November 2014  
UpWrite Press Writing eTips

Test Your Writing Acumen

Personal pronouns take one of three forms—nominative (sometimes called subjective), objective, or possessive. Picking the right form can be tricky. For each sentence below, decide which personal pronoun of the pair in parentheses is correct.

  1. Sam and (she, her) went to the movies yesterday.
  2. If anyone can clear up the mess, it’s (he, him).
  3. I saw Frank lecturing (he, him) after the meeting.
  4. The real winners of the case were Toby and (me, I).
  5. The black coffees are for Manny and (me, I).

You can check your answers at the end of this newsletter.

Creating an Effective Visual Presentation, Part 1: Planning

Visual presentations—whether for reports, sales, or entertainment—are a common part of business these days. Not surprisingly, writing plays an important role in preparing a presentation. This month, we will examine the planning stage.

To begin planning a presentation, you need to know three things:

  1. Your subject or topic
    Consider what you already know about the subject, what you still need to know, and where you can find that information as well as support materials.
  2. Your purpose
    Are you providing information, entertaining a group, or trying to persuade people to do or buy something?
  3. Your audience
    What do they already know, want to know, or need to know about the subject, and what is their attitude going in?

Once you have a clear picture of your topic, purpose, and audience, move on to the following planning activities:

First, draft an outline.
Make it as detailed as you wish. You may choose to use the outline during your presentation. Brainstorm the points you want to share and arrange them in an organized list.

Next, collect information.
Look for company documents, articles, and videos on your topic. Also do an Internet search. Examine these sources for the details you need to explain your main points, and insert the information into your outline.

Finally, consider support materials.
Look for visual aids that clarify your information, and mark in your outline where each will be used. Choose from the following types:

  • charts, tables, graphs
  • audio or video clips
  • photographs, drawings
  • live demonstrations
  • physical props
  • sample products

Preparing a presentation becomes less daunting when you make a plan and take it one step at a time.

You can find more information about creating an effective visual presentation beginning on page 215 in Write for Business: A Compact Guide to Writing and Communicating in the Workplace.

Trainer Tips

Providing training for your employees needn’t be an either/or choice between preparing in-house materials and purchasing them from an outside source. You can have materials customized for your specific use, usually at a reasonable cost; and the time you save can be used for other tasks.

For example, UpWrite Press offers a wide range of customizable lessons for everything from critical thinking to management writing. Visit to learn more.

That Little Extra

Don’t discount the effective use of social media in your business. The Web offers an abundance of social-media sites, many of which target specific audiences. Explore to find a few that are appropriate for your market and interests; then make your presence known in a friendly, helpful way. The right approach will establish your authority, present your brand to new viewers, and link back to your own site, expanding your market and increasing possible sales. Also remember that social-media sites are a great way to find out what your audience is thinking and what they need the most, allowing you to reach out and meet those needs.


November Writers' Forum Topic

Here’s your chance to tell us how your work environment operates. Send us your responses to the forum question below, and we’ll print the most interesting in our eTips Mid-Month Mini.

How has writing played an important role in your business? Share a watershed moment that defined that role.

Email your response to Write “November Writers’ Forum” in the subject line, and you could see your reply in the eTips Mid-Month Mini.

Answers to This Month’s Quiz

  1. Sam and (she, her) went to the movies yesterday.
    A nominative case pronoun is used as the subject.
  2. If anyone can clear up the mess, it’s (he, him).
    A nominative case pronoun is used as the subject complement—It is he.
  3. I saw Frank lecturing (he, him) after the meeting.
    An objective case pronoun serves as the direct object.
  4. The real winners of the case were Toby and (me, I).
    A nominative case pronoun serves as the subject complement.
  5. The black coffees are for Manny and (me, I).
    An objective case pronoun is used as the object of the preposition.

We Want to Hear from You!

This is your chance to be part of the UpWrite Press newsletters and blogs. What writing topics do you want to hear about? Have you any favorite communications tips you’d like to share? What words do you constantly mix up? Send us your ideas and you could see your name in Writing eTips or the Mid-Month Mini.

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Coming in December

Creating an Effective Visual Presentation, Part 2: Organization

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