8 principles to transform your writing

8 principles to transform your writing

“I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English―it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don’t let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in.”

Wise words indeed from Mark Twain but when time is of the essence, it’s easier to scrap this discipline and type your thoughts straight onto the page. The result? A gush of thoughts which overwhelm your readers.

Regardless of whether you’re writing an email, a business proposal, annual report or marketing brochure, there are 8 common principles that can transform your writing:

1. Focus & meaning

What’s the single objective of this piece of writing? Want do you want your readers to do as a result of reading your content? Do you want them to say Yes to a proposal? Take action by sharing an article? Compel them to change their behaviour in some way or sign up to a cause? Meaningful content should inform, engage or influence.

2. Never forget your reader

Always write with your reader in mind. Have you made any assumptions on knowledge through use of acronyms or technical language? Will a reader who doesn’t have English as a first language understand the words or phrases you’ve used?

Imagine you are talking to your reader. Write sincerely, personally, in a style that is suitable and with the right tone of voice.

3. AIDA

Before you start jangling the keys on your keyboard, stop! Make a note of the points you want to make in a logical order.

It might be helpful to consider the AIDA model of marketing and the stages you want your audience to go through as they read your content: (more…)

Looking for funding? It all starts with your project idea…

Looking for funding? It all starts with your project idea…

There are numerous benefits in accessing grant funding:

  • Sharing risk and cost
  • Building new infrastructure and resources
  • Learning from new partners and using their expertise to improve skillsets in your team
  • Accessing new markets
  • Strengthening partnerships to open up opportunities for future collaborations
  • Establishing yourselves as market leaders or innovators
  • Raising your profile with future funders

But before you throw yourself into the application process, are you sure your organisation is ‘funding ready’?

5 questions to ask yourself from the outset

1. Are you appropriately resourced?

Funders will expect to see evidence of a well-run organisation with a clear direction of travel such as a business plan or strategy plus financial projections. They will also want to see how you expect to sustain the project after funding has ended.

Running a funded project takes sound organisation and planning.

As well as staff time to dedicate to the project, you will need tools in place to help you deliver. This can include suitable administration systems and timesheeting software. Teleconferencing tools are useful where you have multiple partners or where part of the project delivery relies on communication to large groups.

2. Do you inspire confidence?

Winners medal

 

Even the smallest of organisations are expected to have some sort of ‘physical evidence ’ (one of the 7 Ps of Marketing).  Potential funders will feel reassured if they can see your organisation has (more…)

30-step events checklist

30-step events checklist

Executed well and your delegates will use your event as the benchmark for all future events, marvelling at how well-organised it was, how motivational the speakers were and how thought-provoking the workshops. Executed poorly and your event will be added to the long list of dull and uninspiring conferences with the same tired presentations and format.

Make sure your event is remembered for all the right reasons with Yellow Bird’s helpful 30-step checklist:

Inception

1. Your ‘why’

What’s your single objective for running the event? To inform, engage, motivate? This is the single most important question to ask before you look at any other element of the event planning.

2. Who?

Who’s your target audience? Who you expect to attend should influence every part of early planning: where you hold it; when (weekday, weekend, daytime, evening); style of delivery; and format. Consider how you are going to inspire delegates to see this as a not-to-be-missed event. This starts with early communications to whet appetites, built around a strong and relevant event theme.

Planning

3. Project plan

Create a project plan (Excel is perfectly adequate for this) which outlines actions, dependencies, owners and timescales.

4. Project management

Appoint one overall project manager who can keep track on progress of all activities and who can keep all relevant stakeholders updated.

5. Event masterplan

Develop an event masterplan with staff and volunteers committed to specific tasks – media relations, ambassador coordination, printed material, presentations, signage, social media etc). (more…)

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