Writing Skills Strip

The term 'business writing' refers to memorandums, reports, proposals, emails, and other forms of writing used in organizations to communicate with internal or external audiences. Business writing is a type of professional communication. Also known as business communication and professional writing.

"By writing well, you can stand out from the crowd. There is too much poor writing in the business world." ~ Dr. Andrew Sentance, Sr. Economic Adviser, Pricewaterhousecoopers LLP.

Fundamentally, poor business writing is costly and leads to disastrous events. Make your point right up front. Many people find that the writing style and structure they developed in school doesn't work as well in the business world.

Tips for Better Business Writing:

Today's business world is almost entirely information-driven. Whether you run a small business or occupy a small corner of the org-chart at a massive multinational corporation, chances are that the bulk of your job consists of communicating with others, most often in writing.

  • Less is more: In business writing as in virtually every other kind of writing, concision matters. Ironically, as written information becomes more and more important to the smooth functioning of businesses, people are less and less willing to read.
  • Avoid jargon: While sometimes jargon is unavoidable - in a business requirement document or technical specification, for example - try using plainer language. Even for people in the same field as you, jargon is often inefficient.
  • Write once, check twice: Proofread immediately after you write, and then again hours or, better yet, days later. Nothing is more embarrassing than a stupid typo in an otherwise fine document.

  • Writing Skills

  • Write once, check twice: Putting some time between writing and re-reading your work can help you catch errors of tone that might otherwise escape you and cause trouble.
  • Pay special attention to names, titles, and genders: If you're not positive about the spelling of someone's name, their job title (and what it means), or their gender, either a) check with someone who does know (like their assistant), or b) in the case of gender, use gender-neutral language.
  • Save templates: Saving time by using a pre-written document can save you the embarrassment of such errors.

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