Tuesday 16 October 2018

This blog is moving


As of 29 October 2018, the official AWSN website will be online and with it a brand new blog!

This blog will be decommissioned on that date and the new link will be provided for you then.

Thanks for your support of this blog and hope you continue to support the new website.

(c) AWSN 2018

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency, organisation or association.

Wednesday 10 October 2018

Stay Smart Online Week 2018 - Reverse the Threat online security

(c) AWSN 2018

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency, organisation or association.

Monday 8 October 2018

Stay Smart Online Week 2018 - Reverse the Threat wi fi

(c) AWSN 2018

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency, organisation or association.

Thursday 13 September 2018

SUPPORT - R U OK Day 2018


R U OK?'s vision is a world where we're all connected and are protected from suicide.

Their mission is: to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them and support anyone struggling with life.

Their goals are to: 

1. Boost confidence to meaningfully connect and ask about life's ups and downs
2. Nurture our sense of responsibility to regularly connect and support others
3. Strengthen our sense of belonging because we know people are there for us
4. Be relevant, strong and dynamic

See more here : RUOK website

(c) AWSN 2018

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency, organisation or association.

Saturday 1 September 2018

SUPPORT - You had an horrific day at work - how not to let that creep into your home time

By Chief Editor and Blog Manager- Amanda-Jane Turner

AWSN is all about connecting, supporting, collaborating and inspiring women who work in any type of security industry.

So today I thought we would focus on SUPPORT and look out what happens when we have a bad day in our chosen industry. When work has left you feeling stressed and exhausted, how do you prevent the challenges of the work day from creeping insidiously into your home time with your family and friends?

This is something many of us will face at some time or other during our working life. Even jobs we love, our dream jobs, may sometimes raise challenges and stressors to our day.

These are not fool proof tips, they may not work for you, but they are suggestions for you to consider to help support you. It would be great to hear from you about what you do to keep work at work and not let the stress of the office come home with you. Feel free to post your ideas in the comments.

Some of these strategies may not be practical for your situation and some ideas you may have tried and decided they don't work. The following however are coping procedures that may be of benefit to supporting a healthier work life balance and help to reduce the risk of bringing the stress of work home with you when you log out for the day.

1. Establish boundaries

2. Schedule YOU time

3. Appreciate the small things

Establish Boundaries

Just because you may be able to log into work after hours from home, unless you are on call or there is an urgent work need for you to do so, don't! Your home time is yours. Leave work at work. Resist the temptation to check your work emails from home and if you have a separate work mobile turn it off when you are home.

Schedule YOU time

If your work day is so full that you are driven by guilt to keep working once you have gone home, schedule a meeting for yourself, that is your time! Block out a chunk of time that is for you. An appointment you keep for yourself. Use this time to read, relax, stop thinking about work!!

Appreciate the small things

A challenging day at work can stop you appreciating the small things in a day that can bring you joy. When you leave your workplace notice what is around you. Pay attention to the little details that can bring joy. Is that a butterfly flitting around in front of you? Can you smell the delicious fragrance of coffee brewing? Does the sun feel nice and warm on your face? Is there a fresh chill in the air? Can you hear laughter? As you leave work leave work there. Work is not your life. Take a moment to notice small things that can bring joy. Hold onto that joy and take THAT home with you.

How do you keep the challenges of work at work and not bring it home with you?


  • https://idealistcareers.org/burnout-work-relationships/
  • http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/work-stress.aspx
  • https://cairdeasco.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/how-to-stop-bringing-work-stress-home-with-you/
  • https://www.bustle.com/articles/151964-7-ways-to-not-let-work-come-home-with-you-at-the-end-of-the-day
  • https://www.worktolive.info/blog/bid/351410/stress-management-how-to-switch-off-job-stress-at-home

(c) AWSN 2018

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency, organisation or association.

Saturday 18 August 2018

Support - humans can be cruel, let's counter with compassion, kindness and support


By Chief Editor and Blog Manager- Amanda-Jane Turner

Have you ever thought about how cruel humans can be to each other? Why can't we build each other up, be a source of inspiration and treat each other with kindness?

I was walking home from the station last week and a memory flicked across my mind, from a long time ago.  Reflecting on the incident I know it was only a small thing, but the memory of the hurt, and my bewilderment over what was said to me, has stayed with me for over thirty years. 

