WOW eNewsletter

Vol 6 Iss 10 Oct 2011

Quote of the Month

“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, your ideas won't get you anywhere.”—Lee Iacocca

Communication Skills Are a Must for the Entrepreneur

We are now into October, and the holiday season is just around the corner. It is during this time that business owners will be ramping up their marketing efforts; letter and e-mail writing is in full gear.

Now is not the time to relax your writing skill, but rather to learn better how to write what you are trying to communicate to your readers. Once learned and applied you can use these skills in your oral communication too, and gain a modicum of respect that you would not have with your common spoken language.


How you communicate your point is as essential, or even more so, than your actual message. A quote that lends credence to the importance of careful communication is one I recently read by Mark Twain "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug."


For example, here's a tricky one. When you are trying to say that something caused you to act a certain way, do you say it affected me in an adverse manner, or it effected me in an adverse manner? I hope you said the primary rather than the latter. First of all, affect is always a verb. It means to bring on or cause a change, or to cause emotion, to provoke feelings (good or bad). It can also mean to adopt a false characteristic. While effect can be either a noun or a verb, as a noun, it means the result of something (cause and effect). E.g., unemployed workers are a direct effect of factory closures. But, when used as a verb, it means the same thing as the verb "effectuate", which means to bring about, to accomplish. E.g., when the government effected tax cuts, everyone received a larger paycheck. Pulling them together to make it even clearer to you, it could be stated this way, "We were all deeply affected when the government effected a tax increase." You can remember it easily the same way I do; effect is causative while affect is resultant.


Simple errors like this in communication are not only bad grammar, but can even end up communicating something totally different than what you intended. I have seen relationships severed and business lost on the weight of a single missing or wrong word. A misplaced or missing comma can change the whole meaning of a sentence. Even if you add a wink, or LOL, that may not be enough to ensure your communication is understood as you intended. So, be very careful what you say and how you say it. Another good rule to remember is, if you wouldn't write and sign it, don't say it.


When speaking or writing try to stay away from clichés. Sometimes, a saying you are used to hearing day-in-and-day-out may be never used and therefore not clear to your reader. Did you see that lazy way of writing in the last sentence? Would it not sound more professional to say, "Sometimes, a saying you are used to hearing daily may be unused by your reader?" Much shorter, to the point and without the "pat" cliché, don't you agree?


Now let's talk a bit about words that communicate in marketing. When you write an ad do you tell your listeners about the benefits of using your product or service, or do you talk about the features? What is in it for them is what they are looking for. So, why would you waste their time on the features of your product? Yes, the features are important, but it is the benefit that sells. There are plenty of examples that show the right and wrong way to write your next advertisement. Google is a good place to start.


Then there are the words that spur your reader/listener to take action. Do you use action verbs? If you do, you will increase your sales. Your audience needs to be told what action to take or they won't take any at all. Therefore, the next ad you write be sure to use words that evoke powerful thought and action. Most advertising that is professionally written contain at least one "power word" and one "action verb." Here's one I wrote recently to give you an idea of what I mean.


The art of public speaking has never before been so easily within your grasp as it is in the newly released book, Presentational Skills for the Next Generation by Ginger Marks. Discover the secret to spur your listeners to take action. Presentational Skills for the Next Generation, the ultimate guide for public speakers and those who want to be, reveals all this and more. Get your copy today at your local or on-line bookstore or directly from the author at That's G-I-N-G-E-R-M-A-R-K-S books dot com.


Does this ad excite you? It should if you ever wanted to be a public speaker. The key phrases used, in case you missed them are:

  • Art of
  • Easily within your grasp
  • Newly released
  • Discover
  • Secret
  • Ultimate guide
  • Reveals

Then, at the end I tell them exactly what to do and where to go to get their copy. Try using some of these key words and phrases in your next ad and see what happens.


Once you master the art of communication you will reap the rewards of success and avoid the pitfalls of poor grammar and lost revenues. If you need more help with developing your communication skills there are numerous communication coaches that can help you in this all important area. The one I turn to most often is Leadership Coach, Joe Yazbeck of Prestige Leader Development[1].


Joe offers this advice, "After 30 plus years coaching professionals and leaders in public speaking, I have come to determine that the most essential ingredient necessary to creating an effective and impactful presentation is the easiest and rewarding to achieve. That ingredient is an authentic self. A natural, expressive extroverted and interested person appearing, for any reason no matter the size of audience, is the surest way to attract an audience and hit your mark, regardless of your content.


I have never seen a synthetic, contrived personality make a successful speech or presentation. I always coach in the direction of sculpturing before me, through all the scenarios I coach my client through, the authentic, real individual fully there and expressing. I want my speakers shining like diamonds. It is a wonderful creative process of self-realization and unleashed, unrestrained freedom of expression.


That is stage presence! That is real charisma! That is exactly who the person really is appearing before you!"


The other coaches I have found to be well worth paying attention to are: Ali Brown of Ali International, LLC[2] and Felicia Slattery M. A. of Communication Transformation[3]. I assure you, both tops on my list. The key is to find one and learn from them. You'll be glad you did.


[1] Joe Yazbeck, Leadership & Media Coach

[2] Ali Brown, Founder and CEO,

[3] Felicia Slattery, MA, Communication Consultant


© Copyright 2011 Ginger Marks

Ginger Marks is the founder of the DocUmeant Family of Companies, We Make YOU Look GOOD! For more information, visit Her 2011 annual edition of Holiday Marketing Guide, Your business-marketing calendar of ideas is now available at


Tip of the Month

When you don't seem to be getting anywhere, take a break, get some fresh air. It will clear your mind and allow for new thoughts to flow.

Until next month...