Blog

3 April, 2017

Sticky tales—Tell a story to make ideas memorable

By Robert Garran  ‘A storm is brewing over spectacular Katherine Gorge about Aboriginal land rights.’ Back when I was a rookie journalist on the Age in the 1980s, I wrote an article that began something like that. I’ve forgotten the […]
31 March, 2017

Structure—A crucial ingredient of successful writing

By Robert Garran I’ve started reading an insightful book by Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times—called Easternisation: War and Peace in the Asian Century—that provides a great example of the importance of structure in driving compelling writing. The book starts […]
27 March, 2017

Changing 18C—Why knowing your environment could help

For some, the debate about changing free speech provisions of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 is a tenth-order issue. The Deputy Prime Minister, for example, has been quoted in Fairfax papers as saying, “It is definitely not the issue people are talking about […]
22 March, 2017

Focus in feedback: Don’t let feedback turn into a fight

In our courses on Giving and receiving feedback, we find that a lot of people don’t really understand the feedback process—what it is or how to do it properly. Feedback is an integral part of developing a team in an office. […]
22 March, 2017

Creating and nurturing a clear writing culture

These days everyone works as a writer. No matter their background or whether they work as a tinker, a tailor, a soldier or spy. Everyone writes as part of their job—be it emails, reports, business cases, decision briefs or proposals […]
19 February, 2017

Worst sentence ever

Ever wonder what’s behind the Ethos CRS magic? Here’s an example of how we deconstruct bad writing—and put it back together again. Take a look at this sentence: In determining the appropriate location, range and scale of suppliers to be […]
15 February, 2017

In terms of [sic] a clear speaking alert

‘In terms of the meeting, we made a number of important decisions.’ What’s wrong with this sentence? It’s active, complete, and properly punctuated…What could it be? ‘In terms of’ is one of the worst stock phrases in formal business writing. Its […]
7 February, 2017

The Magic of Trump

Donald Trump amazed us all and became President of the United States. You may, like us, be a little baffled by this but, when we delved into his communication and presentation style a bit deeper, we began to understand why […]
3 February, 2017

When negotiations go wrong

Photograph credit: The Mirror The phone call between US President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull offers us a unique and contemporary insight into negotiations. Was this a negotiation? What is a negotiation? Why do we negotiate? When […]
25 January, 2017

Elegant and clear legal writing: A miracle!

Well, colour us impressed! The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom released a press summary yesterday and by George, we got it! The writer presented complex information in Plain English without losing elegance in the writing style. Here at Ethos […]
25 January, 2017

Why you need a plain English editor

An article published on The Mandarin last month perfectly summarised why we think editing documents into plain English is so important. They write, “A plain English edit starts by analysing the audience for your document and evaluating how well the […]
23 January, 2017

The power of the pause

When giving a presentation, never underestimate the power of the pause. Silence is difficult, but it is invaluable in speech. It gives you time to collect your thoughts, and it gives your audience time to absorb what you’ve just said—and […]
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