Being able to communicate effectively is the most important skill to master, whether it is nonverbal, verbal or written. Good writing skills show your employer the level of professionalism, intelligence, and competency you possess. This skill can help you advance in your career, land a new job, or build strong relationships with others in business.
Here are the top 5 business writing tips to remember:
1. Know Your Audience
The most important part before writing an email or sending a letter is knowing who your target audience is. This is key to effective writing in business communication. You want to ask yourself, “Who will be reading this” or “Who am I writing this for.” The content of your written communication must address the concerns of your audience. Knowing who your audience is will help you decide the tone to use in your writing. You can use an informal or formal writing style depending on what type of communication you are sending, the content, and to whom will be reading it.
2. Keep It Simple
You want to keep your written communication clear, concise, and to the point. Try to stay away from using words like “utilize” or “facilitate.” These complex words slow the reader down. Some people do not understand the meaning of them. It makes them stop reading to research the term at which point you just lost your audience. Get to the point and say what you need to say without big words and long sentences.
3. Avoid Jargon
Jargon is used to impress, not inform. Avoid the technical terms. It can be irritating to your audience when they do not understand what you are saying. They become confused and lose site of the message that was intended for them. Impress your audience with the information you give them. It makes you look more intelligent.
4. Use A Strong, Active Voice
Show confidence and strength in your written business communication by using your active voice (AMA, n.d.). Tell them what you are doing not what you will be doing. Stay away from being impersonal and passive. Instead of saying, “Your performance is being considered by the Market Manager,” say “The Market Manager is considering your performance.”
5. Be Professional
Be careful. You work in a business setting. Keep your personal comments, slang, jokes, and words that make you seem frustrated out of written communication. If you want respect from others, especially in your position, you must keep a level of professionalism with everything you do and say. You need to remember that written communication in business is documented or kept on file. If for a moment you are unsure that what you wrote may not be professional, get rid of it and start over. The last thing you want is for someone to hold a poorly written communication against you.
AMA. (n.d.) Business Writing Tips for Professionals. Retrieved from http://www.amanet.org/training/articles/business-writing-tips-for-professionals.aspx