Blog

Check out my weekly posts (142 and counting) about communications, information, motivation, writing, branding, creativity, media, marketing, persuasion, messages, learning, etc. 

As a Treat for Readers, Don’t Trick Up Your Writing

As a Treat for Readers, Don’t Trick Up Your Writing

It’s Halloween this week. Costumes and masks may be suitable for kids, but don’t cover up your writing. Too often, people layer their copy with all sorts of adornments. Like lengthy words, sentences and paragraphs. Unnecessary adverbs and adjectives. Dense structures....

Why Does Anyone Like Spoilers?

Why Does Anyone Like Spoilers?

Spoilers are everywhere, and not just in movie trailers or reviews. This week, hours before the polls closed, I checked the final 338Canada projection regarding the federal election. It turned out to be remarkably prescient regarding seat distributions, and called the...

Feel Your Way to the Top

Feel Your Way to the Top

What will be the last job standing? That’s a real question at a time when AI and automation technologies are disrupting or displacing entire fields. A 2017 study from the McKinsey Global Institute suggested that by 2030 as many as 375 million workers will need to...

When You’re at a Loss for Words, Try Lost Words

When You’re at a Loss for Words, Try Lost Words

Ever run into an ultracrepidarian during a conversation? Or feel the urge to latibulate when approached by one? Bet you have. We’ve all had particular feelings, or observed certain phenomena, and wished there was a perfect word for it. Sometimes there is – it just has...

Keep the Whistles Blowing

Keep the Whistles Blowing

Whistleblowing is in the news. In modern usage, the term refers to anonymously or confidentially reporting on misconduct, corruption, waste, health and safety violations, and any other wrongdoing. Across corporations, governments and other institutions, whistleblowers...

For Your Kids, Don’t Practice Shelf Control

For Your Kids, Don’t Practice Shelf Control

What do these titles have in common? Charlotte’s Web, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, James and the Giant Peach, The Giving Tree, Winnie the Pooh, The Lorax and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz? Besides being classic children’s books, all were banned at some point by...

Not in My Front Yard

Not in My Front Yard

It’s federal election time in Canada, which means that candidate yard signs are sprouting like weeds. What’s the point? I ask for two reasons. Why do political parties think such signs are effective advertising? And why do homeowners agree to give them a spot on their...

Reach the Outer Limits with Your Inner Voice

Reach the Outer Limits with Your Inner Voice

What does the little voice in your head say? Does it push you past what you thought you could do? When we communicate with others, a common goal is to motivate some type of action or response. The same is true when we talk to ourselves. Consider tennis phenom Bianca...

Did You Ask a Good Question Today?

Did You Ask a Good Question Today?

Here’s a question for back-to-school time: what’s the key to learning? A new study from Ohio State University (reported in ScienceDaily.com) looked at what happened during story time in 100 kindergarten and other early years classes. Besides reading the text, only 24%...

Don’t Whistle While You Work

Don’t Whistle While You Work

The last long weekend of the summer looms with Labour Day. A day off is always welcome. This one celebrates workers too, with its roots in the union movement. While some people still fight for progress, working conditions have come a long way. The origins of Labour...