bowerman. Check out The Well-Fed Writer Blog (income-boosting resources for commercial writers), his free e-newsletter cum e-zine (subscribe and catch up on back issues), and his books--see Well-Fed Writer, below). He answers FAQs in his Well-Fed Knowledge Base
• Excess Voice (articles, tips and resources for online copywriters and web site content writers)

BOOKS ON COPYWRITING
• Copywriting That Works: Bright ideas to Help You Inform, Persuade, Motivate and Sell! by Paul Lima
• The Copywriter's Handbook: A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing Copy That Sells by Robert Bly (3rd edition)
• Words that Sell: More than 6000 Entries to Help You Promote Your Products, Services, and Ideas by Richard Bayan
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Content curation


Everyone is on news overload. Become valuable to your audience by becoming a content curator.
• Content Curation Primer (Beth Kanter, Beth's Blog). "Content curation is a three-part process: Seek, Sense, and Share."
"Content curation is not about collecting links or being an information pack rat, it is more about putting them into a context with organization, annotation, and presentation. Content curators provide a customized, vetted selection of the best and most relevant resources on a very specific topic or theme." (Beth's blog made me aware of "content curation" as a process and led me to many of the following links.)
• Why Content Curation Is Here to Stay (Steven Rosenbaum, FastCompany.com, posted 5-3-10 on Mashable) Curation is " the act of human editors adding their work to the machines that gather, organize and filter content." Quoting Clay Shirky: "Curation comes up when search stops working…[and] when people realize that it isn't just about information seeking, it's also about synchronizing a community."
• Grazing on Curated Lists Is Like Sipping A Fine Wine (Beth Kanter with links to curating tools and excellent curators) Clearly she's the place to start.
• Content Curation: Why Is The Content Curator The Key Emerging Online Editorial Role Of The Future? (Robin Good)
• Become a Content Curation King (Sean Carton, ClickZ, 8-29-11) "It's the 'community' part that's at the heart of the whole curation movement and the most powerful element when it comes to curating content as a way of drawing traffic and attention in your marketing efforts."
• 8 Ways to Find Great Social Media Content (Michael Stelzner, Social Media Examiner, 2-8-11). Tools to find good social media content are linked to: Google Alerts, Google Reader, Facebook Friends Lists for Better Facebook News Feeds, Twitter Lists, HootSuite, Paper.li, Alltop, Mobile. "What's hot on Alltop, for example, links to these curators: Mashable, TechCrunch, NYT>Home Page, Entrepreneur, ChrisBrogan.com, Readwrite, Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider, Strobist, MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors - iOS Blog, Holy Kaw!, Fast Company, Seth Godin's Blog on marketing, tribes and respect, Wired Top Stories, Lifehacker, Copyblogger, Smashing Magazine Feed, News: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com), CNN Travel, @​ProBlogger, Macworld, CNN.com - Top Stories, UAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Lightroom Killer Tips.
• Content Curation for Nonprofits – Notes from #13ntccur8 (Beth Kanter on The Unexpected Benefits of Content Curation)
• Scoop.it – Curate the Web Your Own Way (review, TechnologyCafe.com)
• Why Scoopit Is Becoming An Indispensable Learning Tool (Leanna Johnson, TeachThought.com)
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Content marketing aka branded content aka custom publishing


