4 Actionable Tips For Business Writing
Writing is vital to success in the professional world, and it's easy to boost your results with a little creativity. Unfortunately, it can also be tough to know how you're really communicating with your audience.
According to Lauren Brodsky, four steps can enhance your writing without spending any extra time or money.
People often overlook important information due to their busy schedules. That's why it's always worth abiding by the rule of prioritizing the most important content earlier in sentences, paragraphs, and documents.
Over time, you can improve the clarity of your sentences by using active verbs. Search for passive words like "being" and "has been" to see how much these are disrupting the flow. Once you identify those words, rewrite sentences into a present tense. For instance, passive voice is typically associated with words and phrases such as "was used," "were done," and "had been completed." On the other hand, an active voice would be more likely to use words like "used" and "completed." Active verbs are verbs that help you write concisely and clearly.
Good business writing should be engaging, not just technical. Using jargon in business writing indicates that you are trying to speak to a subject matter expert, and may alienate the target audience. Always write for a “smart novice audience” – a smart audience, generally, but may not know specifically what you are referring to.
The goal of clear writing is to make your audience feel understood and cared for. There are many ways to do this, but it is critical to know what your audience knows, cares about, and fears to write to that point. One way of doing this is by using a question-and-answer format. This can be used in a variety of ways. One example is when you are providing advice on how someone should go about something that they are confused about or scared of. You can use this format as an FAQ-style article where you answer questions from readers in the context of the passage on how they should handle their problems with the information provided in the passage. You will be more likely to get their attention this way.
Adapted from “4 Quick Tips to Improve your business writing” by Lauren Brodsky.