Skip to main content

Book Review: Brilliant Business Writing - How to inspire, engage and persuade through words

I thought I would change it up a little bit since I promised to review small business resources as well so this month we’ll take a look at Brilliant Business Writing by Neil Taylor.  I would like to start off by saying it is brilliant because he gives a lot of advice that I give in my workshops myself and use on a daily basis with my writing projects! 

All kidding aside, I enjoyed Taylor’s tongue in cheek, humorous approach to a sometimes very dry subject.  Most of us who call writing our passion and vocation can devour (and enjoy) books on writing that others would find extremely dull.  I would say that Brilliant Business Writing is a resource for any level of writer.  A novice writer will probably pick it up and read it cover to cover in one sitting.  The more veteran writer may keep it on the desk and refer to it periodically over a month or so and read a few pages at a time while waiting for large documents to download or for the computer to boot up (as I did).  I found myself nodding and grinning as Taylor gave examples of language use blunders he’s come across in his career.

In the first pages of the book he suggests that the reader “think of it like circuit training:  you’ll be gradually building up your linguistic muscle.”  I love this metaphor!  He goes on to say that good business writing should be clear and concise but you should inject stories, rhythm and metaphor to keep it from being boring.  He gives great analogies like suggesting that you approach your writing like an actor in a play.  An actor can show up, say their lines accurately and on cue and walk through the right doors but if they’re not lively and engaging they won’t be winning any Tony Awards.  “Writing is a presentation you’re not in the room to deliver,” says Taylor.

He has a whole chapter on “Myth Busting” and my favorite chapter is called “Don’t Hedge.”  Basically, the message is all about not dancing around bad news.  He recommends a straight forward approach and saying it like it is.

Every chapter is spotted with “Brilliant Tips” or little tidbits of information to get you thinking like “Check what you write by reading it aloud.”  I agree that this is a great proofreading strategy and works beautifully to catch awkward sentences and other errors.

Improving your writing requires lots of practice and often reminding yourself of good, basic writing habits and strategies to grab and keep an audience.  At the end of the book Taylor says, “Keep this on your desk and on a slow day you’ll be able to dip in for a linguistic top-up.”  Not a bad idea, really.


Hi Anne - thanks for commenting on my blog. I just read your profile and I also spent so many years writing for business - there was a time when I feared that the best thing anyone would be able to say about my work was, "she wrote a darn good memo!" But what I've realized is that there is so much good discipline in that kind of writing - we are forced to edit and revise and edit and revise - an important thing that many never get the hang of. I'm following your blog now and invite you to follow mine. Regards,

Popular posts from this blog

Virtual Book Tour for The Healing Begins April 23

As we approach launch day for Lynda Faye Schmidt's novel, The Healing , a women's fiction/family drama based on the author's life, we're excited to announce the blog tour schedule and introduce you to the bloggers and book reviewers who have joined the tour. The tour begins on launch day, April 23rd. Take a look, follow these bloggers and make sure you visit on the tour dates indicated (check back regularly for updates): Pre-Tour - March 2 - Thrive Global - pre-launch announcement  April 16 - Fit for Joy - pre-launch podcast interview with Lynda April 23 - IndieView - author Q&A with Lynda April 24 -  Canadian Bookworm  - featuring a guest blog by Lynda, "What Inspired Me" April 26 - Dartmouth Book Exchange - author spotlight April 29 - Storybook Reviews - review May 4 -  Help Me Sara  - podcast interview May 13 -  My Question Life  - review and author interview June 30 - Reader's Favorite - review  Date TBD - Maryse's Book Blog - review Date

By the Light of the Cresent Moon Virtual Book Tour

On August 26th, we will launch Ailsa Keppie's much awaited memoir, By the Light of the Crescent Moon . On the same day we will launch her virtual book tour, featuring the blogs below joining the tour with reviews, author Q&As and guest posts. Visit and follow these blogs and make sure you follow the tour. As the posts go live we will update the links here to go direct to the tour post. Thanks to the following bloggers & podcasters who have joined the tour: Dartmouth Book Exchange - author spotlight - August 23-26 The IndieView - author Q&A - August 26 Sarah Butland's Imagination Captured - book review - August 26 The Author Journey with OC Publishing - author interview - August 26 Canadian Bookworm - guest post by Ailsa Keppie, Why I Wrote My Memoir - August 27 Just Reviews - book review - August 28 Storeybook Reviews - guest post by Ailsa Keppie, The Voice in My Head - August 29 Lisa Haselton's Reviews & Interviews - author Q&A - August 31 Laura&

Holiday Launch Planned for Late Author's Second Children's Book

 We are saddened by the recent passing of the very vivacious, funny, gorgeous, and talented author, Jackie Arnason. Last year, at the age of 87, we published her first Children's book, Hambone-Why Pigs Have Curly Tails . After a brief illness, Jackie passed away in September of this year, while we were well-underway in the publishing process for her second book, Timothy Titus Terrance O'Toole and the Dragon. With the support of her family, we pressed on and will launch her book in December.  Jackie Arnason A beloved story-teller to all those who knew and loved her, with the publishing of her first book, and now her second, a lifelong dream has been fulfilled. Her legacy will live on in the lessons and magical stories she shared through the years. A prairie girl, born in a small town in Saskatchewan, Jackie's childhood years in the 'Dirty Thirties' were hard but the local library became her haven where she escaped into worlds she could only dream of growing up in Reg