In today’s fast-paced business world we are continually faced with writing emails, reports and preparing presentations. Good writing skills are valuable and taking time to improve yours could pay significant dividends throughout your career.
Many of us are not born writers. At VETTA Communication we understand this and we can make your life easier with our Business Writing training workshops. We provide a hands-on experience to make the business of writing focused, concise, accurate and compelling.
What you need to understand is, your writing communicates your thoughts, and it’s important that those thoughts are conveyed in the clearest, most eloquent way possible.
Let’s look at several techniques you can use to improve your business writing skills:
- The Art of Persuasion
The main reason for business writing is to persuade and communicate only what is necessary for your reader to understand. Readers have little or no time to digest information, and learning how to keep yours short and simple will ensure communication that is clearly understood.
- Think Before You Write
Before you start typing, stop and think about what you want and need to say. Ask yourself, “What does this person need to know or understand after reading this email?”
You can also use the “5 Ws + H” journalists use when crafting their work:
- Who: Who is my audience?
- What: What do they need to know?
- When: When does this apply, when did this happen, or by when do they need to know it?
- Where: Where is this happening?
- Why: Why do they need this information?
- How:How should they use this information?
You also need to ask yourself, “Do I really need to send this email?”
Professionals in every sector are inundated with emails every day, many of which are unnecessary. Save yourself and your reader time by making sure that each email you send is truly necessary and relevant.
- Keep It Short
- Cut out ‘I hope this email finds you well!’
- Cut out the first paragraph if it refers to previous correspondence – rather place this in the subject line.
- Cut out the last paragraph if it asks for future correspondence – rather end with a positive conclusion.
- Keep it Simple
- Use familiar words, short sentences and paragraphs.
- Keep the subject matter as simple as possible.
- Keep related information together.
- Use a conversational style.
- Keep it strong
- Answer the reader’s question in the first paragraph.
- Give your answer and then explain why.
- Use concrete words and examples.
- Keep to the subject.
- Keep it sincere
- Answer promptly.
- Be human and as friendly as possible.
- Correspond in a conversational style.
A common downfall in business writing is a failure to edit the correspondence once it has been written. A failure to edit your correspondence invariably leads to errors slipping through and often this can result in a lack of intent and clarity.
Editing is especially important when you are under pressure to pass on information. E-mails often lose their impact and create the wrong impression when we send them hurriedly without editing properly first.
In brief, then, discover the Seven C’s when corresponding and editing.
Your document should be:
These are just a few valuable tips we share with participants during VETTA Communication sessions. Most importantly, delegates will leave the training armed with powerful tools to help them with powerful business writing skills.