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Sharpen Your Business Writing Skills

When writing a business letter or document it is important that you have your readers' needs in mind. I always think before I write… who am I addressing, what point(s) am I trying to get across and how will this be interpreted? You should layout your document so that it is easy on the eye, and highlights the key points. Always state your purpose clearly and quickly. Be specific and concise and make sure you avoid overused words and phrases. A decent document should be effortless reading. Craft your sentences carefully so that they hold the readers' attention and are simple to understand.

I find that most documents I read are written poorly and some are difficult to understand and very tedious to read. The best technique I have found when creating a document is to dump my thoughts on paper and then to edit it for clarity and ease of reading. I organise the information so that it is easy to understand and has some semblance of order. I then search for and eliminate unnecessary words & difficult phrases. When writing emails I try to keep them simple and straight to the point.

I spend a little time on creating an attention-grabbing subject line so that the reader will feel like opening mine over the hundreds that they might receive daily. I have read research which says the first leading sentence determines whether the full email will be read! So I always try and craft this accordingly. When writing a blog or a press release the title becomes even more important as now you are vying / competing for the readers' attention from. Finally when I finish an important document I carry out a spell and grammar check before asking somebody else to proofread it. I then print important documents using decent quality paper. What is the point of spending so much time on your document to then print it on cheap paper? I usually print out the envelope unless I am in a real hurry when a neatly hand written one will suffice. I am much more creative when writing in the morning after a good nights sleep. I find that a hot cup of tea also helps me to concentrate and the caffeine provides a really good kick and sets me up for the rest of the day. I therefore make it a ritual to do most of my writing first thing. I find that early mornings are great for writing without being disturbed whilst my creative juices are at their peak.

Everybody is different so therefore choose the timing that works for you. If possible ask someone else to answer the phone and switch your mobile off. Writing a lot also helps. The more I write the easier it becomes. It used to take hours writing a five hundred word article but I find that with practice I can now write an article very quickly. When you write a document, you are creating an image of you and your business in your reader's mind. By analysing and improving your writing skills you can create a better impression on the reader.


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