Basic Business Writing Made Easy
Effective business writing is critical, not only to get your message across, but also to give you a professional image. Mistakes in verbal English may often be ignored, but errors in written English are less likely to be forgiven.
While business writing has a wide scope, awareness of key aspects in improving your writing will go a long way in reducing your blunders in this indispensable skill. Among the key topics that are essential to good business writing are the following:
Deciding on how to communicate. Even before you begin writing, you must first consider if it would be best to use other means of communication. In general, the more important the matter, the better it is to actually talk face to face with the person. You may also utilize other options like making a phone call. Even after having decided that it would be best to write to the person, there are still several options. For example, you could send an e-mail or write a letter or post the message on the company website.
Preparing before writing. The time and effort you will be spending on writing must be in relation to its importance, but in all cases, you must have a clear idea of your objectives in writing. Adjustments must be made to take into account the personality of the recipient and cultural differences if he/she is a foreigner. Extra care must be taken to avoid taboos.
Keeping it simple and concise. There are those who still think that using highfalutin words and long wordings is a reflection of the degree of intellect of the writer. While this style may still give an impressive image to some, for the overwhelming majority of cases, it is no longer suitable. The possibility of miscommunication is drastically increased and the more difficult it is to understand the message.
Knowing how to layout your writing. The physical aspect of your writing must also be considered. The size and type of font, the spacing between the lines and paragraph, alignment (whether full block, semi block, etc.). These and other aspects of the physical format of your formatting have protocols that you must learn. Writing on websites. People have a different response when viewing a message on websites. Attention span is shorter and there is interaction. Adding to this is the challenge of social media, which can rapidly spread news about your company.
Copywriting to sell. There may be times when you are called upon to write to sell or market a product or service. This type of business writing needs far more creativity than the other types of business writing.
Proofreading to avoid errors. First, check if the important elements are correctly written. See if the name and title of the recipient is correct. Double-check by carefully rereading and using the spelling and grammar checker of your word processor.
Business writing is a skill that few of us are born with, but it is also something that can easily be learned by anyone who wants to improve.
To know more about this, BusinessCoach, Inc., a leading business seminar provider, conducts a seminar entitled, “Effective Business Writing.” Contact (02) 727-5628, (02) 727-8860, (0915) 205-0133 or visit www.businesscoachphil.com for details.
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*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. C-4, Sunday, September 1, 2013. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.