Author Archives: Phil Stella

I Don’t Get It – Voice Messaging Systems

Has this ever happened to you. After placing a call to a business, you hear … ‘Your call has been forwarded to an automated voice messaging system … 376 398-4008 is not available. At the tone, please leave a message … ‘ Read More »

‘Stellar’ Wisdom

Readers generally like ‘Quote-ables’ – the pearls of wisdom about communication I share from past generations, famous people and business leaders. But recently, a reader indicated she was also interested in what contemporary communication practitioners … like me … had to say based on our everyday experience. Read More »

Lots of Great Reads

Readers often indicate that they appreciate my regular listings here in BookShelf, but one asked for a comprehensive list. Great idea. Here you go …

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‘Phil’s Faves’ on Workplace Writing

Participants in my ‘Painless Workplace Writing’ workshops or presentations regularly hear me repeat simple phrases as a way to reinforce key learning points. So, here are some of my Faves to help you take a little pain out of writing at work: Read More »

Networking with ‘Uncommon Courtesy’

I used to refer to this concept as networking with ‘common courtesy’. But, just like ‘common sense’, this practice is anything but commonplace in the business world today. One of the fastest and smartest ways to make that best possible first impression when networking is both very simple and very easy. Just display ‘Uncommon Courtesy’ that clearly differentiates you from the pack of amateurs by: Read More »

‘Avoiding Dog & Pony Shows from Hell!’

My rant last month generated some lively and interesting comments. Always a good thing. Some readers asked for immediate help, which I provided privately. Others were content to wait until this month for the promised Best Practices’ … or ‘How to Avoid Dog & Pony Shows from Hell!’ Read More »

I Don’t Get It – Redundancies

Your Redundancies Are Laughable

We’ve gotten into some sloppy habits regarding redundancy. While this tendency may not be a major problem in verbal or written communication, it does waste words and the result is often amusing. Unless you’re a comedian, you probably don’t want people chuckling about what you say or write. So, here are some reminders.

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No BS About BS

‘Your Call Is Important To Us – the Truth About Bullsh*t’, Laura Penny, Random House, NY, 2005

I  picked up this book for the title and actually read it while traveling. An interesting study of the steaming piles of BS found in advertising, institutions and government.

20th Century Treasures

We can learn a lot about communicating from those who lived and worked in the 20th century.

‘The great thing about human language is that it prevents us from sticking to the matter at hand.’ John Maynard Keynes (1883 – 1946), British author and influential economist.

‘No one has a finer command of language than the person who keeps his mouth shut.’ Robert Benchley (1889 – 1945), American humorist, columnist and film actor.

‘Do not accustom yourself to use big words for little matters.’ Sam Rayburn (1882 – 1961), American politician and longest-serving Speaker of the House of Representatives.


 

How’s Your Greeting?

What kind of first impression do your customers and prospects get of your business when they get your Voice Mail greeting? Is it enthusiastic and professional? More important, is it concise and helpful?   Or, does you greeting sound more like this one? Read More »

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