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Real Words that Work - How engaging is your writing?

How engaging is your writing?

How would you react to the following invitation I recently received? 

"I am looking to network with innovative leaders whose organizations have invested in their human 'assets' by implementing a multitude of performance enhancements.” 

If you immediately decided you wanted to keep a good, safe kilometre or two between you and someone who describes people as human “assets,” then neither of us will cross paths with this seeker of networks.

Use real, warm words if you want to engage readers, not cold abstract terms with no hint of humanity.

I’d like to connect with leaders who believe in the value of training and rewarding their employees. 

At least, I think that’s what the writer meant. “Implementing a multitude of performance enhancements” could be read a dozen different ways. If readers can form a mental picture from your words, you have a chance of engaging them. Confuse them, and they will quickly hit the delete key.

Patricia Davies is an award-winning writer and editor, an Endorsed Education Provider with IIBA, and a regular panelist on the IIBA Communications Webinar (first Tuesday of every month). Have you got a writing question? Please email to and we’ll try to address it in a future column or Webinar.