Tuesday Tip: My Publisher’s advice about how to write like an expert…

19th February 2019

In my first draft of The Snowball Effect, I’d written:

“I think there are four steps to a great networking conversation”

And my editor – the wonderful Jenny Ng – gave me great feedback:

“Never say ‘I think’. Readers want authors to write with certainty”

So I edited it, so it now read:

“There are four steps to great networking conversation”

Much better.

Since then, I’ve become tuned-in to the phrase “I think”.

And you hear it all the time. For example, in interviews with politicians, when they feel safe, they don’t say it. But when they’re unsure, it often creeps in.

And in newspaper articles, when you read “I think” or “I understand that”, it’s possible that what follows is a guess/fabrication.

So review your own comms. Read a recent report. Listen to a recording of you giving a presentation/interview.

Do you use a phrase like this?

And, if so, I think you should remove “I think”.

No, strike that – you should remove it.

Action Point

Review a recent communication – particularly to someone important (boss, major customer etc). Ensure you sound as ‘expert’ as you want to.

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