Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Business Writing Tips for Professionals

Effective business writing skills can help you win that million dollar contract, earn a promotion, resolve a dispute, or generate a significant increase in new business leads. Poor business writing, on the other hand, can cause you to lose business to your competition and negatively impact your image and reputation in the marketplace.

Here are 11 easy ways you can improve your business writing skills:

  1. Before you write a word of copy, make sure you know who your target audience is and what specific result you'd like to achieve. If it's an important business communication, take five minutes to visualize yourself in the shoes of the recipient and imagine what this person's world is like.

    What does their typical day look like? What are their unique needs, goals, and challenges? What problem is keeping them up at night? The more thought and research you invest in understanding your target audience and how you can help them, the more powerful and effective your business writing communications will become.

  2. Avoid using your company acronyms and buzzwords. While they might seem cute and clever to you, it's very annoying to a busy executive who has a pile of documents and proposals to read. Avoid using academic language like 'ergo,' 'henceforth,' or 'so to speak,' and as a general rule of thumb avoid use of technical jargon. Simplify big words: write use instead of utilize, send out instead of disseminate, fair instead of equitable, etc.

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