Good business writing skills are more important than ever. With so much of your communication being done through the written word, your writing needs to be perfect if you want to succeed. Are you not quite sure about your own writing? Then you can improve. Here’s some easy to follow tips that will get you writing like a pro in no time.
How To Improve Your Business Writing And Captivate Your Audience?
Start with attention grabbing headlines
Everyone these days is busy. Their inboxes are overflowing and their phones are always ringing. It feels as though it’s impossible to grab their attention. In fact, it’s much easier than you think. You just need a good, attention grabbing headline.
The key to a good headline is to give the reader something they want. Say you’re selling a new vacuum cleaner. What is it that customers want in a vacuum? You could write a headline that says ‘This Vacuum Cleaner Will Halve Your Cleaning Time’, or ‘Spend Half The Money But Get All The Cleaning Power With This Vacuum Cleaner.’ The reader will be compelled to read on to find out more.
Make sure you’re using good grammar
Grammar feels like a nefarious beast, and that you can’t quite get your head around. Good, basic grammar, though, is much simpler than you’d think. You can start learning basic grammatical techniques that will help your readers stay engaged with what you’re saying.
Practice, practice, practice
No one gets better at anything if they don’t keep doing it. The same is true of business writing. The more you do, the better you’ll be. Try drafting sample emails and business proposals, until you feel you’ve got them down. When you need to send an important communication, do a draft or two until you’re happy with it. You can only get better the more you write.
Plan your writing
On the subject of drafting, make sure that you never send the first thing you write. A lot of people don’t think anything of just dashing off a response and hitting ‘send’. The most successful people have a plan in mind before they even start typing.
UK Writings writer Jason Doleman says you need to consider your audience. ‘What will you need to say to them? What tone should you use? What language will you use? If you don’t consider these things beforehand, then you’ll send a message that can seem confused or worse, irrelevant.’
Be flexible in what you write
Writing for business is different to any other writing discipline. You need to be able to switch between different audiences and different tones at will. After all, the way you write a press release won’t be the same way you write an email to a co-worker.
The key to being flexible is to know what you can do, and when. If you’re writing for clients, you may want to be slightly more formal. If you know your co-worker well, perhaps you could use a joke to lighten the mood. Being able to gauge the mood of your audience is crucial.
Never forget to proofread
You’ve planned that piece of writing, you’ve put your best work into it, but don’t send it just yet. Instead, leave it for a while, and then come back to it. Proofreading your writing is more important than everything else. Checking your writing and removing any errors you find shows you’re professional. There are lots of tools online that can help with the process. Try Australian Help, Easy Word Count, Resumention, and Essayroo when you need a hand.
Don’t forget your citations
When you’re writing, you’ll be pulling from all sorts of sources in order to make your point. This is good, as it shows you’ve researched your point thoroughly and you know what you’re talking about. However, it’s vital that you cite the sources you use. If you don’t, it can look as though you’re passing other people’s ideas off as your own. This can even happen if you cite a source incorrectly.
Of course, you’d never do that, so you need to make sure every source you use is properly cited. It’s worth having your company’s style guide on hand as you’re writing, so you know you’re doing it right. Also, a tool such as Cite It In, which creates the citations for you, could help.
With a little practice and hard work, your business writing can improve dramatically. When you work on yours, you’ll see that you’ll get more clients and more respect from those you work with. It’s a skill that will stay with you for life.
Author: Mary Walton from SimpleGrad