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Lean in - the power of writing your story

How people perceive you from written communications in all its forms. Gain advice for writing in the digital age and effective story writing.

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Lean in - the power of writing your story

  1. 1. Event Sponsor
  2. 2. The Power of Writing Your Story How people perceive you from written communications in all its forms Presented by Courtney Lachapelle & Denise Reed
  3. 3. Meet our expert John McWhorter, Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, linguist, published author and TED speaker. He is a regular columnist on language matters and race issues for Time and CNN and writes for the Wall Street Journal. McWhorter earned his PhD in linguistics from Stanford University in 1993 and is the author of The Power of Babel, Doing Our Own Thing, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue, The Language Hoax and most recently Words on the Move and Talking Back, Talking Black.
  4. 4. Lean In: Txtng is killing language. jk
  5. 5. Why your writing matters: Writing is the perception of who you are. Notice how our language has evolved through digital media according to John McWhorter. People are watching your level of: ● Seriousness for a topic ● Professionalism ● Education ● Ability to communicate Writing is not speaking! ● Proper grammar is important in ALL business communication. Business communication is everything from a social media post, email, business documents to a website or blog. ● Remember your social media posts are public consumption even in a private message.
  6. 6. The brand of you What you want to do to build your personal brand: ● Consider what you want to be known for doing. ● Think about where in the digital realm you can make connections and create a natural interactions for what’s important to you. ● Think about your “why.” ● Where do you want your career to go in the future?
  7. 7. The brand of you and how Where to start: ● Do more than preach, connect. ● Think about your point of view or what you want to be known for doing. Write it down so you’re clear about your goal and to project this message. ● Your “why” will help you determine where to start. ○ Consider one of the social media platforms that best meets your “why” concept. ● Check out all the options available in that platform to connect with other people. ○ A profile ○ A group ○ Events ○ Comment posts
  8. 8. Your digital story may get you referred Share your story in the top three social media platforms and here’s why: Social Platform Reason Why You Use it Facebook Personal connections may convert to business transactions. We do business with who we know, like and trust. Linkedin Welcome to business connections and professional networking with the opportunity to share your area of expertise. This is your resume on digital crack! Twitter Check out a “newsflash” in 140 characters of personal or professional comments.
  9. 9. Your written story Your written story will be recorded if you use digital media in any form. This is why it’s important to begin with writing basics: ● Grammar! Use it! ● Consider the power of your words. Use words like disgusting, eerie, phenomenal, horrific instead of good, bad, gross, weird. ● Use the elements of style. ● Have a point of view.
  10. 10. Grammar! Use it, quick overview! Make sure you use these words correctly: their/there/they’re lay/lie who/whom your/you’re sit/set toward/towards its/ it’s here/hear to/too affect/effect where/wear
  11. 11. Grammar! Use it, quick overview! Continued Use complete sentences- use this formula: Subject + Verb + Object Incomplete: The incredible traveling artist from Toronto. Complete: The incredible traveling artist from Toronto broke his leg. All lists need to be parallel- Not Parallel: Kids like singing, chatting, and to check their phones. Parallel: Kids like singing, chatting, and checking their phones.
  12. 12. Grammar! Use it, quick overview! Continued Adjectives vs. adverbs: People don’t run quick; they run quickly. The word quick is an adjective; quickly is an adverb. Make sure you’re using adverbs to modify verbs and adjectives to modify nouns. Passive voice isn’t wrong, but active sentences are often better: Passive: The bell was rung by zombies. Active: Zombies rang the bell.
  13. 13. Use semicolons correctly: Correct: Mary's dog is hyperactive; it won't stop barking or sit still. Incorrect: He lost his money at the slot machines; every single penny. Go back and edit all of your work with this handy checklist. Grammar! Use it, quick overview! Continued
  14. 14. Lean In: Beware of nominalizations (AKA zombie nouns) Don’t lose the power of your words! Check out the video below or click this link for blog post: Be a Better Writer in 15 minutes TED-Ed lessons on grammar and word choice.
