Business writing isn’t everyone’s favorite thing to do. I’d even guess it’s on the shortlist of many people’s least favorite things to do. But at some point in your career, you’ll have to put together a report, multi-page memo, presentation or another piece of business writing. That’s why it’s imperative to have a strong foundation for it, even if it’s not your main job function. Here are some different ways you can tackle your next writing assignment with confidence.
Build an Outline
From 4th graders writing their first book report to authors crafting 1,000-page novels, the outline is a fundamental tool of any writer. Simply put, outlines are the skeleton of what you’ll be writing and serve to keep you focused on your goal.
For example, I used an outline to lay out the blog you’re reading. First, I decided to have a paragraph introducing the topic, next I nailed down the four different tips I wanted to dive into and lastly, I knew I needed to top it off with a call-to-action. (Which I recommend taking action on)
Less is more
A lot of people think more writing = better writing. While that might’ve served in high school when you were trying to meet a word count for an English paper, it’s almost the opposite in business writing. Of course, you’ll need to include all the necessary information to get your message across, but you’ll want to cut anything beyond that. Your audience doesn’t want to sift through 5 paragraphs to get to a point that could’ve easily been made in a few sentences.
A common practice to avoid this is to go back and look at your writing when you’re done and ask yourself, “Does this need to be included?”. If the answer is “no”, then get rid of it! This is a great way to make your writing more concise and easy-to-read.
Keep Your Audience in Mind
Before you jump into writing, take a step back and ask yourself, “Who is this for?”. Are you trying to inform co-workers of a new office protocol? Persuade a prospect why they should do business with you? The answers to these questions should shape your writing.
If you’re talking to other professionals then go ahead and use all the jargon and industry acronyms you want, but if you’re writing to a more generalized audience, it’s best to stay away from any terms that aren’t common knowledge. There’s tons of information on how to communicate with different audiences, but the general rule is to write how you’d speak with this person or group of people. Don’t complicate it!
Ask for Help
Never hesitate to ask for a hand when you’re writing, especially if there’s a certain part holding you up. A co-worker could look at your writing and give you a small insight that could help break you out of that writer’s block. Just as important, they could catch those small grammar errors you might miss before it gets sent out to the whole company.
Now that you’re an expert in business writing, it might be time to link up with other experts. We suggest us, experts in print & promotional products for over 40 years.