Content marketing (aka custom publishing) is an approach to marketing we're going to hear much more about. Advertisers have fewer places to market products the old way, so many of them are using the money that would normally have gone to advertising to produce custom content (aka content marketing, "thought leadership," asset development, branded content, branded entertainment, risk management--that is, managing the risk of getting something done, presenting points of view to distinguish one product from all the others on the market). Providing this content calls on many journalism skills but the purpose is clearly generating business or sales. (Some say that great divide between journalism and advertising is coming down; others disagree.) Because you are writing for a business, you may have as many as 20 people reviewing your copy and asking you to revise, and then saying, Let's go back to draft 2. But the money is better by far than in journalism. Here's a prime example of what's going on in this area: Coca Cola hired 40 journalists (as in-house staff) to produce Coca Cola Journey, Coke's online magazine (see NY Times story, Coke Revamps Web Site to Tell Its Story (Stuart Elliott, NY Times, 11-11-12).
• Journalists Take Refuge in the World of Branded Content ( Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke, New York Observer, 2-13) "...many journalists departing the desert of traditional media for the greener—but also grayer—pastures of branded content....While writing gigs at magazines and newspapers continue to dry up, there are abundant opportunities to write or consult for blogs owned directly by brands." "“Instead of paying money to rent an audience, they can own their own audience,” said John Hazard, director of community for Contently, a company closely tethered to the branded content explosion." "Contently became a matchmaking vehicle for brands and writers—an unlikely marriage until recently."
• No More Cookie Cutter Custom Content (Joanne Cleaver, ASJA Monthly, June 2013) Without content, you’re not on the Internet. Without content, people can search for you, but they won’t find you. Content anchors presence, message, reputation, and relevance. And that’s all good news for freelancers, the ultimate content experts.
• Custom Publishing vs. Content Marketing (Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute). Check out CMI's eight how-to guides.
• Content Marketing Institute's magazine, its white papers, and booklets like this: Content Marketing for Nonprofits
• Yes, It’s OK to Go to the Dark Side: How to Find Agencies that Need Content Marketing Writers (Jennifer Gregory, The Content Marketing Writer, 11-13-13)
• Fortune Writes Articles Exclusively for Advertisers (Lucia Moses, CMO.com, 3-6-13). While brand-created content has gotten better, it often falls short of quality editorial product. By creating the TOC edit, Fortune ostensibly will avoid that pitfall. Will they avoid compromising editorial integrity?
• What Writers are Getting Paid (Sonia Simone, Copyblogger) Message: Most freelance writing sucks as a source of $$, except for Content Marketing, commercial writing that’s worth reading, despite serving a business service.
• Straddling the Line: Ethical Issues of Writing both Journalism and Content Marketing (Jennifer Gregory, Content Marketing Writer, 11-15-13)
• The 10 commandments of content marketing (Eric Anderson, iMedia Connection, 7-21-10) Content shall be shareable, collaborative, fearless, online forever, and sponsored and shall invite comment, among other things.
• What Is Content Marketing? (Content Marketing Institute) "Content marketing’s purpose is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior. It is an ongoing process that is best integrated into your overall marketing strategy, and it focuses on owning media, not renting it."
• Can Content Marketing Save Journalism? (Sam Slaughter, VP of Content at Contently, on Mashable, 3-18-13) Even brands that don’t have dedicated editorial teams have begun tapping journalists to create “native ads,” in many ways indistinguishable from the journalistic content along which they appear.
• Will Content Marketing Kill Journalism or Save it? (Alex Baker, Social Media Today 5-1-13)
• Why I like being a "content provider" (Minda Zetlin, ASJA Monthly, Nov 2013)
• 8 Steps to Make Money as a Content Marketing Writer (Jennifer Gregory, Content Marketing Writer, 11-11-13). You'll find many more pieces on content marketing on Jennifer's site, including this one: What Is the Typical Rate for Content Marketing Writing? (6-9-13)
• Content Marketing (free ebooks from Copyblogger)
• Content Marketing Lures Journalists Away From Media, Into Business (Michael LoPresti, EContent, 3-22-13) "Journalists are the only people, in my mind, who put the needs of the audience first. Paradoxically, that serves a company's needs far better-because the content they create is customer-driven rather than corporate-driven," says MarketingProfs Ann Handley.
• Why Content Marketing Matters (infographic, Viral Blog)
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Direct Creative blog articles (Dean Rieck on Copyright and Direct Marketing) and Rieck's Direct Marketing Article Archive

FAQs--writing good "frequently asked questions" sections (Ease in Writing, Full Circle Communications). This site has a lot of useful writing tips in its archives of newsletter articles . See, for example,
Writing for Mobile Devices.

Government work


• National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC)
• What It’s Really Like to Work for Government by Pam Broviak, on GovLoop (a social network for the government community to connect and share information)
• Contracting 101: Federal Contracting Basics (Lindley Ashline, GovWin Network, 1-2-13)
• System for Award Management (SAM) . SAM is the official U.S. federal government system and site for registering to do federal contract work, consolidating the capabilities of CCR/​FedReg, ORCA, and EPLS.
• HUBZone Program . The Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities
• 2013 is the Year for WOSB Contractors (Lourdes Martin-Rosa, blogging on GovWin Network, 2-16-13). See Contracting 101: The 8(m) Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program (Lindley Ashline, GovWin Network, 4-16-12)
• Small Business Programs: DBEs, MBEs, and WBEs (Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, Minority Business Enterprises, Women’s Business Enterprises), categories that mean something to the EPA, among other government entities
• Contracting 101: Procurement Rules and Regulations (Lindley Ashline, GovWin Network, 1-7-13)
• Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business concerns. If you are certified, you may have an advantage in procurement in some federal contract work.
• Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)
• North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 2012
• Getting funded
Thanks to Joanne Cleaver for leads to much of this information, from a workshop she offered at the 2013 conference of the American Society of Journalists & Authors.
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Help Authoring Tools. Overview of "recommendable" tools for creating software documentation, especially for the creation of user manuals and online help files, by Marc Achtelig of Indoition. (I am not knowledgeable enough to evaluate this, but it looks useful.)


