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Tips and Tricks about Presentations

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This post was written by
Scott Schwertly

Scott is the Founder and CEO of Ethos3.

Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” – Gene Fowler

Writing professional or presentation content can often leave you in a rut, giving you an extreme case of what we like to call “aaaah!” To remedy the case of the “aaaah,” we’ve come up with 33 general writing tips, all of which are social media friendly in 140 characters or less, even including the helpful URLs. Finally, we can all stop shouting.

1. When writing, leave out the unnecessary sentences and paragraphs that your readers will skim. @Guardian http://ethr.ee/1qoqKFN

 2. Give your writing a call to action. Never leave readers wondering what to do next. @LifeHackOrg http://ethr.ee/1nIqLpT

3. Avoid “buzzwords” and trending phrases. They will probably annoy your reader. @AMAnet http://ethr.ee/1qmSB9a

4. Recruit a friend to edit your writing. Even the best writers need the help of a second pair of eyes. @HoustonChron http://ethr.ee/1lWDhx7

5. Get to the point. Use short, declarative sentences when you write. @Forbes http://ethr.ee/1xzhmln

6. When writing and editing, be mindful of the four C’s: clear, concise, considerate, and correct. @AboutDotCom http://ethr.ee/1ldhyRz

7. Know your audience. Content suffers when it isn’t user-friendly. @SkillsYouNeed http://ethr.ee/1k7vDVo

8. “Give yourself permission to write badly. And just start.” @Buffer http://ethr.ee/1s5a4Fa

9. Avoid using “very” in your writing. It doesn’t add anything and “smacks of laziness.” @Inc http://ethr.ee/1xzjnOf

10. “Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.” – Ernest Hemingway @ThoughtCatalog http://ethr.ee/1nJWE1g

11. Good writing doesn’t come naturally, it has to be learned through practice. @BI_Advertising http://ethr.ee/XgLlna

12. If something doesn’t work in your writing, let it go. @LorenKleinman http://ethr.ee/1xB9zDz

13. “Multiple exclamation marks are a sure sign of a diseased mind.” – Terry Pratchett http://ethr.ee/1k7Zj4N

14. Write when you have an idea that feels genuine, important, and true. @TheAtlantic http://ethr.ee/1o5sYeq

15. Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said.” (It’s a mortal sin) @MrAdamTaylor http://ethr.ee/1rQICxk

16. “If a sentence doesn’t serve an important purpose, get rid of it.”@HarvardBiz http://ethr.ee/1pqiFS7

17. “Be your own editor/critic. Sympathetic but merciless!” – Joyce Carol Oates http://ethr.ee/1oMJl06

18. For more precise editing: “Throw out the red pens and retype your work.” @AnthonyFMarra http://ethr.ee/1s5d1G2

19. Be consistent. Use a kitchen timer to set a goal time for daily writing: start with half an hour. @BendolNickBooks http://ethr.ee/1s5d1G2

20. Craft the outline of your content first: the overview, main points, and conclusion. @HoustonChron http://ethr.ee/1lWDhx7

21. Enhance your written reputation. “Replace hyperbole with solid facts and reputable testimonials.” @AMAnet http://ethr.ee/1qmSB9a

22. Don’t just follow the classic “show, don’t tell.” Show AND tell in your writing. @NYTimes http://ethr.ee/1qoyiYU

23. Try these writing rituals before you begin: breathe deeply, visualize your goal, and give yourself an affirmation. http://ethr.ee/1s4qHkl

24.  “Lower your expectations. The happiest authors are the ones that don’t expect much.” – Seth Godin http://ethr.ee/1nTO5lA

25. “If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.” – Margaret Atwood http://ethr.ee/1obuc3p

26. List any questions your reader may have in order to meet their needs as you write. http://ethr.ee/1n395Qz

27.  Too many prepositions can weaken your writing. Avoid them when possible, especially after a verb. @Inc http://ethr.ee/1xzjnOf

28. Perfectionism when you write is a recipe for procrastination. @UofIllinoisCWS http://ethr.ee/XgQH1x

29. “If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie.” @HilaryMantel http://ethr.ee/1uIgRt1

30. Cut the unnecessary. Use the active, not passive voice when you write. @AboutDotCom http://ethr.ee/1ldhyRz

31. “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London http://ethr.ee/1lXXO4w

32. When it comes to professional writing, convey only one idea per paragraph. @HarvardBiz http://ethr.ee/1pqiFS7

33. “You get ideas when you write; you don’t just write down ideas.” @Chronicle http://ethr.ee/1n4hfZd

We hope that by the end of this list, you’ve cured your case of the writing “aaah’s!” Check back each Friday to see our complete list of 33 tips and tricks!

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