Get the word out on the Web & via email
“Makes me want to go back and revise everything I’ve done in the past three years.”
— Blythe Campbell, director, Communications & Marketing, NANA Development Corp.
If you want to Catch Your Readers, you need to think like a reader. Then you need to use the bait your reader likes, not the bait you like. Problem is, many of the techniques we’ve institutionalized in business communication writing are not the bait the reader likes.
In this web writing workshop, we’ll debunk destructive writing myths. (You’re not still married to the inverted pyramid, are you?!) Your team will leave with scientific, proven-in-the-lab approaches for getting people to pay attention to, understand, remember and act on your messages. Specifically, you’ll learn to how to:
- Think Like a Reader: Move people to act
- Go Beyond the Inverted Pyramid: As the inverted pyramid continues to fail readers, master a more effective structure
- Cut Through the Clutter: Make every piece you write easier to read & understand
- Lift Your Ideas Off the Page: Reach nonreaders & draw readers in with display copy
“Great step-by-step instructions on how to do it right.”
— Stacy Mayo, assistant account executive, Rhea + Kaiser
Think Like a Reader Online
Move Web visitors to act
The secret to writing to persuade 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:
- How to reach readers online using the most retweeted word in the English language
- 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 simple trick you can steal from Envoy.com to reveal audience benefits
Go Beyond the Inverted Pyramid
Master a more effective approach for Web pages & emails
Our old friend the inverted pyramid hasn’t fared well in recent research.
According to new studies by such think tanks as The Readership Institute and The Poynter Institute, inverted pyramids: 1) Reduce readership and understanding; 2) Fail to make readers care about the information; and 3) Don’t draw readers across the jump. In short, researchers say, inverted pyramids “do not work well with readers.”
In this session, you’ll learn a structure that can increase readership, understanding and satisfaction with your message. Specifically, you’ll learn:
- 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
Cut Through the Clutter Online
Overcome the obstacles of reading on the screen
Is your copy easy to read? According to communication experts, that’s one of the two key questions people ask to determine whether to read a piece — or toss it.
Fortunately, academics have tested and quantified what makes copy easy to read. Unfortunately, that research virtually never makes it out of the ivory tower and into the hands of writers who could actually apply it.
But you’ll leave this session with “the numbers” you need to measurably improve your copy’s readability. Specifically, you’ll learn:
- How long is too long: For your Web page? Your online paragraphs? Your sentences?
- A tool you can use to quantifiably improve your copy’s readability. (You probably already have it, but you might not know it)
- How to increase reading by hitting one key on your keyboard more often
- One surprising way to boost Web copy usability by 27%
- How a roll of toilet paper can help you avoid one of the most common Web mistakes
Lift Your Ideas Off the Screen
Reach nonreaders with online display copy
Nearly 80% of Web visitors don’t read the text, according to usability expert Jakob Neilsen. Instead, they scan. So how can you craft Web pages and e-zines that reach nonreaders?
In this session, you’ll learn how to use your online display copy — headlines, subject lines and links, for instance — to pull readers into your message, make your page more inviting and even communicate to clickers 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 percent of Web visitors read — but that many communicators drop
- Run a simple test on your Web copy to ensure that you lift your ideas off the page for clickers and skimmers
- Make your Web copy 47% more usable by adding a few simple elements
- Pass the Palm Test to make your online copy more reader friendly
“Other writing coaches tell you what to do.
Ann shows you how.”
— Roberta Laughlin, vice president, Mutual Funds Marketing, Northern Trust
About Ann Wylie
Hi! I’m Ann Wylie. So why should you learn to Catch Your Readers Online from me?That’s easy. Because I’m a nerd.
I’m a nerd.
I was never happier than when I was in graduate school, gathering information for my journalism thesis. Today, my idea of a great Sunday afternoon is to curl up on the couch with a cat, a cup of tea and a great communication study.
I love researching best practices, formulating techniques and sharing those approaches with others. So I’ve built a career that allows me to do just that.
I’m a trainer.
I taught graduate writing classes at a university for 10 years in my “spare time” — in the evenings after I’d worked a full day as a business communicator and magazine editor. Since then, I’ve traveled from Hollywood to Helsinki to train tens of thousands of writers in nearly 1,000 workshops at organizations like NASA, Nokia and Nike.
I’ve been designated an “IABC Recommended Speaker” for my top ratings at IABC International Conferences. And I serve as the Public Relations Society of America’s “national writing coach.”