So, make a cuppa, and sit down with me while I tell you all about it.

cup of tea
source unknown
It was 1988, I was at university studying music, a typical perfectionist and study nerd, I did not have many friends and even less self esteem. I was in second year, and it was a late evening of compulsory orchestra practice. I was packing away my music when a first year that I had never spoken to before came up to me. We were all rushing to pack up and go home as practice had gone on really late, yet she made a point of putting her instrument and music down, maneuvering through the milling students, and coming up to me. 

I recall greeting her happily, thinking she was being friendly, and so I enthusiastically asked how she enjoyed orchestra class and then introduced myself. She however seemed to know who I was because she didn't respond to me but instead just looked me up and down, sneered, and said, 'your brother taught me at high school last year. He is really cool, attractive and popular, you are nothing like him I can't believe you are related'. 

Then she walked away.

Okay, it was nothing. Just words. Who cares. seriously it was three decades ago!

So why do I recall it still, with the same sadness and confusion I felt when it was said to me all those years ago?
  • because it hurt.
  • because I had never done anything to this girl and she went out of her way to hurt me,
  • because I felt confused and sad.
  • because it made me hate myself even more than I did.
  • because it was unnecessary, nasty, unsupportive and downright cruel.
So back to my questions, have you ever thought about how cruel humans can be to each other? Why can't we build each other up, be a source of inspiration and treat each other with kindness?

It was only one of the countless times a peer, at school, university, or work, had been nasty to me, verbally or physically bullied me, or ridiculed me, over the first thirty years of my life. However this incident that I recall with pain was worthwhile even though it hurt. 

Do you know why?   

Because it taught me to NEVER treat ANYONE badly. EVER.

Thank you to all those who bullied me, sneered at me and treated me like something disgusting they had stood on. 

  • Because of them I have compassion.
  • Because of them I seek to inspire and motivate others.
  • Because of them I seek to build up and support people.
  • Because of them I can hold my head up high and know that the thoughts of nasty people do not count, as I have the respect of amazing people worth so many times more than the bullies I have encountered over the years.
Why am I sharing this with you all in the Australian Women in Security Network?

Because I believe it is important that we support, motivate and inspire each other and I wanted you all to see how much harm a short but negative interaction can have on someone, decades later.  I wanted to show you all why we need to focus on the positive and be there for each other, with compassion and kindness.

As proud members of the Australian Women in Security Network lets lead the way to being supportive and kind to all we encounter. Let's always work towards Connecting, Supporting, Collaborating  and Inspiring each other in our professional and personal lives.

AWSN connect support collaborate inspire

(c) AWSN 2018

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency, organisation or association.

Monday 9 July 2018

Productivity Series - Brain Dumps


By Chief Editor and Blog Manager- Amanda-Jane Turner

We have one life to live, let's live it!

Those who know me are aware of how eclectic, many and time consuming my interests are. I work full time, I am often studying (fulltime), I am an active volunteer, an artist, I manage this blog and have my own blog, I am working on a book and, have the usual home/family/pets considerations.  I rarely feel rushed and usually get all my tasks done on time to high quality and have time to use twitter and read a few books a week.

No I am not superhuman, although that would be cool, and I seriously need to think of my super hero name ... SuperNerd (?), GeekGirl (?) .... Please leave a comment if you can think of a good super hero name for me!

How do I juggle all the things I do? How do I have time to read a few novels a week? How do I sleep with all these ideas hurtling through my brain! How do I not forget what I need to do!

I go 'old school'. I use hard copy note books, diaries and planners to manage all the many things I do. I also use electronic calendars for meeting reminders at work and back them up by ensuring my trusty Filofax, 'Little Purple' has them all noted as well.  In fact I am bit of a stationery addict, as can be seen by a post featuring me over at Philofaxy recently! .... but I use all of my binders, notebooks and planners to ensure I have a good system to get everything done.

Brains are amazing. You think your computer is efficient as it can handle many tabs open on the browser? Your brain is so many more times amazing than that! Your brain is managing an entire system automatically (breathing, swallowing, blinking, circulation, for example) while your conscious and subconscious work as well. 

Always thinking! 

