Whether you write all the time or only occasionally, it pays to have great business writing skills. You may have to write proposals to clients, a memo to senior executives and of course, there will be an unending number of emails to write and respond to.
You want to make sure that your writing is both effective and clear. On some occasions, in may not matter, but the best thing to do is to always write as if it does, so that your writing and communication skills will always stand out. Here are some effective ways to help you acquire good business writing skills.
1. Accuracy & The Internet
You may be writing online for your business’ website or other articles related to your business. One thing about the Internet is that not everything you see and read may be true or accurate. This is because anyone can write anything on their website, so it does not mean that it is either true or accurate. If you want to come across as professional and reliable, you need to use reputable sources for your research so that you pass the correct information to your readers. You may also be required to cite sources, but this is a good habit to get into, because your standard of writing will always be high and full of good information.
2. Use Names
It may be a small detail, but it can make someone feel really valued, which is also good for you. There are so many emails flying about in all kinds of directions. When you take a moment to actually use a person’s name (not everyone does), it can make a significant difference to the receiver. The receiver doesn’t feel like a number. You’ve personalized it which is always appreciated in the business world.
3. Read Correspondence Carefully
When you receive an email from someone, read it carefully. The person may be asking a number of questions and when you respond, you need to answer all of their questions. There are those who do not. That means the other person will have to write back and ask you one or two questions again that were missed. This can be a little annoying to the person on the other end and it doesn’t look professional from you.
4. Get Rid Of Distractions
When writing any business correspondence, make sure that you are focused. This means turning off your phone. The Internet is also distracting. There may be a tendency to check something online which may not be work-related. Close all other tabs and get down to the business of good writing.
5. Second Pair Of Eyes
After you write, make sure that you read it, then re-read it again. However, one useful tip is to have someone else read it as well. Sometimes, a second person can spot something that you may have missed. In business writing, this can make all the difference.
6. Avoid Jargon
Business writing may sometimes be full of buzzwords that are industry-specific. Occasionally, it cannot be helped, but use too many and it may look as if someone wrote it on autopilot. Being clear and concise is something that will never go out of style, so try to maintain this as best as possible.
In business writing, it’s best to make your point early on. Be direct and don’t leave the main point for somewhere in the middle or the end. Put forth your main idea right at the beginning.
Read a lot more and also practice. Though that’s common sense, it bears mentioning because it makes a big difference. Think before you write. Keep sentences short and to the point and try to use words sparingly so that you don’t waste the reader’s time. There are online tools available to help you write better business correspondence and there are also business writing courses you can take to make you an effective business writer.