Improve Your Business Writing with These Simple Tips13th December 2017
You write all the time. Texts, emails, direct messages and tweets. The platforms are endless but quick, clipped forms of writing can’t substitute for effective, well-crafted business writing.
What is business writing I hear you ask?
It’s anything that’s been written with care, attention to detail and is targeted towards a specific audience. Once you start taking your business writing seriously and follow our tips below, you’ll see improvements in your day to day business communications.
Let’s start with the basics.
- Plan what you want to say in your writing
- Keep sentences short and get to the point
- Avoid jargon, bizspeak and confusing language
- Use your first draft without reading it through
- Try to sound overly intelligent or funny – this rarely works
- Pass the work on to a ‘better writer’; anyone can improve with practice
Think then write
If you begin writing prematurely, you are going to incorporate all the mistakes, repetitions and cliches that populate your thoughts. Start by taking a step back and thinking about what you want to say. Ask yourself these 3 questions:
- What do I want my audience to know after reading this text?
- How should they feel after reading this text?
- Will they take action?
The last question is a classic case in point. If you need a client to do something, tell them to do it (use an active verb phrase) but do it in a manner that is polite and direct, not abrupt and rude.
Make your point immediately
The writing style you developed for school essays isn’t useful in the business world. Be direct and make your point upfront so that there is no chance of miscommunication. You will save you and your reader time this way and produce better results. With forethought and planning, your writing will be clear, concise and an invaluable tool to use throughout your working life.
Read what you have written
Read over your writing to empathise with your audience. Have you made your point clear? Are the sentences well crafted and concise? Try reading out loud to yourself. Do the sentences flow and contribute to your overall message? Asking these questions will produce better emails, reports and white papers every time.
Don’t be afraid to ask someone else to read your work over. If they are willing to check for clarity – as well as spelling and grammar – then this is a sure way to improve your writing quickly.
Writing is a skill like any other. Practice every day and the improvements will be exponential. What you’ll get in return is a more efficient working day and great working relationships with your colleagues and clients.
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