Poor grammar and ambiguous writing can kill a good career

See Roger Peterson’s interview on

"Even CEOs need writing help, said Roger S. Peterson, a freelance writer in Rocklin, Calif., who frequently coaches executives. ‘Many of these guys write in inflated language that desperately needs a laxative,’ Mr. Peterson said, and not a few are defensive. ‘They’re in denial, and who’s going to argue with the boss?’” The New York Times, December 7, 2004
Tips for improving your business writing:
  • Benign neglect: Put your writing aside for 24 hours and give your brain a rest
  • New eyeballs: Ask someone unfamiliar with the topic to read it, e.g. spouse or friend. Write for a month from now: What is the one thing you want readers to remember a month after they exit your web page or lose your brochure?
  • Write with the goal of turning words into images
  • Subscribe to a newsletter service, such as the Vocabula Review at www.vocabula.com
  • Get a grown up’s dictionary, not a collegiate or contemporary usage dictionary
  • Develop a ‘quick list’ to words you often misspell and keep it handy
  • Hire a coach….Roger S. Peterson

The sorry state of business writing:

American executives write sentences bloated with words, sports analogies, acronyms, and strings of prepositional phrases that confuse any English reader. Executives assume the person across the aisle or across the street can untangle the clutter and understand what’s intended. But the person across the street is now in Malaysia and he is learning English correctly...and the street is the Internet.

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Contact Roger S. Peterson via email today: Peterson@sacramentowriters.com