C-Suite Network™

Writing Tips for the C-Suite

Executives who write well easily convey their ideas and increase their influence. Poor writing makes you stand out – in an unpleasant way. Here are some tips for smoother writing.

Easily Confused Words: Insure, Ensure, Assure

Insure relates to insurance policies and limiting financial liability.

Assure is something you say or do to make another person comfortable.

Ensure is what you do to guarantee a result.

Here are examples:

I purchased a homeowner’s policy to insure my house.

I can assure you your clients will come away with actionable items.

This program will ensure your employees will improve their customer service.

I insured my car so I could ensure I could fix it and assure my parents.

Who versus That

Present yourself as a polished writer by correct use of “who” and “that”. Who is used with people and that is used with things. I find a lot of people get confused on this point.


“The client who is ready to buy will need an order form.”

“The plane that was supposed to take me to New York was cancelled.”

 What word goes here?

“It includes firsthand perspectives of people ____are familiar with bullies.”

“Who” belongs in the sentence. Who is used with people.

“This is a sudden crisis ____needs to be addressed.”

“That“ is the right choice.

Correct use of semicolons

These often-overlooked punctuation marks make your writing more professional.

A semicolon joins two sentences when there is no conjunction such as “and” or “but” in between.

The HR department completed an assessment; it showed the need for training.

The VP for Sales completed a sound check the morning of the event; she was horrified by the room’s acoustics.

A semicolon separates items in a sentence that has commas.

The corporation has offices in Philadelphia, PA; Chicago, IL; and San Francisco, CA.

Be Brief

Make your writing smoother with a minimal amount of words.


Your clients will find our services delightful, will be amazed and come away inspired by our services.


Your clients will be delighted, amazed and inspired by our services.

Be Consistent

Repeat the same grammatical form to make it easy for your reader to assimilate your ideas.


The audience cheered, were getting on their feet, and clapped at the end of the speech.


The audience cheered, clapped, and stood at the end of the speech.

Pat Iyer is an accomplished editor and ghostwriter. She has edited or authored more than 800 books, articles, case studies, chapters, or online courses and thousands of blog posts. Pat is a C Suite Network Advisor. Reach her through her website EditingMyBook.com

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