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Tips and Tricks for Effective Business Writing
Business Writing is critical to boosting your influence, whether you're an entrepreneur looking for investment or a mid-level manager who lives by email. For most of us, especially in college, writing was all about how much and how well we know about the concerned subject; It was about showing off our skills. Whereas, now, putting our audience first during writing will take practice and commitment.
To make a visible change here, you can start your article by stating what are your readers in for. Take them on a journey with you via your writing. Start highlighting your key points higher in the paragraphs, sentences, and documents so that you can keep your readers hooked. It may feel a little arduous in the beginning to write this way, but in the professional space, your audience is busy. Move the bottom line up front.
You undoubtedly write a lot on the job: proposals to clients, memoranda to senior executives, and a never-ending stream of emails to coworkers. However, how can you make sure your writing is as clear and effective as possible is the real question. We have got you covered,
Following are a few strategies that you can use to make your business writing stand out:
1. Think before you write
Before penning down your thoughts, keep in mind what you want to convey. One of the common errors that people usually make is they tend to start writing prematurely. They work out their thoughts as they’re writing, which makes their writing less structured, meandering, and repetitive. Therefore, while writing, ask yourself: What should my audience know or think after reading this email, proposal, or report? If the answer isn’t immediately clear, you’re moving too quickly and that is the time to Step back and spend more time collecting your thoughts in order to write effectively. This particular way will help any writer in a long run.
2. Make a direct statement.
Make your point as soon as possible in your write-up. Many people discover that their school-developed writing style and structure do not translate well to the professional sector. It is said that postponing the message to the middle of a writing piece is one of the great cancers of business writing. You save your reader time and sharpen your argument by conveying your key concept briefly before moving on to the meat of your writing. When producing larger memos and proposals, it is usually recommended to express the problem and proposed solution at the top of the first page in no more than a hundred and fifty words.
Generally, if the opening of writing is bad, the entire piece is deemed as bad as well therefore it is advised to acquire an aptitude for summarising in the writing field.
3. Remove the Extras
There is absolutely no need to use words when one will suffice just fine at their place. Examine your writing with a critical eye to ensure that each word contributes to your broader argument. Remove any words or sentences that aren't necessary. When "consensus" suffices, there's no need to say "wide consensus of opinion." Whenever the reading audience senses that a blog is becoming lengthy, they immediately tend to tune out.
It is recommended to eliminate prepositions, replacing –ion words with action verbs, for example, giving protection to becomes protected, using contractions like don't instead of don't and we're instead of we're, and substituting stronger verbs for is, are, was, and were.
4. Avoid using jargon.
Industry-specific jargon and acronyms thrive in business writing. While these terminologies are occasionally inevitable and can be useful as shorthand, they frequently imply sloppy or muddled thinking. If you use too many, your reader will assume you're speaking on autopilot — or worse, that you don't understand what you're saying. Jargon doesn't seem to bring any value to the table but clarity and conciseness are genuinely timeless and one can never go wrong with these two. Words like "actionable," "core competency," "impactful," and "incentivize" should be on your "buzzword blacklist," according to Garner.
It's also a good idea to avoid using grandiose terminology. Writers frequently make the error of thinking that employing a big word when a simple one will suffice is a show of intellect. It's not the case.
5. Check out what you've written.
Put yourself in the shoes of your reader. Is your argument well-structured and clear? Check whether the sentences are to the point and readable. Reading passages aloud is a good idea. When you begin to examine your piece as a reader that's where those problems begin to show up: the gaps in your arguments, the clumsy sentence, the two-paragraph-long part. Also, don't be hesitant to ask a coworker or friend — or numerous coworkers and friends — to proofread your work. Don't be offended by their critique; rather, welcome it. Editing is a friendship act, not an aggressive act.
6. Editing Someone Else’s Work
A surprising trick to becoming a better writer yourself is to start editing other people’s work. When you start editing others’ work, a chain of thought channels through your brain get you thinking about other people’s thoughts while choosing a particular term or a phrase or why someone chose those words. You activate your critical thinking activities and for that time being borrow the other person's thought process which will, in turn, help you become more intentional with your own writing. This process acts as a key to you becoming an even better writer.
7. Clear your throat, both literally and figuratively.
When one faces a rough patch in writing, it is observed that most of the writer’s first two paragraphs are removable as it is considered that that time a writer is clearing his or her throat and building up to a point of the main argument. Turns out that this trick actually does the work. While the opening few paragraphs of an article can assist you to think about the argument you're attempting to convey, it is believed that your work should begin in the third or fourth paragraph.
Try this trick when you're editing your own work: Remove the first few paragraphs and see if it helps.
8. Practice Every Day
Writing is a skill and like every other skill, it improves and grows with practice. A skill that can help incredibly is reading well-written material by different authors frequently, paying close attention to word choice, flow, and sentence structure. Not only that, but even being able to write yourself. Any kind of writing is like a muscle, the more you practice, the more it grows. you can also invest in a style and grammar reference book, it will come in handy in the following years of your writing career.
The most crucial thing is to make time for editing and reworking your calendar. The transformation happens when you write and rewrite your own work, and it doesn't happen overnight.
9. Brief your Piece
Another way to demonstrate empathy for your audience is to be succinct. Is the length of your sentences four lines? Cut them down to size. By writing in an active voice, you can improve your brevity and clarity. Academic writing is passive, whereas Business writing that is empathic is active. Look for terms like "being," "not," and "has been" that are often used mis-hits to determine how passive your writing is. Rewrite sentences in the present tense and active voice once you've found those terms. This won't always work, but it will most of the time, and rewriting those sentences will make your text shorter.
This move to "audience-centric writing," as we can call it, requires time and commitment. You must know how to write for active voice, reduce the number of words used, and simplify. But it's primarily a mental shift because good Business Writing is sympathetic to the reader. And this style of writing is more likely to be read and, as a result, to bring about the desired change.
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