Writing clear, uncluttered sentences has become an increasingly important job-getting and job-keeping skills in these troubled economic times. I teach students and business people of all ages how to think and organize their thoughts before they write a sentence. I learned these skills during eight years working as a copywriter, copy supervisor and TV producer at national ad agencies (Ogilvy & Mather, Inc. and Gardner Advertising) serving accounts that included American Express, IBM, KLM Airlines and the United States Travel Service.
As consumer editor of Travel Holiday magazine, I wrote dozens of feature stories and worked endlessly with writers to help them clarify their thinking and their stories. When creating the American Express Cardmember Newsletter, I interviewed sixty of America's most successful people - including Walter Cronkite, Bill Moyers, Mickey Mantle, Robert Ludlum and Julia Child. I learned how to speak and think on my feet as a contributor to CBS Morning News.
I teach by providing role model resumes, articles and business reports, asking students to use "reverse engineering" to divide these into introductions, supporting ideas, and conclusions. Then use these same techniques in their own writing. That's how many great writers learned to write their first articles and books. I teach students in person or on the internet, combining humor with candor.
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