Executive Communication Expert Dianna Booher
— Business Writing Tips:
Is Your Business Writing Too Bland to Become Your Brand? 5 Tips to Add Spice
The tips here provide pointers on writing well and quickly.
Make the action clear and specific.
Tell readers exactly what you want them to do, or what you yourself expect to do next based on the message you’re sending. A vague jumble of details can be interpreted in many different ways. If you don’t believe it, stand outside a conference room door and listen to people walk out of a meeting. They often draw varied conclusions after hearing the same presentation. Ditto after reading a document. Imagine your reader asking, “So what do you want me to DO?”
Put the “doers” in your writing.
Avoid passive verbs in sentences like this: “The plan should be reviewed before implementation.” Who is going to review it? Without the “doer,” key information is missing. Another example you’ll find in cryptic emails and texting: “Gave her further information on the arrangements discussed” when your readers may be confused about who did the “giving and discussing.”
Avoid cliché closings.
“If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to call” on the end of an email or letter sounds like the second-grader’s “See you later, alligator.” Friendly, but oh, so worn out. Tailor your closing to fit the communication. Make it personal. After all, that’s the purpose of many staying-in-touch emails—building a personal relationship. Why sound like a rubber stamp?
Writing skills have never been more visible—-nor more important—-than in today’s marketplace with social media. If you decide yours are too bland to set you apart, add spice to generate a little sizzle.
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