The Value of Good Writing Skills
10 Simple Ways to Improve Business Writing Skills. Good writing makes you appear more professional, intelligent and credible. It helps to avoid confusion and misinterpretation, and build trust and rapport with colleagues, and win clients.
First, being a good writer helps you stand out from the crowd and improves your chances to get promoted. The texts, emails, and reports you send on a daily basis are a physical representation, and records of you.
Good writing is especially important because of our boomed use of social media. Often, we’ve all seen professionals on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook misspell words or use a word incorrectly. This is not only embarrassing when it happens to you, but it can also affect your reputation and credibility in the future.
How to Improve Your Writing Skills
Your writing communicates your thoughts, and it’s important that those thoughts are conveyed in the clearest and most eloquent possible way.
1. Think Before You Start Writing
Before you start writing anything, stop and think about what you want to actually say. Ask yourself, “What does this person want to know and what will he understand after reading your email?”
You can also use these W, H words to craft your work:
- Who: Who are your audience?
- What: What they need to know?
- Why: Why they need this information?
- When: When they need this information?
- How: How should they use this information?
Professionals in every sector are swamped with emails every day, many of which are unnecessary. Save yourself and your reader’s time by making sure that each email you send is truly necessary and relevant.
2. Keep It Short
Writing with clarity is essential, but writing with brevity is more mandatory and difficult, especially in business writing. Practicing concise writing should eliminate unnecessary words and shorten the total word count. It is more important than cutting words, writers must use the most effective words to improve business writing.
- Choose descriptive words when writing actively. For example, instead of “Shree kept trying to work hard to make his dreams come true,” and what about “Shree worked hard to succeed.”
- Eliminate unnecessary words. Concise writing calls for getting to the point without superfluous words, such as truly, amazingly, really, in order to, etc.
- Read, and even inspect, your sentences further. You should edit the sentences for grammatical errors too.
3. Avoid Pretentious Words
If writers use pretentious words even if other, far more common words would convey the same meaning, they risk losing the reader. When writers constantly drop pretentious words into text, they risk losing the reader for several reasons:
- The reader is aware that the author thinks they’re better than the reader.
- The reader feels inferior and alienated, therefore keenness doesn’t last for long in reading.
It’s too much hard work to wade through the pretention and get to the point.
4. Use the Active Voice
Sentences in an active voice flow better and are easier to understand. Active voice places the emphasis on the subject of the sentence and makes the sentence more straightforward and concise.
This makes your writing much easier to understand. For example:
Active: I really love this book.
Passive: This book is really loved by me.
Active: Tigers live in the jungle.
Passive: The jungle is where tigers live.
Here, the active sentences are more convenient and easy to understand in comparison to those in passive.
5. Always Be Professional
You also need to make your business writing polite, getting your point clearly across with civility.
- Think about your reader’s needs.
- Group down a list of the points you wish to cover in the letter.
- Write your first draft.
- Take a break and let yourself to “clear your opinion in the head.”
- Read over the first draft and make revisions until you find it better.
- You may need an additional tone, such as the following:
6. Stick to One Topic in Emails
When writing, especially a blog post or an article, it’s very common to get distracted by related topics and ideas. But if someone has chosen to read about a topic, that’s what they expect to read about.
Changing topics within a single piece of business writing can confuse your readers and defame your ‘expert’ status.
7. Never Use Email to Deliver Bad News
If you have to deliver bad news in the course of business, it’s naturally obvious to use email. Avoiding confrontation in an unpleasant situation is obvious as they are only human, after all.
In the direct approach, the bad news comes first, and the reasons are listed afterward. That creates a negative impact and frustration to the reader.
8. Read what you write
Try to put yourself in your reader’s shoes. And yourself few questions that might hit the reader’s mind.
Is your point clear and well structured?
Are the sentences straightforward and concise?
You should once read out passages loud. That’s how those flaws reveal themselves:
- The gaps in your arguments,
- The clunky sentence,
- The section that’s long.
And never be afraid to ask a colleague or friend. It’s better yet, to ask several colleagues and friends — to edit your work. Welcome their feedback; don’t resent it.
9. Easy to Scan
Business readers are extensively busy and cannot read everything. To help with this overloaded information, business documents should be easy to absorb. This means:
- No long paragraphs.
- Use numbered or bulleted lists.
- Indent sub-information to indicate hierarchy.
- Judicious use of bold or
colourcan highlight key points.
- Use lots of white space.
- Headings above document sections are a natural antidote for overloading.
The format in business writing matters a lot. These principles of business writing can be applied to improve your business writing skills.
10. Write to Express, Not to Impress
The goal is to transmit the actual information to the reader. So, business writing requires clear language to help readers understand the information easily. Writing clearly is one of the tough aspects of business writing.
It’s easy to write long, rambling sentence. Concise, clear writing requires skill.
No one in business wants to read a longer document. In business writing, the required writing skills are the ability to extract what is significant, written clearly and synthesized.
Concision can be challenging because it’s a learned skill not emphasized in college. In academic writing, assignments often require a good length. Puffed up and overloaded language is rewarded.
Our schools and colleges taught and emphasized expository writing. No one can become a good business writer without being taught how to develop a thoughtful, well-organized essay. Business writing sits on top of academic writing.
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