October 17, 2017

Catch Your Readers in Las Vegas

Learn to write copy that moves people to act in this 2-day, hands-on 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’re not still married to the inverted pyramid, are you?!) 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:

PRSA members save $100 with coupon code PRSA17

Registration starts at 8 a.m. Class starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m.

Fee: $895-$1,795 | Early access ticket Sold out! Regular tickets available

Browse all public workshops.

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“Great step-by-step instructions on how to do it right.”
— Stacy Mayo, assistant account executive, Rhea + Kaiser

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.

If you want to reach readers, you need to write to and about your readers, not about “us and our stuff.”

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.

Go Beyond the Inverted Pyramid

Master a structure 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 research. 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.

In short, researchers say, inverted pyramids “do not work well with readers.”

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 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 to:

  • Apply a seven-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 the value of display copy. Display copy — headlines, captions and callouts, for instance — gets the biggest ROI of all the copy 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.

So why not put your messages where your readers really are: in the display copy?

In this session, you’ll learn how 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 workout with Wylie

Take your message from ‘meh’ to masterpiece when you practice your new skills on your own work

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. (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.

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“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 from me?

Ann Wylie

Get the word out Leave with proven-in-the-lab best practices for reaching readers at Ann Wylie’s Master Classes.

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 more than 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 in join me at my two-day Catch Your Readers Master Class. I look forward to seeing you there!

Register now


“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.

Meet me in Las Vegas

As a long-time lover of shiny objects — Aunt Ann was clearly a bird in a previous life — I find Las Vegas dazzling.

Meet me in Las Vegas

Bling it on! Deal me in for the shiny objects, entertainment and gateway to nature that is Las Vegas. Image by Greg Younger

From the blingy casinos to the Bellagio’s Chihuly glass ceiling to the glittery Strip (That pyramid! That Venetian Canal! That Eiffel Tower!) … Vegas, you can deal me in!

Hamilton won’t arrive in Vegas until after our Catch Your Readers workshop in March. But you can still catch a show by Rod Stewart, Blue Man Group or Cirque de Soleil. (Sign me up for Beatle’s Love!) Game of Thrones fans: Apparently there’s a GoT “Live Concert Experience.” I hope you’ll tell me all about it.

And talk about a dining dreamland. I can’t wait to check out Carson Kitchen, a tiny gem and home base of rock star chef Kerry Simon; La Comida, home to Mexican street food with a back-alley entrance; and Hash House a Go Go, a locals’ favorite breakfast spot.

Why not make a long weekend of it? Maybe a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon after class? A golf weekend at Lake Tahoe? As for me, I’ll wind down with a scooter tour of Red Rock Canyon — 13 miles of the most calming and beautiful sights nature has to offer. Tour operators pick you up at your Vegas hotel and drop you back there five hours later.

Maybe we’ll run into each other!

Register now


“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

Select your VIP level

  • Silver
  • $ 1,195
  • Two days of training
  • Lunch each day
  • Coffee and tea each morning
  • Workbook for capturing your ideas and insights
  • $221 worth of learning tools — Think Like a Reader, Cut Through the Clutter, Block Busters, Get Good at Getting the Goods.
  • 12-month subscription to Rev Up Readership (a $297 value).
  • A 30-minute one-on-one phone consult with Ann after the workshop (a $500 value). Get exclusive access to Ann.
  • Gold
  • $ 1,295
  • Save more than $100!
  • Two days of training
  • Lunch each day
  • Coffee and tea each morning
  • Workbook for capturing your ideas and insights
  • $221 worth of learning tools — Think Like a Reader, Cut Through the Clutter, Block Busters, Get Good at Getting the Goods.
  • 12-month subscription to Rev Up Readership (a $297 value).
  • A 30-minute one-on-one phone consult with Ann after the workshop (a $500 value). Get exclusive access to Ann.
  • Best value!
  • Platinum
  • $ 1,395
  • Save more than $300!
  • Two days of training
  • Lunch each day
  • Coffee and tea each morning
  • Workbook for capturing your ideas and insights
  • $221 worth of learning tools — Think Like a Reader, Cut Through the Clutter, Block Busters, Get Good at Getting the Goods.
  • 12-month subscription to Rev Up Readership (a $297 value).
  • A 30-minute one-on-one phone consult with Ann after the workshop (a $500 value). Get exclusive access to Ann.
  • Diamond
  • $ 1,795
  • Save more than $700!
  • Two days of training
  • Lunch each day
  • Coffee and tea each morning
  • Workbook for capturing your ideas and insights
  • $221 worth of learning tools — Think Like a Reader, Cut Through the Clutter, Block Busters, Get Good at Getting the Goods.
  • 12-month subscription to Rev Up Readership (a $297 value).
  • A 30-minute one-on-one phone consult with Ann after the workshop (a $500 value). Get exclusive access to Ann.

