Today, we seem to write more than ever. Emails, texts and tweets are an integral part of our daily routine. The questions I aways ask are, "how does my reader feel about my written message?" "Is my message clear?" "Does it convey the proper tone?" "Is it brief and easy to read and understand?" " Is it clear whether I'm asking my reading to understand something or to do something?"
Although we agree that writing is more prevalent and important today than ever, most of us have never received training in how to be better business writers.
Here are a few tips to help you and get you started. First, define your message and make sure it appears towards the beginning of our document. Do not let the message get lost in the middle and be a conclusion at the end. When the reader receives the message early, the rest of the document makes much more sense. It supports the message.
Keep your sentences and paragraphs short. Long sentences, more than 20 words, are harder to read and understand. Paragraphs of more than three sentences become a block of text on a page. It's less attractive to read and the reader thinks it will be more time consuming. Use bullets to highlight a series of events when possible.
Think about the tone of your documents. How would you like the reader to feel after reading your document? Ask yourself, how would I feel if I were to receive this document? This will help you to modify the tone.
Make the document attractive to read. By including personal words (names, pronouns & possessives) and more compact sentences and paragraphs, your readers will look forward to receiving and reading your document.