How Much to Charge (Writers and Editors, Pricing Strategies, How to Set Rates and Fees, and Other Survival Basics---trends and rates for many types of work, in various fields)

How to Write a Case Study (Jennifer Mattern, Directory Journal 7-12-11)

I'd Rather Be Writing, Tom Johnson's blog about the latest trends in technical communication, and his WordPress Tips Newsletter, for blogging in WordPress.

Importance of good writing to business success
• Writing: A Ticket to Work . . . Or a Ticket Out (National Writing Project 9-04, you can download the report). The National Commission on Writing, which published the landmark report The Neglected "R," focuses on the American workplace in its second report. According to this report, as technology's role continues to grow, good writing skills are increasingly valued by big business. (you can download PDF file of full report). "In today's workplace writing is a "threshold skill" for hiring and promotion among salaried (i.e., professional) employees. Survey results indicate that writing is a ticket to professional opportunity, while poorly written job applications are a figurative kiss of death." -- from Writing: A Ticket to Work . . . Or a Ticket Out
• Writing: A Powerful Message from State Government (download the report). The National Commission on Writing reports that state governments place a high value on the writing skills of their employees, often providing training for professional employees deficient in writing skills.

The importance of storytelling
• Storytelling, worldviews and powerplants (Seth Godin, Squidoo). An interesting case history that illustrates this: "The story matters, and it must align with the worldview of the viewer."
• How to tell a story: Make it small (Brad Phillips, Mr. Media Training, 12-3-10).


Marketing
• Freelancing Basics: Finding Freelance Work that Pays Well (Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, STC's Notebook, 3-29-13, geared especially to technical communicators)
• Marketing Profs (marketing resources for marketing professionals-- excellent resources for those who join, $295)
• Marketing Sherpa. Many excellent articles, including New Eyetracking Heatmap: 6 Ways to Get More Webinar Sign-Ups by Anne Holland.


• ACM Special Interest Group for Design of Communications (SIGDOC,, Association for Computing Machinery)
• Associations for translators and interpreters (Writers and Editors)
• American Business Media (ABM, an association of business information companies)
• American Grant Writers' Association (AGWA)
• American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)
*** American Society for Training & Development (ASTD)
• Association for Business Communication (ABC)
• The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC)
• Association for Women in Communications (AWC)
• Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP)
• Association of Independent Information Professionals (aiip, an industry association for owners of independent information businesses)
• Association of Professional Communication Consultants (APCC, teaching businesses how to communicate)
• Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (ATTW)
• Copyediting (formerly Copy Editing, excellent publication and webinars) and Copyediting job board(formerly Copy Editor, excellent newsletter, free job board for which you can set up profile to get alerts when gigs are available)
• Copyediting-L Community (a free listserv-based discussion list for CE-l subscribers only, to prevent spammers, but readable by the public). "Stalking Danglers Around the World" (with a freelancers directory, and frequent exchanges of macros that make copyediting easier, etc.). Copyediting-L Always Provides Lively Discussion writes Mark Allen, on the Copyediting blog.
• eLearning Guild(an online community for the design, development, and management of web-based educational or instructional content — e-Learning)
• FrameWorks Institute (Changing the public conversation about social problems)
• Freelance (discussion list for publishing industry freelancers, moderated by Chuck Brandstater, available as e-mail only or as archives)
*** GovLoop (social networking for government)
• Grant Professionals Association (GPA) (formerly American Grant Writers Association)
• HTML Writers Group (IWA-HWG, merged with the International Webmasters Association), writing for the Web
• Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
*** International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)
• International Communication Association (ICA)
• International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI)
• International Society of Logistics (SOLE)
• International Webmasters Association (IWA, merged with HTML Writers Guild as IWA-HWG)
• Media Communications Association--International (MCA-I)
*** National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC) (publishes a Trends and Salary Survey available free to members, $20 to others)
• National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE)
*** National Association of Science Writers (NASW)
• National Education Technology Writers Association (NETWA)
• National Resume Writers Association (NRWA)
• New York Speechwriter's Roundtable
• North American Simulation and Gaming Association (NASAGA)
• Organizations for Editors, Proofreaders, and Indexers (Writers and Editors)
• Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches (PARW/​CC)
• Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
*** Society for Technical Communications (STC). Major organization with many local chapters and helpful online special interest groups, or SIGs, on instructional design, usability, technical editing, and other topics). You may work toward or apply to be a Certified Professional in Technical Communication (CPTC).
• Techwhirl (resources for technical writers, including Technical Writer (TechWhirl) listserv
• Usability Professionals' Association (UPA)
• Washington Speechwriters Roundtable (DC)
• Worldwide Story Network (a community of story practitioners focused on applying story-based techniques in organizational settings)
• WritersUA (WinWriters), training, info, and good resource lists for user assistance professionals (Help systems)
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Plain Language
• What Is Plain Language?
• A Plain English Handbook: How to Create Clear SEC Disclosure Documents (PDF file, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission)
• Plain Language Handbook (PDF file of Richard Lauchman's handbook for federal U.S. writing)
• Plain Language: It's the law (PlainLanguage.gov). Here are plain language experts and pages for various federal U.S. agencies
• Model website language (PlainLanguage.gov)

