Tuesday, September 5, 2017

12 Tips for Writing Content in Plain Language

Plain language is writing designed to ensure the reader understands as quickly, easily, and completely as possible. Plain language strives to be easy to read, understand, and use. It avoids verbose, convoluted language and jargon


One of the most popular plain language myths is that you have to “dumb down” your content so that everyone everywhere can read it. That’s not true. The first rule of plain language is: write for your audience. Use language your audience knows and feels comfortable with. Take your audience’s current level of knowledge into account. Don’t write for an 8th grade class if your audience is composed of PhD candidates, small business owners, working parents, or immigrants. Only write for 8th graders if your audience is, in fact, an 8th grade class. Make sure you know who your audience is – don’t guess or assume.

The purpose of writing in plain language is so that your audience can:
  • Find what they need;
  • Understand what they find; and
  • Use what they find to meet their needs.

12 Tips for Writing Content in Plain Language:
  1. Write for your reader, not yourself.
  2. Use pronouns when you can.
  3. State your major point(s) first before going into details.
  4. Stick to your topic.
  5. Limit each paragraph to one idea and keep it short.
  6. Write in active voice. Use the passive voice only in rare cases.
  7. Use short sentences as much as possible.
  8. Use everyday words. If you must use technical terms, explain them on the first reference.
  9. Omit unneeded words.
  10. Keep the subject and verb close together.
  11. Use headings, lists, and tables to make reading easier.
  12. Proofread your work, and have a colleague proof it as well.


For additional information, consider attending a workshop under the Educational Events. http://www.weiskopfconsulting.com/education.html

Virginia WeiskopfPersonal Technical Guide
Translating Technology into a Language you Speak   
Call NOW for Free Hour Consultation

Weiskopf Consulting - All things Technical & Social (630.320.2991)

WeiskopfConsulting.com | ConstantContact Solution Provider  


Over 15+ years of experience in providing technical solutions and support to allow you to focus on your business.
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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

ASK The Expert




Q:  How often should I clean up my computer?
A:  Just like fall/spring cleaning you should do a good computer clean up at least twice a year.  This should include running CCleaner, Malwarebytes, and a your anti-virus program on a deep dive.  CCleaner will remove al those temp files that you don’t need. Please download your items from safe sites Like CNET.  To keep your files safe they should be backed up to the cloud on a backup program like Carbonite or Mozy.  This will ensure if you get a ransomware that your files are safe. 

Q:  Is there an easier way to run routine tasks?   
A:  Stop performing all that system maintenance yourself and set it all up to run on a schedule. With Windows’ built-in Task Scheduler, you can run just about any kind of task—whether it’s maintenance, picture uploads, or even a simple alarm—through Windows’ built-in tools (in fact, it’s one of the best Windows 7 features you’ve probably forgotten about.
 
Q:  When is it time to upgrade to new computer
A:  Anything over 4 – 5 years old can be in consideration for the retirement home for computers.  Make sure your needs are being met, just because it is old doesn’t mean it is time to recycle.  Have you had your current PC cleaned up in a while? By a professional?  If not they should be consulted.  A good professional will assess your needs and the computer then give you options.  Clean up cost or replacement cost.  You will then be able to make a choice.  Also, a good professional should offer shopping service to help you find the computer that is best for you. 
https://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000985.htm


For additional information, consider attending a workshop under the Educational Events. http://www.weiskopfconsulting.com/education.html

Virginia WeiskopfPersonal Technical Guide
Translating Technology into a Language you Speak   
Call NOW for Free Hour Consultation

Weiskopf Consulting - All things Technical & Social (630.320.2991)

WeiskopfConsulting.com | ConstantContact Solution Provider  


Over 15+ years of experience in providing technical solutions and support to allow you to focus on your business.
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Friday, June 30, 2017

Social Media Day:Tips to Get You Started And More

June 30th is Social Media Day.  To help you celebrate, we wanted to assist you in developing your social media plan.  Social media is the engagement marketing cycle.  It allows you to connect with your customers, get leads or grow your supporters.  Whenever you post something on social media, you should create a WOW moment for your customers. 

Pew Research Center states that 58% of Americans use Facebook, and that 41% of those use it daily?  What better way to connect with 1.4 Billion users, but to post on Facebook and engage.  

