Catch Your Readers in Dallas

Learn to move readers to act in this persuasive writing workshop

“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

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 fact, some of the standards in the corporate communicator’s repertoire are more likely to hinder than help your chances at getting the word out.

In this persuasive writing workshop, we’ll debunk destructive writing myths. You’ll 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 how to:

Save $100 when you register by March 25.


PRSA members: Earn 4 APR maintenance points!

Catch Your Readers: Ann Wylie's persuasive-writing workshop on Oct. 2-3, 2018 in Dallas

Dallas | Oct. 2-3, 2018

Save $100 when you register by March 25.


“Other writing coaches tell you what to do. Ann shows you how.”
— Roberta Laughlin, vice president, mutual funds marketing, Northern Trust

Think Like a Reader

To move people to act, give them what they really want

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.

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.

Hook ’Em With a Savvy Structure

Master a format that’s been proven in the lab to reach more 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.”

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.

Cut Through the Clutter

Make every piece you write measurably easier to read & understand

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 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.

Lift Ideas Off the Page

Draw readers in and reach nonreaders with display copy

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.

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.

Get a Writing That Sells Workout With Wylie

Take your message from ‘meh’ to masterpiece

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.

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.

Save $100 when you register by March 25.


“I thought it was a great way for a seasoned writer to rethink about my writing styles and continue to improve.”
– Bonita Tillman, manager, Corporate Communications, Nestle Purina PetCare

“Excellent. Worth your time away from work, because you’ll be a better – and smarter – writer when you get back. Ann focuses on real skills and has the data to back it up.”
– Mary Schumacher, director of communications, Saint Meinrad Archabbey

“I will highly recommend to all my colleagues! Even the most experienced writer has something to gain from this course.”
– Michelle Banks, public affairs specialist, Natural Resources Conservation Service

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

“I will share the info with my entire office. It was so applicable to our everyday work.”
– Nicki Donnelson, assistant director, University Communications, Missouri State

“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

“Every writer should take this class!”
– Ciji Taylor, public affairs specialist, USDA NRCS

“I loved receiving Ann’s individual attention, which was a great amount, but the one-on-one was super helpful!”
– Michelle Simon, media relations specialist, PBP Nation

“Nearly everything discussed was fresh or vital.”
– Michelle Simon, media relations specialist, PBP Nation

“Every press release I’ve ever written needs to be completely rewritten!”
– Jennifer Cole, public affairs specialist, USDA NRCS

LOVE IT! Ann is hilarious, interesting and very insightful.
– Zack Orsborn, senior marketing communication specialist, Morris Marketing Group

A thorough examination of the communication and grabbing attention.
– Eric Jones, social media analyst, St. Jude

“While someone might be hesitant to step away for 2 days, this course is chock-full of useful tips & applicable lessons. I highly recommend this course!”
– Brock Cartlidge, senior brand analyst, Toyota

“This is my second workshop with Ann, and I am continuously impressed with the valuable information which helps my day-to-day writing immensely.”
– Derrick Brown, media & public relations, Toyota Financial Services

“Absolutely amazing. I got more from this workshop than anticipated.”
– Janelle Pharris, senior analyst, Toyota

“The article I rewrote in Ann’s Catch Your Readers Master Class got nearly three times the average page views for our intranet home page stories. It was the second-most read story of 2016.”
– Michelle Esso, senior communications staff writer, Baker Law

“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

“The workshop was fantastic. I called my boss halfway through and told her our whole team needs to do this.”
– Brian Jacobson, public information officer, City of Roseville, CA

“Thoroughly researched and masterfully presented.”
– Aimee Thunberg, vice president, communications, Auburn Seminary

“I cannot believe the amount of information I learned and applied in two days. I know my pieces will improve significantly.”
– Nikki Santillana, communications coordinator, LuLaRoe

More participant comments

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

“Hands down the most valuable workshop I’ve ever attended. Although sitting and listening is not my strength, I was riveted the whole time.”
– Anne Bettesworth, policy analyst, Seattle Community Police Commission

“Fantastic. Among the most applicable, relevant, and engaging workshops I’ve ever attended.”
– Angela Kates, chief of staff, Virginia Tech

“Fantastic! Within 90 minutes I was applying the ideas Ann presented.”
– Jennifer Uschold, senior manager, internal communications, Direct Energy

“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

“Workshop was a good use of time to learn and polish communication skills. More beneficial than a conference!”

“Fantastic blend of teaching, real-life examples, group discussions, practice, and peer reviews.”

“Excellent! The best writing course I’ve had in more than 20 years in the communications field.

Ready to move readers to act with Writing That Sells?


Ann WylieAnn Wylie runs a training, editing and consulting firm called Wylie Communications. She works with communicators who want to reach more readers and with organizations that want to get the word out.

Her workshops take her from Hollywood to Helsinki. There, she helps clients at organizations like NASA, Nike and Nokia polish their skills and find new inspiration for their work.

Ann has earned more than 60 awards, including two IABC Gold Quills, for her communications. She is the author of more than a dozen learning tools that help people improve their communication skills, including, a toolbox for writers.

Learn more about Ann.

Location & accommodations

“Makes me want to go back and revise everything I’ve done in the past three years.”
— Blythe Campbell, director, communications and marketing, NANA Development Corp.


Dallas Arboretum

8525 Garland Rd,
Dallas, TX 75218

Directions, Maps and parking information.

Meet me in Dallas

Everything’s bigger in Dallas — a sprawling, modern metropolis that’s every inch Texan. So let’s grab the bull by the horns and head to the Big D for our October Catch Your Readers Master Class.