Plucked From Their Web Writing to Promote a Vaseline Brand (Tanzina Vega, NYTimes, 11-8-10). Vaseline uses crowdsourcing to find product spokeswomen.

Policies and procedures. A key source of guidance on this specialty (emphasizing the systems thinking aspect of communications) is Raymond E. Urgo & Associates, whose articles, white papers, and presentations may be helpful, as well as Urgo's quarterly e-newsletter: The Policy & Procedures Authority . Past issues are available on the website.

Secrets of a Freelance Writer:How to Make $100,000 a Year or More by Robert Bly (third edition), how to make the big bucks writing ads, annual reports, brochures, catalogs, newsletters, direct mail, Web pages, CD-ROMs, press releases, and other projects for corporations, small businesses, associations, nonprofit organizations, the government, and other commercial clients.

Seven Simple Steps to Persuasive Writing (Elizabeth Evans Fryer, Intercom, March 2004)

12 Breeds of Clients and How to Work with Them (Jack Knight,Freelance Switch). Very helpful; do you recognize the types? (Note to headline writer: "disinterested" doesn't mean "uninterested.")

Two-way comm's blog (Dom Crincoli's blog on stirring the status quo in corporate communication and social media)

Using Readability Formulas: A Cautionary Note (Part 7 of the Toolkit for Making Written Material Clear and Effective, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services). The toolkit clearly addresses in inadequacies of readability formulas.

The Well-Fed Writer. Income-boosting resources for commercial writers (copywriters, business writers, corporate writers or marketing writers) by Peter Bowerman. Check out The Well-Fed Writer Blog (income-boosting resources for commercial writers), his free e-newsletter cum e-zine (subscribe and catch up on back issues), and his books:
• The Well-Fed Writer: Financial Self-Sufficiency as a Commercial Freelancer in Six Months or Less
• The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living
• The Well-Fed Writer: Back For Seconds A Second Helping Of "How-To" For Any Writer Dreaming of Great Bucks and Exceptional Quality of Life (mostly new content includes case histories)
• FAQs answered by Peter Bowerman
• The Deluxe Well-Fed Tool Box and The Well-Fed Writer Time Line (automatic download after purchase).

What It’s Really Like to Work for Government by Pam Broviak, on GovLoop (a social network for the government community to connect and share information)

White Papers
• White Paper Source
• The White Paper FAQ, answers to frequently asked questions, by Gordon Graham, That White Paper Guy
• How to Write a White Paper (Jennifer Mattern, Directory Journal 9-1-09)
• How to Write a White Paper, By the Numbers (Gordon Graham, Whitepapersource.com 4-3-10)
• Do the Flip: How to Turn Product/​Service Features Into White Paper Topics (Jonathan Kranz, Whitepapersource 3-9-10)



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Speechwriting and presentations
(tips, organizations, resources,
with pointers on how and how not to use PowerPoint)

• American Rhetoric (terrific database of great speeches, text and audio, from politics, from movies, from history -- from Abbott and Costello's "Who's on first?" to Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech)
• Best Public Speaking Blogs (Six Minutes)
• Cicero Speechwriting Awards (Vital Speeches of the Day)
• Carter's Speech Therapy (Gordon Stewart's op-ed piece in NY Times -- story of the speechwriting process for Jimmy Carter's famed 1979 speech on the energy crisis)
• Cody Keenan Speechwriter: Chicago Native Rose From Unpaid Intern to Presidential Wordsmith (Darlene Superville, Huffpost, 5-25-13). How doing well in an unpaid internship can pay off bigtime!
• Figures of Speech Served Fresh
• For a speechwriter, research is crucial (Mike Long, director of the White House Writer's Group, on MyRaganTV.com video)
• For today’s CEOs, lessons from master speaker Lee Iacocca (Jeff Porro, Ragan.com, 12-20-10). “A good speech is a story,” says Mike Morrison, one of Iacocca's speechwriters. And "Iacocca knew that everything having to do with communication was a story." Also, speeches are to motivate, not inform.
• Free Speech of the week from Vital Speeches of the Day
• How to get started as a freelance speechwriter (speechwriting master Mike Long)
• How Not to Use PowerPoint (clever slide show by Alexei Kapterev)
• How Not to Use PowerPoint (video, comedian Don McMillan)
• How to write a 'sticky' speech (Liz Mitchell, MyRaganTV.com video)
• Humor in speechwriting. Cynthia J. Starks, "Mushroom walks into a bar" (3-15-11). "A speaker’s humor should be self-deprecating and/​or play off contemporary issues and popular culture – the zeitgeist of the day."
• Idea Bank (for quotations, anecdotes, humor, historical tidbits and other material to jazz up speeches)
• "I Have a Dream" speech . Rita Manno (PhillyBurbs.com, 8-24-13) on the speechwriting story and how Martin Luther King Jr. departed from a group-prepared speech after paragraph 7 -- and ad libbed the part everyone remembers. "I have a dream" was NOT in the script. More on that: Why MLK's 'I Have a Dream' Speech Has Such Historic Impact (talk given by David Rubenstein at the Aspen Institute, posted on Learn Out Loud). Long--51 minutes--but interesting.
• Jeff Poro's blog
• New York Speechwriter's Roundtable (sic). Also on Facebook
• Nick Morgan's blog (public speaking advice)
• Paul Lima's blog (the six-figure freelancer)
• Podium Pundits
• The Political Speechwriter's Life (Robert Lehrman, Opinionator, NY Times, 11-3-12)
• Prepare Your Speaker's Toolbox (Angela DeFinis)
• Public Speaking Blogs: The Definitive List (Six Minutes) and here's where they twitter
• PowerPoint presentations (Jerry Weissman interview)
• Professional Speaker Associations (Andrew Dlugan, Six Minutes)
• PowerPoint. Edward R. Tufte, The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint: Pitching Out Corrupts Within ($7), and you can read a sample here of why understanding PowerPoint is particularly important with technical material: PowerPoint Does Rocket Science--and Better Techniques for Technical Reports (Tufte analyzes one incident of flawed PowerPoint, in a Boeing analysis of launch damage to the space shuttle Columbia, arguing that poor PowerPoint design led to grave misinterpretations of Columbia's vulnerability and to Columbia blowing up on re-entry). Go here for links to many more Tufte essays by the author of the classic The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (now in its second edition).
• PowerPoint (Simon Wardley's smart use of images, concept, humor in presentation on Cloud Computing)
• Presentation Tips (slideshare, Graduate School of Education, University of Buffalo)
• Presentation Tips (Garr Reynolds, Presentation Zen)
• Presentation Zen (Garr Reynolds' blog on professional presentation design)
• The Problem with PowerPoint (BBC News Magazine 8-19-09, and do check out the slide show)
• Professionally Speaking (Ian Griffin's blog on communications, presentations, speechwriting, with links to other speechwriters)
• Publis Speaking Training (81 brief tutorials, on video, from Howcast)
• The 'Quote...Unquote' Newsletter , which focuses on misattributed quotations. (Click here for afree subscription
• Rhetoric Resources (OEDB)
• Scared Speechless? Join Toastmasters (by Pat McNees, an article that ran eons ago in the Washington Post)
• Scudder Media blog
• Six Minutes. Check out speeches and speech critiques and other resources
• Speech Analysis: How to Study and Critique a Speech (Six Minutes blog)
• Speechwriting 2.0 (Fletcher Dean)
• Statistics on the Professional Speaking Industry (Dan Poynter, ParaPublishing.com)
• Vital Speeches of the Day blog , including this one on helping a client by tweaking THEIR work

• Vital Speeches of the Day
• Washington Speechwriters Roundtable
• We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint by Elisabeth Bumiller (NY Times 4-26-10). U.S. military spending too much time on a program some believe "stifles discussion, critical thinking and thoughtful decision-making," creating the illusion of understanding and control.
• Winning Strategies for Power Presentations: Jerry Weissman Delivers Lessons from the World's Best Presenters (by Jerry Weissman)
• Winston Churchill's Way With Words (Tom Vitale, NPR, 7-14-12). Churchill wrote every word of his many speeches. An exhibit in New York celebrates his oratory.

