Learn to write copy that moves people to act
in this 2-day, hands-on Master Class
“A semester’s worth of knowledge in a few hours.”
— Amy Kappler, communications specialist, Burgess and Niple
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 persuasive 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: Master a more effective structure
- Cut Through the Clutter: Make every piece you write measurably easier to read and understand
- Lift Your Ideas Off the Page Or Screen: Reach flippers and skimmers, increase readership
- Edit, write, repeat: Bring your laptop and a story to work on, write and rewrite, get and give feedback, and leave with a totally rewritten piece.
Fee: $895-$1,195 | Early-bird discount deadline:
Feb. 28 March 31
“Great step-by-step instructions on how to do it right.”
— Stacy Mayo, assistant account executive, Rhea + Kaiser
Think Like a Reader
Move readers to act
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
Go Beyond the Inverted Pyramid
Master the feature-style story structure
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
Make every piece you write 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 “the numbers” you need to measurably improve your copy’s readability. Specifically, 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
Lift Your Ideas Off the Page
Reach nonreaders and draw readers in with display copy
Sixty percent 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 percent of people read — but that many communicators drop
- Run a simple test on your copy to ensure that you lift your ideas off the page for flippers and skimmers
- Make your copy 47% more usable by adding a few simple elements
- Pass the Palm Test to make your copy more reader friendly
Edit, write, repeat
Leave with a totally rewritten piece
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. We’ll give you 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
- Get feedback with specific ideas you can use to improve your work immediately
- 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 improving your own work
“Other writing coaches tell you what to do.
Ann shows you how.”
— Roberta Laughlin, vice president, Mutual Funds Marketing, Northern Trust
Hi! I’m Ann Wylie. So why should you learn to Catch Your Readers 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 (IABC). 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 in join me at my two-day Catch Your Readers Master Class. I look forward to seeing you there!
“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.
Meet me in Chicago
I love you, Portland, but I’ve got to say, I think Chicago is the most beautiful city in the United States. You’ve got the history of 20th century architecture reflected in a glittering river. You’ve got buildings by two of my favorite Franks, Mssrs. Lloyd Wright and Gehry. And then there’s that magnificent ‘bean’!
Why not make a long weekend of it?
I, for one, will be winding down from the workshop by taking an architectural riverboat cruise, spending my retirement savings on The Magnificent Mile, catching the latest shows at Steppenwolf and Second City, eating whatever Rick Bayless sets in front of me at Topolobampo and ogling the Impressionists at “the best art museum in the world” (TripIt), the Chicago Art Institute.
Maybe we’ll run into each other!
“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
|Non-member||Rev Up Readership member|
|Single||Double||3 or more||Single||Double||3 or more|
- Two days of training
- Lunch each day (Please do let us know about your dietary issues and aversions when you register)
- Coffee and tea each morning
- Workbook for capturing your ideas and insights
Save up to $300, earn bonuses.
- Save $100 when you register by
Feb. 28March 31
- Save $100 if you’re a Rev Up Readership member. (Join Rev Up Readership.)
- Save $100 each when you bring two or more colleagues.
- Save $50 each when you bring one colleague.
- Earn a free, four-month Rev Up Readership subscription (or extension, if you’re already a member) — a $100 value — if you’re one of the first 20 to register.
- Earn a free, four-month Rev Up Readership subscription (or extension, if you’re already a member) — a $100 value — when you refer a friend. [Please choose either the subscription bonus OR the group discount.]
Do you have 10 or more colleagues who would benefit from training? Contact Ann to schedule a customized, in-house writing workshop.
Don’t miss your chance.
Our Master Classes sell out quickly. If you’re interested in attending, please act now.
You’ll receive confirmation of your registration by email. Please white-list Ann@WylieComm.com and email@example.com to make sure you receive your registration materials. If they don’t arrive within an hour of your registration, please contact us directly.
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 other 2015 workshops. No charge to transfer.
- Don’t cancel! But if you must, please cancel via email:
- By Feb. 28 to receive a full refund.
- By March 22 to receive a 75% refund.
- Sorry, no refunds after March 22.
What participants say about Ann’s Master Classes
“Mind and skill expanding! I didn’t know what I didn’t know!”
