Word power at work

by Joanna on September 26, 2007

We’ve been talking a lot this month about the power of the authentic, human voice. Writing in a way that makes you sound human can be a really powerful tool in the world of work - especially if you’re working in a place that seems lifeless, where everyone seems to be mouthing platitudes and words are all just the same old same old.

When this gets really bad it can feel like you’re working in the world of the living dead - as Dwayne Melancon (writing at Joyful Jubilant Learning) illustrates with reference to a zombie movie called Hysterical:

Once people turn into zombies, they continue doing their jobs on autopilot, become devoid of passion (or even basic emotion), and never say anything but, “What difference does it make?” Once zombified the town’s people are, essentially, checked out.

Ever worked anywhere where people have no passion, do their jobs on autopilot, and keep saying that their actions make no difference?

He got me thinking about ways that we can change the way that we write in order to make a difference. I came up with five ways that we can use the power of words to fight the onslaught of the zombies at work… If you want to find out more, check out my second podcast: Word Power At Work.

You can play it by clicking here or by listening to (or downloading from) the Confident Writing page at Gcast. (It’s 4 minutes 18 seconds long.)

Happy listening.

I’m still learning about the possibilities of podcasting - and how best to approach it, but there’s nothing like trial and error for learning how to make it work (oh plus audience feedback, of course - but be nice!)

I’m thinking about doing a weekly piece on writing with confidence at work, structured around five points, and delivered in under 5 minutes… Sounds like a challenge? Yes, I think so! But we’ll see how it goes.

Thanks to everyone who’s listened in and fed back so far, and for all the encouragement from fellow loungers at the Writers’ Cafe last weekend.

Joanna Young, The Confident Writing Coach
Because our words count

{ 2 trackbacks }

Zombies At Work » Blog Archive » Words: Your best defense.
01.11.09 at 10:06 pm
5 Ways To Put Some Heart Into Your Business Writing | Confident Writing
02.05.09 at 9:12 am

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Brad Shorr 09.27.07 at 10:19 pm

Excellent podcast. Your point about writing to a single, specific person instead of a vague audience is a great idea. How do you like podcasting so far?

Yvonne Russell 09.27.07 at 11:12 pm

You’re on a roll, Joanna! Some great advice here about breaking “rules”. As you do more podcasts, it would be good to have a list of all podcasts for easy access.

And thanks also, for mentioning the Weekend Writers Cafe. :)

Joanna Young 09.28.07 at 11:37 am

Brad, thanks for your feedback.

I’m finding podcasting challenging, scary, interesting, full of possibility. Actually I adapted the ‘write for a single specific person’ principle to get me over the podcasting fears - talk as if having a conversation with one person, or a group of two to three people. It helped.

Good to see you dipping your toe into the podcasting waters too. I’m sure we can all learn from each other’s experiences.


Joanna Young 09.28.07 at 11:39 am

Yvonne, that’s a good suggestion - I’ll need to think about how best to do it.

The Gcast widget box (in the sidebar) does show previous broadcasts if you hit ‘posts’… but I don’t think that’s the easiest way in the world to suggest people find things. I’ll think of a way though.

It was my pleasure to mention the cafe - you guys gave me a lot of support, encouragement and practical suggestions.


Joyful Jubilant Learning 09.28.07 at 3:08 pm

“Together” makes the difference

September has been a big blogging month for me - my first full month writing here, a focused month of writing on authenticity at my Confident Writing blog, and reading, writing, learning and sharing from the contributions at the ‘Make

cat 09.29.07 at 7:27 am


What an informative podcast and a great addition to your blog.

I’ve been downloading Roy Peter Clarks’ Writing Tools for my ipod. They come in handy when I’m in transit (which happens often when living in a large city).

Your podcasts will be right there with his. Keeping me company.

Rosa Say | Managing with Aloha 09.29.07 at 7:39 am

This was such a treat Joanna! You are a natural for podcasting, so easy to listen to, speaking to us with a voice graced with warmth and charm. You’ll have to teach me how to do this… more delicious learning.

Joanna Young 09.29.07 at 11:27 am

Cat, thanks for this feedback, I really appreciate it.

Don’t be shy in letting me know if you can think of ways that I can add to or improve it though :-)


Joanna Young 09.29.07 at 11:29 am

Rosa, thank you! I, like many people, am not totally confident in hearing the sound of my own voice, so I’m glad it comes over that way to you :-)

I’m still at the bottom of the learning curve myself on podcasting - though it was easier than you might think to get started I know there’s still an awful lot to learn. I might write about it here once I’ve a few more under my belt…


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