Some say the telephone killed the art of executive writing. Now writing is ready for a comeback. As a performance improvement consultant, I have noted the demand for business writing skills from both large and small businesses.
Whether you are a person representing a small business, an executive, an educator, a salesperson, a health care provider or whatever occupational title you have, communication is essential to every day life. And, a large tool to effective communication in today's work force centers around writing and words. Email messages, internal office memos, executive reports, client proposals or form letters force everyone in front of the keyboard. A manager's or staff member's writing skills become a "marker" in the same way that his or her presentation or interpersonal skills do.
Many managers may be confident about their oral presentations, feel adept at one-on-one sales calls, and have even mastered the dreaded cold call. But when it comes to writing---putting their thoughts down on paper, they begin to panic. How will I write this so busy people will read it? How do I persuade them to buy my product?
Any spelling or grammar errors in your written correspondence also give potential customers reason to question your competence. The big question then becomes, "Does your inattention to grammar reflect you company's inattention to its customers?"
Also, the purpose of written communication is not to overwhelm readers with what you know, but rather to show what you can do for them. Therefore, if your company produces cutting edge products with complex technology, and your writing is filled with impressive jargon and arcane language, the results could be the demise of your organization.
To prepare and help business writers for this rebirth or renewed interest in improving their writing skills, I have offered free weekly business writing tips via email. (Please see my web site (www.basic-learning.com) for sign-up information). At present I have over 900 subscribers world wide from Hong Kong to Honolulu. Here are an example of 12 free writing tips to enhance your business writing skills:
Get to the point
Don't ramble or over explain
Be concise. Delete unnecessary words and be specific
Avoid industry-specific jargon and acronyms
Repeat key words and phrases.
Use lists, headings, and bullets whenever you can
Stay away from
clich?s and trite phrases.
Use short, concrete, specific, and familiar words
Use transitions such as "however," "nevertheless," etc. to help guide readers from point to point.
Write in the active voice whenever possible.
Run spell check and grammar check, but don't always rely on this technology.
Create an outline before you start to write.
Always re-read what you have written for clarity and sensibility.
Gloria Pincu, MA, Speaker, Consultant, Trainer and Seminar Leader
Since 1980, when she founded Basic Learning Systems, Inc., a Certified Minority Business Enterprise, Gloria has facilitated many hundreds of training programs. She has designed and conducted programs on topics covering customer service, total quality management, supervisory skills, business and technical writing, managing change, interpersonal skills, team building, creative thinking, stress management, and professional secretary techniques. A consummate professional, Gloria blends enthusiasm, wit, and communication expertise into timely programs that motivate, inform, and entertain.?
Gloria holds a B.A. degree in English and an M.A. degree in Education. She is a member of the National Speakers Association, Florida Speakers Association, International Society for Performance Improvement, and others. See her website at http://www.basic-learning.com.