Communicate Clearly in Writing

Let’s face it, while writing is often on your to-do list, it’s often not on your want-to-do list. And yet it’s a fact of business life: you have to write to tell others about the work you do.

One of my most recent projects was editing a report written by an engineer describing the results of a study on erecting new wind towers. This was an important project that had three major benefits: it would generate much-needed clean energy, increase the renewable portfolio for the electric utility, and generate a positive revenue stream. When working on the logistics and technical details involved in such a project, the engineer contentedly moved through all the details of the stages involved in siting and planning the wind towers.

Now came the hard part: how to write about this study so that everyone interested—management, investors, policy-makers, and ratepayers—would realize the project’s value and the engineer’s vital contribution. The engineer had all the necessary data and a general format to follow, but needed an editor to focus the main points, ensure clear writing, ensure grammatical accuracy, and most importantly, ensure that readers understood and responded by supporting the project. To meet these goals, I employed a Revision Edit. What’s that? You can read about it in my most recent Toward Humanity blog post, “Another Take on Editing” (download the PDF). Tell me what you think.

Three New Clients, And…

Things always happen in threes. And this announcement prescribes to that adage. Solari is now working with three new clients.

For Hawaiian Electric Company, I’ll be planning and writing their most recent Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) report. As many of you know, the plan describes how most of the Hawaiian islands — O‘ahu, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, Maui, and Hawai‘i Island— will meet electricity demand for the next 20 years. The IRP is an immense task given that it involves three utilities working in concert with a 68-person Advisory Group, and an independent project administrator.

Sung An Machinery, a manufacturer of high-end converting machinery and multi-station gravure printers based in Seoul (Korea), contracted with me to design and write operation and maintenance guides for a new extrusion coating machine.

And third, together with Front Runner Training from Toronto, the provincial government of Ontario awarded us a vendor of record contract where I will be teaching classes on presentation skills.

And… perhaps I’ll even finish my first independent book for that contract. The title: Presenting with Poise. With all of that, hopefully I can find time for some mountaineering.