The down side to these amazing brains is that sometimes you can become overwhelmed with all the ideas and tasks and thoughts! Idea overload can stop you being effective. You are overwhelmed with ideas and things you have to do for work, for home, for someone else, to buy, to clean, to read .... and are becoming anxious in case you forget something important that you need to do. 

Enter the magic of the brain dump.

My filofax is the hub of operations, my little brain companion. Everything is loaded into it and it contains an index to let me know which notebook I need to go to for any specific topic. I cart it with me everywhere and have pages just for brain dumps. 

At the end of the day, after our evening meal, the dogs have had their walk, and our work clothes and lunches are ready for the next day, I spend ten minutes to go over brain dump pages and put the notes into the relevant areas and check my schedule for the next day. This ten minutes is also my time to have a cuppa - so an after meal cuppa and check of my brain dump, multi tasking!

Just as we iron our clothes and get our lunch and work bags ready for the next day, I make sure I know what is in my schedule and To Do lists.  I keep my filofax next to me on the bed side table in case I have a thought at night, so I can brain dump it on paper and go to sleep knowing I will not forget as it is written down.

My Trusty Filofax

If an idea, task or thought is niggling at your brain and you are worried you will forget, write it down. Brain dumps do not have to be neat, they are just places to capture ideas as they fly across your brain. Put them on paper, email them to yourself, use an electronic note system, something that works for you to dump the thoughts down so you can relax!

Everyone needs to find the way that suits them to ensure their time is managed well and their random thoughts of tasks to do are captured. I like aesthetically pleasing, creative and functional paper based products, others may prefer to use Google Calendar or their phone reminder apps. Let us know in the comments how you manage your time and capture your ideas.

(c) AWSN 2018

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency, organisation or association.

Monday 2 July 2018

Highlights - June 2018 - AWSN blog

Okay where has January gone?  In case you missed any of the posts for June 2018 the following were published:

Guest Post - IoT - Brigitte Lewis

(c) AWSN 2018

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency, organisation or association.

Saturday 16 June 2018

Guest Post - IoT - Brigitte Lewis

By Guest Writer - Brigitte Lewis

From space, to transport, to the design of cities, IoT is the latest acronym to sweep the cyber landscape.

IoT is short for Internet of Things and was coined by Kevin Ashton in 1999.  IoT is any device, be it your phone, laptop or Raspberry Pi that is connected to the internet. And so these devices come to be known as 'things', especially as more things like light globes, fridges, watches, TVs and vending machines are internet enabled. 
image source unknown

Depending on your position, this is either great for business or terrible for the human proclivity towards laziness because who wouldn't want to turn their lights off from the comfort of bed right?
Business and government are particularly keen on the Internet of Things and what it can potentially do in terms of increased productivity, efficiency and citizen engagement. But the take home from many of the sessions at Melbourne's recent IoT Festival was that many people have no idea what IoT is or how it can impact them in positive ways.

Traffic lights that are IoT enabled can send data back to traffic controllers (both real life and digital) who can then increase or decrease stopping signals depending on traffic flow and therefore make our roads less congested and more efficient. Goodbye bumper to bumper (I can dream).
image owner unknown

A water company in South Korea was fitted out with IoT devices by local Mount Waverly team Freestyle Technology. What this meant from a social good perspective is that when their devices that were fitted to local houses detected zero water usage, a social worker was then called out to check whether the resident was in distress. This is in addition to the usual ways you could imagine IoT and smart water working. These range from detecting leaks with much greater speed, creating alerts if there are failures along the pipeline, tracking worker locations to minimising down time because the whole system is delivered in real-time and able to visualised and understood remotely.

Japanese smoking rooms are also a great example of IoT enabled things. The devices in these rooms can detect how many people are in the room and increase or decrease the ventilation required which resulted in a 30% increase in energy savings for companies who use them.

Gelato companies have partnered with uber so their clients can literally track how far away their sugar hit is. Farmers have taken up the call with water monitors that are IoT enabled. These devices send famers a message if their livestock's water is low and save them from dehydration and potential loss of income from sick animals. Coca-cola envision a day in the not too distant future where drones drop off coke via your GPS location so you could be sipping coke while you wait for your pizza delivery in the park on a Sunday arvo, which is already has IoT written all over it.

In Queensland the government developed an open data policy and provided an app called Breathe Easy which measures air pollution & water quality so residents can decide where they'd like to live based on environmental concerns.

