How to Be a Better Business Writer by Studying the Pros You Never Thought Of
When it comes to written materials, perhaps you’ve had difficulty expressing yourself appropriately, concisely, persuasively or professionally. Maybe you’ve found yourself misunderstood while others have found you verbose, inarticulate and unclear. Perhaps you’re even self-conscious or unsure about how to say “it” when it comes time to put it in writing.
See if any of these ring true in terms of your written communications:
- Has anyone found your emails abrupt and too blunt?
- Are your handout materials cluttered, out of sync, hard to assimilate or do they go on and on…?
- Is that regular report you’re asked to write jumbled, unclear, and worse yet, always falling short of good narrative?
- Are you criticized for poor writing mechanics such as grammar, punctuation, misspelling, minimal vocabulary and typos?
- Are you just not as articulate when you write your thoughts as compared to when you say them?
- Are you unable to convey your ideas or persuade others of your points of view when you put them in writing?
- Can’t seem to write a speech that’s interesting, hard-hitting, or packs that punch?
- Having difficulty writing jokes and stories for use in presentations or speeches?
- Is that PowerPoint show boring and sluggish–does it drone on?
- Ever experience “writer’s block?”
If you answered “yes” to any one of the above, you’ll want to take advantage of ExecuProv’s new online class, Write Away. Whether you’re required to craft memos, emails, letters, presentation handouts, PowerPoint shows, speeches, pitches, reports, or any other written materials used throughout your typical workday to communicate with others, Write Away is the class for you!
StartIntroduction: Doing the Write Thing
StartWrite-uous: Something in the Way You Write—Your Words, Your Image
StartWrite Stuff: Nailing the Write Basics—The Under-the-Hood Goods
StartWrite of Way: Manners & Etiquette—Be Nice, Be Polite, Be Write
StartWrite Now: The Rules and Tools of the Improv Comedy Player—How They Write Everything on the Fly
StartWrite Choices: A Fascinating Study of the Writing Styles of the Pros You Never Thought Of (In The Content All Around Us)
StartWrite Direction: Getting It Write—New Rules for Today’s Written Communication
StartWrite of Free Speech: Say What’s Write—Today’s Wacky Business Blabber
StartWriter’s Block: Do the Write Thing—Having Something Write to Say
StartWrite Up: Write Time, Write Place—Write to the Point
StartWrite on It: Writing Is Rewriting—Editing and Proofreading Until You Get It Write
Cherie Kerr, who founded ExecuProv in 1983, has provided a variety of classes on presentation and communication skills to hundreds of business professionals from Fortune 100 and 500 companies. Starting with a single public speaking course, ExecuProv’s offerings have expanded to include over a dozen workshops, as well custom-tailored courses designed for the needs of specific clients. Her clients include Toyota, BP America, Ericsson, Kawasaki, Mitsubishi, Ingram Micro, Bank One, Yum!, Delta Dental, Experian, Foothill Capital, PacifiCare, Allergan, Universal Studios, Fluor Corporation, 3i Implant, ConAgra Foods, The Hilton Hotel and Marriott Hotel Corporations, California Trucking Association, Office Max/Boise, Volcom, Nissan, Honda, Kia, Bank of America, BJ’s Restaurant Brewhouse, Southern California Edison, Panasonic, Black & Decker, Mattel, and Office Depot, to name but a few.
Kerr has also provided a number of classes to various universities and collegiate departments including Chapman University; Otis College of Art and Design; University of Southern California; California State University, Fullerton; Vanguard University; University of California, Irvine, Paul Merage School of Business; UCI Medical Center, Anesthesiology Department; the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis; and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. She also has worked for a number of governmental agencies including the L.A. City Attorney's office, the L.A. District Attorney's office, the County of Orange, the Orange County Bar Foundation and the Orange County Juvenile Drug Court Program. She was a certified Provider for the Continuing Legal Education Program for the State Bar of California for 25 years and has served as that organization's official speaker-trainer for its Board of Governors.
The author of 13 books, 10 of which feature self-help techniques on presentation and communication skills, Kerr shares her ideas and theories culled from her varied background and expertise in improv comedy, PR and communications. Her other works include a book on how to write sketch comedy, a book featuring the how to’s of building original comedic characters; another covering one-on-one networking skills, and, also a critically-acclaimed memoir of her father’s life as a jazz musician entitled Charlie’s Notes which was a New York Book Festival winner in 2011. She has also ghostwritten books (and dozens of columns) for her clients. Kerr’s books are available on Amazon.com and at Barnesandnoble.com and through ExecuProv’s website. They have sold in 12 foreign countries, and translated in as many languages, as well.
