Learn to write copy that moves people to act
in this 2-day, hands-on writing 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?!) You 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
- Transform Your Story From “Meh” to Masterpiece: 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-$1,870 | Early-bird discount deadline:
Aug. 27 Sept. 27 – deadline extended!
“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
Transform Your Story From “Meh” to Masterpiece
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
About Ann Wylie
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 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 (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 D.C.
John F. Kennedy once called Washington, D.C., “a city of Northern charm and Southern efficiency.”
If Kennedy was right, a lot’s changed since then. D.C. is one of my favorite destinations: Easy enough to navigate that even I can get around (Northern efficiency). And it offers deep wells of Southern charm.
Best of all, the city is packed with spectacular art, theater and music — much of it free. Which is great, because you’ll want to conserve your budget for dinner.
Why not make a long weekend of it?
I, for one, will be winding down from our fall writing workshop by immersing myself in five centuries of news history at the Newseum; visiting one of just 10 da Vinci paintings in the world at the National Gallery; eating whatever José Andrés sets in front of me at Zaytinya; and catching “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” at the Folger Shakespeare Library.
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
Select your VIP level
- 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
Get more than $200 worth of learning tools for just $100:
- Everything at the Silver level
- More than $200 worth of learning tools:
- Think Like a Reader toolkit, a $127 value
- Cut Through the Clutter manual, a $49 value
- Get Good at Getting the Goods handbook, a $27.50 value
- Block Busters handbook, a $17.50 value
Get $297 worth of additional learning tools for just $100:
- Everything at the Gold level
- 12-month subscription to Rev Up Readership, a $297 value
Get follow-up support — plus an exclusive conversation with Ann:
- Everything at the Platinum level
- A 30-minute one-on-one phone consult with Ann after the workshop
Sorry: only 10 Diamond tickets available!
Save up to $300, earn bonuses.
- Save $100 when you register by
Aug. 27.Sept. 27 – deadline extended!
- 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, three-month Rev Up Readership subscription (or extension, if you’re already a member) — a $100 value — when you refer a friend.
|VIP Level||Non-member||Rev Up Readership or PRSA member|
|Single||Double||3 or more||Single||Double||3 or more|
|Silver||Before Sept. 27||$1,095||$1,045||$995||$995||$945||$895|
|After Sept. 27||$1,195||$1,145||$1,095||$1,095||$1,045||$995|
|Gold||Before Sept. 27||$1,195||$1,145||$1,095||$1,095||$1,045||$995|
|After Sept. 27||$1,295||$1,245||$1,195||$1,195||$1,145||$1,095|
|Platinum||Before Sept. 27||$1,295||$1,245||$1,195||$1,195||$1,145||$1,095|
|After Sept. 27||$1,395||$1,345||$1,295||$1,295||$1,245||$1,195|
|Diamond||Before Sept. 27||$1,770||$1,720||$1,670||$1,670||$1,620||$1,570|
|After Sept. 27||$1,870||$1,820||$1,770||$1,770||$1,720||$1,670|
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Aug. 15 to receive a full refund, minus $50 handling fee
- By Sept. 15 to receive a 75% refund.
- Sorry, no refunds after Sept. 15.
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
“Fantastic! Within 90 minutes I was applying the ideas Ann presented.”
— Jennifer Uschold, senior manager, Internal Communications, Direct Energy
Executive Conference Center
Arlington, VA 22202
“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
- Hilton Crystal City at Washington Reagan National Airport
- Radisson Hotel Reagan National Airport
- Holiday Inn National Airport/Crystal City
- Crystal City Marriott at Reagan National Airport
- Hampton Inn & Suites Reagan National Airport
- Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel
- Hyatt Regency Crystal City
- Residence Inn Arlington Capital View
- The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City
- Courtyard Arlington Crystal City/Reagan National Airport
You can also view these hotels on our Pinterest map.
Please contact hotels directly for room rates and booking.
“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