Here’s my philosophy when it comes to business writing: Every message, note, report, website, etc. has the power to build up your brand (your personal brand as well as your organization’s). At the same time, it can strengthen relationships with your customers, colleagues and network.
I believe good business writing is vital for your organization’s success and productivity—as well as your personal career.
If you agree with me, you’re probably wondering what’s next. How can your short email—that has to get out in the next fifteen minutes, by the way—do something as profound as build up a relationship? Or get you that promotion? How can four power point slides convey your knowledge and passion for a specific topic?
Good writing, no doubt, is a skill that takes years to craft. Yet, I believe we can all boost our business writing by simply taking a step back to see if something is missing. How can your emails be improved? How can your presentations or reports yield greater impact?
Even if your writing is clear, concise and accurate, you may still be missing something.
For example, it’s very easy for presentation slides to become choppy. This lack of cohesion may be what’s needed to engage and persuade your target audience. Your reports or website may be in need of some freshening up with new examples, case studies or descriptive adjectives.
Your emails may be missing an element of cordiality or friendliness (this is common since many of us strive to write concise messages). If this is the case, try adding a greeting. According to a survey in Business Writing with Heart, 45 percent of people prefer emails with a personalized greeting (49 percent don’t care).
On the other hand, your messages could also be missing confidence (this is also common since many of us write in an excessively affable tone to avoid coming across as a jerk at all costs). If confidence is missing from your writing, eliminate the phrases “I feel,” “I believe” and “in my opinion.” Replace these with “I recommend” or no introduction at all.
Your current business writing may be entirely adequate. Yet, by adding one, small additional element, you’ll take it to the next level. Once you do this, you’ll find that your writing is more powerful than ever.
If you have any difficulties determining what’s missing from your writing—or are unsure how to improve your business writing—be sure to ask your colleagues or supervisors for help. If you want to jump-start your business writing, consider my individualized writing coaching.
Let me know what missing element will you be adding into your business writing? Was it difficult to pinpoint what was missing?