Start with Facebook.  Facebook suggests that 50% of the posts should be interesting content that’s also entertaining.  About 30% should be helpful information such as tips, stats, and education.  The remaining 20% should be promoting your business such as allowing customers to purchase, register for an event, or read a blog. 

To create a strong social media plan, we suggest the following:
  • Tell others about your Facebook page through email marketing, on your website, post icon your blog, in your store or office, and on your business cards
  • Add the social media links to your emails
  • Follow your best customers and interact with their social media pages
  • Start posting and remember Facebook Insights.  This allows you to ask your audience what they want to see on Facebook
  • Have a Join my mailing list button on Facebook
  • Add Facebook sign up form App to allow you to capture your customer’s emails
  • Make it part of your marketing Plan
I
If you missed Weiskopf Consultings Seminar on "Facebook Marketing: Let's Make a Plan", here is the Pdf for you as a gift on Social Media Day.  Click Here

Another platform for social media is LinkedIn.  On LinkedIn you can show off your products, services and news about your company.  Do you have a LinkedIn Showcase page?  Learn how - Click Here



 


For additional information, consider attending a workshop under the Educational Events. http://www.weiskopfconsulting.com/education.html

Virginia WeiskopfPersonal Technical Guide
Translating Technology into a Language you Speak   
Call NOW for Free Hour Consultation

Weiskopf Consulting - All things Technical & Social (630.320.2991)


WeiskopfConsulting.com | ConstantContact Solution Provider  


Over 15+ years of experience in providing technical solutions and support to allow you to focus on your business.
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Monday, June 26, 2017

7 Cell Phone Courtesy Tips


July is National Cell Phone Courtesy Month   87 percent of Americans said they have encountered people talking on cell phones in public places in a loud or annoying manner. Slightly less than 4 out of 10 often experience generally rude or disrespectful behavior, cursing, near-cursing or people interrupting conversations to use e-mail or cell phone.  So, it's time to go over some tips on Cell Phone Courtesy!


  1. Silent Cell phone: It’s mannerly to turn off your cell phone before meetings and meals.  If you can’t turn your device off, turn it to silent or vibrate. Your phone is not a replacement for an in-person meeting.
  2. 10-foot rule:  When making or taking a call, move 10 feet away from the building including windows. No one wants to see pacing or gesturing during your convo. Step outside when responding to a call while in a house of worship, medical office, library, theater, or hospital.  Refrain from confidential conversations on planes, trains, and automobiles.
  3. Excuse Me: If accepting an emergency call, excuse yourself as quietly and calmly as possible from the gathering with an apology. For example, “I apologize, however this is urgent, please excuse me.  I hope to return in a moment.”
  4.  Hidden cell phone: Whether you are attending an important business meeting, out on a date or even in a casual setting with friends, keep your phone out of sight. Placing your phone on the table or desk sends the clear message that they are not your number-one priority. It’s also just rude.
  5. Consider Content Carefully: With cell phones, spontaneity can be contagious. Remember, once a text, tweet or post is sent, it’s live. Sure, you can delete it, but it’s out there on the Internet, just waiting to bite you back! So use common sense and don’t post inappropriate pictures or writing while consuming adult beverages. Avoid profanity.
  6. The Cellular Crutch: Don’t use your phone when you are not sure what else to do in uncomfortable situations. If you walk into a new office or even a wedding reception and don’t know anyone, take time to engage with people face-to-face. Deferring back to your phone as a crutch will keep you from truly connecting with the people around you.
  7. Exceptions: There are exceptions to every rule: A) Doctors, nurses, first responders, and health providers B) Those expecting emergency calls C) Those who have an infant with a babysitter or a person with a caregiver D) Those momentarily sharing photos with others E) Those researching an important request, such as directions.  Clear your need for your cell phone monitoring with your colleagues prior to the start of the meeting.

    We've all been subjected to rude and excessive uses of cell phones. Remember these seven tips before you pull out your cell phone the next time.

    Virginia WeiskopfPersonal Technical Guide
    Translating Technology into a Language you Speak   
    Call NOW for Free Hour Consultation

    Weiskopf Consulting - All things Technical & Social (630.320.2991)


    WeiskopfConsulting.com | ConstantContact Solution Provider  


    Over 15+ years of experience in providing technical solutions and support to allow you to focus on your business.
    Facebook | LinkedIn | Pinterest | UTube