Through years of education, beginning in elementary school, writing was always taught and expressed as an extremely vital skill-set and this is definitely true. But what happens when we are no longer writing for grades and writing for the sake of a profession?
How do we interpret the skills learned in various english and literature classes into real life professional scenarios?
In any industry, most — if not all — positions require some form of writing; whether that be emails to fellow work staff, proposals to clients, company updates to higher-up executives, or actual content writing for your company’s audience. No matter what type of writing, there is a level of professionalism and, let’s be honest, expectations to work-related communication and that includes writing elements. There are a few easy rules to live by when developing this form of communication that will ensure you are succeeding the level of professionalism and most importantly, effectiveness, of business writing.
One rule that I consider to be the most impactful strategy when curating any form of business writing is less is more. In other words, trim the excess fat of the writing piece. In business, being direct and concise is usually retained better as people are busy with their own work or tasks and want to know why they are taking the time to read this item. The goal of incorporating this rule into your everyday business writing is to get your point across in a simple, professional, and ultimately effective way. After all, time is money, and when conducting any type of business interaction, you do not want to waste that of a client or senior executive.
Re-reading something you have written seems like an obvious step in the writing process, but this is often overlooked when curating work-related content. As previously mentioned, people at work are usually busy and that includes you, so while work may be hectic or an email may need to be sent out as soon as possible, take that extra second to look over what you worked on. Doing this may be the difference between maintaining work-ethic credibility and simply not making any sense. For content writing or an element that will be used to communicate with consumers, re-reading also allows the writer to put themselves in the audience’s shoes. Ask, “How are they going to receive this message?” or “Am I getting my point across?”.
Overall, plan and know what you are going to say prior to opening your laptop or maybe even grabbing a pen and paper. Planning ahead (even slightly) will help your writing avoid going off into tangents or meandering around the point you are trying to get across. When writing in a business aspect, there is usually more than simply your personal goals involved or things that will be impacted by the result of your work. With this in mind, planning even as much as the concept or goal for your writing element will allow you to succeed in accomplishing the other rules and tactics for creating effective business communication through your writing.
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