I’m a writer.
And I’ve tested my tricks and techniques in the real world. During my tenure as editor of Hallmark’s employee magazine, for instance, CROWN was named the best publication of its kind in the world by the International Association of Business Communicators. Since then, my communications have earned more than 60 awards for excellence, including two IABC Gold Quills.
Today, one of the things that sets me apart from many writing trainers is that I practice what I preach. I actually write. In fact, half of my business is writing — newsletters, magazines, websites, brochures and the like — mostly for big, corporate clients. The other half is helping professional writers learn to write better.
Won’t you join me?
Frankly, you don’t have time to do a deep dive into writing tricks and techniques like I do. After all, you have a job. You have a life. You don’t have hundreds of hours to spend each year, digging into the research, finding ways to improve your writing.
Fortunately, all the years I’ve spent nerdishly analyzing, reading and researching writing techniques can cut hundreds of hours off your learning curve.
All you have to do is bring me in for my two-day Catch Your Readers Master Online Class. I look forward to seeing you there!
“I learned more in this two-day class than I did in my two-year master’s program.”
— Rochelle Juette, communications specialist, Washington Closure Hanford
One-day writing workshop
- Learn tips and techniques for Catch Your Readers Online in a customized, six-hour writing workshop.
- Practice your new skills on writing samples customized to your team.
- Continue learning long after the workshop ends with a three-month subscription to Rev Up Readership for up to 30 members of your team.
Two-day Master Class
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 two-day Master Class, your team members will get a chance to write, edit and rewrite; get and give feedback; and leave with a totally rewritten piece. In the process, they will:
- Master the techniques they learn in the workshop by applying them immediately
- Get feedback with specific ideas they can use to improve their work immediately
- Gain valuable insights on their work from their peers and from Ann
- Learn to analyze and improve each others’ writing — the best skill you can develop for improving your own work
Two-day writing workshop + writing guidelines
In addition to everything in the two-day writing workshop, Ann will develop writing guidelines, based on best practices, for your team. Writing guidelines are the best way to get all of your writers on the same page and to sell these new approaches to management.
Your writing guidelines will include before-and-after examples of your team’s own headlines, leads, links and other story elements so you’ll see “how we apply it around here.” That means your team will not only find out what they need to tweak, but how Ann would tweak it.
Two-day writing workshop + writing guidelines + templates
In addition to everything in the two-day writing workshop + writing guidelines, Ann will develop templates for your most common types of stories. Your team will get fill-in-the-blanks outlines they can use to write, say, tipsheets, survey stories, HR stories, product releases — you name it.
Plus, you’ll get before and after versions of your own stories illustrating each of the templates. WWAD? Find out with this service.
“A semester’s worth of knowledge in a few hours.”
— Amy Kappler, communications specialist, Burgess and Niple
None. We recommend that every communication team start their training with this essential, fundamental workshop.
What grads say about Catch Your Readers
“Fantastic! Within 90 minutes I was applying the ideas Ann presented.”
— Jennifer Uschold, senior manager, Internal Communications, Direct Energy
“I have been a journalist for 30 years, published more than 10,000 times, and I have learned more about writing in the past two days from Ann than I have in all that time. I so needed this!”
— Jim Masters, internal communications specialist, Accenture
“I write almost every day as part of my job. With the knowledge I gained during these two days I am going back to work a much more effective writer and communicator.”
— Christy Moch, change navigation implementation leader, Allstate
“Amazing. Made me feel energized and excited about writing again.”
— Rosemary Gudelj, senior manager OCEO & P.A., Water.org
“The content was immediately applicable. I used it mid-way through day one during a break on an article about to be published.”
— David Onufer, senior manager, Internal Communications, Direct Energy
“This workshop should be taken by any communications professional. It told me what I was doing wrong and right with my writing. This gave me the tools to do more right things. I enjoyed it very much.”
— Kendea Smith, PR coordinator, Ministry of Tourism (Bahamas)
— KC Kirimoto, vice president, Product & Global Communications, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A
“If I were to write a headline and deck for Ann’s workshop, it would go something like this … ‘West Point for Writers: How to win the war for readers’ minds.’”
— Jim Rink, media relations specialist, The Auto Club Group
Need more information?
How may we help?
Contact us via:
949 NW Overton, Ste. 1102
Portland, OR 97209