We live in an information-driven world. So, whether you own a small business or a huge multinational company, there is a good chance that a significant part of your job involves communicating (oral and written) with others. Most people in business equate written communication with business letters and emails.
But, business written communication has never been curtailed to that. As part of the organization, there will be multiple times when you have to prepare promotional copies, presentations, memos, training materials, and business proposals, amongst other things.
Despite the heavy popularity of written communication in businesses, most people are not adept at it. Of course, people with an MBA or a similar degree might have acquired a tiny bit of business writing experience in university or college, but there, too, it is not stressed.
Moreover, nobody goes to business school hoping to get well-acquainted with business writing. The condition is worse for people who never went to business school.
So, if you have no prior knowledge or experience in business writing, things can be a little tricky for you. Inefficiency in business writing can be a major hiccup.
But, if you aspire to better your business writing skills, it can accentuate your chances of getting a top-rewarding job. Why do you not consider pursuing a business writing course online for this?
We will also discuss some tips to improve your business writing skills. Let us get started and discuss these tips one by one.
Who are you writing for?
If you do not direct your message to a particular set of audiences, it will appeal to no one. Thus, to ensure effective communication, you should know with who you are corresponding.
Also, if you know who will read your message, it is simpler to direct and frame it. Once you know about your reader, consider the following questions:
- What is their age?
- Do they have background knowledge in the subject you aim to address?
- Will they appreciate your message?
- Where do they live?
- Are they educated?
If you know who will read what you write, you can address a question that may be hovering in the reader’s head – How will this message benefit me?
Six Tips To Improve Your Business Writing Skills
- Ponder Hard Before You Start Writing
- Keep it Short
- Be Conversational
- Active Vs. Passive Voice
- Avoid the Jargon
- Proofread Before Sending
Ponder Hard Before You Start Writing
Before you start typing or writing the message, take a moment and think about what you wish to communicate. Most people make the common mistake of writing without thinking. They collect their thoughts as they write. But, it will result in disorganization and fluff in the piece.
So, think about what you want to communicate, write it, and finally read it. After you read it, it should be clear –
What will the audience think after reading this email?
Is there clarity on how your email benefits the readers?
If yes, you are on the right track. If not, you need to probably spend more time structuring your thoughts to give a clearer message to the audience.
Keep it Short
Nobody likes repetition. So, be clear about what you want to communicate and do it concisely. If you write a 2-page essay, your reader will instantly be put-off and not feel motivated to read. So, keep it as short as possible, and avoid long sentences and ornate prose.
In business writing, you cannot get overly informal, but at the same time, you cannot be overly formal too. Both can be a massive turn-off for the readers.
So, keep your language personal and colloquial if you wish to keep your readers interested and engaged. You can take a business writing course to know how to balance conversational and formal writing. TangoLearn has some of the best course suggestions for you.
Follow the tips for a conversational tone:
- Use contractions like I’m, they’re, you’re, didn’t. etc.
- Keep the language flowy
- Write short paras and sentences
- Choose simple sentences
- Keep the structure straightforward.
When you write a conversational piece, the readers find it easier to read. If you are still unsure about how to make your writing conversational – record yourself as you speak, and then transcribe this message. Focus on your natural speech patterns, and include them in your writing.
Active Vs. Passive Voice
Most people do not know the difference an active voice can make to your writing over a passive voice. But, a reader can instantly spot it as they read. Passive voice tends to weaken the impact and often muddles the meaning.
Some people make the standard error of making the verb act on the subject. However, it should be the other way around.
Let us understand this with an example:
‘The documents were written by experts.’
In all honesty, there is nothing wrong with this sentence. However, look at this active version:
‘Experts wrote this document.’
In the second sentence, the focus automatically shifts to the experts, making the sentence more clear and precise. Active voice can energize even bland writing.
Avoid the Jargon
Every field has some technical terms and acronyms. Using this jargon and technical language can prove beneficial and save time when the reader also knows this language. However, in several cases, the customers are your audience.
So, they may not be thorough with the business lingo. So, avoid the inside slang because what’s the point of your writing if your reader would not understand it?
If you think the use of jargon is inevitable, clearly lay out its meaning too. It helps the reader comprehend better.
Proofread before sending
Before you send any piece of writing, proofread it. Ideally, proofread every document twice. Once, immediately after you finish writing, and then an hour after. Imagine what readers will think if your piece has some silly typos.
You do not want that, but typos are bound to happen as you write. So, double-check the written document before you send it.
So, these are the top tips to get better at business writing. Have more suggestions to add? Please share them in the comments below. Check out the things you need to start an online business.