8 tips for effective business writing communication for dummies
Published (updated: ) in Leadership and Soft Skills.
A year of remote work brought the importance of effective business writing to the next level. With these skills you save a lot of time and effort both offline and online.
Effective business writing communication helps with controlling projects, creating innovation & collaborating effectively. Written communication won’t solve all your problems though. Complement written communications with online or offline meetings and you’ll have a universal communications skillset.
Tips in this article are based both on business literature and my observations. Depending on the premise you may employ different formats of text. For now, let’s imagine you want to start a project to increase customer sales.
1. Start with an idea. Every text you write has a message you’re trying to deliver. If you write it explicitly, clearly, and concisely, there’s little chance someone will misinterpret your goals.
2. Write for a person. There’s a clear group of people who will read your text and make decisions. Think about these readers. Write your text in a way it’s easy to read, not easy to write.
3. Back with data. Data-driven decision making is a must nowadays. Your ideas have to be backed by numbers or evidence.
4. Give examples and not just adjectives. Describe the concrete actions you will take to achieve your goals. Don’t make it “time-efficient” deliver a plan draft.
5. Avoid jargon. Often your reader will be from another team or department. They may have a different set of jargon they use. Make sure you’re on the same page with your terms.
6. Do not misrepresent reality. Write with integrity. All facts stated should be true at the moment you’re writing
7. Leverage your communication skills. Ensure that the document is error-free – no spelling or grammatical mistakes. Always proofread your emails.
8. Follow up. Remember, we all have huge To-Do lists. It’s in your interest to follow up with colleagues who forgot to ask you. Make it, for example, an email every three business days.
Don’t think you’ll change the easy way to write you’re used to immediately. I suggest you write these tips on a post-it note and stick it near the work desk. Read them every time you think you’re ready to click the Send button.