Better business writing

Orlaith Wood
10 November 2017

Classic millennial that I am, the thought of picking up the phone to have an actual conversation fills me with dread. I do about 99.9% of my communication via email. And if you’re anything like me, you probably spend a big chunk of your working day writing or reading what others have written, too. Some of it good. Some of it not so good. Some of it pretty damn dreadful.

If you want to stop making the same mistakes, have more impact, be more productive, be a better writer and live a happily ever after, here are a few tips to get started.

Make a better impression

Emails, reports, blog posts, tweets, recipes – whatever you write at work, it says a lot about you and the business you represent.

Sharp, compelling writing makes you look good. Dull, sloppy writing? Not so much.

And because most initial interactions happen in writing these days (via email or even on social media), words can make or break crucial first impressions of your business.

Respect people’s time

How many emails do you get a day? How many free papers, magazines, leaflets? How many ads do you see? Well, the same goes for the person you’re writing to: they’re inundated with messages all day long.

Attention spans are short. Time is precious. So tell people what they need to know, and cut the dross.

Be more effective

Good business writing is persuasive. If you want to influence someone to buy/donate/give you a pay rise, don’t beat about the bush. Make your point early on; don’t meander.

Write like a human being

Good writing isn’t really about apostrophes or spelling. And the academic writing style we learn at school or university doesn’t necessarily translate into good business writing.

Overly complex language, passive sentences and jargon are enemies of clear communication. If you write like a corporate robot, people will think you are one.

Don’t be afraid to have a little fun. You don’t have to become a comedian, but you shouldn’t leave your personality in a drawer, either.

How to improve

Business writing is a craft, not an art. Everyone has the power to become a better writer with the right tools. So if you use words at work and want to get better at it, come along to our new workshop: Better Business Writing.

The half-day workshop, led by Mike, our Creative Director, is for anyone who needs a refresher on the basics of good writing.

Click here to find out more and book your place.

And if you know anyone doing a course on how to talk on the phone, let me know…

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