Meet me in Dallas

The Big D Grab the bull by the horn and join me in the Big D. Image by Daxis

Like me, you may be all hat, no cattle, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pick out a pair of shit kickers at Western Warehouse, enjoy a Niman Ranch Rib Eye — and a cigar! — at Knife and try your skills on the mechanical bull at Gilley’s.

But the home of the Cowboys is also sophisticated and urbane. I could spend a day (and I probably will) at the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Dallas Museum of Art, or Bishop Arts District, the Williamsburg of Texas.

Dallas is a road trip away from Canyon, whose spectacular rock formations dazzled Georgia O’Keefe; Marfa, whose artist community has made it a haven for hipsters; and Archer City, where Larry McMurtry wrote Lonesome Dove, Terms of Endearment and Brokeback Mountain.

Why not make a long weekend of it?

I, for one, will end my trip at Reunion Tower, where Wolfgang Puck’s revolving restaurant puts the Texas sky on the horizon and the Big D at my feet.

Maybe we’ll run into each other!


Daily schedule

8:15 a.m. Registration
9 a.m. Workshop begins
Noon Lunch
1 p.m. Workshop resumes
4 p.m. Workshop ends


Your ticket includes morning coffee and tea, lunch and afternoon refreshments.


“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
Save $100+
Save $300+
Save $700+
Training, lunches, workbook
$256 worth of learning tools for $100
$297 subscription to Rev Up Readership for $100 more
30-minute one-on-one phone consult with Ann ($500 value)


  • Save $100 when you register by March 25.
  • Save $100 if you’re a Rev Up Readership member. (Join Rev Up Readership.) Save $100 if you’re a PRSA member. (Join PRSA.) Click “Enter promotional code” and enter your promo code.
  • Save $100 each when you bring two or more colleagues. (Big group? If you have 10 or more colleagues who would benefit from training, contact Ann to schedule a customized, in-house writing workshop.)
  • Save $50 each when you bring one colleague.

Payment policy

Your registration is not complete until you have paid in full. If your company requires an invoice, please use either the printable invoice or the email confirmation you will receive. Both will include the details of the workshop, including the dates and the workshop fee.

Payment methods

You may pay by credit card or check.
Amex, Mastercard and VIsa credit cards accepted


Can’t make it?

  • Send a colleague. We’ll miss you! But please feel free to send a friend in your place. No charge for substitutions.
  • Transfer to a different Master Class. Choose one of our upcoming workshops. No charge to transfer.
  • Don’t cancel! But if you must, please cancel via email:
    • by Aug. 2, 2018, to receive a full refund, minus a 20% handling fee.
    • by Sept. 2, 2018, to receive a 75% refund.
    • Sorry, no refunds after Sept. 2, 2018.

Course cancellations

We reserve the right to cancel workshops. If we do, we will apply your registration fee to another workshop or refund your fee. But we will not be responsible for any additional costs you have incurred, such as airfare or travel expenses.


You’ll receive confirmation of your registration by email. Please white-list and to make sure you receive your registration materials. If they don’t arrive within an hour of your registration, please contact us directly.

Don’t miss your chance.

Our Master Classes sell out quickly. If you’re interested in attending, please act now.


Frequently asked questions

May I pay by check or purchase order?

Yes, please contact us at Let us know how many and what type of tickets you need, attendee details and your preferred payment method. We will issue an invoice or purchase order if you need one.

Do you offer any discounts?

We have no doubt that the Master Class will be the best money you invest this year on your professional development. But here are six ways to reduce that investment or boost your return on it:

  • Save $100 when you register by March 25.
  • Save $100 if you’re a Rev Up Readership member. (Join Rev Up Readership.) Save $100 if you’re a PRSA member. (Join PRSA.) Click “Enter promotional code” and enter your promo code.
  • Save $100 each when you bring two or more colleagues. (Big group? If you have 10 or more colleagues who would benefit from training, contact Ann to schedule a customized, in-house writing workshop.)
  • Save $50 each when you bring one colleague.

I booked my ticket without applying the discount code. Or I received the code after booking the ticket. Can I get a refund for the discount?

Sorry, but you need to apply the discount code when you purchase. We are not able to apply discounts after the fact.

I booked my individual ticket, and now I’m bringing colleagues.

Can I still get the group discount? Please email us, and we’ll send you a special discount code your colleagues can apply to get the discount.

Should I bring a laptop?

Yes, please bring one. You’ll need it to edit your work and get feedback from your peers and Ann.

Should I bring my writing sample to the workshop?

Yes, please bring your writing samples to the workshop. You’ll write, rewrite and edit and leave with a totally rewritten piece.

How do I contact you?

Please email us at

May I update my registration information?

Yes. Please go to Eventbrite and update your registration information and dietary information.

Should I bring my printed ticket to the workshop?

Yes, please bring a copy of the ticket to the workshop.

What is the dress code for the workshop

Business casual.

Do you accommodate special dietary preferences?

Please specify your dietary preference when you register.

Can you you accommodate special needs (accessibility, nursing mothers, etc.)?

Yes, we will do everything we can to accommodate your request. Please contact us by email and let us know what you need.

Will you sell my personal information?

No. We never share personal information with other companies.

Do you have any advice on what to tell my boss about why I should attend this writing workshop?

Here is a draft letter that you can use to help convince your boss. Also attached is a one page fact-sheet about our workshop.

Save $100 when you register by March 25.

Register now

Questions?; +1 (503) 954-2289.

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  • Discover proven-in-the-lab writing techniques