In business, one of the most fundamental skills we need is the ability to be able to write clearly and succinctly.
Too often we see people trying to demonstrate their intellect by using big, audacious language that is egotistical. (Oh, the irony here). If the language is not clear, it dilutes the message.
What’s so important in the modern world, is to be able to communicate your message clearly and quickly. With the internet, we can access so much information everywhere. We need to capture the attention of the reader and communicate our ideas quickly.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a research fellow writing a paper, or facilitating the writing of a tender, ap proposal a press release or marketing material. We need to be able to expand and develop our business writing skills to meet the situation that we’re in.
The K.I.S.S. principle.
The KISS principle is an older writing principle that many journalists and writers live by.
“Keep it simple stupid.”
We sometimes forget we are communicating complex ideas that have taken us years of experience to comprehend, forgetting that for others, it won’t seem so simple.
Too often people think that plain English is dumbing it down, however, it’s making sure that you’re to the point, and the message is communicated clearly.
Re-frame for a Positive Tone
Sometimes, in professional situations, we need to communicate a message to a variety of different audiences. It may be to the general public or to a client. It’s about finding the balance between language that is too casual or officious, too friendly or too bossy. At times we need to be direct, however we also need to frame our language in a way that’s positive, yet also professional.
At some point a Press Release will be on the cards.
It’s inevitable in your employment at some point of time that you’re going to be involved in writing, reading or distributing a press release. Now, you might not need to write a press release for yourself, but you may need to proof a press release that somebody else has written on your behalf.
So it’s important to understand the principles of structure and style of a press release works well. It’s likely at some point in your life you’re going to have to produce one, even if it’s for a community group or project you’re involved in. It’s worth knowing how it should look and what the media looks for. If your message is clear and well structured, it reduces the re-working a print journalist might need to do.
The Art of Blog Writing.
We’ve all read them at some point, (you may not even be aware that this is what you’re reading). Blogs or articles have now become a staple on business websites for search engine optimisation (that is, being found on google for certain words). Whether you’re tasked with the job of writing a blog or are proofreading the blogs written by someone else, it’s worth understanding the tips and tricks that make them work.
No one needs to be a literary genius. Some find the notion of writing for the public as overwhelming. Yet there are some cheats and tricks that can enable you to not only come up with a genius idea but create your content quickly.
Even if it’s not SEO that you’re aiming for, there are other elements that make a blog easy to read, digest and keep the fickle attention of the reader.
Tools to Support Your Writing
In this digital age there are so many tools available to assist you to improve your writing. While we still need to have appropriate skills in spelling and grammar, there are some great tools to assist us.
I am terrible proof-reader. As my family can testify, I quite often make grammatical errors in my writing. Thank goodness for the grammar check in Word and thank goodness for Grammarly. Grammarly is an online tool that acts like the grammar check in Word, but it will check the grammar of everything that you write in a web presence. So whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, any forms that you complete online, Grammarly will check that for you. It’s not foolproof, it does make mistakes, but it’s a great backup.
Creating and Navigating Large Documents.
One of the key things that my clients will procrastinate about is writing large documents. Whether it’s assignments, reports or proposal.
The key is to be able to brain dump your ideas, randomly, no particular order and sculpt them into a roadmap.
Additionally, there are useful tools in Word to help you navigate large documents as you move back and forth through the structure. There also styling features that ensure that your formatting is consistent and your prestation accurate and professional.
A well laid out document is easy for the reader to navigate. This is vital for documents that are competing for the attention of the reader with many other documents, such as proposals, award nominations or job applications.
Anybody who’s reading your document needs to have a pleasing experience. The more well-presented it is, the better chance you have of that person reading that document.
Business writing is one of those soft skills worth improving.
- Take advantage of the digital tools to help you.
- Do learn ways to make the process simple.
- Think about the ease of the reader and who your audience is.
- Limit yourself to one style of writing.
- Think it’s too hard and you need to be a scholar to write a blog or a press release.
- Assume that people will read every word.