While the best practices for business writing have changed over time, the need for clear, communications is as important as ever. If you dread the thought of writing anything from a blog to a business letter, use these four tips as guide to more effective writing.
1. Use the simplest language possible
- Leave out unnecessary words.
- When common, ordinary words will do the job, don’t use fancy ones. That includes high dollar words, foreign words, and jargon.
- When possible, keep sentences and paragraphs short.
2. Write vigorously
- Use active instead of passive voice when possible.
- Choose powerful verbs over weak ones like forms of “to be.”
3. Be positive, not negative
- It’s more effective to say what something is instead of what it is not. For example, use “The procedure will be relatively comfortable,” instead of “The procedure will be pain-free.” Your audience will unconsciously focus on the word “pain” and the rest will lose power.
4. Put the audience at the center of your plan
- Know your audience, your purpose, and the value of your message before you create the key points.
- Revise and simplify
Fortunately, most of us aren’t required to write even one page of a masterpiece, but the writing we do is no less important. Effective writing can impact employee morale and the bottom line. But you’ve got to get your readers all the way through the message first in order to educate, inform or inspire.