“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
Jim Masters

What if you could build more writing skills in 2 days than you have during your entire career?

Until May 1 only: Master proven-in-the-lab techniques for reaching more readers and moving them to act …

Dear Communicator,

Believe me, I am always delighted when a 30-year writing veteran like Jim — someone who’s been published more than 10,000 times — tells me he learned more about catching readers in two days with me than he has during the rest of his career.

But I’m never surprised.

Catch Your Readers

Do a deep dive in 2 days Master a four-part system for Catching Your Readers at our persuasive-writing Master Class on May 1-2 in Denver.

Save $100 when you book by Feb. 17.

That’s because I know that to catch a reader, you need to think like a reader. Then you need to use the bait your reader likes instead of the bait you like.

Problem is, many of the techniques we’ve institutionalized in our business are not the bait the reader likes. In fact, some of the standards in the corporate communicator’s repertoire are more likely to hurt than help your chances at getting the word out.

“My mind was blown in the first hour.”
— Kelly Whitman, senior marketing specialist, Magna International
Kelly Whitman

Check your own writing practices against these common myths and assumptions:

  • Do people care more about their own interests or more about your organization and its products, services, programs and ideas? Sorry, they’re just not that into you. (Not that you’d ever know it from all of the “XYZ today announced” leads out there!)

    How would your metrics change if you focused on your message on the readers’ favorite topic instead of on the VP’s? I’ll show you how to do it in three simple steps — and how to make the VP glad you did.

  • Are you still using a structure that reporters created in 1865 to take advantage of the hot, new communication technology of the day — the telegraph? Chances are, you are. And, chances are, it’s dragging down your clicks, shares, comments and page view times.

    No worries. I’ll teach you a fresher format that’s been proven in the lab to increase readers by 300% and readership by 520% over the approach you’re using now.

“I learned more about writing in two days than in four years of college and six years of practice.”
— Samantha Jorgensen, public relations & social media manager, Charles River Labs
Samantha Jorgensen
  • Do you write long pieces (even though we know they reduce readership and action), long paragraphs (even though we know readers skip them), long sentences (even though we know people can’t follow them), long words (even though we know it’s the No. 1 way to reduce readability)? And, by the way, what’s long?

    Get targets for clarity, techniques for achieving those targets — and a cool, free tool for measuring, monitoring and managing readability. It’s no exaggeration to say that we’ve seen writers boost clarity by 1,200% in just six hours of practice with this system.

  • Are you writing for readers, although we know that just one-third of your audience members is likely to read word-by-word? If you don’t write for skimmers and lookers, 66% of your “readers” will walk away from your message without understanding what you want them to know, believe or do.

    But don’t sweat it. In 12 minutes, I’ll show you how to lift your ideas off the page or screen to get the word out even to nonreaders. (It’s one of those D’oh! moments. Once you see how simple it is, you’ll never believe they didn’t teach you this in grad school.)

“Great way to take a deep dive on your writing skills.”
— JuliAnn Graham, communications supervisor, TCEC
JuliAnn Graham

Learn to Catch Your Readers …

Once you’ve mastered a system for catching your readers, you’ll be able to:

1. Layoff-proof your job; build your business; and cut to the front of the line for raises, promotions and awards …

After all, someone’s got to be the communicator whose blog posts top the “most shared” lists, whose news releases never fail to make news, whose marketing campaigns keep nudging up the numbers — and who reaps the rewards for that success.

Might as well be you.

“A great way for a seasoned writer to rethink my writing style and continue to improve.”
— Bonita Tillman, manager, corporate communications, Nestle Purina PetCare
Bonita Tillman

2. Learn proven-in-the-lab best practices for Catching Your Readers …

In this workshop, you’ll learn how to:

It’s counterintuitive, but true: The product is never the topic. The program is never the topic. The plan is never the topic. The topic is never the topic. The reader is always the topic.

Move readers to act with a four-step process for giving people what they really want.

Indeed, 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. Which is fine, as long as you’re talking to yourself.)

In this session, you’ll learn a four-step process for moving readers to act by giving them what they really want. Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

  • Take advantage of the formula readers use to determine which messages to pay attention to (and which to toss).
  • Tap two rewards of reading you can use to boost audience interest in your message.
  • Answer the No. 1 question your reader is asking, regardless of your topic, medium or channel.
  • Make a two-minute perspective shift to focus your message on the value to readers — not on “us and our stuff.”
  • Use a three-letter word that magically makes your message more relevant to your readers.

Writers say, “We use the inverted pyramid because readers stop reading after the first paragraph.” But in new research, readers say, “We stop reading after the first paragraph because you use the inverted pyramid.”

