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Quick tip: Use AI for tech support

robot hand making fist bump with human hand

Quick tip: Use AI for tech support DO YOU EVER HAVE SOFTWARE HEADACHES? Or some new gadget you’re trying to figure out? I know I do. But any writer working from a home office doesn’t have any IT team to call. When we need tech support, we’re often stuck. We can try: Combing through online…

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Quick tip: Get to the point

stressed-out B2B prospect rubbing his tired eyes

Did you hesitate before clicking on this tip? Even though it’s labeled “quick”? Then you know just how your white paper readers feel. No one is waiting on the edge of their chair for your white paper to arrive. B2B prospects are busy! They have: Too much to read Too much to think about Too…

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Quick tip: Shun the TIONs!

2 bowls of rice to show short verb + tion = puffed-up noun

2.5 minute read. 3.5 minute listen.  I see them all across the nation, to my total consternation: puffed-up words that end in TION. Too many people play this game of word puffery. You just add TION to any verb, and “poof!” it turns into a noun.  But in my book, that’s going in the wrong…

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Quick tip: Here’s how to handle LSD

yellow blue capsule with numbers inside

No, this isn’t advice on avoiding bad trips. This is about writing numbers clearly, using the notion of the Least Significant Digit (LSD). 3 minute read. Y minute listen.   One of my pet peeves is false precision: numbers that suggest more accuracy than they can possibly convey. For example, say you drive to a…

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Quick tip: 3 steps to a stronger title [with example]

bride in white wedding dress holding red roses

The title is the single most important line in your white paper. A good title gets your paper noticed. A poor title gets it ignored. That’s why much of the success of a white paper depends on your title. But many writers struggle with titles. So here’s a step-by-step process that makes writing your title…

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Quick tip: Don’t say “once every xx seconds…”

Woman sitting alone with stat on 1 suicide every 40 seconds

I’ve been researching suicide lately. Don’t worry; I’m not thinking about doing myself in. It’s for a fictional story I’m working on. In my research, I encountered a statistic that always bugs me. Here it is, from no less than the World Health Organization: Suicide: one person dies every 40 seconds1 What a shocker, right?…

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Quick tip: Here’s a great little book on statistics

So far, I’ve posted two quick tips on how to avoid shoddy statistics. Both articles included examples from the real world. You can see those here: Don’t use numbers out of context Don’t say “once every xx seconds…” So how about some positive tips on how to use numbers properly? If you’re interested in how…

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Quick tip: Understand the audience for your white paper

groups of colleagues all put their hands in to signify understanding

Comedians know it. Politicians know it. And white paper writers must know it, too. The first key to success is to understand your audience. “Understanding your audience will help you write the content they need in the words and the way they need it,” says industry veteran Ginny Redish in her excellent book, Letting Go…

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Quick tip: To find the gem, wash away the muck

A tiny piece of emerald on a miner's fingertip

One problem I often see in white papers is over-long quotes from sources. Lengthy quotes can easily slow down your narrative and distract from the point you’re trying to make. If you see a quote that runs two or three paragraphs long, you can be pretty sure the writer included too much. Your goal as…

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Quick tip: 6 easy hacks for ChatGPT [with sample prompts]

junior associate with ChatGPT logo for head

After using ChatGPT for a time, we all tend to learn a few  hacks that give better results. So here’s a quick roundup of six easy ways to pump up your prompts. The first three are commonplace tips you may have heard before. The last three are strange “emotional engineering” tips to push the AI…

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