“If there’s a way to do it better…Find it.” – Thomas Edison”
It can probably be said that every business out there uses writing. Because of this, it’s important to know how one should write for a business – after all, communicating in a work environment is a little different than communicating in one’s personal life.
We used our experience and a bit of research to come up with some suggestions on how you can improve your professional communications.
Tips for Better Business Communications and Writing
When it comes to communicating as a businessperson, whether it’s an email, an article, an announcement, or otherwise, always think ahead. What information is pertinent and needs to be included? Are there any details you need to double check? What research can you do to ensure you aren’t spreading misinformation? Do you need to schedule time to speak with someone else regarding a certain topic?
While some things can be written on a whim, you can improve the relevance and the overall necessity of your writing by preparing for it beforehand.
Think like a reader.
Assume that anyone reading your writing doesn’t have any previous knowledge about your topic. In what areas do you need to offer explanations and where can you afford to use as few words as possible? Is your topic one that your reader(s) even want to read? On a businessperson to businessperson level, can your writing be taken offensively?
Make sure that your writing voice is intelligent and easy to understand so that your readers have no problem with your writing.
Less is more – keep it simple.
Don’t overwhelm readers or recipients with more than they can – or want – to handle. A good rule of thumb is to keep your writing between 300 and 700 words for something like a blog post, and between 50 and 125 words for an email. Any more than that and you’ll start to lose the attention of your readers. Additionally, only include information that is immediately necessary and stick to concise language.
Professional does not equal formal.
When communicating as a businessperson, it can be easy to assume that you need to be as put-together and well-spoken as possible, but this isn’t always the case. Keep your language and your topics professional, but feel free to include humor and insight. Making your writing fresh and relatable rather than stiff and strictly business-only can improve the reading experience tenfold.
Write once, check twice.
This is a good rule to stick to when doing any kind of writing. On your first draft, write up what you want to say. Get all your information in one place before you start worrying about styling or even grammar and punctuation. Simply purge your mind of the thoughts you’re trying to get out. Then you can go back over everything (twice!) and edit as you see fit. It’s not a bad idea to get a second opinion, as well! Have someone you trust within your business act as an editor to be certain that your writing is error-free and makes sense to the reader.