Writing for business is different than writing for any other audience. The way you communicate in business correspondence can, after all, directly impact your reputation, credibility and success in the business world. These ten simple techniques will help you refine and perfect your business writing so your words have the impact and power necessary for your business to thrive.
Business jargon is difficult for even some professionals in the field to understand without rereading it or without doing additional research. For the most part, jargon is a way of saying something without really expressing anything at all. Try to avoid using jargon in your writing and express yourself in a manner that can be easily understood by nearly anyone.
Get to the point
People tend to develop a sense of wariness when a proposal or business proposition does not get straight to the point. Avoid beating around the bush in your business writing and directly address the issue at hand. Remember that less is more.
While you will want to avoid using excessive business jargon in your writing (#1), you should present yourself in a professional manner. Remember that your writing represents your expertise in a particular area.
Formality is necessary and desired in business writing, but don’t let it get in the way of communication. Your readers should be able to detect a small part of your personality through your writing, and they should feel comfortable communicating with you.
Avoid gender bias
Try to avoid using gender-biased terminology, such as “chairman” or “he”; use “chairperson” and “he or she” instead. Replace gender-biased terms with words that are gender neutral.
Anticipate your readers’ questions
Try to anticipate any questions your readers may have about the proposal or issue you are addressing. If necessary, write these questions down on a separate sheet of paper and thoroughly answer them before incorporating them into your business document.
Avoid sloppiness in formatting
Use simple and professional formatting in all business documents. Avoid using fancy fonts or unusual formats. Keep it simple.
Use the correct tone
Decide what tone is most appropriate for the document. How you say something can have just as much effect as what you say. Readers may be put off by a business letter or a request that is overly authoritative. On the other hand, an aggressive and commanding tone may be necessary in certain circumstances. Avoid talking down to your readers or being demanding.
Provide a call to action
Effective business writing often includes a call to action. A document that is simply informative isn’t likely to get much of a response. Ask your readers to perform a certain action with the information you have provided.
While this step should go without saying, it is one of the most important tips in good business writing. You don’t want to appear sloppy or unprofessional to your readers. Thoroughly proofread your document at least two or three times. At a minimum, have a friend or colleague look it over. Even better, hire a reputable professional proofreading company like ProofreadingServices.com to review your business writing. Often, others will catch errors you will not see yourself, and, in the business world, a slight grammatical or spelling error can have a huge negative impact on a business’ brand or your image in the eyes of your colleagues.