The Writing Edge for Business Writers: 12/16/16

Dec 16, 2016 | Reading Lists

You’re a businessperson. You may not think of yourself as a writer, but you know that writing well can boost your results and your career. Naturally, you want to do better. Every week I point you to articles and blog posts that I think will teach you something or spark an idea or two. Some weeks there are more pointers than others.

This week I’m pointing you to pieces on rhythm and choosing your words carefully.

From Saga Briggs: What Else Can We Teach Through Rhythm?

“Rhythm is inextricably tied to language. The human heartbeat shares a time signature with one of the most universal linguistic patterns known to man, the iambic meter (‘Shall-I com-PARE thee-TO a-SUM mer’s-DAY?’). Speechwriters frequently use rhythm to their advantage, hoping to stir listeners with a specific cadence or tempo. Numerous studies over the past decade have shown that music and language engage similar parts of the brain. Even more remarkable, neuroscientists now know rhythm and music are related to grammar in particular, a finding which may have significant implications for those of us looking to hone our writing skills. Imagine, for example, being able to train ourselves to ‘hear’ when a sentence needs a semi-colon by picking up the fiddle. The latest research suggests not only that we can, but that doing so probably comes more naturally to us than diagramming sentences and memorising parts of speech.”

From Anett Grant: Want To Be A Better Speaker? Choose Your Words Less Carefully

“But while word choice can project gravitas, it doesn’t always. It’s hardly just by using sophisticated words that you’ll project sophistication. In fact, overfixating on your words can actually make you stumble. More often than not, becoming a more powerful speaker demands the reverse: Focus less on precisely what you’re going to say, and worry about a few of the subtler fundamentals instead. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind.”

Thanks to Smartbrief on Leadership for pointing me to this story

Sources I Check Regularly

I find the posts and articles that I share with you on The Writing Edge in many places. But there are a few that provide insightful pieces again and again. Here they are.

Frances Caballo

Jane Friedman

Joel Friedlander

Joanna Penn

Melissa G. Wilson

Men with Pens

Merce Cardus


Becky Robinson’s Weaving Influence