The word on the street is that people are hungry for tech and IoT enables devices are the latest way to get satiated. But with all the data being collected already and an estimated 75 billion devices predicted to be online by 2020, the kinds of data being collected is also crucial so we don't end up with systems and languages and devices that don't talk back to one another.

Standardisation is key when thinking about where to from here as are guidelines around the security of IoT devices from the code used to create the interface to the person or people on the other end. Many of the security issues that we already face with devices such as our laptops and phones are exactly the same. From insecure code, users with insecure passwords and people all along the supply-chain without sufficient knowledge of what it is to be secure and what it all means on a day-to-day way when you engage in risky behaviour. The answer as always is education.

Another key take home from the conference, is how important the ability to tell stories is. Being able to communicate how and why the IoT can be useful to businesses and communities is the first step in bringing audiences outside of already informed IT spaces on board. And it's the sounding board for great innovation and diversity when it comes to new ways to address societal and business related issues. STEAM or Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths majors will come into their own in this space and are why there are ever louder calls for people with communications skills to enter the IT industry.

There are no current accepted standards when it comes to the IoT. What there is, however, are Australian guidelines which outline the importance of embedding security in IoT devices and therefore code from the ground up, rather than as an afterthought which is often the case. Data security is also crucial, especially with the recent global attacks and the proliferation of highly sensitive data connected to IoT devices like health records. Additionally, monitoring of devices is important to enable vulnerabilities are identified before they become a beacon for hackers and of course, ongoing compliance and risk assessment as landscapes, software, users and hacks change and evolve, often on a daily basis.

IoT is here and chances are, you're already a node in the network.


Brigitte attended the IoT Festival on behalf of the organisers. She's a writer and sociologist turned cyber security researcher with a fervour for exploring the ways the digital can create social change. You can read her latest article on the rise of feminist lead hashtags on Twitter here.  

(c) AWSN 2018

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency, organisation or association.

Wednesday 13 June 2018

Guest Post - Getting more women on-the-podium - Catherine McGrath

By Guest Writer - Catherine McGrath

Getting more women on-the-podium at conferences & events Catherine McGrath founder of #WomenSpeaking workshops
$200 discount per full price ticket for AWSN members email Catherine for the code or direct payment.

Seeing women at the forefront of public discourse is essential to gender equity. For AWSN members I pose these questions: 
are you seeing women at the front of your industry? 
  • Are they visible? 
  • Are senior women leading national debates, speaking at conferences, being quoted in newspapers and are they CEOs and senior managers?
The answer is suspect is ‘yes but not enough’. 

In this, the cybersecurity sector is like many others. Change is happening, but it is patchy and not everyone has the voice or the opportunity to speak.

Many women feel disempowered as they try to advance their careers without enough professional support.

I know how you feel. I have recently moved from a 30-year career as a leading broadcaster in television and radio (as a foreign correspondent and political reporter for ABC & SBS). I have had to build my own confidence as a speaker through hard work, training and practical experience. It wasn’t easy. But I did it.

Now beyond journalism my work is as a keynote speaker/MC and communications trainer. I had to teach myself to feel confident in front of a live conference audience. This is different to a TV audience that you can’t see. A thousand sets of eyes on you at an event can be confronting.

My callout is to ask you to push your organisations & businesses to support you in speaker training. It is essential to building your professional skill base.

At a recent business event I hosted, questions from the floor included no questions from women. At some business events, this is not unusual. The male attendees were quick to raise their hand, one even jumped to his feet before the microphone reached him.
Other women tell me there is a simple reason for this. Many don’t feel supported enough in these environments many others don’t feel they have the skill set required. Some events seem like a male-only club.

Hats off to those women who have no trouble speaking and asking questions at conferences. You are our role models. We need more of you.

Women: our time is here but still there are too few of us speaking at conferences, events and workplace meetings. Too few of us are visible as leaders. That means our contribution as professional women isn’t being equally recognised.

Training in this area is crucial. Many of us don’t feel confident enough to speak or present in front of others. Speaking is a professional skill, as important as knowing some accounting, some law, some occupational health and safety rules etc.

If you are terrified or reluctant? You are not alone. The good news is that help is here! With help and training, you can develop the confidence to say yes to that next offer to present at a conference or event.

