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Write to Influence - Quick Guides for Managers [Paperback]

Michel Theriault
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Nov. 1 2012
Writing is about more than conveying information. It's about influencing someone to follow directions, agree with your position, take action or approve your business case. Take what you think you know about writing in your job and turn it on its head. You probably thought it was about being clear and concise so the recipient would understand it. If so, you'd be wrong. If you want to be successful, you need to think about your writing differently - What it's really about is influencing others. You probably learned in high school or college English classes all about how to write, but they rarely focus on how to communicate, much less influence with your communications. Business communications in college is often more about formatting letters, the traditional headings to use' formal structure, numbering, using appendices, numbering, creating technical documents and more. What it doesn't prepare you for is how to use your business writing to influence others, a key skill to being successful manager and climbing the corporate ladder. And, it's not a lot of help in the high tech, fast paced communications world we live in today and communication is simply about conveying information. In fact, the important part of communication isn't just about conveying information, it's making sure the information you convey delivers the results you need. Think about what you write in your job. Do you write procedures? If so, you shouldn't simply want people to understand them, you want them to follow them. That's influence. If you write business cases, you don't want to lay out a clear, logical argument; you want the reader to give you approval - that's influence. If you write letters and emails, it isn't about being readable, with good grammar and accurate spelling. If you think about it, you are always trying to get someone to do something, whether it's agree with you, approve something, or do what you want. Few managers are well equipped for this shift in what writing mean, partly because of what we've been taught in school about writing and the way communication has been defined for us in the past. The first step is to know what you want, then craft your written communication not only to convey information, you need to make sure it influence others. This book gives you the techniques you need to change your writing from simply conveying information to influencing others.

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By Grady Harp TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
Michel Theriault brings to our attention the lost art of writing. Not the kind of writing that is found in novels, poetry, plays, or other forms of literature, but the importance of writing within the context of our job. He is erudite, understands language and rules of grammar and of etiquette, keenly knows how to communicate what we intend /want/need to relate in the written form of our job. As he states, `The reality is that no matter how good you are at your job and how much you know about doing it well, those who communicate their management prowess through the written word and influence others will be more successful than those who don't--or can't. To reach your full management potential, you must be able to communicate well via the written word and achieve results by influencing with those words.

The book is divided into two parts:
PART 1 -­‐ FOUNDATIONS
The first part of this book focuses on techniques and approaches managers can use to improve their written communications to influence others. WRITE TO INFLUENCE, TECHNIQUES THAT INFLUENCE, LOOKS MATTER, THE MECHANICS OF WRITING, THE POWER SYSTEM FOR WRITING
PART 2 -­‐ APPLICATION
This part introduces five specific things managers often write to influence others. For each one, there are specific ideas, samples and issues regarding what each of these five forms needs to be effective, drawing on the techniques in Part 1.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Addressing your writing skills to say what you mean, get what you want April 28 2014
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Michel Theriault brings to our attention the lost art of writing. Not the kind of writing that is found in novels, poetry, plays, or other forms of literature, but the importance of writing within the context of our job. He is erudite, understands language and rules of grammar and of etiquette, keenly knows how to communicate what we intend /want/need to relate in the written form of our job. As he states, `The reality is that no matter how good you are at your job and how much you know about doing it well, those who communicate their management prowess through the written word and influence others will be more successful than those who don't--or can't. To reach your full management potential, you must be able to communicate well via the written word and achieve results by influencing with those words.

The book is divided into two parts:
PART 1 -­‐ FOUNDATIONS
The first part of this book focuses on techniques and approaches managers can use to improve their written communications to influence others. WRITE TO INFLUENCE, TECHNIQUES THAT INFLUENCE, LOOKS MATTER, THE MECHANICS OF WRITING, THE POWER SYSTEM FOR WRITING
PART 2 -­‐ APPLICATION
This part introduces five specific things managers often write to influence others. For each one, there are specific ideas, samples and issues regarding what each of these five forms needs to be effective, drawing on the techniques in Part 1. WRITING MEMOS, LETTERS AND POSTINGS, WRITING EMAILS, WRITING BUSINESS CASES, WRITING ARTICLES OR NEWSLETTERS, WRITING PROCEDURES

An example of how he proposes to facilitate the changes in our writing follows:
PREPARE
Establish the purpose, Create your SOCO (Single Overriding Communication Objective) if relevant, Analyze the audience, Decide on messaging, themes, hot buttons, facts, evidence and arguments, Collect your facts and supporting information, including images, samples, examples, etc., Create compelling arguments.
OUTLINE
Develop the overall structure and flow of your document, Define the headings and subheadings that will cover all the information you need to include, Identify the important information that needs to be highlighted, Establish where tables, illustrations, bullet lists, etc., need to support your message.
WRITE/WAIT
Use the outline to start filling in the information and writing the material, Don't initially self edit, First get all your information down on paper, Periodically go back and compare your material with the original message and your outline, Wait or move on to another section, leaving at least a full day before coming back to edit what you've written,
EDIT
Read your original writing from top to bottom, Do a rough edit on content, structure and format, be brutal. Don't be afraid to delete material that doesn't matter. Copy deletions to another document if it makes you more comfortable --just in case, Do a final edit and then check style and spelling, have someone else review your text and give you feedback, Edit again.
REVIEW
Reread your newly-­‐‑edited material. Be critical, Compare your text with your original purpose, SOCOs, themes and hot buttons Edit again if necessary.

Michel Theriault calls this a `Quick Guide' but for many, these aspects of the art of writing have never been approached. Plan on spending quality time with this important book. It will change the way you deal with communication in the written form. Grady Harp, April 14
5.0 out of 5 stars Improve Your Writing – Increase Your Influence June 3 2014
By John Chancellor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In this book there is a quote from Rudyard Kipling, “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” It does not require too much thought to conclude that Kipling was correct. Words are very powerful – they are used to win friendship, love, business, jobs, political campaigns and unfortunately start wars. Words are indeed very powerful. But when it comes to putting words on paper (or the computer screen) we often fail to consider the influence – either positive or negative – our words may have. Too often we are simply writing to inform rather than influence

Michel Theriault, author of Write to Influence, has used to power of words to help you have the maximum influence when you write. According to Mr. Theriault, “… it’s more important to know what you are communicating, why you are communicating, the result you are anticipating and how best to influence your reader to achieve your objectives.” We should be writing to get results – to influence.

When it comes to writing, unfortunately our high school or college English instructor still has a profound influence on how we write. While we must be concerned with spelling and grammar, that is not what has the most impact on the influence of our writing. We need to be more strategic about the results we wish to gain from our communication.

In Part 1 of the book, Mr. Theriault gives the foundation for writing for influence. In Part 2, he gives specific applications. The specific applications are by topic, memos, letters and postings, email, business cases, articles and procedures. The examples in Part 2 serve as a template you can use to improve your writing for influence.

One of the most useful techniques provided is POWER writing. That stands for Prepare, Outline, Write/Wait, Edit and Review. He then gives a detailed outline on the points covered in POWER writing. To me, this outline was one of the most helpful sections of the book.

We are all writing more and more in our communication with others. If we want to get ahead, we need to be writing to influence others. To gain their trust, to influence their actions, to get results. The lessons in this book will certainly help you to become a more influential writer.

The book is one of a series of “Quick Guides for Managers”. It lives up to its name. It is concise and to the point. The information is well organized and presented in an easy to understand manner. There are many valuable tips and techniques that anyone can use to make their writing more influential.

I was provided a review copy of this book.
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