Effective Business Writing
Skillful business writing involves getting your message across simply and quickly.
This often means writing in a style that is easily read and understood by a broad audience. Yet, writing simply is often difficult for most of us.
Why? The answer lies in our school education. We learnt that if we used big words and complex sentences, we were more likely to get an ‘A’ by our English teacher. The education system taught us that people who use a broad range of vocabulary are more intelligent that the rest of us.
There is nothing wrong with writing beautifully pieces of prose that feature a stunning range of vocabulary knowledge. However, such writing is unsuitable for a business market.
Generally, most business executives do not have the time (or motivation) to wade through material that wanders and weaves before a point is made. They are even less likely to have time to grab a dictionary to work out what the writer is trying to say.
When I was in the second year of my collage, I was assigned a project to write about the unfortunate events of 9/11, and the rise of Jihadi terrorism across the globe. My immediate response was to write a report that would have most of us mortals reading the dictionary more frequently than the report itself!
I started the project by simply jotting down my thoughts on a piece of paper - obviously, this was in a very simple and plain language. As I started to read what I had jotted, I realised how much more readable and effective it was! I decided to stick with that tone for the rest of the project.
I proudly produced my ‘easy on the brain’ project to my lecturer. He told me “You write like you talk”. To this day, I still don’t know if he was criticising my talking or writing ability! But I was happy with what I had produced, and consciously or sub consciously, adopted this style of writing for the rest of my assignments.
Later on in my career, I worked at a company that prided itself on its easy to read...