Business Writing Tips

The way you write in a business setting can positively or negatively shape a client’s, co-worker’s or supervisor’s view of you. The truth is few people notice when your business writing skills are proficient, but everyone notices when they’re lacking. Business writing skills take practice, but it’s something that will help you write effective emails, memos, letters and much more which will benefit your career.

 

To communicate effectively, you have to know your audience. Knowing who your readers are will help you answer the most pressing question: “What’s in it for me?” Remember that a message aimed at everyone, often appeals to no one, a good business message is as much about the recipient as it is about what the writer wants.

You need to decide exactly what you are trying to achieve in your message, this will give you the base you need to work on. Do you need to explain something? Do you want to inspire your readers? Or do you simply just want to share some information? Know what your key message is.

People often skim documents for key information before deciding to read the whole thing. So the trick here is to make it plain and simple. The truth is if one big paragraph, they might get bored before even attempting to read it!

  • Write a clear subject line for your email or headline for your article. Something that will intrigue the reader – for instance, “This product can save you thousands of pounds a year.”
  • Make sure the most important information is at the top.
  • If you have a list (like this one) put it in bullet points.
  • Put deadlines and other vital points in bold to ensure they get noticed.
  • Break up messages with descriptive subheads.

And avoid using £20 word when 20p ones will do. Instead of “Facilitating ameliorations to our customer service environment,” simply “improve customer service.”

Leave symbols and abbreviations out of it! Go ahead and use “e.g.” “etc.” “&” and other shorthand when your texting, but if you’re writing to impress clients, employees or investors use full words. It is much more professional.

Make sure you always proofread your documents before hitting “Send” or printing them. Spell checkers are useful, but they rarely alert you when you’ve used an actual word in the wrong context. – Read our Proofreading blog for tips!

If you want to learn more about how to become a better Business Writer, take a look at our Business Writing Course.

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