Blog: Improve Your Business Writing Skills With These Six Tips
Photo courtesy of Grace Carter
Writing is a big part of working in the business world, but a lot of professionals just don’t make it a priority. So much time and confusion can be saved by proper, clear business writing. Improve your business writing skills with these six tips.
Write with an objective in mind
Before you write anything, ask yourself, “What is my objective?” Think about what the recipient wants and needs to know. Your writing will be much more focused if you follow the rules of a journalist. Who is your audience? What information do they need? When will this event happen/when does this information apply? Where is this happening? Why do they need this information? How will they use this information? You may even go over these questions and decide that the email doesn’t need to be sent. Sometimes it’s just better to quickly tell someone in person, rather than adding one more email to their inbox.
Know your audience
“The audience for your writing can make a big difference in terms of how you write it. A piece of writing that is appropriate for one audience can be totally inappropriate if it’s sent to another,” advises Loraine Dever, copywriter at Assignment Help. You’ll write differently depending on whether you’re writing to a coworker, or a client, or your manager. If you’re writing to a client you’ll probably want to be more clear about your terms, since they’re not in the business that you and your coworkers are. Be sure that your style, tone, and vocabulary all suit the audience you are addressing.
Be considerate of you recipient and make your writing brief. People have a lot of tasks to complete and emails to read in a day, so don’t waste their time. Shakespeare said, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” Well, you might not be a famous playwright, but you can still spare people a long and tedious message. Think about the past where you felt like someone wasted your time by sending you an email that was three times as long as it needed to be. It’s not fun, so make getting to the point quickly a priority in your writing. Leave out stuff that readers tend to skip.
You should make your points as clear as possible to avoid confusion, and to avoid dealing with the questions people ask because of your lack of clarity. Business writing is notoriously bloated, but that is no excuse for you to follow suit. Focus on your verbs, and not smothering them. Smothering means writing in a tense that surrounds your verbs with unnecessary words. Say “discuss,” rather than “hold a discussion,” and you will have written a clearer, more forceful sentence. Choose verbs that are powerful and don’t require adverbs. Adverbs often add very little or nothing to a sentence. Say “ran,” and not “ran quickly,” the latter is just redundant. Your goal is to express, not impress.
Find out what your weaknesses are
Find out where you need to improve. Try and separate the information you are attempting to convey from the words you use to convey it. Now decide, or have someone help you decide, whether your issue is with the actual information, or the words you use to communicate that information. It’s helpful to have someone go over your writing to figure this out, either by a coworker or by taking a business writing course.
Check out some online resources to improve your business writing skills
Writing can be difficult for a lot of people, especially business writing. Don’t hesitate to get some help from these online resources:
5. My Writing Way / Writing Populist: Check out these writing guides for help improving your business writing skills. Even good writers can struggle when it comes to business writing, so use these guides to help.
Writing is something business professionals do every day, yet so many of them don’t make improving it a priority. You can make your life, and the lives of your clients and coworkers, easier by learning to write better. Having an objective, knowing your audience, being brief, being clear, getting online writing help, and finding and fixing your weaknesses are all important steps to improving your business writing.
Grace Carter is a business writer at Assignment Writing Service and Big Assignments, academic websites. Carter works with a team of content writers and manages business communications. Also, Carter tutors at OX Essays service.