- Be Funny -- the super-hidden secret of humor (tell the truth) and how to use it to humanize an executive, reinforce a point, shed light on a foible, break down your audience's defenses or simply provide comic relief. My biggest piece of advice? Hire a professional. (Like me or the countless companies and under-employed comics who do this for a living.) But for those who want to go it alone, I offer some tips. Mostly I just advocate for people and organizations to not take themselves -- as distinguished from their work -- too seriously.
Speaking of which, I've been thinking about finding the right voice and tone for this thing. Is it going to be funny? Irreverent? Barn-burning? I've got to figure that out. A few things are emerging. I mostly want it to be a light read, not too preachy or pretentious. Sort of in the style of Seth Godin. With a small splash of David Sedaris.
Mainly I want to write the kind of book that I would want to read. That's my most important guiding principle. It's not long and academic. I don't present comprehensive round-ups of research findings or survey data or extensive case studies. It's observations, anecdotes, advice and occasional soapbox appeals.
It won't give someone an A-to-Z guide on business writing, but it will hopefully engage the kind of people who like to read other writers' thoughts on writing, and maybe provide enough tips and suggestions for most people to get at least something out of it.
Of course, it's entirely possible I expect too little of the things I read.