Serious Soft Skills


Podcast 24: Why Good Writers Are Their Readers’ Advocate

Written communication is an important skill, for it is often our first — and potentially — lasting impression of a person. We’ll discuss good writing and give tips for how to write better.
Hosts Dr. Tobin Porterfield and Bob Graham talk about the important soft skill of written communication in this episode. Among the topics they cover are:

How our writing is often where people first encounter us
Why writing conveys what’s inside our minds
Writing tells us about how someone sees the world, sees his or her role in the world and what he wants to accomplish.
Understanding audience and its role in writing well
How writing in our own language may not be the best way to write
The writer’s role as a “reader’s advocate” and taking the reader’s perspective on your writing
Putting actions steps early in writing
Good writing encourages reader action
How writers inadvertently discourage their readers
Why the pile of emails to get to exists and why it’s the email writer’s fault
The 3-sentence and 4-sentence email pledge
How getting away from typewriters has spawned worse writing
The deadly action of Reply All and what it says to your reader
Respecting and using your awareness of your audience to improve your writing
No matter where you are in your writing life, a list of easy ways to dramatically improve your writing today
The value of spell checkers and grammar checkers
Why big words might not be your writing friend
Why great words should not be overused
How verbs really do drive sentences
Self-editing and outside editing help
An easy, fun way to edit your writing
The financial equivalent of wasted words in your writing
Tips for helping readers find key information
Making your writing “sticky”
How subject lines and file names can help the recipient of your communication
The number one worst thing to do with email

Next Week
We’ll be looking at another soft skill on our list of 55 soft skills. Email us at podcast
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