Since a large part of the workforce has adopted work from home, one of the trends we have observed is the need to brush up on business writing. Companies used apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams to communicate their needs. It was then that some teams started to feel “zoom fatigue”, as they spent most of their time attending online meetings. People are now exploring writing communication to avoid sending more emails.
There is no better time to share some tips and tricks to improve your business writing skills. Before we get to the practical part of business writing, let’s first define what business writing is and how it differs from normal writing.
First, this type of communication serves the purpose of providing information to enable the reader to learn or do something. It could be additional information for a meeting or a report, as well as a request. It is because of this that the expression “it could’ve been an email” has become so popular to indicate that a well-written email can accomplish the same goal better than another online meeting.
The second step is to determine the purpose of your message. To be effective, it must have a clear goal. It is important to identify the reader and what they need to learn or do.
Organise Your Ideas
It is a good tip to organize your thoughts before you start writing. This will allow you to communicate your message more effectively. It is best to use journalistic principles to achieve it.
Who – Who or what is the message about?
What – What is this communication’s objective?
When – When is this happening?
Where – Where is it happening
Why is it happening?
Once you have organized the items above, you will be able to write your message more effectively. While you don’t have to have all the items, it’s a good idea to keep the “5 W” in mind.
Now it’s time to send your message.
Tips to Deliver an Objective Message
Keep it simple: Use only the words that are most useful for you to communicate your message.
Clear: Be specific, not general, and be specific instead of vague.
Positive attitude: Use definite statements and avoid using non-committal language
Active: Use the active voice more often. It will sound more confident and energetic. To see if you can use more active verbs, always reread your message.
Professional: It is important that you act according to the standards of your profession. This applies to all interactions, not just written ones.
The 3 Basic Parts
It is important to remember the three basic parts of email communication, as most of our written communication takes place via email. A greeting, a body and a closing are the three main parts of an email.
It sets the tone for your email. It will create a more relaxed atmosphere for the recipient, even if the subject of your email is difficult. If you don’t greet the recipient before you get to the topic, it can give the impression you are angry or upset.
The most important aspect of your message is its body. This is where you should think about the “5 W”s. Your goal is to communicate your message accurately and get the expected output. If your message requires a call-to-action, start with it and then add some background information. This is a good way to ensure that the recipient understands the message if they don’t want to read the whole message.
Closing is polite and leaves a lasting impression. It can be added to your default signature so that you don’t have to type.
How to edit your writing
Editors are essential. Journalists and writers are familiar with this critical step. You must follow some principles when writing emails. These steps are applicable to all types of writing: documents, reports, articles and emails.
Do not dig in. This applies to documents, reports, or any other text that requires more work. If you have a deadline, take some time to get away from the document. Writers follow the rule of the next working day. Write a piece of content in a day, then review it, rest it, and then come back the next day to make final adjustments.
Get feedback from others – Share your writing with others to ensure that your document reads exactly how you want.
Print the document – It is easier to read from paper than on-screen. It is important to ask more people to review and verify the document if it is going to be printed on a large scale. The ones who are unfamiliar with the topic will most likely spot typos.
The document should be read aloud! You will get a better idea of the message’s impact on others if you read it aloud. This principle should be applied to all your writings, even emails. Before you hit the send button, always reread your message.
Click below to see the outline of our Business Writing course.
Business Writing Training
Tips for writing emails
Working remotely and away from our colleagues requires more emails and online conversations than we were used to. Situations that could have been resolved by speaking to the person next to us are now required to be contacted, chatted with, and so on.
Let’s review some basics about email:
Be objective, but provide context.
Caps lock should never be used, even if you are highlighting something. If this is your purpose, you can use colours, bold, or highlight. There are many other ways to do it.
Before you send an email, always read it again.
Avoid sending an email out impulsively