  15. 15. Elements of Style Allegory - narrative form in which the characters are representative of some larger humanistic trait (i.e. greed, vanity, or bravery) and attempt to convey some larger lesson or meaning to life. Character - ● Protagonist - The character the story revolves around. ● Antagonist - A character or force that opposes the protagonist. ● Minor character - Often provides support and illuminates the protagonist. ● Static character - A character that remains the same. ● Dynamic character - A character that changes in some important way. ● Characterization - The choices an author makes to reveal a character’s personality, such as appearance, actions, dialogue, and motivations.
  16. 16. Elements of Style Continued Plot - the arrangement of ideas and/or incidents that make up a story: ● Foreshadowing - When the writer clues the reader in to something that will eventually occur in the story; it may be explicit (obvious) or implied (disguised). ● Suspense - The tension that the author uses to create a feeling of discomfort about the unknown. ● Conflict - Struggle between opposing forces. ● Exposition - Background information regarding the setting, characters, plot. ● Rising Action - The process the story follows as it builds to its main conflict. ● Crisis - A significant turning point in the story that determines how it must end. ● Resolution/Denouement - The way the story turns out.
  17. 17. Elements of Style Continued Setting - the place or location of the action. Imagery - the author’s attempt to create a mental picture (or reference point) in the mind of the reader. Diction - word choice that both conveys and emphasizes the meaning or theme of a poem through distinctions in sound, look, rhythm, syllable, letters, and definition
  18. 18. Elements of Style Continued Figurative language - the use of words to express meaning beyond the literal meaning of the words themselves: ● Metaphor - contrasting to seemingly unalike things to enhance the meaning of a situation or theme without using like or as: You are the sunshine of my life. ● Simile - contrasting to seemingly unalike things to enhance the meaning of a situation or theme using like or as: What happens to a dream deferred, does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? ● Hyperbole - exaggeration: I have a million things to do today. ● Personification - giving non-human objects human characteristics: America has thrown her hat into the ring, and will be joining forces with the British.
  19. 19. Elements of Style Continued Symbolism - when an object is meant to be representative of something or an idea greater than the object itself. ● Cross - representative of Christ or Christianity ● Bald Eagle - America or Patriotism ● Owl - wisdom or knowledge ● Yellow - implies cowardice or rot Tone - the implied attitude towards the subject of the poem. Is it hopeful, pessimistic, dreary, worried? A poet conveys tone by combining all of the elements listed above to create a precise impression on the reader.
  20. 20. Point of View Point of view pertains to who tells the story and how it is told. The point of view of a story can sometimes indirectly establish the author's intentions.
  21. 21. Point of View Continued ● Narrator - The person telling the story who may or may not be a character in the story. ● First-person - Narrator participates in action but sometimes has limited knowledge/vision. ● Second person - Narrator addresses the reader directly as though she is part of the story (i.e. “You walk into your bedroom. You see clutter everywhere and…”) ● Third Person (Objective) - Narrator is unnamed/unidentified (a detached observer). Does not assume character's perspective and is not a character in the story. The narrator reports on events and lets the reader supply the meaning. ● Omniscient - All-knowing narrator (multiple perspectives). The narrator knows what each character is thinking and feeling, not just what they are doing throughout the story. This type of narrator usually jumps around within the text, following one character for a few pages or chapters, and then switching to another character for a few pages, chapters, etc. Omniscient narrators also sometimes step out of a particular character’s mind to evaluate him or her in some meaningful way.
  22. 22. What power tools will you use? ● What’s your “why” for writing? ● Where do you want to go? ● How will you connect? ● What story do you want to share? ● What platform do you want to use?
  23. 23. What digital tools will you use? Here are two bonus writing and grammar digital helps recommended during our Circle conversations: Grammarly A great Chrome plugin flagging text so it is easy to read, effective, and mistake-free. It even helps in social media! Hemingway Editor An app that points out ways to improve clarity.
  24. 24. Presented by: Denise Reed www.DeniseReed.is Connect with Denise in: Presented by: Courtney Lachapelle Connect with Courtney in: