The secret to improve your business writing

Tl;DR* Business writing can accelerate your career as it’s a force multiplier for your judgement. Clarity and influence make your writing better, and the principles you need to apply are summarized in this post.

Isn’t it weird that we send 300 billion e-mails per day, and yet no one ever taught us how to write one effectively? Same goes for a presentation, report or project summary.

How much business effort and resources are lost because of miscommunication? In the information age, business writing is the leverage to get more things done, to persuade people, and to align any organization.

Therefore, professionals that master business writing boost their influence in the company and accelerate their career growth. The question is how to do it better?

Business writing is about clarity and influence.

1. Clarity means simple and to the point:

  • Avoid additional words and unnecessary jargon. Don’t say “he was very excited” instead of “he was excited”. Or “let’s get the ball rolling” instead of “let’s start”;
  • Write short sentences;
  • Keep one idea per phrase;
  • Structure the message (most important thing goes first, bullet points, highlights, etc.);

2. Influence means making someone do or believe something:

  • Define your communication objective (informational, actionable, educational, inspirational);
  • Label the subject line accordingly: “FYI” (for your information), “Action/Reply Required”, “Invitation”, etc.;
  • Use the apropiate tone and voice; 
  • Have a specific ask and conclusion (e.g. “Please reply by Wednesday, 25th of August, at 14:00”);

Incorporate these principles in your business writing to make it 10x better. And remember that just the removal of the unnecessary is already enough to improve the effectiveness of your writing.

Interested to explore this topic more in depth? Engage with my social post and let me know your thoughts and feedback.

*TL;DR is used as a summary at the beginning of longer e-mails, and it means: Too Long; Didn’t Read; 

P.S. Post inspired by Scott Adams’s “The day you became a better writer

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