Emily King, Senior Writer and Editor, Bluefruit Software A writer for a Lean-Agile, embedded software company, Emily King specialises in explaining complex technology and industry subjects and Lean-Agile practices for various audiences. Communicating through blogs, eBooks, whitepapers, comic strips, video scripts, social media and more, Emily’s experience spans marketing, sales, journalism, podcasting and internal communications. Emily’s been called a “One-Woman Multimedia Empire” and was once called a “genius” by film critic Mark Kermode.
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Unlearning how to write
School doesn’t teach us how to communicate through writing. And this hinders us for the rest of our lives. How? For those in English-speaking countries, our English, science and history classes worry about gerunds and Shakespeare, hypotheses and data, dates and names, with little focus on a crucial part of writing: communication. Without a focus on communication, school sets us up for failure when communicating at work or with our peers. Studying at university doesn’t help us either, with many degrees focusing on an academic way of writing that closes off ideas rather than opening them up. At work, this means that when we need to write something for our teams or stakeholders, there’s a huge temptation to start writing in a complex way. We do this by using either “business speak” or “academic language”. Writing long sentences and choosing verbose words are only some of the symptoms. Reaching for your keyboard first is another. Essay-long emails and Slack messages aren’t great when everyone is time-poor. They’re also not great when you need to put individuals and interactions first and invite collaboration. All too often, our writing habits break us away from being Agile. It’s time to unlearn how to write and relearn a new way that puts communication first. Find out what you can do to ensure that you are understood and that people are ready to act when you need to ask. And also when words won’t do (something writing tools like Grammarly or AI like ChatGPT won’t tell you).
- Learn how people read and what this means for communicating with them. - Break lousy writing habits and learn new ones you can start using today. - Understand how to tailor your writing to different people in different situations. - How to use your writing to spark the actions and collaboration you need. - Why wordy emails/instant messages are rarely the answer (and the alternatives, including just talking to people). - How to take inspiration from what you read. What you learn will be relevant whether you’re communicating inside a business or with clients or want to start a blog. Attendees will also get a cheat sheet of advice given during the talk.