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Corporate and organizational storytelling


• The Four Stories You Need To Lead Deep Organizational Change (Steve Denning, Forbes, 7-25-11)
• The Irresistible Power of Storytelling as a Strategic Business Tool (Harrison Monarth, Harvard Business Review 3-11-14) "“Especially in the Super Bowl, those 30-second ads are almost like mini movies"...
• This [Storytelling] Will Be The #1 Business Skill Of The Next 5 Years (Shane Snow, LinkedIn, 8-2-13)
• Your Company's History as a Leadership Tool (by John T. Seaman Jr. and George David Smith, Harvard Business Review, Dec. 2012)
• One on One: Jerry Weissman, Silicon Valley’s Storyteller (Bits, NY Times, 3-29-13, on pitching IPOs).
• Story Proof: The Science Behind the Startling Power of Story by Kendall Haven (reports on research about the effectiveness of stories and/​or storytelling for specific applications (education, organizational management, knowledge management, medical and narrative therapy, etc.) and anecdotes from many performing storytellers and story practitioners (mainly teachers).
• 'The Moth' Teaches A Thing Or Two About Storytelling: Setting Up The Stakes (Forbes, 11-25-13) Ashoka recently teamed up with The Moth for a storytelling workshop as part of the Ashoka Future Forum, which brought together 400 leading social innovators, business entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and journalists to “plumb the world’s biggest problems and strengthen emerging innovations in a world defined by change. It's important to establish at the top of the story the “why”—the reason the story’s events meant so much to the storyteller. When we learn what’s important to the storyteller, we understand why we should care, too. This is called “setting up the stakes” of the story. (Watch video of Sasha Chanoff at the Forum.)
• Beyond Comprehension: We know that genocide and famine are greater tragedies than a lost dog. At least, we think we do. (Shankar Vedantam, Wash Post, 1-17-10). A fuller, easier to read version appears here: 'The Little Dog Lost at Sea' (The Week, 2-12-10) Author Shankar Vedantam explains why the saga of a shipwrecked pet tugs our hearts more than a distressed nation of millions. (I post both versions because they show how annoying the ad-filled version is -- plus the story gets cut off in the Post) For more from Shankar Vedantam, check out How 'The Hidden Brain' Does The Thinking For Us (NPR, 1-25-10)
• Worldwide Story Network (occasionally interesting Facebook page)
• Narrative Matters: The Power of the Personal Essay in Health Policy (edited by Fitzhugh Mullan, Ellen Ficken, and Kyna Rubin--an anthology of 46 pieces by patients, physicians, policy makers, and others, drawn from the popular "Narrative Matters" column in the journal Health Affairs-- epitomizing the policy narrative, a genre that explores health policy through the expression of personal experiences. Topics include AIDS, assisted suicide, marketing drugs, genetic engineering, organ transplants, the hard financial realities of medical insurance,and ethnic and racial disparities in the health care system.
• Quantum Narrative, Take 2 (Mike Bonifer, GameChangers, 5-30-11).
• Storyhood (research on neighborhood stories and citizenship in the digital age)
• How to Become Your Company's Storyteller (Jennifer Wang, Entrepreneur, 1-10-12)
• Why Storytelling Is the Ultimate Weapon (Jonathan Gottschall, author of The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human, on Fast Company
• How to use humour in business stories (Gabrielle Dolan, LeadingCompany 1-22-13)
• Storytelling Techniques: Ten Things Story Won’t Do for Your Nonprofit or Business (Sean Buvala, 10-25-10)
• To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
• Your Fans Want to Know Exactly How You Did It by Chris Abraham (B2C, 2-26-13) (as discovered on Just Story It
• The Leader's Guide to Storytelling: Mastering the Art and Discipline of Business Narrative by Stephen Denning
• Lead with a Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives That Captivate, Convince, and Inspire by Paul Smith
• Storytelling for Grantseekers: A Guide to Creative Nonprofit Fundraising by Cheryl A. Clarke
• What's Your Story? Storytelling to Move Markets, Audiences, People, and Brands by Ryan D. Mathews and Watts Wacker
• Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Use Your Own Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact by Annette Simmons, expanding on her earlier book, The Story Factor
• Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story by Peter Guber
• Storytelling: Branding in Practice by Klaus Fog, Christian Budtz, and Baris Yakaboylu ("how to turn raw stories into core business stories")
• Improving Your Storytelling: Beyond the Basics for All Who Tell Stories in Work and Play by Doug Lipman
• The Elements of Persuasion: Use Storytelling to Pitch Better, Sell Faster & Win More Business by Richard Maxwell and Robert Dickman.

