Monday, 10th August 2020

Paul Spencer Sochaczewski

Wake Up Writing

Posted on 07. Apr, 2010 by in Writing Workshops

Effective Communication for people in government, NGOs, and media

Many people working in NGOs, government and business have to write effectively to convey a message, argue a position, and seek support for their project.

Unfortunately, most people in these jobs are only comfortable with “academic” writing; during her career the writer has been taught to write “cold”.

How can she turn her knowledge of the subject into an article that would be published by a leading newspaper?  How can he write a report that would actually be read by a government minister, instead of thrown away?  How can she add warmth and humanity to a project proposal or report? How can the writer create intimacy with the reader without sacrificing accuracy?

The Wake Up Writing Workshop helps writers understand the techniques which professional writers use to prepare articles for popular publications.  The workshop can help people escape from the jargon jungle.  It can break their addiction to bureaucratic “beige” writing.

In this workshop Paul will review his “Ten Tips for Reader Intimacy”.

The seminar will use strong visuals and examples to examine each person’s writing challenges, with numerous writing exercises.  By the end of the workshop each participant will have begun to write a popular article.

Some themes we cover:

  • We look at each participant’s specific communications objectives, and examine the ten tips for effective communications.
  • How do leading journalists shift their messages from ”cold” (the beige default position for most academic communications) to “hot”.
  • How can we establish intimacy by telling the human story, find heroes and villains, focus on the main message (“Einstein’s First Attempt”), and switch from a “me” message to a “you” message?
  • How can we make ourselves zap-proof?
  • What’s the easiest-to-use secret to get a reader’s attention?
  • Why is it so important to use the Little Red Riding Hood Rule?
  • And perhaps the most important of all – how can we use the “Say Yes to No Principle” (The Nancy Reagan Principle)?

I use music, cartoons, and lots of hands-on exercises, examples, and group feedback.



Emi Anamizu, managing director of Ogilvy and Mather Hawaii: “We’re professional communicators, but the workshop forced all of us to re-think the recipe for effective communications.”

George Kohlreiser, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and professor at IMD graduate school of business in Lausanne, Switzerland:  “The workshop was a marker moment for me, and thanks to your coaching I moved though a major writing barrier.  I cannot thank you enough.”

Martha Choulchena Rojas, head of the biodiversity group at IUCN – World Conservation Union:  “I appreciated the interactive dynamics of the workshop, with exercises, presentations, discussions, and the variety of materials and examples presented.”

Leila Peralta, head of the marine program at USAID in the Philippines: “This two day course is entirely different and I was challenged to step out of my box and be more intimate in writing and presentations.”

The director of USAID in the Philippines, Jerry Bisson: “Paul’s passion and enthusiasm for promoting ‘Wake Up Communications” motivated and inspired the USAID Philippines environment team.  The workshop greatly exceeded my high expectations.”

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