— Wendy Perkins, staff writer, San Diego Zoo Global
“Loved the ‘Catch Your Reader’ master class. Ann Wylie is hilarious and informative and I left the workshop with useable tips and tools.”
— Ramona Rene, Enterprise Communications, W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc.
“I felt stuck; re-purposing, rephrasing. This session gave me tools that will free my imagination.”
— Rosemary Gudelj, senior manager OCEO & P.A., Water.org
“I’m inspired — anxious to apply learning.”
— Allison Krieger, director of EVPMA Communications, University of Michigan Health System
“Wish my whole organization could attend!”
— Julia Thompson, communications manager, City of Portland BPS
“It was an incredible, fast-paced, comprehensive presentation of the biggest problems we face in the communications world today.”
— Colleen Dourney, fine wine communication specialist, E&J Gallo Winery
“Good tips and how-to’s for punching up your online content and getting the job done in fewer words.”
— Sara Stewart, account coordinator, Maxwell PR
— Kimberlee Jaynes, president, Kimberlee Jaynes Interior Design
— Laurel McJannet, online content specialist, Community Transit
“Love it all! I appreciate how your tips and suggestions are built on research.”
— Dayna Robbie, communications coordinator, College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba
“Both days provided excellent, thought-provoking tools for thinking like a reader to communicate better. I plan to go through all my notes and re-apply the ideas to my university communications right away. There’s a lot to apply!”
— Karen Mattox, assistant director, Communications, Midwestern University
“Amazing! I have learned more in this two-day class than I did in my two years Masters Program.”
— Rochelle Juette, communications specialist, Washington Closure Hanford
“Very informative and valuable information. You have mastered the presentation aspect and I’m amazed at your ability to ‘drop knowledge’ on a whim.”
— Brigitte Deterding, communication & change management consultant, Towers Watson
“Great! Very nicely organized with discussion following materials and retaining interest!”
— Robin Godfrey, Director, communications, Education & Development, First 5 Ventura County
“My toolbox is full. The best part: I know how and why to use each tool to write better, creative copy that engages my readers.”
— Tove Tupper, web & social media content manager, Highline Public Schools
“Awesome; truly good content and inspiration.”
— Lisa Cargill, senior account director, Desautel Hege Communications
“Loved the data, quotes, research that backed up Ann’s claims and tips. Helps build a case for what really works!”
— Meg Woolf, assistant director, Outreach Recruitment, Tacoma Community College
— Aaron Walburg, web content specialist, University of the Pacific
“Love it! Just what I needed! I love the tips and practical advice.”
— Shaughn Jarvis, marketing & communications manager, Growth & Strategy, Accenture
“Fantastic! I learned so much that I will share with my colleagues.”
— Molly Brush, communications specialist, Arizona State University
“Very informative and useful.”
— Karilynn Galiotos, digital content & social media coordinator, PetSmart Charities
“Love. Love. Love.”
— Brian Schultz, IT Communications, Progressive Insurance
“I really enjoyed the workshop – a great balance of structured approaches, creative ideas and wonderful quotes from many writers and researchers.”
— Patty Callahan, director, Employee Communications, Visa
“Very helpful! I appreciate sticking to an agenda but allowing for questions at any time.”
— Caleb Oar, senior communications consultant, Group Health Physicians
“There is a deal of information that makes you want to continue to listen and learn.”
— Carrie Bonney, director of media relations, Farmers Insurance
“Informative. All great take-a-ways … loved examples.”
— Michelle Woodard, industry communications content editor, Travel Oregon
“Both sessions were terrific – and it was smart to give online its own day.”
— James Sido, public relations manager, Downtown Seattle Association
Lewis Towers 6
111 E. Pearson St.
820 N. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL, 60611
“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
These hotels, at various price points, are within walking distance of our Master Class venue:
- Park Hyatt Chicago
- The Peninsula Chicago
- The Ritz-Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel)
- The Tremont Chicago Hotel
- Sofitel Chicago Water Tower
- MileNorth, A Chicago Hotel
- The Talbott Hotel
You can also view these hotels on our Pinterest map.
“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
Call us: 503/954-2289