Jon Moon

Clarity and Impact

Past emails

Below are some emails from the last few years (I've removed stuff that's no longer relevant, e.g. Course dates). Over time, I'll add more. Most can be read in less than five minutes.

A warning: for many topics, these free emails don't give all the answers, because a two-page email isn't long enough to answer all questions, consider all scenarios, address all concerns. 

However, for my 310-page book is long enough. Click here to buy it, it's got loads more in it. 

 

The 2020 series on communicating
1: Introducing the series; popping myths
2: Persuading
3: More on persuading
4: Ever read something, but can't answer questions on it after?
5:...part 4 (cont) - and how to improve pitches
6: One key message (plus something for 'decks')

  

Board packs: are yours too big? Too rubbish
These look at templates that prescribe content, not format.
Part 1 - why templates often make Board packs worse
Part 2 - how to avoid problems that templates create

 

Trendy topics you should mostly avoid
Icons - why most are pointless 
Infographics - why you should eschew them
Word Clouds - why they're rubbish... and what to do instead
Story-Telling - often just a bit of a power trip for bosses
Auto-shapes - how to look clever even if you've nowt to say
'Ted talk' books - read them with much scepticism

Also, this shows how the UK Covid briefings' slides got trendy

 

Decks (reports written in PowerPoint and emailed to people)
May '21, my emails started a series on decks. Here's the first.
Decks' identity crisis (or: avoid truncated English)

 

Using the right words; editing, etc
Several of these appeared as two-parters over two months.

Making writing more human (1) - use verbs, not nouns
Making writing more human (2) - a great wee word to use

Abbreviations - HTAGWT (How To Avoid Grief With Them)
Abbreviations - more, including a staggeringly bad acronym
Jargon (use the business's jargon, not the jargon of business)

     
Other:
Struggling to grasp a paragraph? 'Non-linearity'...
Grammar (& Van Halen & Spinal Tap) - a very popular email 
Adjectives - why most are bad or pointless
Hard-core editing - when every word counts

 

Structuring written work - what to put and where, etc
The first 30 seconds of your report
Objectives - why they often hinder
Great writing that files in the face of perceived wisdom
Pushing on closed doors

Rolling out new-look reports - and get past trouble-makers too 

 

Showing numbers: tables, graphs, RAGS, etc
The first of these two has numerous tips for decent tables too.
Part 1 - results over time, i.e. trends
Part 2 - results at a point in time, e.g. a survey

Also on numbers:
Rounding numbers - different ways to do it
Red-Amber-Green reports - why most are bad (pdf)
Finally on this topic, a 1980s video - click, read, watch... it's fun

 

Presenting (more to be added soon)
Slide myths ("how many people does it take to do slides?")

 

The UK Govt Covid-19 Daily TV Briefings
(And fear not, I don't take political pops.)
What the Briefings lack... thankfully
Graphs: tips from Briefings - formats, typography
Graphs: tips from Briefings - comparing across countries
What happened to slides in May 2020? 
Conveying comparability

 

Not got much time? Quick sundry stuff  
Clarity versus accuracy - and lawyers and gibberish
Clarity versus brevity - or: why brevity is over-rated
Fonts, double spaces - and numbers, Spotify, fraud, film scripts
Review of 2017: is work becoming even more ironic?

 

 

And if you get this far: anyone that wants to buy my business? 

 

PS The UK Legal Ombudsman... soon, I'll be posting some cautionary comments about them. Until then, if you're thinking of appealing to them, contact me - I might just save you a lot of wasted time. Jon, Feb 2021