Knowing how to design a clever, intelligent and interesting sentence is crucial for setting yourself apart, winning business and communicating effectively. No matter what your place is in your company’s hierarchy, you probably write on the job all the time. Memos, proposals, and e-mails all have to be clear, and clear thinking gives way to clear writing. Nobody will pay attention to your ideas if you cannot communicate them the right way, even if they are the most groundbreaking and unique. Having a talent for writing is also not enough. Business writing is a discipline which, as any other, must be cultivated. It will take you only a short period of time to master this writing style by following these simple guidelines.
1. Know Your Audience
If you do not know who you are writing for, then there is a chance that your writing will be inappropriate. It is important to know, and even visualize the readers in your head while writing, because it will give you a sense of direction. Think about what they seek to learn, and pour down what needs to be said on a blank page of paper or a digital document. You have to empathize with different audiences, to be flexible enough to know how to communicate aptly with them, and connect in an appropriate way. Know the situation and audience, and use vocabulary, style and tone accordingly.
2. The Quick First Draft
There are four distinctive stages of writing preparation – research, organizing the material, first draft, and editing. The first draft should be written even with an absence of inspiration. Skip whatever stumps you at the moment and just finish the whole text before going back to revise it.
3. Revise And Tighten It Up
Leave the first draft as it is for a couple of hours to ripen. Then re-read, reconsider and alter it. What do you need to pay attention to when revising the piece? You should ask yourself whether you have told the truth and said what you needed to say. Was your introduction concise and clear? Have you proved your points and backed them up with relevant facts and information? Is it purged of lame jargon and cheap phrases? Edit the piece so to make the sentences flow better and the whole text more captivating and interesting.
When it comes to clarity, be merciless. Avoid making general statements, and always back them up with specifics. Otherwise, the readers will not be able to relate to them, and may find them incredulous and misleading. Avoid using fillers, unnecessary prepositions, and find ways to trim lengthy passages. There are great writing courses where you can learn business writing skills that will help you with communicating your message clearly and directly, and establishing the right relationship with your readers.
5. Find The Right Tone And Relax
Your readers must see that the text was not written by a robot. The structure and length of your sentences should vary, and you should always use courtesy phrases such as “we appreciate”, “thank you”, “if we can be of more help”, and “we would like to confirm”. Instead of formal language, use personal pronouns, and write as if you are talking to that specific person face-to-face.
6. Avoid Business-Speak
The business style of writing is full of acronyms and industry-specific words. However, if you overuse them the readers will assume that you are not interested in what you are saying, or that you do not even understand the matter. These words and phrases are actually not always bad. It depends on the context and whether you use it thoughtfully. You should avoid using grandiose words instead of simple ones. Some people may think that using them displays a sign of intelligence, but that is not the case.
Make your writing more effective and direct by thinking out the concept and everything you intend to say before you start writing. Keep your sentences short and on point, and avoid fancy words and jargon. With enough practice, you will most certainly become a better writer.