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It’s time to cut the BS out of your writing, your language, and your business. Most business writing and the way executives talk is filled with BS and people simply don’t have time for it. It’s time to stop!

Josh Bernoff has been a professional writer since 1982 and is the author of Writing Without Bullshit: Boost Your Career by Saying What You Mean, which the Globe and Mail called “a Strunk and White for the modern knowledge worker.” His daily blog posts on writing and corporate life at withoutbullshit.com have attracted 2 million views.

For 20 years, Josh wrote and edited reports on the future of technology at Forrester Research. He would regularly get briefs and press releases from Tech Startups. He noticed that most of the communication he received was BS and only .02% of all the words in the press releases had any real substance; that’s a lot of waste.

Josh became interested in teaching people how to get rid of the bullshit and get straight to the point. People use jargon because they think everybody uses this terminology. However, when you use jargon, you are more likely to alienate the people you’re trying to connect with; your customer.

People who are used to pitching and promoting use words like ‘widely successful,’ ‘great,’ and ‘powerful’ to drive home that big point they’re trying to make. To everyone else, it sounds like complete BS. In fact, the more exaggerated words you use, the less credible you sound.

People’s attention spans are short. Based on a survey Josh conducted for his book, people spend a total of 46 hours a week reading and writing for work, more than a full-time job, so anything you have to say to them better be eye-catching and to the point.

When you’re writing a memo or message to your team, think of four things before you craft it:
1. Who will be reading this?
2. What’s the objective? What change are you trying to make?
3. What action should the reader take?
4. What kind of impression would you like to leave your reader with?

Josh uses the ROAM acronym to help him remember: Readers, Objective, Action, Impressions.

 

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Scaling Up is the best-selling book, by Verne Harnish and the team at Gazelles, on how the fastest growing companies succeed where so many others fail.My name is Bill Gallagher, host of the Scaling Up Business podcast and a leading business coach with a Gazelles. We help leadership teams to get the 4 Decisions around People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash right so that they can Scale Up successfully and beat the odds of business growth success. Our 4 Decisions are all part of the Rockefeller Habits 2.0 (from the original best-selling business book, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits).

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