I'm Tom and welcome to my site.

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E-Book Testimonials

"Thomas Clifford has made something useful here. This report will give you some really catchy, useful ideas.

It made me reconsider how I do what I do, so you might give it a look-see, too!" 

Chris Brogan, President, Human Business Works 

"Tom Clifford is by trade a filmmaker. For most of his life, he rarely wrote anything longer than a brief comment in the margin of a script. 

Now, though, he's producing tens of thousands of words a year, first as a Fast Company "Expert Blogger," and then as a writer for the Content Marketing Institute. 

How did Tom go from a non-writer to a prolific and much-read one? His eBook, '5 (Ridiculously Simple) Ways . . . , ' holds some of his secrets."

Mark Levy, Author of "Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content"

“Tom is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet—if you have the privilege to meet him. And he does sterling work as well. But don’t just take my word for it.

Read this free report and you’ll not just love its tone and content, but learn a lot as well.”

Sean D’Souza, Psychotactics.com

“Anyone who wants to improve their writing needs this e-book. A lot of ebooks are short because they just don’t have much substance to offer. They’re not worth your time (and so are many of the long ones, too, for that matter). Tom’s is short because he’s so good at giving you only what you need to know. 

‘5 (Ridiculously Simple) Ways to Write Faster, Better, Easier’ lives up to its promise by example as well as in the words themselves. Tom used the very same techniques he teaches you to write this book. 

And what’s in here is not just a rehash of the same tired ideas you find coming from people who have suddenly fancied themselves as writing gurus. There are tricks in here I never heard of (like the Writing Funnel) and some I had forgotten about and was glad to be reminded of (like Sporadic Writing).” 

Michael Martine, Blog Alchemist, Remarkablogger.com 


13 Box System: How to Structure a Presentation (in Minutes) 

Have you ever been asked to give a presentation?

If so, did you struggle for hours trying to figure out what to say first?
Then second?
Then third?

What if you had an “easy-as-pie” system to instantly map out any presentation you deliver?
How cool would that be?
It’d be very cool, right?

Well, you can have that system now
And learning how to use it will take just minutes.
(Really, it will.)

13 boxes was my life-saver
When I started public speaking a few years back, I wasn’t sure how to outline or structure a presentation. But a light bulb went off.

I remember running across something called “The 13 Box Structure System.”

The 13 boxes form a grid to help you outline a presentation that rocks
I first started out creating a grid with, um, 13 boxes.
Then I outlined my presentation.
And I was home free.

After using the 13 Box System, I was confident I had a presentation that incorporated a solid structure (a beginning, middle and end) and communicated exactly what I wanted to say in a way that kept the audience engaged.

Eugene Moreau of Moreau Communications reveals his 13 Box Structure System
Eugene just created four very short videos detailing how to use the 13 Box Structure System to give a presentation. Each video is only two minutes or so in length.

The system is dead simple and highly effective
Even if you’re comfortable giving presentations, do yourself a favor and check these videos out.

Here’s what I suggest:
• Grab a piece of paper and a pen.
• Place it in the landscape position.
• Watch the videos and make notes as you follow along.

First, Eugene shows us how the presentation grid is divided so the page has a beginning, middle and an end.

Then Eugene shows us how to create the five stages in a presentation:
1. Conclusion
2. Headlines
3. Critical Messages
4. Main Body
5. Opening Sequence

In the last video, Eugene shows you how to order the 13 boxes when you deliver your presentation.

Where and when can you use the 13 Box Structure System?
In addition to presentations, I think you can use this system just about anywhere. Use it for meetings, slide shows, videos, podcasts, etc.

Can 13 boxes really make a difference in your presentations?
It did for me.
I’m sure it will for you.

Watch the videos and decide for yourself.


Zapping Article Chaos, Optimizing Content, Harnessing Transcript Power

Here are three (very different) articles I recently wrote for Content Marketing Institute. Each article is written to specifically boost your communication skills in new ways.

Feel free to join the conversation by leaving your comments or sharing your insights on an article.

1. 4 Steps to Zap Article Chaos (Now and Forever)
Here's a simple method I use to organize and turn my rough ideas into finished articles. Copy my system or tweak it to fit your own needs.

2. How to Optimize Your Online Content (Without Being an SEO Wizard)
If you're like me and don't care to spend hours keeping up with all the latest search engine optimization techniques (SEO), you might enjoy this nifty tool. (Um, I use it and really like it.)

3. Transcripts for Content Marketing: Are You Ignoring These 3 Hidden Benefits?
Don't use transcripts when interviewing someone? Hmm. Here's why you might want to reconsider. There are some great tips beyond what I talk about in the article in the comments section.


Behind the TedTalk 2010

Got 11 minutes? You won't want to miss this gripping mini-documentary taking you behind the scenes of a TEDTalk.

  • The music is absolutely stunning.
  • The story is simple but dramatic.
  • The photography captured just the right moments.

Here is the TED link for full credits and further information.

Hats off to TED, the crew and the producers for a job well done.


Conversational Video: Increasing Viewer Engagement

Quite by accident (thanks to Twitter), I bumped into Nick Kellet, CMO and Product Strategist at HuStream.

Long story short: we had a marvelous phone conversation which inspired Nick to write an interesting riff on What’s conversation? Who’s listening? And why the voice in your head?

I also shared with Nick this idea I've been noodling on for a while called, "second story."

What is "second story?"

Well, the "first story" is the story in front of us; the obvious.

The "second story" is the story we begin telling ourselves after the first story. I think this is an area where engagement can really be developed.

HuStream is doing some cool things when it comes to viewer engagement, video and conversation.

If you have a minute, check out HuStream and Nick's article.

You'll be looking into a crystal ball.


4 New Articles for Content Marketing Institute


I was so busy writing articles for Content Marketing Institute I forgot to share them with you here.

Without further delay, here they are.

1. How Ringo Starr Can Help You Create Rockin’ Blog Content
I've seen Ringo perform eight times ever since he launched his All Starr Band in 1989. As I was driving home after the concert, I got inspired to write this article.

2. Is Your Content Missing This Often-Overlooked Ingredient?
We learned about using summaries way back when in school but we often forget to use them. Here's why they work so well.

3. Stuck for Content Ideas? Here’s How to Get (Nearly) Instant Relief
Can a deck of creativity cards really give you new insights when you're stuck?

4. How New Bloggers Can Easily Craft Remarkable About Pages
If you're new to blogging, here are a few tips to help you write an effective "About" page.

If you found these articles helpful, feel free to leave a comment or share them with your network.

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