Should we still “write” business presentations, or go more ad lib?

Have you ever been on a public speaking or presentation course? I just got back from “Dynamic Delivery” with the one and only Ali Moore, and what a fab day it was. Despite having written scripts for countless speakers over the years, when I get up there myself I can get a little tongue-tied. But not any more.

Article about making presentations

Whichever approach you choose, good preparation is key to a great presentation

There is no magic formula for good public speaking

One of the main takeout points of the day for me, is that there are far fewer rules and rigidly-followed customs in good public speaking now, than there were 20 years ago. In fact to get up and speak to an audience, these days, while seeming to be reading from a script, is often seen as an amateurish no-no. [Read more…]

How to write about The Queen … of horses

“Canadien Horse?  Never heard of it,” said the magazine editor down the phone to me, “but write it up and we’ll have a look.” I had just read an article about the breed in an obscure Canadian historical magazine and had fallen in love with these tough, hardy, talented “little iron horses” as they’re known.

Article about the Queen's horse

HM Queen riding her famous horse “Burmese”, given to her by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1969. Burmese was ridden by the Queen at every Trooping the Colour ceremony from 1969 to 1986. Many thanks for this image to Leonard Bentley.

Being Canadian myself, I was particularly enthused at the thought of introducing British readers to a Canadian product that’s lot more interesting than maple syrup, lumberjacks, or Toronto’s CN tower which once earned itself the dubious accolade of being “the largest free-standing erection in North America.”

I was also fascinated to learn more about what I imagine is, if not the only one, certainly one of the few North American “native” breeds not descended from horses left behind by the Spanish. [Read more…]

How to write political spin

You really can’t fail to admire the ways in which political journalists and politicians manage to write accounts of events and issues which, though vaguely accurate if you stretch your imagination, vary hysterically and often hilariously in how the subjects are portrayed.

political spin

Spin description of a prison sentence: a “holiday paid for by Her Majesty.”

What exactly do we mean by “political spin?”

According to our beloved Wikipedia

“In public relations and politicsspin is a form of propaganda, achieved through providing a biased interpretation of an event or campaigning to persuade public opinion in favor or against some organization or public figure. While traditional public relations and advertising may also rely on altering the presentation of the facts, “spin” often implies the use of disingenuousdeceptive, and highly manipulative tactics.[1]”

[Read more…]

Sue Bentley on writing fiction books: a famous author’s views

Thinking of writing a fiction book? Here are some cold, hard yet still heart-warming facts about a successful writer’s journey, by millions-selling children’s author Sue Bentley whom I met at a recent book fair, and who kindly has shared her experiences and advice in this article.

Writing books isn't easy by a famous author

Sue Bentley: If people like you and find you interesting, they will want to read your books

Here Sue tells it how it is, and was, so helping new authors get a realistic view of book writing – even from the top. Over to Sue…

Writing fiction books: not the fastest way to riches

[Read more…]

Book Review: Divorce Became My Superpower by Caroline Strawson

Here is the story of someone who went through the utter dregs of relationship misery, but managed to climb back up through self-harm and other manifestations of despair, working through her challenges and demons to get up again.

review of Caroline Strawson's book

Caroline Strawson: “Life felt like I was walking in treacle and never really moving forward.”

A relationship literally created up in the skies – and how it crash landed

In Caroline’s very detailed and meticulously catalogued style, we learn the whole autobiography of an experience no-one would wish on their worst enemy. [Read more…]

Waffle is for eating, not for writing

When you’re writing for business, social, personal or other reasons, do you sometimes wonder if you’re “waffling?” Or if you’re listening to a long speech, could the speaker be “waffling?”

Waffle is for eating, not for writing

Now THIS is the kind of waffle that’s to die for. The verbal form isn’t.

Or do you think that “waffling” is making and eating delicious treats like in this picture, above? Sadly not.

What does “waffling” really mean for writers and speakers?

[Read more…]

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