We all know him or her … the one who bellows down their phone in a crowded train or bus and shares the most intimate details of their cat’s castration surgery with 46 other passengers on their way to work on a rainy morning.

Ring a bell? Here is a short poem to celebrate those bellicose cretins. Print, cut out and keep this to read the next time you’re tempted to shove their fuchsia IPhone 7 Plus so far down their throat, they’d be able to eat corn-on-the-cob with their external anal sphincter. Enjoy.



What would we do without our phones
Clamped firmly to our earholes [Read more…]

What words to choose when you’re on live video

What words to choose when you're on live video

Watch out, you’re on live video…

These days we see video – a lot of it of terrible quality, but never mind – almost everywhere.

No sooner does someone get up to speak at a meeting than someone else exposes their sweaty armpits as they raise a smartphone up and film the person … [Read more…]

Business video: 20 flexible question prompts to make you a star

Recently I’ve been working with some colleagues putting together training on how to create, write and produce good quality online business video, even if all you do is shoot it on your phone. I came up with some adaptable question prompts for clients to use – either to prompt themselves if they’re speaking to camera, or for an off-camera interviewer to ask them so they’re reminded of what they need to say.

HTWB video smartphone

Even if you use your smartphone to shoot your business video, you can still come over as a capable professional. These question prompts will help your words stay on track.

These lists are developed from the corporate video interviewing I have been doing for a long time now, so I know that they work! They also work if you’re using email to get testimonials or “live” quotes from people to use in text-based communications like email, website text, LinkedIn profiles and endorsements, etc. Here are just three adaptations of the core questions, and you can use these basic ideas to adapt for other related uses, too. Please note that you don’t want to use them all, as some are variations of the same question!

[Read more…]

Help! I’ve got RSI from writing with keyboards: what’s the cure?

HTWB RSI 1Dear HTWB Agony Columns

My hands and fingers ache when I type too much on my phone, tablet and desktop computer. The other day I heard of someone who is suffering badly from RSI (repetitive strain injury) due merely to swiping her thumb across her mobile devices in order to activate them. 

Yours techno-threatened from Brussels, Belgium

Johann [Read more…]

3 top tips for proofreading your writing on-screen

A guest post by Amanda Laughtland

Most of the writers I know do a great deal (if not all) of their composing and editing on computer screens. With the portability of tablets and smartphones, it’s easier than ever for writers to set to work whenever they find a few moments to bring up their documents at the bus stop, on the bus, or anywhere else.

Ideally, I like to compose on paper first, and I still buy stacks of spiral notebooks during back-to-school sales in the fall, but for my work-related writing tasks, I do almost all of my writing and editing while looking at the 13-inch screen of my notebook computer, not my spiral notebook.

I’ve been teaching college-level writing online for several years, and in my experience, the strongest writers have the keenest eye for proofreading their own work. Below are three of my favorite strategies writers can use to find and fix errors in their own writing. Give one or all of these a try the next time you’re proofreading the work you’ve been composing and editing online. [Read more…]