Before & After Examples

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“I have asked for Barbara's inspiration and editorial skills for major projects such as book proposals, articles, and marketing materials. I highly value her professional opinion and integrity. Moreover, she delivers her work with an attitude of service and friendship that says, ‘I value you.”
— Caron Goode, Ed.D., author and psychotherapist



“To editor Barbara McNichol, whose keen eye found every little mistake I made. I wouldn’t have felt comfortable letting this book go to press until she gave it her seal of approval.
— Laura Stack, MBA, CSP, Leave the Office Earlier



“Your editing is so fabulous. You made every sentence sound crisp and clean.
— Ann Tardy, From Glass Ceiling to Open Sky


Compare these samples for a before/after difference

Expert editing clarifies and strengthens each message, keeping the writer's original voice and passion, yet adding persuasion and influence.

Example 1: Edited website copy punches up benefits

Example 2: Edited bio is shorter, more fluid, and lets the cream rise

Example 3: Rewritten article adds polish and strengthens the main points

Example 1: Edited website copy

Cynthia Ryk’s edited home page punches up the benefits and carries the theme. Readers can easily scan her copy, which is 50 words shorter.


If companies and individuals are to thrive in the 21st century, it will require a fully committed, creative, inspired workforce to maintain a competitive edge.

Since 1986, Cynthia Ryk has been working with teams and individuals to unleash their potential and possibilities. In her continual search to reveal her greatest potential, she discovered that at the foundation of any self-mastery technique, whether it be self-esteem, leadership, management, creativity, or breaking through barriers to achieve success, the core is understanding the presence and power of TRUTH. Without a clear understanding of the power of truth, individuals get stuck and frustrated with the techniques they’ve been taught.

Cynthia's expertise in personal excellence, her contagious enthusiasm, and relatable life experiences inspires individuals and teams to explore their truths, consider options, change perceptions and become engaged to positively impact both their personal and professional lives.

Clients who retain Cynthia’s services report tangible results, including:

Engaged employees who improve the bottom line.

Improved personal power and productivity.

Improved collaboration and partnerships.

Creative solutions and improved performance.

Strengthened teams through trusted, truthful relationships.


Thriving in the 21st century requires a committed, creative, inspired workforce. How do organizations nurture that?

By helping individuals and teams strive to reach their potential. When they step up, organizations experience:

increased productivity, problem-solving, and profits

stronger collaborations and partnerships

more trusting relationships based on TRUTH

Yes, based on TRUTH.

The foundation of all self-mastery techniques—self-esteem, leadership, management, creativity, breakthroughs—is understanding the POWER and PRESENCE of truth. Without that understanding, people get frustrated using techniques that keep them stuck. With it, everything is possible.

This corporate leader knows that telling the truth deters conflict and changes behavior; Cynthia Ryk shows how to bring truth telling into the workplace through:

Valour Solutions

Keynote Speeches


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Example 2: Revised biography

It’s easy to get long-winded in a bio—experts have a lot of experience to convey. The edited bio lets the cream rise, while keeping paragraphs short and easy to read. Eliminating 70 words helps make it flow.


Cynthia Ryk’s rise to the top began in 1986 when she coordinated and oversaw both small and large public and private events at a well-known events facility in Colorado. She immediately won acclaim by gaining a reputation for offering a superior level of quality and service, evidenced by an increase of 50% in bookings in the first year alone. She moved on to coordinate and deliver programs for the American Cancer Society, where she honed her coaching skills dealing with those with serious illness. Her enthusiasm and positive life view brought program recipients an enhanced sense of control during a critical and life-threatening event. From there, Ms. Ryk earned the distinction of Master Trainer, offering career counseling and job strategy training using various personality assessments at an institution of higher learning in Colorado. While there, she led a statewide advisory council which improved processes, standardized services and provided enhanced documentation for advisory-staff performance standards.

As a Senior Consultant and Career Center Manager for Lee Hecht Harrison since 1998, Ms. Ryk has helped hundreds of professionals across industries to transition and find meaningful next steps with a renewed perspective. Based on her unprecedented leadership there, she was awarded the responsibility for some of Lee Hecht Harrison’s largest regional client accounts including Hewlett-Packard, StorageTek and LSI Logic.