Grab readers’ attention, pull them through the piece and leave a lasting impression.

Indeed, our old friend the inverted pyramid hasn’t fared well in recent studies. Studies by the Poynter Institute, Reuters Institute and the American Society of News Editors show that the traditional news structure reduces readership, understanding, sharing, engagement and more.

The pyramid doesn’t work well, these researchers say, with a little subset of your audience we call “humans.”

In this session, you’ll master a structure that’s been proven in the lab to grab readers’ attention, pull them through the piece and leave a lasting impression. Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

  • Grab reader attention with a lead that’s concrete, creative and provocative — and avoid making readers’ eyes glaze over by using one of the seven deadly leads.
  • Stop bewildering your readers by leaving out an essential paragraph. (Many communicators forget this entirely.)
  • Avoid the “muddle in the middle” by choosing one of five structural techniques from a rubric created by the founder of TED Talks.
  • Draw to a satisfying conclusion in the penultimate paragraph.
  • End with a bang, not a whimper by using our three-step test.

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.

Increase clarity by 200%, 300% — even 1,200% or more.

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 readability targets to hit to reach all of your audience members, tools to measure your copy’s readability and techniques for hitting those targets. Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

  • Apply a six-step system for making every piece you write clearer and more concise.
  • Use a cool tool (you probably already have it, but you might not know it) to measurably improve your message’s readability.
  • Drastically condense your copy using the fastest, most effective approach. (The way we do it every day takes far more time and makes your message less interesting.)
  • Hit the right targets. How long is too long for your paragraphs? Your sentences? Your words?
  • Increase reading by hitting one key on your keyboard more often.

Once you’ve written your headline, David Ogilvy famously said, you’ve spent 80 cents of your advertising dollar. That’s right: Display copy — headlines, captions and callouts, for instance — gets the biggest ROI of everything we write.

People don’t read. So how can you reach them with words?

That’s why I’m often amazed that the same folks who spend hours polishing the analogy in the seventh paragraph of their message toss off a headline in the 17 seconds before happy hour on a Friday afternoon. Most of your readers will never read the seventh paragraph. But many more will read your display copy.

In this session, you’ll learn how to put your messages where your readers’ eyes really are — to use your display copy to pull readers into your message, 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.
  • Avoid dropping the piece of display copy that 95% of people read — but that many communicators forget.
  • Run a simple test on your message to ensure that even folks who will not read your message no matter how well you write it still get your key ideas.
  • Make your copy 47% more usable by adding a few simple elements.
  • Pass the Palm Test to make your message look easier to read. Because if it looks easier to read, more people will read it.

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 practice sessions, you’ll get a great opportunity for reflection and improvement.

Write, edit, get feedback — and leave with a totally rewritten piece.

Bring your laptop and a story to work on. In this master class, 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.
“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
Lindsey Foss

3. Stop battling reviewers in the approval process …

I empathize with communicators who have to fight comma by comma for approval from people whose only writing credential is that they didn’t flunk out of Mrs. Brown’s third-grade English class. (I once had to run a piece by nearly 100 reviewers, so, believe me: I. Feel. Your. Pain.)

“I love that it was backed up by so much research. It will make our jobs easier when we go back and sell these ideas to our organization!”
— Emily Linendoll, assistant director of communications, Northeastern University
Emily Linendoll

But I also think that one reason we’ve inherited such an unbearable approval process is that as a group, communicators haven’t done a very good job of explaining the art and science of what we do.

After all, you wouldn’t buy the argument, “Sentences are supposed to be short!” But, “According to the American Press Institute’s research correlating sentence length with comprehension, this 42-word sentence will get less than 10% comprehension”? That’s a data point you can sell to management.

The ability to talk about what works and why — and to back that talk up with proven, scientific evidence — is one of the best ways I know to gain more control in the approval process.

“It’s a fantastic course that helped me improve my writing and get it approved by the powers that be.”
— Karen Saari, copywriter, Madison Area Technical College
Karen Saari

Knowledge really is power: In this class, you’ll learn the relevant research you can use to support your ideas and sell your techniques to management.

4. Master new skills with practice and feedback …

I used to love being a writing coach — sort of a personal writing trainer — working 1-to-1 with writers and seeing their work get better and better and better with each draft.

“The piece I worked on at the workshop has improved measurably.”
— Scott Worden, manager, corporate communications & PR, Magna International
Scott Worden

But over the years, as my corporate and public training business has grown, I’ve had less and less time to work with individuals. A few years ago, I finally had to stop saying “Yes!” even to writers who were willing to pay my $750-an-hour fee to develop their biggest financial asset — their writing skills.

