April Writing Tip – Make it Crisp & Clean

Writing, in most instances, should be crisp and clean.  Especially in a business setting where we’re encouraged to get right to the point, our writing should be less verbose and more economic.  Using poignant examples, quotes from other industry experts and the ever important ‘read more’ function and can be other excellent ways to illustrate our points concisely while enticing our audience to read on.  Lastly, remember that you usually won’t get it right the first go around, so revise, revise, let it sit a day and then revise again to get just the squeaky clean piece you were striving for.

5 Minutes with Terry Drahota – Colorado business icon and veteran of the real estate and construction industry shares his thoughts on 40 years in biz.

Q: What has been your greatest accomplishment in your 40 years in business?

A: “The recognition we’ve received for our work and our project delivery, including the American Subcontractors Association Contractor of the Year Award, BBB Torch Awards, Bravo Entrepreneur of the Year Award and numerous ACE Awards.”

Q: To what do you attribute your success and longevity?

A: “Trust and communication. As a result of those two attributes, we’ve earned a great deal of repeat clients and a reputation for providing quality and value.”

Q: What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced over the years?

A: “The biggest challenge we’ve faced is adjusting to the recent recession. It’s been a significant challenge and an ongoing adjustment.”

Q: Who inspires you?

A: “My mentor W. Dean Smith. After starting a commercial construction company in Omaha, Dean took me under his wing in Fort Collins to teach me the carpentry trade. He was instrumental in helping me land my first big job and coached and inspired me to build my business.”

Q: What is your greatest piece of advice for success in business or owning your own business?

A: “Pay attention to the details!”

Content Ideas — Delivering Fresh Info on the Go.

January 17, 2013

Keeping up with your social media efforts can be time consuming so here are a few thought starters to help deliver fresh content ideas.

Share News

It’s one of the simplest and most effective ways to draw readership.  I often suggest my clients re-purpose content that others may not have seen.  Share a relevant article or give your take on a recent news items.

Develop Lists

Create a quick list of items specific to your industry and impart your wisdom and expertise.  People love tips, especially when they provide simple takeaways.

Deliver Research

Take an interest in a topic and dig deep for the latest research or trends.  Then, find a way to bundle the info and communicate your findings with your audience online.

Top 5 Words for the New Year. As a PR consultant, I work with clients every day on what to say and how to say it. Here are a few words that I’d like to hear more of in the New Year.


Yes, we can do that.  Yes, we see things improving.  Yes, we can help.  The notion of intention setting and positive thinking goes along way in business and in life.  And if we can’t say yes, we can certainly find an alternative to no with words like “I know someone who can help”,  “Let me see what I can do”, or “Let’s look at this a different way.”

You’re right

Words I love to hear at work and at home!  This a must-have phrase for anyone in the service business and a great sentiment when our opinion has been altered or challenged by someone else’s insights.


These days, unique content is critical for communicating with your customers, employees, the media and others you may be trying to reach. Sharing your news and expertise is a good start, but delivering  fresh ideas and backing it up with reliable information is invaluable. In the New Year, challenge yourself to find new ways to develop and share creative content and keep the dialogue going with your target audiences.


A part, piece or portion.  A resource or security. Giving and receiving.  Trying re-framing your mindset and your messaging this year toward ways you can create opportunities for sharing that will undoubtedly result in increased teamwork, collaboration and communication.  As they say, the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts.


This word conjures up a sense of respect and partnership.  The motto of “we’re in this together” and for the good of both parties.  Here’s to more mutually beneficial business relationships in 2013.

5 Tips to Better Communication. Help with Holiday Party Banter or your New Year’s Resolution

Great article with some quick tips for communicating more effectively by Paul Morin is founder of CompanyFounder.com.

1. Be concise. Don’t use 100 words to say something you can say in 50. It’s easy to become enamored of your own voice, but this may cause you to drone on and lessen your effectiveness as a communicator.

2. Have a point. Don’t speak for the sake of speaking. Have a point—especially when you’re trying to be persuasive or explain something. It’s one thing if you’re having coffee or a beer with a friend, but in a business or teaching situation it’s important to have a point before you start talking.

3. Don’t have too many points. It’s tough for most people to remember long lists. It’s even tougher if the list is comprised of complex points. Many memory experts say to stick to a list of seven or fewer points if you want your audience to remember them.

Have a maximum of three key points you’d like your audience to remember. Better yet, have just one and hit it from a bunch of different angles. Obviously this is not one-size-fits-all, but in most instances you’ll want to stick to a small number of key points or you will confuse your audience.

4. Use words and metaphors that will resonate with your audience. If you’re speaking to a board of directors, a group of CEOs, or a bunch of marketing vice presidents, the words you’ll use will be different from those you’ll use when speaking to a group of politicians or museum curators. This is true if you are speaking to individuals from these groups as well.

Each audience has its own buzzwords and hot buttons. It’s key to use examples, phrasing and metaphors that resonate with your audience. If not, you will not pass the ethos, pathos, logos test, and you will be far less likely to effectively get your point across.

5. Listen more than you talk. Listening to and understanding your audience are critical aspects of being an effective communicator. Unfortunately, it’s often tempting to formulate your next great thought while your audience is trying to communicate with you. Given the difficulty of multitasking effectively, the likelihood of you being able to formulate your thoughts and process those of your audience at the same time are very small.

If you don’t empathize with your audience, they will sense it, and it will make them far less likely to listen to and understand your message. The law of reciprocity is alive and well in effective two-way communication.

Give these tips a try and see if they help you communicate more effectively. Read more.

Check out HomeSmart broker/owner Brad Smith on CBS4 re: ‘No Socks to Work’ Day!

View video of Brad Smith, broker/owner of  HomeSmart Realty Group this morning on CBS4 Denver talking about the ‘No Socks to Work’ campaign benefiting the homeless.

The campaign encourages people to donate a new pair of socks to the homeless today or through the month of December.  See a full list of drop-off locations at HomeSmart Realty Group or American Title Services offices throughout the Metro Area.