In addition to lecturing and teaching ExecuProv courses, both in classroom situations and in private, one-on-one coaching sessions, Kerr provides speech writing services for many of her clients. Kerr also provides her creative services to large companies for corporate comedy industrials and also produces ExecuProv’s Humorous Training Video Library (HTVL), a diverse library of video spoofs designed to train the business professional in a fun and humorous way. Companies and individuals access the HTVL catalogue, which gives them rights to include the humorous videos in their presentations, adding that extra dash of humorous panache.
A founding member of the world-famous L.A. Groundlings (Melissa McCarthy, Phil Hartman, Julia Sweeney, Lisa Kudrow, Kristen Wiig, Will Farrell, Cheryl Hines, Maya Rudolph, Kathy Griffin, etc.) Kerr is the creator, founder, and artistic director for the Orange County Crazies, a sketch and improvisational comedy troupe (launched in 1990) in Santa Ana, California. She also serves as the group's head writer. She has received rave reviews for her work as a writer, performer and director.
Kerr, having taught improvisational comedy to actors since 1973, studied with some of the best improv and comedy teachers in the business, including Kerr’s former scene partner, the late Gary Austin, founder of the L.A. Groundlings, and a former member of the highly acclaimed group, The Committee; Michael Gellman, a director and teacher at The Second City, in Chicago; and Jeannie Berlin (an Academy Award nominee and Elaine May's daughter). In her formative years, she studied at the Pasadena Academy of Drama with Eleanor Dopp.
A writer for more than 39 years, Kerr has owned an award-winning public relations firm since 1978, KerrPR, which offers public relations services to a variety of clients. As a consultant now, she handles many crisis situations and is regarded as a prime source by media (such as “Good Morning America,” “NBC Dateline,” “Entertainment Tonight,” “CNN, “20/20,” “The Today Show,” “Anderson Cooper 360º,” “The Sunday Show,” “Nightline,” and many others) to provide them with expert sources for commentary.
Kerr is a member of the American Society of Composers, Artists and Publishers (ASCAP), and has been honored as an award-winning journalist and publicist. Kerr was named, along with Disney's Michael Eisner, as one of the "Top Ten Most Sensational People in Orange County" by Orange Coast Magazine. She has been quoted and featured in many publications including the OC Register, The Los Angeles Times, the Harvard Review Communication Newsletter, Forbes, American Way magazine, the Sacramento Bee, USA Today, The New York Times, Investor’s Business Daily and The Associated Press, in addition to many others. She also did an AOL radio tour on email etiquette in 28 cities in the U.S. and has been featured on numerous websites. She also is a member of Women in Film.
Kerr has also written, produced and directed an original full-scale musical comedy, written four full-length screenplays, and more than 400 comedy sketches. Having produced a number of comedy shorts for the O.C. Crazies, Kerr founded Ree-invent Films in 2011 to expand her efforts into full-length feature films. Her first independent film project, We’ve Got Balls, which won eight major awards since its world debut at the 2013 Newport Beach International Film Festival, won big at the Action on Film and Movieville International Film Festivals, as well as at Indie Fest, the All Sports Los Angeles Film Festival and World Fest-Houston. Distributor, Indie Rights, picked up the film which was released in May of 2015. It is available on iTunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play, Comcast Xfinity VOD and Vimeo on Demand, to name just a few platforms. It recently was picked up in foreign markets as well. Kerr is currently in pre-production on her next feature-length project, Small Claims, a highly-improvised comedy.
Kerr’s comedy short, “Hype” was an Official Selection and her short film, “Background Check” was runner-up for “Best Comedy Scene” at the 2014 Action on Film International Film Festival.
Kerr is the mother of award-winning filmmaker, Drake Doremus, winner of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for Like Crazy. Doremus trained under Kerr as a member of the O.C Crazies sketch and improv troupe, having started on Kerr’s stage at the age of six, leaving for school at the American Film Institute at age 19. Doremus has released several features since 2011, including the feature film, Breathe In in 2012; Equals, in the summer of 2016 (starring Kristen Stewart); Newness in 2017 (starring Nicholas Holt); Zoe in 2018 (starring Ewan McGregor) and is currently in production on a new film starring Jamie Dornan. He is credited with having discovered Academy Award nominee, Felicity Jones, and helped with the fledgling career of Jennifer Lawrence. Kerr is credited with having hatched the comedic careers of such highly-acclaimed performers as Maz Jobrani (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Malia Pyles (Baskets), and Mikey Day (Saturday Night Live).
Kerr also starred in her own one-woman show, Out of Her Mind, which met with great success and which she single-handedly wrote. In it, she played several original characters.
Kerr is frequently sought out as a keynote speaker addressing presentation and communication skills and humor in the workplace and is also available for speaking engagements.
Cherie Kerr resides in Santa Ana, California. She is the mother of three and grandmother of five.