Sorry: only 10 Diamond tickets available!

Save up to $300, earn bonuses.

  • Save $100 – book one of the 20 early access tickets. Sold out!
  • Save $50 – book one of the 20 advanced admission tickets.
  • Save $100 if you’re a Rev Up Readership member (Join Rev Up Readership) or a PRSA member. PRSA members use discount code PRSA17.
  • Save $100 each when you bring two or more colleagues.
  • Save $50 each when you bring one colleague.
  • Earn a free, three-month Rev Up Readership subscription (or extension, if you’re already a member) — a $100 value — when you refer a friend who buys a ticket and attends the Master Class.

To summarize:

VIP Level Non-memberRev Up Readership or PRSA member
SingleDouble3 or moreSingleDouble3 or more
SilverAdvanced admission$1,145$1,095$1,045$1,045$995$945
Regular ticket$1,195$1,145$1,095$1,095$1,045$995
GoldAdvanced admission$1,245$1,195$1,145$1,145$1,095$1,045
Regular ticket$1,295$1,245$1,195$1,195$1,145$1,095
PlatinumAdvanced admission$1,345$1,295$1,245$1,245$1,195$1,145
Regular ticket$1,395$1,345$1,295$1,295$1,245$1,195
DiamondAdvanced admission$1,745$1,695$1,645$1,645$1,595$1,545
Regular ticket$1,795$1,745$1,695$1,695$1,645$1,595

Big group?

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 orders@eventbrite.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 upcoming workshops. No charge to transfer.
  • Don’t cancel! But if you must, please cancel via email:
    • by Jan. 22, to receive a full refund, minus a $50 handling fee.
    • by Feb. 22, to receive a 75% refund.
    • Sorry, no refunds after Feb. 22.

Register now



What grads say about Catch Your Readers

Rating: 4.8 – 157 reviews4.8-star rating


“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

“It’s fantastic. I’ve always been a strong writer, this workshop made me realize how I can become a strong PROFESSIONAL writer.”
– Elizabeth Beaver, communications specialist, San Diego Gas & Electric

“Fantastic. I’ll definitely be taking these concepts back to my organization.”
– Scott Miller, security communications specialist, Raytheon

“This was such a great workshop and I learned so much in 48 hours than I did for the past two years writing for my company.”
– Jeanina Miniano, strategic communications specialist, Maxim Healthcare Services

“Excellent training. This training will immediately help me in my job and save me time writing, organizing, and getting the word lifted off the page.”
– Craig Balben, public affairs representative, San Diego County Water Authority

“I loved it. Very engaging and 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

“Thoroughly researched and masterfully presented.”
– Aimee Thunberg, VP, Communications, Auburn Seminary

“EXCELLENT! I can put all information gained in this class to work right away in all my writing!”
– Susan Sanborn, director/curator, Toyota USA Automobile Museum

