Joe Latta Thursday, December 05, Share this article Writing skills are essential for today's business professionals. A study from data services provider SunGard found that approximately 90 percent of business communications are now via electronic text. That's right, whether you're an accountant, architect, advisor or administrator, writing is a key part of your job. A study from the American Management Association found that strong writing skills yield a 30 to 50 percent savings in writing time and up to a 50 percent savings in reading time.
A study from data services provider SunGard found that approximately 90 percent of business communications are now via electronic text.
A study from the American Management Association found that strong writing skills yield a 30 to 50 percent savings in writing time and up to a 50 percent savings in reading time. How much time did you spend last month writing emails, reports, proposals or marketing materials — and how much time did people spend reading them?
Your readers will appreciate it. On to the list: Embrace your inner tweet Ever have to describe yourself or your company in 50 words or less or some other arbitrary limit? But the beauty of word and character limits is that they force us to be more direct and reader-focused.
Your 50 words likely convey as much as the plus words you would use without the limit. Pick one email a day and give yourself a word limit. Not sure what limit to set? Look back at an email on a similar topic.
Count the words and halve the total. So why have most business professionals long abandoned the practice? For most, the answer is time. Ironically, time is exactly what is wasted when using a stream-of-consciousness approach to writing.
If you list and prioritize your thoughts up front, you reduce the time normally spent writing and revising. See how the snowball starts?
A little preparation goes a long way. When approaching your next document or email, begin by listing your key points. Rearrange these points in order from most to least important, and add a heading above each.
Now rewrite your first key point as a sentence, list out the supporting details below it and arrange the details in order of importance. Often details can be left as a bulleted list. Do the same for your other key points. Start at the bottom and work your way up. Make sure by using an editing checklist.
Use a simple checklist with 10 to 15 items, like this one from the University of Wisconsin Writing Center. Download a checklist, print it on small piece of paper, and tape it to the left edge of your monitor.
For the next two weeks, use the list each time you finish writing a document or longish email. Just avoid the temptation to use it excessively. For many writers, the thesaurus is a crutch — their go-to solution for replacing "common" words with more "descriptive" ones.
Not all synonyms are the same, and most have subtle differences in meaning and connotation. Besides, good business writing is not about using big words or trying to sound smart. Thesaurus words often create slow, choppy writing overrun with extra syllables and unnecessary adjectives.
Use your natural word choices. For the next month, let your thesaurus collect dust. Read aloud Speaking of reading aloud, you may feel weird doing it, but it works.
Reading aloud lets your brain process information in a different way, giving more attention to flow, tone, cadence and transitions. The order of information is also amplified, allowing you to realize gaps in your explanation.
Finally, reading aloud lets you identify small errors, such as grammatical mistakes and missing words. Works like a charm. The reason is simple: Therefore, it may ignore embarrassing typos or errors in grammar and tone. So detach yourself for a while.
The next time you have to write an important report, proposal or marketing document, if possible, plan to finish the draft a day early. Once you finish, go through your usual review process, including reading aloud and using an editing checklist, then sleep on it.Be warned: This exercise is quite addictive, and may take longer than you think.
Have fun! Creative writing exercise #2: Add a splash of personality. This exercise helps you express your personality by using tiny details. Workplace English Training E-Platform includes s of business English lessons covering business writing, business speaking, business vocabulary and reading skills.
Business Writing. In business, your writing counts. It’s a projection of yourself (and your company) just as much as what you wear or how you conduct yourself in a meeting.
Porter Gale, author of Your Network is Your Net Worth, in a Forbes interview, revealed that much of her success can be attributed to relationships she made throughout the years. She stressed that one’s “net worth” is not anchored on the size of one’s portfolio or network but on the quality.
The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. As a social media marketer, a big part of your job is to build awareness of your brand and drive conversions on various social channels.
This could mean creating an engaging video for Facebook.