That’s why I love our Master Class practice sessions.

You’ll have a chance to master the techniques we discuss in class by editing and rewriting your own work. I’ll get to look over your shoulder and provide quick suggestions to improve your headlines, your leads, your message angle, your clarity.

“I loved receiving Ann’s individual attention; the one-on-one was super helpful!”
— Michelle Simon, media relations specialist, PBP Nation
Michelle Simon

Then — if you think my insights are valuable — you’ll have a chance to get a formal critique from the billion-dollar brain trust of professional communicators in the room. I always get new ideas in these sessions, and I’ve been teaching this stuff for 20 years!

To say that you’ll leave with a completely rewritten piece is an understatement.

BONUS: Plus, a few weeks after class, you’ll receive a compilation of everyone’s work, so you can steal approaches from and be inspired by your classmates’ progress, as well.

“Fantastic blend of teaching, real-life examples, group discussions, practice, and peer reviews.”
— Holly White, communications specialist, RETTEW
Holly White

I want in! But how do I convince my boss?

I’ll handle the boss. (Or I am the boss!) Just sign me up.

Don’t miss out: Save up to $300 — plus, earn a bonus worth $97 when you register early …

The persuasive writing Master Class runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 1-2 at the The Grant-Humphreys Mansion in Denver.

Catch Your Readers - Ann Wylie's persuasive-writing workshop on May 1-2, 2018 in Denver

Don’t miss out This is our fastest selling class this year, and most of the tickets are long gone. But you can still grab a seat if you act fast.

The fee for both days is just $1,195. (There are many ways to save, but you need to act now.)

That’s little more than I used to charge for an hour of my time for a one-on-one coaching session — and a fraction of the cost of bringing me to your company for a one-day workshop.

“The best writing course I’ve had in more than 20 years in the communications field.”
— Danice Wilson, director, communications, KBR
Danice Wilson

The sooner you book, the more you save.

You have my promise that the Master Class will be the best money you invest this year on your professional development. But here are five ways to get the most training for your investment:

  1. Save $100 when you register by Feb. 17.
  2. Save $100 if you’re a Rev Up Readership member. (Join Rev Up Readership.)
  3. Save $100 each when you bring two or more colleagues. Save $50 each when you bring one colleague. (Big group? If you have 10 or more colleagues who would benefit from training, let’s see whether a customized, in-house writing workshop makes more sense.)
  4. Save up to $450 on follow-up learning tools, subscriptions and coaching sessions when you upgrade to our Gold, Platinum and Diamond levels.
  5. Earn a free, 3-month subscription to Rev Up Readership — a $97 value — if you’re among the first 5 to register. SOLD OUT!
“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.”
— Carrie Behounek, marketing communications coordinator, COPIC Companies
Carrie Behounek

Read all the fine print.

Another reason it pays to be fast …

Our training room — an absolutely perfect facility for learning — is comfortable and convenient. However, it’s not huge. So I’m afraid the Master Class is strictly limited to the first 40 people who register.

Unfortunately, if yours is the 41st registration we receive, we’ll have to tell you we’re sorry, but we’re full. To avoid being disappointed, please register now.

Download a one-page summary.

Make 2018 your year …

Why not make 2018 the year you become the go-to person for catching readers in your organization?

The one who knows how to get readers to: 1) pay attention, 2) understand, 3) remember, so they can 4) act on your messages. The one who knows how to sell products, services, programs and ideas?

“Top notch! I would recommend it for any writer and only wish I had attended sooner.”
— Andrea Smith-Ruff, communication specialist, University of Michigan
Andrea Smith-Ruff

How would that change your year? How could that change your life?

Let’s find out! Join me for Catch Your Readers on May 1-2 in Denver. Register now.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Ann Wylie

Ann Wylie

Still have questions?
Here’s our FAQ
.

P.S.

So you can’t afford to enroll in this class? I received an email this morning from a writer who said she really needed this Master Class but couldn’t afford to attend.

Communicators! If you make your living writing, your writing skills are your No. 1 financial asset! Fail to invest in your skills today, and you certainly won’t be able to afford this class tomorrow. What’s your personal annual budget for investing your skills and success?

P.P.S.

Can I just order the video? Sorry, no videos on this one. No audio recordings. No e-book in the offing. No webinars at a later date. No materials I can send you if you can’t make it.

The only way to learn to Catch Your Readers is to be in Denver on May 1-2.

“One of the best career experiences I’ve had.”
— Scott Worden, manager, corporate communications & PR, Magna International
Scott Worden

Questions? Ann@WylieComm.com; 503-954-2289.