I was listening to a TED Talk today that offered to teach people how to find their true calling in just five minutes. In it, the speaker, Adam Leipzig, asked the audience five questions:
- What is your name?
- What do you do?
- Who do you do it for?
- What do those people want and need?
- How do they change as a result?
When he asked the first question, of course everyone in the audience knew the answer, however, as he progressed down the short list, the responses became fewer and fewer. Although most people knew what they did, they knew not why they did it.
The last question, #5, is the most important, he said. Knowing how you make a difference in someone’s life or work is how you should answer the question, “What do you do.”
In other words, instead of saying, “I do bookkeeping,” you could answer, “I keep people’s monthly accounting up to date so they know exactly how their business is doing at any time.”
Look for the real reason people rely on you and your service, and engage and intrigue your audience with the benefit.
All the Buzz Can Uncover Your Real Value
If you have difficulty defining what it is you really do in terms of its benefit, that’s where we come in. Let a professional writer, like us, look at your website copy and your marketing materials. We’ll uncover the real benefits of doing business with you and help you share them with the world with more compelling sales messages that get results. Contact us today.
I, like other writers, am always looking for good stories. When we writers find something we think is interesting, it is likely that others will find it interesting as well, so we pitch the story idea to magazines, newspapers, online media, etc. If the publication also believes their readership will benefit from the story, they will contract with us to write it.
But how does a story get from your company into the media? Continue reading →
There’s something about seeing your story in print that never gets old. I also find it especially thrilling when my photographs are also printed, as in this beautiful montage for my article about the National Aquarium (see photos and story here) in the May/June 2016 issue of Viva Tysons magazine.
Have a story you’d like to see in print? Contact All the Buzz to find out how we can help.
Sometime in your career, you’ve been asked to give a presentation. Maybe it went well. Or maybe it didn’t. The answer lies with your audience. Did they listen attentively and ask questions, or did they look at their watches and dart out the door once you were done?
There is a science to giving a good presentation and professionals know they just can’t wing it. A good presentation is carefully researched, written and practiced ahead of time, keeping the audience’s interests in mind. Here are six steps that can help you develop a better presentation.
How to Give a Better Presentation
- Find out who your audience is. Then single out a couple of members or leaders and send a questionnaire or hold an interview in advance to find out what issues they are facing, or what it is they really want to learn or know. Incorporate this information into your presentation.
- If you must use slides, use them as visual backup to what you are saying. Do not outline your presentation on the slides and read it to your audience.
When I run my work through Spell Check, I’m often stopped by the phrase “Fragment (consider revising.)” Does this happen to you?
While Spell Check helps me find spelling and spacing errors, it doesn’t really know about conversational writing style. Writing for blogs, the web, or social media is different than writing novels or papers. You MUST use sentence fragments.
Yes, use fragments
People don’t speak in full, formal sentences. They speak in fragments. And the point of engaging an audience is to stimulate a “conversation.” I’m sure you’ve heard people say, Continue reading →
My inbox today contained a great infographic titled The Perfect Anatomy of a Modern Web Writer. It explains what we, as web writers, need in our arsenal as professional writers, as well as demonstrates what to look for when hiring a web writer. So I thought I’d share it.
The Perfect Anatomy of a Modern Web Writer
- Outstanding Copywriting Ability. Copywriting begins with knowing your customer’s hope and fears, her principles and problems…and then figuring out how to help her achieve her goals and ease her pains.
- Storytelling Skills. Storytelling creates a narrative that spellbinds people. There’s no debate: the best web writers are also the best storytellers.
I foolishly knocked my carriage clock off the mantle while cleaning one day recently and was heartbroken to see its shattered condition on the marble hearth. So I picked up the pieces and took the remains to a local clock shop.
The news wasn’t good. My clock was so badly broken that all that could be salvaged was the Seth Thomas brass face. A customer standing in line behind me, carrying his own broken mantle clock witnessed this transaction and commented on how beautiful my bright clock face was. He thought, in fact, it might fit into his own clock, which had a tired, faded face.
We held the face up and it seemed to be a perfect size match. He purchased it from me on the spot.
You Never Know Who’s Listening
While he was waiting for the clerk to research his problem, we struck up a conversation. It turns out he’s an author and has just published his second book: Titanic’s Resurrected Secret–HEW.
Having done a lot of reading about the Titanic and its survivors, I was interested–not only in the book, but in this fascinating man and his stories. Continue reading →
I came across a great infographic that shares the biggest landing page goofs business owners can make. It compares the experience of visiting your landing page (or home page) to that of a cross-country road trip.
You want to make the trip a smooth journey for your visitors, taking them from where they are now to their final destination. And you get to decide that destination.
Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter, click the “buy now” button during a special sale, or call you for a price quote or free consultation? Pick one and give them the directions that will lead them directly to the end of the line without confusion or roadblocks. Continue reading →