Communication is essential in every business field. Effective job performances require collaboration from different work levels. According to Knapp (2010), he postulates that the main aim of business writing is for better comprehension by the internal and external individuals with involvement to a particular organisation. Business writing refers to any form of writing composed to communicate to an organisation's staff or the clients and investors that may be related to the firm. Examples of the different forms of business writing are emails, memorandums, business reports, letters, relevant documents, and proposals. The primary purposes of business writing are to relay specific information, to persuade, and to show cooperation to the related parties. This form of writing should be done professionally, and below are some tips on how to go about this exercise.
Identify your target audience
In business writing, before you start writing, make sure you are aware of your audience. You should also be in a position to expect certain results from your message. Visualize yourself in the audience's world and imagine the recipient's world. You must first figure out different factors: age, gender, education levels, and environment. The message should have an appeal to the readers, and it should notify them how they will benefit from your piece (O'Hara, 2014). You should rely on the relevance of the 5 W's and the H: who, what, where, why, and how. Who is this message important to? What are message do you need them to know? When and where will the piece be useful? Why do you think it is relevant? How is the message beneficial to the audience?
Address your audience in a conversational tone
Your message should not be too formal to the readers unless it is for a bureaucrat or an individual who prefers too much formality. You can use formal writing for job applications and legal documentation. You should identify the professions of the targeted audience. Your writing should also be appealing to the readers. The piece is supposed to be like a form of conversation with a client. Picture one client's condition in mind, then as you address the customer, you will indulge the rest of the readers. Avoid very personal information that might put the organisation at risk. In case the readers should not read the message, do not use mail, email or any form of circulation. You should refrain from many jokes, keep the piece a bit formal, though not to the bureaucratic level.
Compose a clear and concise message
Ensure the audience will understand the point of your message. Readers tend to avoid too much circumlocution. The audience prefers clear points that depict your intentions. In most cases, readers skim through articles before they resolve to read the entire piece. The article's heading should draw the audience's attention. Place the most important idea of the article at the top so the readers can get an impression of the message. As Garner (2013) suggests, if the main idea does not add up, the audience will have little interest in reading the whole article. You should put vital details of the message in bold so the readers can quickly identify them. Subheadings are essential as they separate different ideas of the article. Break the points in bullets or numbers. You should not try to sound intelligent as you might end up sending a different unintended idea.
Use active voice in your article
Compared to passive voice, the active voice seems to energise the content of the message. You should use the direct form of sentence structure: subject, verb, and the object. Active voice strengthens the prose better than the passive voice structure that muddles the idea. In business writing, you should make an error of having the verb influence the subject instead of the contrary. For instance, "New ideas are to be implemented by the firm." The sentence is correct but does not relay a clear intention than the active voice example, "The firm seeks to implement new ideas." The example of active voice is more direct, shorter and it brightens your message.
Avoid using jargon, cliches and buzzwords in your writing
Every business field has its buzzwords and acronyms. If you use your company's lingual, the article might confuse readers. Jargon might be appealing to you but very annoying to the audience. It is advisable that you use simple words that everyone can comprehend. You should avoid writing about issues that are discussed every day. The audience might end up assuming the cliches as they are aware of the message you are about to relay. When writing, ensure your work is as plain as possible as too many unnecessary words might be meaningless to the audience.
Pay attention to the details
The facts and figures in your message should be appropriately supported. Describe the details in your article to relay the quality of the company. The sources of your details should be reliable and authoritative. Use the correct details for names, titles and statistics. Confirm these specifics before adding them to your text. In case of gender titles, it is advisable that you practice gender-neutral words. Misinterpretation of the wrong details might embarrass your firm, or in the case of a job application, your chances to get hired might be less. Conduct thorough research on the specific details before sending your article to the audience.
Proofread your message thoroughly
However how competent you are, mistakes are part of writing. After you finish writing your message, go through the text to eliminate minor punctuation, spelling, and grammar mistakes. It is embarrassing for one simple mistake to tarnish your writing skills. With a single error in your article, readers might question your company's professional competence. The brain seems to ignore some mistakes you make. Take a rest before you proofread the message. You can ask for someone else's help on proofreading. The extra pair of eyes might spot the errors that you left out. According to Blackburn (2015), reading your message aloud might help you identify some of the mistakes.
In summary, business writing is a skill that requires maximum concentration. To avoid tainting your company's competence, it is advisable that you stick to the message the above tips provide. Practice makes perfect, so the more you work on this form of writing, the better you are at providing the best ideas. Business writing skills are profitable to your company's reputation and might earn you a promotion, a job or a pay rise. It is therefore essential that you take note of the points that lead you to a better business writer.
Blackburn, K. F. (2015). The Effects of classroom-based mindfulness meditation on MBA student mindfulness (Doctoral dissertation, Boston College).
Garner, B. (2013). HBR Guide to Better Business Writing (HBR Guide Series): Engage Readers, Tighten and Brighten, Make Your Case. Harvard Business Review Press.
Knapp, B. W. (2010). A project manager's guide to passing the Project Management (PMP) exam. Phoenix?: Sturgeon Pub. in association with the Project Management Excellence Center.
O'Hara, C. (2014). How to improve your business writing. Harvard Business Review.
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