An Educated Expert—Cynthia holds a Master’s in Education and a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Studies. She is certified in two well-known personality assessment programs: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and True Colors. In addition, she is a Certified Coach through Therapists University and is a member of the National Speakers Association.


Cynthia Ryk, M.Ed, has helped teams and individuals use truth telling to unleash their potential since 1986. Her expertise in personal excellence, combined with her contagious enthusiasm, inspires them to explore their truths and realize greater-than-ever possibilities in their lives.

Cynthia first won acclaim professionally for increasing events bookings by 50% in her first year at a well-known facility in Colorado. She moved on to coordinate programs for the American Cancer Society where she coached and encouraged people with serious illnesses.

She then earned the distinction of being a master trainer in career counseling and job strategy training at a high-level educational institute. While there, she led a statewide council that improved advisory-staff performance standards.

A senior consultant and career center manager for a respected placement agency since 1998, Cynthia was responsible for delivering high quality service to its largest accounts including Hewlett-Packard, StorageTek, and LSI Logic.

Having earned an MA in education and BA in human development and family studies, Cynthia has also become certified in Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and True Colors personality assessment programs.

Also certified as a coach through Therapists University, this speaker, trainer, and “authority in excellence” is a member of the National Speakers Association.

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Example 3: Rewritten article

Barbara’s rewrite added polish by separating the points into four manageable chunks instead of two. Fleshing out these points strengthens the article.


“How to Improve Your Proofreading Skills”

The written word is often the first impression a business makes on prospective clients or customers. You can lose credibility by having just one typo in the volumes of words produced by your company.

Everything written in an office should be read for errors, and this includes email. There is a guide to proofreading and it includes checking for errors methodically. You should never proof your own copy because you are too familiar with it. If this is not feasible, leave the copy alone for a while, a day preferably, before trying to find errors. A good way to trick your mind when reading for spelling errors is to read the copy backwards.

The first time you read through your copy, you should check for deviations in text, i.e., doubly typed words (the the), typographical errors and incorrect word breaks. One of the most common erroneous word-breaks is the word “therapist,” if this word is hyphenated at just the right spot it could become the “the-rapist.”

Secondly read for fact or format inconsistency, word usage, sentence structure, subject/verb agreement, repetition of thought or phrases and incorrect math. Next check for language mechanics, such as capitalization, punctuation, spelling and grammar. The fourth read through includes checking overall format—type size, margins, alignment, spacing, positioning (headlines, subheads, copy, footnotes, indentations), pagination, and general appearance.

Always leave time for proofing. You will never be sorry for the costly mistakes you avoid.


“How to Avoid Costly Mistakes with Better Proofreading”

The first impression a business often makes on prospective clients or customers comes from the written word. Your company can lose credibility by having just one typo in the volumes of words it sends out.

Therefore, to minimize mistakes, proofread everything that’s written in your office—and this includes email. Use a guide to help you methodically check for errors. Avoid proofing your own copy because you have likely become too familiar with it. If it isn’t feasible to delegate this task, leave the copy alone for a while—a day preferably—before searching for errors. Read it backwards, too. It’s a good way to trick your mind into seeing common mistakes.

I recommend rereading your copy four times. The first time, check for deviations in text, e.g., words typed twice in a row (the the), typographical errors, and incorrect word breaks. A common erroneous word break is “therapist.” If this word is hyphenated in the wrong place, it becomes the “the-rapist.” Not a good impression!

The second time, read for fact or format inconsistency, poor word usage, weak sentence structure, subject/verb disagreements, repetition of thoughts or phrases, and incorrect math.

On the third read, check for language mechanics such as capitalization, punctuation, spelling, and grammar.

The fourth read includes checking overall format—type size, margins, alignment, spacing, positioning (headlines, subheads, copy, footnotes, indentations), pagination, and general appearance. Doing a good job of this makes your designer’s life much easier!

If you always set aside time to proofread your piece, you’ll avoid costly mistakes and leave your prospects with a positive first impression.

Make sure your book, article, and one-sheet accurately convey your message

Hire Barbara McNichol to transfer your passion onto the page, so you can influence your readers with clear, persuasive, results-driven writing.


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