How to Be More Effective in Your Business Writing23 Jul 2020
No matter what role you play in business leadership, whether you’re an owner of a company, manager or administration employee, business writing is likely a part of your everyday work agenda. Therefore, it is important to master the basics of effective business writing.
Optimal writing skills are critical to the success of your business. Strong writing abilities that translate into concise and persuasive documents allow for clear and simple communication. Clear writing minimises mistakes, reduces misunderstandings and maximises persuasion and impact.
Here are three effective tips for improving your business writing skills:
1. Before you write, plan with purpose
You need to clearly define what you want the reader to take away from the writing before you get started. When you write with purpose, you’ll be in better shape to create content with intention and meaning.
Writing takes more than slamming the letters of the keyboard. It’s all about focusing on your purpose, collecting your thoughts and then putting them together and efficiently translating them into written words. Planning is an imperative and effective part of the writing process, as explained by the State Government of Victoria.
By brainstorming and putting all of your thoughts and personal queries in one place, you’re in better shape to devise a piece of writing with purpose.
2. Write concisely
In professional writing, too much fluff or the extra unnecessary details that can take a short business email and turn it into an essay can greatly take away from the purpose of the work. After you’re finished brainstorming, take a stab at the copy and remember to keep things concise. Only include the information that supports your purpose and avoid wordiness at all costs. We recommend limiting your sentences to 25 words for the best results.
Proofreading your own writing work is critical. However, when the document is important, a good strategy is to also ask someone else to proofread. Other people will see mistakes you won’t see yourself.
3. Compose clear, active copy
Fluff isn’t the only thing that you should avoid in professional writing. Use active voice as much as possible if you want to create the most professional and persuasive writing. According to The Proofreader, active voice is not only easier for the reader to understand, but it creates a more direct and concise message as opposed to passive voice. Here’s an example of active versus passive voice to get a better idea of what you should aim for in your business writing:
- Use active: We recommend that we create weekly reports.
- Avoid passive: It is recommended that we create weekly reports.
Active sentences are straightforward, while passive can be more difficult to digest.
How ICML can help
Writing is an effective tool for any manager or professional to have, but that doesn’t mean it always comes naturally. ICML’s Effective Business Writing course is designed to help you learn to write clear, concise and compelling documents that make you a more influential, effective and trustworthy writer.
By the end of this course, you’ll feel more confident composing everything from emails, proposals, reports and submissions by gaining time efficiency, writing and editing skills. From general copywriting to customer service, technical and email writing, we cover an abundance of relevant topics that will help you succeed as a professional.
Reach out to us directly today to learn more about the course.