Friday, February 25, 2011

Interviews that bring copy to life

What I'll be doing next week for a client in Silicon Valley:

Interactive Writing Workshop for Web Professionals

· Two days, 4.5 hours each day with a 30-minute lunch break

· Workbook and cheat sheets included

Day One: “How to Bring Your Copy to Life”

Please bring three writing samples and a pen. If you wish, you may also use your laptop. You’ll self-diagnose your writing and choose your own improvements. You’ll do hands-on exercises and get useful answers to your on-the-spot questions.

Topics include:

1. Invigorating verbs

2. Info-chunking for the Web

3. Writing for the eye, not the ear

4. Meshing with [company]’s editorial guidelines

5. Sounding like [company] while still thinking for yourself

Day Two: “How to Make the Most of an Overly Busy Interviewee’s Time”

If possible, please bring writing samples that involve at least one live interview. (It’s OK to use the same documents from the day before.) Even if your job doesn’t require you to engage audiences, you’ll learn better ways to elicit information from colleagues. You’ll hear “war stories” from a veteran journalist and science writer, with emphasis on tips and tricks.

1. Know when to “drop your script” and go rogue

2. Create your own cheat sheet for emergencies

3. See samples written with and without live interviews

4. Get physical with non-verbal cues that keep people talking

5. Listen in a way that gets people to say the most interesting things

About Lauren Edwards, Writing Coach

A former reporter for The Associated Press, Lauren Edwards has successfully coached hundreds of professional communicators and engineers at companies including Intel, Yahoo and Google since August 2000. She customizes writing and critical thinking workshops for science- and technology-based companies in emerging markets. Topics include: finding news value, adding business context, creating compelling content and repurposing content for social media. Her Tweets and weekly blog offer results‐oriented tips on writing and editing. Lauren was a staff writer for The Associated Press in San Francisco, Fresno and Tokyo and a science writer for the Oakland Tribune and other dailies in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her international experience includes Peace Corps service in the Philippines and ambassadorial scholarships to live, work and study in Japan. She graduated with honors from the University of California, Berkeley, with a bachelor’s degree in the political economy of natural resources. You can reach Lauren at …