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Business writing
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How to improve your professional business writing skills.

How to improve your professional business writing skills.

There are four fail safe tricks to improving the emails and letters you send to clients.

Before you even pick up a pen or start tapping away consider:

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Simple writing techniques to improve business emails.

Simple writing techniques to improve business emails.

Many businesses and organisations fall in to the trap of believing they need to use “big” words to impress their clients or customers.

There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to writing. It is important to match the language to the communication platform as well as the target audience.

Simply put, how your write a business email to a client will differ greatly to the language you use when drafting an annual report or submitting a proposal to the company board.

The key to effective email writing is to adopt simple words that reflects everyday conversation rather than dry academic language.

Use more 4-letter verbs!

Instead of “informing” your clients “tell” them.

Swap “discover” for “find”.

Rather than “provide” just “give” them information.

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Effective business writing tips

Effective business writing tips

Here are a few simple tips on how to communicate more effectively in writing:

1. Don’t bury the treasure

Make sure the main message stands out loud and clear in whatever you write.

Get to the main point straight off the bat rather than leading up to it with a long preamble.

Consider the reader’s attention is always highest when they first begin and then fades away accordingly.

Same goes for each sentence – top each sentence with the main focus.

2. Less is more

Following on from the previous point, the less words you write the greater the chance people will understand your key message.
The less you write, the more inclined people will be to read.

The less you say, the more they are likely to understand. The less you bog down you sentences with unnecessary words, the easier it is to read.

3. Clear and concise language

Not only is it important to use less words but also you must concentrate on using the right words. Words that inspire, motivate and persuade.

Using concise clear language is critical to compelling your reader to pursue your desired action. Keep it short and simple.

4. First engage then inform

Too often people are very heavy-handed in bombarding their audience with facts and figures but forget to make it interesting. Attract your reader’s attention by identifying the relevance to them before providing the information.

Simply put, if the reader fails to see any advantage for them, they are unlikely to care what you have to tell them.

5. Proof read

Avoid letting yourself down at the final hurdle by publishing documents riddled with typos or spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.

If literacy is not your strong suit, ask someone else to review your work before you send it out. Nothing destroys professionalism easier than sloppy mistakes.

Back to GAPS from Effective business writing communication: a few simple rules.

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Technology does not a writer make. It is now more than ever easy to self-publish your own musings. All that is required is a computer and an internet connection. Or so it seems. Convenience does not necessarily equate to quality.

Like any tradesmen, cleaning up after a dodgy DYI project can be a frustrating experience. When I am proof reading someone’s work it can take some time to make sense of what they are trying to say to their audience, much less who their audience may be. Quite often I feel like I am reading someone’s private ramblings that would better left to a personal diary rather than published to the world.

If you are determined to get your name in print in your own words then be very clear about your message – and its purpose. Remember the reader is not privvy to your private thoughts so you must never assume any knowledge or background information on their part.

Be clear, keep it simple and make it interesting. And if you can’t, then it may be time to call in the experts.

Too often people bury the good stuff when they write.

As a copywriter, I often feel like a miner forced to bore down into the centre of the earth to find the gold. I always find it, it just becomes a question of how long it takes and much work I must do to drag the treasure back up to the surface.
Readers will not be as determined… for let’s face it they are not being paid to dig. The deeper you bury your message the less likely it will be discovered.

The key to getting your point across is to tell a story rather than story tell. Get to the main point at the surface and give them opportunity to decide if they want to explore further. That way they are engaged from the outset and if they’re keen to seek more they will do so. There is nothing worse than promising a gold rush and delivering lumps of coal.
All you’ll be left with is an abandoned mine…