We, as women, have great abilities and knowledge and we should share that.

At professional panels, many of us would love to see more women up there. We would love to join in ourselves.

We need to grow the skill base for professional women so that more of us feel ready and able to take to the podium.
No professional women who is a nervous speaker would want to put their hand up to speak in front of other professionals unless they feel prepared and ready.

I have launched training for this specific purpose. I believe women need more support. We need an opportunity to practice and train in a safe environment, in a setting away from the judgement and expectations of others. We need time to learn.

WomenSpeaking workshops in Sydney and Canberra provide a cost-effective one-day training where groups of professional women can learn and develop the skills they need.
Ask your organisations to send you.

Women from many different sectors come along. We have had a lot of attendees from STEM professions.

In workshops we break up into small groups where you get individual attention from experts including myself, an actor/voice coach, a TV/stage presence specialist and a writer/editor. 

Attendees get strategic and practical support in speech writing and presentation skills. There is specialist voice training and on-the-podium practice with a microphone. How does it feel to stand on a stage say your name and look out at an audience? It can be scary but practice in a real or simulated environment is the way to reduce the fear.

This is what our attendees say ‘‘I walked out a different person equipped with knowledge, skills, confidence & a tool-kit to keep me going on my journey.’

‘I only wish I’d done this 10 years ago so that I could have realised the value and satisfaction in communicating my voice.’

‘WomenSpeaking is more than training. It is a supportive network that empowers you to step into your own skin and be confident. Highly recommend.’


$200 discount per full price ticket for AWSN members email above for code or direct payment.

More on women speakers please see the guest post by Lidia GiulianoWhere are all the women 

If you are interested in writing a guest post for this blog please read the submission guidelines here >> AWSNblog-guest_post_guidelines <<

(c) AWSN 2018

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency, organisation or association.

Monday 11 June 2018

Guest Post - Productivity Series - Aparna Burke


While most clever blogs and articles offer insights to help you live your best life, my blog on productivity is what some might call an epic fail. No tips or tricks to be found here; what I do offer however is a story that made me think twice about what I do, and remind myself why I do it.

“Thanks for abandoning me”.

He wasn’t abandoned in the true sense of the word, not in the melodramatic I-left-to-get-a-litre-of-milk-and-never-came-back-kind-of-way.

But, in his 9-year-old mind, it made sense to use that word, in that situation, the day I forgot to organise a different option for school pick as the MIL couldn’t make it.

In a thirty second window between meetings, I had fixed it and he was swiftly collected.

Needless to say, I felt like crap. And then, with the deft precision that only small children have, he made me feel worse, quietly saying on the phone, I don’t want to talk about it now, I want to talk about it face to face. 


By the time we were face to face he had forgotten about it. But I hadn’t. 

Why did I forget, why didn’t I write it down, why didn’t I organise myself the day I found out MIL couldn’t do it? Are my productivity tools not working?!

I consider myself to be a pretty organised person, but while performing the juggling game of life, with one leg in the air and the other balancing on a stilt, I sometimes drop the ball. 

My brain has reached the point of saturation, so I write things down. I use various electronic tools to track my work/meetings etc, but, I love writing (and shiny pens with pineapple tips) so I have a work diary and use wall calendars and journals and lists. Who doesn’t love a good list?

And then, I want to do all the things. I ‘aint turning down nothing but my collar…

 N.B I don’t really do all of the things, I hate laundry and gardening never makes it onto my good lists.

I love my family. I love my friends. I love my job and my fur baby is the best. I know the difference between busy and productive. I know what my priorities are. I don’t feel like I need balance, I need time. 

Now that I’m older, I am trying so hard to avoid falling victim to the myth of immortality, squeezing every last drop of life out of my allocated daily minutes, I fear I am undoing all my industrious efforts to fit it all in.

I’m consciously stopping for the roses but do I always smell them before I move to the next thing on my list?

Am I so focussed on doing all the things that I forget to reflect on some of the things?

Working in corrections I often came across the criminal offence “loitering with intent”. It is the difference between hanging around and hanging around with a purpose.

This made me think, maybe I’m already productive enough. Maybe the key to my best life is to learn how to loiter with intent (and without getting arrested). 