"Say it so it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart." ~ Maya Angelou
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See a separate section on Writing Corporate and Organizational Histories (Writers & Editors site).
By Design: The Story of Crown Equipment Corporation (an early project of mine) is a good example of the new approach to corporate history -- using stories and profiles of people to make a company history come alive and packaging a very human story in a beautifully designed book. Available on Amazon.com.
CorporateHistory.net. Marian Calabro's company site has useful FAQs and downloads about commissioning a corporate history, and the CorporateHistory.net blog has interesting analyses of (and grades for) various corporate websites, among other things. Her slogan: "What is written is remembered."

Becoming (or Hiring) a Technical Writer


*** Society for Technical Communications (STC). Major organization with many local chapters and helpful online special interest groups, or SIGs, on instructional design, usability, technical editing, and other topics). You may work toward or apply to be a Certified Professional in Technical Communication (CPTC). The top organization for technical writers..
• Techwr-l (listserv for technical writers)
• Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (ATTW)
• Usability Professionals' Association (UPA)
• Q&A on Technical Writing with Chris Clements (STC-DC blog)
• Value Added: Mom taught daughter how to pursue success (Thomas Heath, Wash Post, 9-1-13). To get her first technical writing job, Pam Hurley called and called and called. Finally she got a gig teaching employees how to get to the point when they wrote reports. Her fee went from $500 a day to $2000 and then up from there (for teaching critical thinking).
• Alternative Income Sources for Writers, Norman Bauman's summary of an ASJA meeting (2002), helpful on technical writing. See also Catherine E. Oliver on what's required for technical writing; How to find and price medical writing jobs (1999); a piece on text retrieval and search engines, all on Bauman's website, Medical Writing in New York.
• Becoming a freelance technical writer (Scott, Communications from DMN)
• I'd Rather Be Writing, Tom Johnson's blog about the latest trends in technical communication, and his WordPress Tips Newsletter, for blogging in WordPress.
• Technical Writing Careers — Answering 13 Questions about Technical Writing Jobs (Tom Johnson, I'd Rather Be Writing blog, 2-16-08)
• How to Break into Technical Writing (Tom Johnson, I'd Rather Be Writing, 5-27-07)
• Top 10 Workspace Configurations for Technical Writers (Tom Johnson, I'd Rather Be Writing)
• The Case for “Technical Communicator” (PDF, Maurice Martin, STC, and Richard O'Sullivan, Change Management Solutions)
• Hiring a Technical Writer (docsymmetry.com, and pretty interesting!)
• Hiring Contract Freelance Technical Writers (Writing Assistance Inc.)
• Technical Writing Part One: Process Overview (John Hewitt, Poe War, 12-28-07)
• Technical Writing Part Two: What a Technical Writer Writes (John Hewitt, Poe War, 12-29-07)
• Technical Writing Part Three: A Technical Writer's Skill Set (John Hewitt, Poe War, 12-30-07)
• Technical Writing Part Four: Desktop Publishing Tools (John Hewitt, Poe War, 12-31-07)
• Technical Writing Part Five: Education (John Hewitt, Poe War, 1-1-08)
• Technical Writing Part Six: How to Find Technical Writing Jobs (John Hewitt, Poe War, 1-3-08)
• The Technical Communication Knowledge Portal
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WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TECHNICAL WRITER AND A TECHNICAL COMMUNICATOR?

The Society for Technical Communications is trying to get the Department of Labor to update its definition, which so far is here for what a technical communicator does:

"Develop and design instructional and informational tools needed to assure safe, appropriate, and effective use of science and technology, intellectual property, and manufactured products and services. Combine multimedia knowledge and strong communication skills with technical expertise to educate across the entire spectrum of users’ abilities, technical experience,
and visual and auditory capabilities."

