Category Archives: Bits & Pieces

Whatever your profession, you also need to be a professional communicator. ETC is pleased to share these essential Bits & Pieces to help you polish those skills.

Verbs Beat Nouns

Here’s a Quickie Rant about Making Words Matter that might challenge some of your word use habits, like the one you carried over from those 500-word essay days in high school – Noun Phrases. Read More »

Typo Theory

I’ve been a professional writer my whole career. So, how embarrassing is it to have a careless typo in the very first sentence of last month’s eLetter! Even worse when an astute reader – and friend – called me on it within a few minutes of publication. Read More »

Learn From Fred

‘The Fred Factor’, Mark Sanborn, Doubleday, 2004.

A delightful and engaging tale about superior customer service, based on the actual simple practices of Fred, the author’s mail carrier. We can all learn a lot from Fred.

Creative Boxes

‘Thinking in New Boxes – five essential steps to spark the next big idea’, Luc De Brabandere & Alan Iny, Random House Audio, 2013.

A most interesting in-depth study of creativity and ideation urging readers to think differently … and in new boxes.

How’s Your Escalator Speech?

Regular ‘Communicate Confidently!’ readers may recall that I write … and rant … a lot about Elevator Speeches, the simple answer to the often-asked question ‘What do you?’ Sometimes maligned and often done poorly, Elevator Speeches are still a fact of life when you network. Read More »

Grammar Made Easy … & Fun

Are you having trouble learning grammar? Consider the topic boring and painful?

Let Weird Al help you with this great parody called ‘Word Crimes’ -

Now … grammar isn’t so painful after all, is it?

The Classic Greeks on Communication

“The beginning is the most important part of the work.” Plato, 428 BC – 348 BC, philosopher, mathematician & writer.

‘Language exerts hidden power, like a moon on the tides.’ Pindar, 522 BC – 443 BC,   lyric poet.

‘Language is the source of misunderstandings.’, Aeschylus, 525 BC – 456 BC,   playwright.

Mark Twain on Public Speaking

We can all learn so much about the art and science of public speaking from 19th century iconic American author, humorist and lecturer Mark Twain.

‘The difference between presentation and a great presentation is like the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.’

‘There are only two types of speakers in the world: The nervous and liars.’

‘It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.’

‘The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.”


Content Still Rules

‘Content Rules – how to create killer blogs, podcasts, videos, ebooks, webinars and more that engage customers and ignite your business’, Ann Handley & C.C. Chapman, Gilden Media Corp, 2011.

An excellent and detailed survey of content marketing concepts, strategies and tactics, read by both authors.

Phil’s PhonePower Faves

If you had attended on of my PhonePower workshops dealing with enhancing customer communication over the phone, you would have heard these ‘Phil’s Faves’ strategies often: Read More »

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