“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

“I thought it was excellent. Ann used the time well to give us a combo of teaching and practice time. I have a massive list of takeaways to bring to my agency that I think would improve many aspects of the way we communicate to our target audiences.”
– Amy Watson, copywriter, Verdin

“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

“Awesomeness! It exceeded my expectations and more. Ann is resourceful. She really knows her stuff.”
– Diana Meza, public affairs officer, Riverside Community College District

“I have never been so grateful to Clorox (other than hiring me) for giving me an opportunity like this. Once in a lifetime workshop. I’m a better writer than I was even at the beginning of the 2nd day.”
– Ashley Brolin, corporate communications specialist, The Clorox Company

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

“So great! In many ways it’s a reminder and validation of the things we know about writing, but have had beaten out of us by our bosses, and clients, and technical experts over the years.”
– Amy Resseguie, marketing and publicity specialist, City of Fort Collins

“It was really great. We talked about a lot but it was so interesting, useful and I have learned so much in a short time.”
– Jennifer Robinson, web producer, KPBS

“These are fresh ideas.”
– Kristie Garcia, communications specialist, New Mexico State University

“Ann’s teachings of feature story structure, cutting through the clutter and FABs/BAFs resonated with me. I know I’ll be taking all of her teaching materials to my job tomorrow.”
– Ashley Brolin, corporate communications specialist, The Clorox Company

“I’m no longer a content creator but an attention creator! Understanding story and feature structure is what I will work on. Super helpful and meaningful. Great examples and tips!”
– Jennifer Robinson, web producer, KPBS

“It was perfect.”
– Dan Earle, SAE, Arketi Group

“I never imagined there would be so much new information about writing, story structure and readers. I also appreciated it was all backed by research.”

“I wish I had attended this workshop years ago!”

“Hands down the most valuable workshop I’ve ever attended. Although sitting and listening is not my strength, I was riveted the whole time.”

“It was excellent. I had high expectations but the workshop surpassed them.”

“Fantastic. Among the most applicable, relevant, and engaging workshops I’ve ever attended.”

“It made me totally rethink the way I write, and I think the info will be top of mind the next time I sit down to write, as well as several years from now.”

“Fantastic and very useful for me. It helps make a non-writer a writer.”

“One last comment about the workshop and it’s the first time I can say this: Over the two-day workshop, I may have gotten tired, but I was never bored!”

“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 wish I had done this last year!”
— Steve Skalish, communications administrator, Vanguard


“It was great! It reinforced my vague feeling that most of us write in the formal, jargon-filled way we’ve been taught to do, but that we need to simplify and make our content livelier if we actually want anyone to read it.”
— Emily Whitfield, associate for global knowledge and communications, Chemonics


“Excellent – engagement, information, entertainment. Practice makes permanent – as long as you make the right choices, Ann steers your creative spirits on the right course.”
— Judy Overton, program manager, MD Anderson Cancer Center


“Excellent – wish I had attended years ago!”
— Christina Cox, senior copywriter, Saint-Gobain


“Helpful even for experienced professionals – especially those who supervise and want to bring back solid tips & techniques for others back in the office.”
— Karla Taylor, communications consultant, Karla Taylor Communications


“As a writer and communicator, I learned valuable techniques to draw in and really capture my reader. Ann’s real-life examples and mnemonic devices helped to create a meaningful and memorable writing workshop experience.”
— Dervela O’Brien, corporate communications specialist, Chubb Group of Insurance


“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)


Ann Wylie's writing workshops photo

Catch Your Readers Hundreds of communicators have learned to get the word out at Ann Wylie’s Master Classes.

Register now


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

Meet Vegas

233S 4th Street
Las Vegas, NV 89101

MEET Vegas

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“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

Hotels near the Master Class

Please contact hotels directly for room rates and booking.

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“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

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Wylie Communications
949 NW Overton, Ste. 1102
Portland, OR 97209

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Las Vegas
March 22-23
$895-$1,795: Discounts available

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Other locations

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