Aparna Burke
Communications Advisor, RSM

Having worked over 18 years in corrective services, running treatment programs, working on policy and managing strategic communications, I am now happily employed with RSM Australia. I work in Perth’s Tax Services Division as a Communications Advisor. 

(c) AWSN 2018

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency, organisation or association.

Sunday 3 June 2018

Guest Post - Write to be Read - by Kristine Sihto

This is a guest post by one of our regular contributors, Kristine Sihto

We are writers, all of us, in this age. Every text, every tweet, every email creates a documentary trail of our existence. We are each an author of an autobiography that extends over multiple platforms and locations, in our personal and our professional lives, whether we intend that creation or not. Writing is ubiquitous in our lives.

But just because a thing is written, that doesn’t mean ‘written well’. 

Bad writing fails to communicate efficiently and can lead to misunderstandings, lost time, frustration, and can impact the way people view your professionalism and ability.

The key to good writing is clarity. 

This extends across the entirety of writing, from choosing the correct homophone or punctuation, through to writing for the intended audience; every writing ‘error’ comes down to a failure to communicate efficiently. The page strips out the contextual information you would normally see in face-to-face communication, such as pitch and tone, facial expression, and body language. For this reason, clarity in writing needs to be far more accurate and comprehensive than a conversation would be.

Clarity tips:

  • Write for your target audience. This is especially important if you’re conveying highly technical information.
          Even if you’re writing for an informed audience, assume that you know a lot more than they do, and explain your working.
          Where instructing or explaining a process, use ‘show and tell’ formats (such as screenshots or step-by-step photographs) if you can. These can be easier to follow than purely text-based instructions.
          If your audience isn’t technical, but your content is, remember that. Write in a way that avoids unnecessary details and explains concepts that may be unfamiliar. If you can write in such a way as to be understood by a teenager, you’ve hit the right balance.

  • Limit the number of words in a sentence. If you’ve got 50 words in your sentence and you don’t have any punctuation inside it, it will be hellish for the reader to try to comprehend. A long sentence can usually be broken up into two or more sentences with a little restructuring, and your readers will have a more pleasant experience.
  • It should never be assumed that the reader has the same level of knowledge as you, or that they have the same lexicon. If you need to use jargon, provide glossaries. If you need to use acronyms or initialisations, write them out fully the first time.
  • Use a spell checker program. However, you shouldn’t rely entirely on your spell checker, especially if you know you have bad spelling. Read each of the options the spell check offers you before accepting the default option, because computers are often wrong.
  • Use a text-to-speech screen-reader to play your writing back to you. Listening to your text can highlight words that have been used incorrectly, or grammatical issues like sentence fragments or run-on sentences.
  • Get another human to read your writing, preferably someone who is pedantic about small errors. You should, however, make sure it’s someone who is more invested in the outcome of your writing than they are in their relationship with you. Close friends and family members may wish to save your feelings, and may be overly optimistic about the quality of your work. It’s also important that you are gracious about accepting critique; bad responses to honest critique can destroy the credibility of future critique, as your proofreader may decide to lie in order to keep the peace.
  • In all instances, write as simply as you can, using plain English. This includes when writing to C-suite executives. Executive levels of management have to read all day, and they’re just as human as you or I am. Making a document easy to understand is key to getting the words read and understood. This isn’t Scrabble; there is no scoreboard, and big words don’t earn you more points.
Source of image unknown
These are not examples I have picked from the blue. Throughout the years I have been editing, the consistent issues I come across time and again are:

  1. Assuming the reader has the foundation knowledge to understand you (lack of glossaries, using unexplained acronyms or initialisations, writing for the wrong target audience).
  2. Not allowing enough opportunity for the reader to pause and comprehend meaning (run-on sentences, lack of punctuation).
  3. Using sentence fragments (either through forgetting to finish a thought, or through a misunderstanding of grammar).
  4. Over-reliance on spell checkers (incorrect/inappropriate wording) or lack of spell checking (spelling errors throughout a document).
  5. Trying to impress (executing overtly loquacious confabulation with an aspiration to appear astute and resourceful).

If you can avoid these five things, your writing can appear more polished and professional.

If you are interested in writing a guest post for this blog please read the submission guidelines here >> AWSNblog-guest_post_guidelines <<

(c) AWSN 2018

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency, organisation or association.