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10 tips for effective business writing

Know Your Audience

❶Cut the flab to keep your readers.

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A sales letter will be more emotional in tone and more persuasive. Word processing and spreadsheet software has made many writing formats available to business writers. The choice of format is important and can help you communicate your message better. The project plan will most likely be communicated, at least in part, by the use of spreadsheets, while a sales letter is usually no longer than a page and placed on company letterhead.

When you actually start writing, there are composition and style considerations that help the process. Creating an outline--especially useful if you are writing a long document--helps break your task up into manageable pieces of information that are ultimately more readable by your audience.

Use simple language that will be understandable to all who read your piece. Make sure your main theme is not lost in your rhetoric. Everything you write should support the main theme so your message does not get lost. Short paragraphs communicate better than longer ones and headers need to grab your reader's attention.

Adding graphs and charts, again easy with today's software, breaks up text and adds to understanding. Nothing looks more unprofessional than a document with grammatical mistakes and spelling errors. Even with spelling and grammar checks in today's software programs, it is easy to have mistakes in a document that detract from the document's message.

Make sure you read through what you have written from the perspective of your reader and make sure it is letter perfect. Check for ambiguities as well. Clear, direct language helps ensure that your message will be understood. Lisa Nielsen is a marketing consultant for small businesses and start-ups.

As part of her consultancy, she writes advertising copy, newsletters, speeches, website content and marketing collateral for small and medium-sized businesses. She has been writing for more than 20 years. Are they likely to resist your message? Are they old or young, urban or rural, highly educated or not? Picture the typical reader in your mind.

Is she an year-old university student in a small New Brunswick town or a year-old executive in Vancouver? Do you simply want to share information? Do you need to explain a difficult concept? Or do you want to inspire your readers to act? Most importantly, what is your key message? Who, what, where, when, why and how. Show your document to someone outside your department or company and ask whether anything is missing.

How many times have you read about low-hanging fruit, win-win solutions or pushing the envelope? Do they inspire you—or make you yawn? Every field has its acronyms and technical terms. On a webpage, for instance, you can insert a hyperlink to the definition.

Cut the flab to keep your readers. Here are a few tips. People often skim documents for key information before deciding to read the whole thing. Make it easy for them. In the second, the company is the subject of the sentence. In grammatical terms, the first sentence is in the passive voice and the second is in the active voice. Putting sentences in active voice is a quick way to brighten your writing.


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Effective business writing is as important as oral communications and can affect productivity and profits. Know Your Audience A detailed step-by-step document for a project plan will be written differently from a sales letter mailed to a list of prospects.

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“But in business communications, it’s best to start with your conclusion first.” To make his writing more direct and effective, David asked several senior colleagues for all of their past presentations and reports so that he could mimic key elements of their format and style.

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Professional business communication is essential to the success of any corporation. This could include writing memos, reports, or proposals. Small businesses all the way up to corporations can benefit from professional and technical communication. To be effective writing for business, you must be complete, concise, and accurate. Your text should be written in such a way that the reader will be able to easily understand what you are telling or asking them.

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Founded in by Shankar is the Association for Business Communication (ABC), originally called the Association of College Teachers of Business Writing, is "an international organization committed to fostering excellence in business communication scholarship,research,education, and practice.". Distinguishing Opinion From Facts – These two aspects of communication should be clearly separated in business writing. Ensure the reader can tell with certainty when something is .