According to Maurice Martin and Richard O'Sullivan, who wrote "The Case for 'Technical Communicator,' "Technical writing is static and one-way. Technical communication is dynamic and interactive." Check out their article, a PDF file:
http:/​/​www.stc.org/​PDF_Files/​caseTC.pdf

“Technical writers produce content for users," says STC's Larry Kunz. "Technical communicators manage content and relationships with users.”

Why does it matter? Guess who get paid more!


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Books on
E-learning, distance education, online training


Check out the eLearning Guild (a practice community for the design, development, and management of web-based educational or instructional content). The following books may also be helpful—especially the Clark & Meyer.
• e-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning by Ruth Clark and Richard E. Mayer (a solid research-based primer on how students learn and therefore how best to use technology)
• Michael Allen's Guide to E-Learning
• E-Learning by Design and Designing Web-Based Training: How to Teach Anyone Anything Anywhere Anytime , both by William Horton
• Creating Learning-Centered Courses for the World Wide Web by William B. Sanders (see especially good chapter on JavaScript for enabling student interactivity—e.g., with pop-up windows and brief quizzes)
• Instructional and Cognitive Impacts of Web-Based Education by Beverly Abbey
• Multimedia for Learning by Stephen Alessi and Stanley Trollip
• Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology by Robert Reiser and John V. Dempsey
• Learning-Centered Assessment on College Campuses: Shifting the Focus from Teaching to Learning by Mary E. Huba
• The In's and Out's of Online Instruction: Transitioning from Brick and Mortar to Online Teaching by Danan Myers-Wylie
And then, if you are designing the instructional software, you will want to look at workshops and books on tools such as JavaScript and Flash and such authoring tools as LMSand LCMS.

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Getting Funded: Grant proposal writing (organizations,workshops, guides

(Check out these websites for workshops on grant proposal writing)
•
American Grant Writers' Association (AGWA) (offers a grant-writing workshop, review, and exam for certification and online courses)
• Associated Grant Makers Common Proposal Form
• Common proposal forms (Foundation Center)
• Grant Professionals Association (GPA) (formerly American Association of Grant Professionals, AAGP)
• Non-profit guides (grant-writing tools for non-profit organizations)

Here are a few of the many books available on grant proposal writing:
• Getting Funded: The Complete Guide to Writing Grant Proposals by Mary S. Hall and Susan Howlett
• The Foundation Center's Guide to Proposal Writing
• Grant Writing For Dummies by Beverly A. Browning\
• Grant Writing: Strategies for Developing Winning Government Proposals by Patrick Miller
• The Only Grant-Writing Book You'll Ever Need: Top Grant Writers and Grant Givers Share Their Secrets by Ellen Karsh and Arlen Sue Fox
• Guide to Effective Grant Writing: How to Write a Successful NIH Grant Application by Otto O. Yang
• Writing for a Good Cause: The Complete Guide to Crafting Proposals and Other Persuasive Pieces for Nonprofits by Joseph Barbato and Danielle Furlich
• Writing Successful Science Proposals by Andrew J. Friedland and Carol L. Folt

Here's an excellent list of resources on the subject:
• Resources for Writing and Editing Grant Proposals (Katharine O'Moore-Klopf, Editor-Mom, 1-26-11)


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Websites, organizations, and other resources

A GREAT READ
Blog roll, too
and communities of book lovers
Best reads and most "discussable"
Fact-finding, fact-checking, conversion tables, and news and info resources
Recommended reading
long-form journalism, e-singles, online aggregators
BOOK AND MAGAZINE PUBLISHING
New, used, and rare books, Amazon.com and elsewhere
Blogs, social media, podcasts, ezines, survey tools and online games
How much to charge and so on (for creative entrepreneurs)
And finding freelance gigs
Blogs, video promotion, intelligent radio programs
See also Self-Publishing
Indie publishing, digital publishing, POD, how-to sources
Includes original text by Sarah Wernick
WRITERS AND CREATORS
Plus contests, other sources of funds for creators
Copywriting, speechwriting, marketing, training, and writing for government
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Translators, indexers, designers, photographers, artists, illustrators, animators, cartoonists, image professionals, composers
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Groups for writers who specialize in animals, children's books, food, gardens, family history, resumes, sports, travel, Webwriting, and wine (etc.)
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ETHICS, RIGHTS, AND OTHER ISSUES
Contracts, reversion of rights, Google Books settlement
Plus privacy, plagiarism, libel, media watchdogs, FOIA, protection for whistleblowers
EDITORS AND EDITING
And views on the author-editor relationship