Business writing reality check: it’s all about words. And a sparrow.

A sparrow joined us for our women’s business networking lunch yesterday in grizzly, drizzly south central England. Poor little guy was perched high up on the picture rail of our meeting room, watching us talk and eat our lunch.

Business writing reality check: it’s all about words. And a sparrow.

Go, little sparrow. We love you, your simplicity and what it can teach us about getting stuff right first time.

At one o’clock I thought, he’ll spring out and yell “Cuckoo!” But instead he took off along the lunch table (fortunately without dropping a bomb load) and landed on the floor near a doorway, just as one (fortunately) bird-loving guest was half-way through her 60-second elevator pitch.

While aforesaid guest was still in full pitch flow, several of us jumped up, opened the door to the yard outside and sheep-dogged the sparrow towards it until with the help of another kind lady who picked him up ever so gently and put him down on the grass … off he flew.

The meeting was totally disrupted, business was forgotten, the lady who had been presenting her elevator pitch was now up at the window trying to see where birdie had gone, while the rest of us talked about sparrows for the following few minutes.

And your business writing point is, Suze the Schmooze…?

When my turn was due I was about to give my usual elevator pitch about content strategising and digital marketing and SEO and web text structure and all that stuff.

But that damned sparrow changed my mind.

Such a simple occurrence as a sparrow flying into the wrong place at the wrong time, managed to turn 23 fiercely professional business women into 23 caring, uncomplicated human beings. And even more than the business of the day, that sparrow united us. Why? Because we were drilling down into simple things that really matter.

So by the time birdie was away up into the trees, everyone had settled down and when my turn came to do my 60 second elevator pitch, I took the scenic route and changed my script completely.

Communication wherever it is, always starts with just words

Here’s a rough précis of what I said, to this audience of women entrepreneurs.

I would love to know what YOU think, and whether my “back to basics” notion is worth taking seriously … or is it just, er, “for the birds?” (Comments below, please.)

Over the last few years, the intricacies of writing for business have gone spilling into a wide cross-section of genres, media, industries, technologies and more. But let’s get it back down to basics.

What we must never lose sight of is that – unless you’re a sparrow – we all need words and good writing to communicate everything in life … from the most basic of human needs to our education, our social lives and of course our businesses.

And communication for business is not about technobullsh*t: it must start and finish with plain, powerful words

That’s why my message to you today is not just how I can write you a whatever piece of content. It’s how I can make the right basic words work for you and your business / organisation at the most elementary of levels. Because without that, your words could be empty and powerless.

From there on, together we can grow those words into whatever content you want and need.

Oh, ha, ha: is this article an advert for business writing or what?

No, it’s not an advert. Surprised? Don’t be.

How I hope you’ll see it, is as a blueprint for how other business writers like me can help our clients – especially SMEs – screw all the techno-hype down from where the dreaded C-Word (Content) has taken words and business writing into the current stratosphere of complicated interpretations.

And get back to the basics of words and thoughts, from which new, fresh and more focused communications can grow … back up into the high-tech echelons, but based and formed on renewed business savvy, as I have suggested.

Roll back, take a reality check, and start using the right words again…

I think that’s what the sparrow’s presence taught me more than anything. In his case, his prime purpose was to get the hell out of there and that’s what we all focused on.

In my case and that of my colleagues and competitors, our prime purpose is to use our gift of finding the right words, to help people move forward in whatever they want to do.

No more bullsh*t … but a way with (business) words that get messages over whatever the medium

Just like that poor little sparrow, who was lucky enough to find that business people’s needs came second to his freedom.

Go, little sparrow. We love you, your simplicity and what it can teach us about getting stuff right first time.

Want to know how I can help you and your business make words work better for you? Now here IS an advert, OK, but you might just find it useful.

And if you have any questions about the above please drop me a note on