Learn to grab people’s attention & move them to act — online or in Salt Lake City
New! Online: Oct. 5-9
In Salt Lake: Oct. 14-15
Your readers are bombarded with the data equivalent of 174 newspapers — ads included — every day, according to a study by USC’s Annenberg School for Communication.
In this environment, how do you grab readers’ attention and move them to act?
“It was fantastic. I love that it’s science-based. Corporate communications struggle to position themselves as strategic. I feel I have concrete tools to state my case for how we write, now.”
– Carrie Chambers, senior communication specialist, Kiewit
Read more rave reviews
In this workshop, you’ll learn how to get readers to pay attention to your message, understand it, remember it and act on it. Specifically, you’ll learn how to:
- Think Like a Reader: Move people to act.
- Go Beyond the Pyramid: Master a format that’s been proven in the lab to reach more readers.
- Cut Through the Clutter: Make every piece you write easier to read & understand.
- Lift Ideas Off the Page: Draw readers in and reach nonreaders with display copy.
- Get hands-on help for writing persuasively: Take your message from ‘meh’ to masterpiece.
“After years of teaching writing, I expected this to be a rehash of everything I already knew. Wrong! Plenty here to refresh the mind. And Ann is hilarious. It’s like a hyper-informative comedy routine.”
– Tom Wallis, content specialist, UNC System Office
What you’ll learn in this persuasive-writing course
In this workshop, you’ll polish your persuasive-writing skills. Specifically, you’ll learn how to:
Think Like a Reader
The secret to reaching readers is to position your messages in your audience’s best interests. (Most communicators position their messages in their organization’s best interests.)
In this session, you’ll learn a four-step process for making your message more relevant, valuable and rewarding to your audience. Specifically, you’ll learn:
- The formula people use to determine which messages to pay attention to
- Two rewards you can use to boost audience interest in your message
- The No. 1 question to answer on your reader’s behalf
- A two-minute perspective shift that focuses your message on the value to the audience
- A three-letter word to use to make your message more relevant to your audience
“This was a great workshop. Ann has something for everyone – from novice writers to those of us who have been in the business from 3-4 decades.”
– Jim Gring, functional communicator, Lockheed Martin
Go Beyond the Pyramid
The inverted pyramid reduces readership, understanding, engagement — even action, according to research by the Reuters Institute and others.
In this session, you’ll master a structure that’s been proven in the lab to outperform the traditional news structure.
- How to organize your message to grab readers’ attention, keep it for the long haul and leave a lasting impression
- Three elements of a great lead — and five leads to avoid
- How to stop bewildering your readers by leaving out an essential paragraph. (Many communicators forget it)
- Five ways to avoid the “muddle in the middle”
- A three-step test for ending with a bang
“Ann provides a simple formula to write short, powerful stories quickly.”
– Furhana Ebner, communications specialist, Los Alamos National Lab
Cut Through the Clutter
Readability helps everyone — those with high literacy rates as well as low, according to new research by the Nielsen Norman Group. When you make your business writing easier to read, your audience members will read it faster, understand it better and enjoy it more.
In this session, you’ll learn:
- How long is too long: For your paragraphs? Your sentences? Your words?
- Three ways to shorten your copy — and which is the most effective way
- How to avoid causing your reader to skip your paragraphs
- A tool you can use (you already have it, but you might not know it) to quantifiably improve your copy’s readability
- A seven-step system for making your copy clearer and more concise
“Amazing! I learned more in two days than I did in all my college classes combined. I feel so much more confident in writing pieces that work!”
– Katie Johnson, public relations manager, Iowa Soybean Association
Lift Ideas Off the Page
Some 60% of your audience members aren’t reading your copy, according to estimates by professors at the University of Missouri. So how can you craft messages that reach nonreaders?
In this program, you’ll learn how to use your display copy — headlines, decks and subheads, for instance — to pull readers into your copy, make your piece more inviting and even communicate to flippers and skimmers.
Specifically, you’ll learn how to:
- Reach “readers” who spend only two minutes — or even just 10 seconds — with your piece
- Craft the piece of display copy that 95% of people read — but that many communicators drop
- Run a simple test on your copy to ensure that reach flippers and skimmers and other nonreaders
- Make your copy more reader friendly with a dollar bill
- Apply best practices for display copy — headlines, decks, callouts, captions and charts
“Some of the most valuable, actionable information I’ve ever taken away from a conference. Well worth the time and investment.”
— Lindsey Foss, PR manager, Iowa Soybean Association
Get hands-on help for writing persuasively.
In the crunch of writing headlines and meeting deadlines, it sometimes seems as if there’s not enough time to pause and consider how you’re doing. But in our case studies and practice sessions, you’ll get a great opportunity for reflection and improvement.
Bring your laptop and a story to work on. You’ll get a chance to write and rewrite, get and give feedback, and leave with a totally rewritten piece. In these practice sessions, you’ll:
- Master the techniques you learn in the workshop by applying them immediately. (That’s how we put the “Master” in the Master Class!)
- Gain valuable insights on your work from your peers and from Ann.
- Learn to analyze and improve others’ writing — the best skill you can develop for editing others or improving your own work.
Your writing coach: Ann Wylie. Come learn the techniques Ann’s used to earn more than 60 communication awards, including two IABC Gold Quills — the Pulitzer Prizes of business communications.
“I loved receiving Ann’s individual attention; the one-on-one was super helpful!”
— Michelle Simon, media relations specialist, PBP Nation
“Fantastic blend of teaching, real-life examples, group discussions, practice, and peer reviews.”
— Holly White, communications specialist, RETTEW
Location & logistics
- Silver (workshop only): $1,195
- Gold (Silver +$300 worth of learning tools): $1,295
- Platinum (Gold +$297 subscription to Rev Up Readership): $1,395
- Diamond (Platinum +$750 private coaching session with Ann): $1,795
Save up to $100 with our group discounts.
Please learn about our discounts, cancellation policy and more in our FAQ.
“Absolutely the best money I’ve ever spent. I learned more about writing for my audience from Ann in one day than I have in any other seminar.”
— Carie Behounek, marketing communications coordinator, COPIC Companies
PRSA members: Earn 4 APR maintenance credits.
Questions? Contact Ann.