As we are writing more than ever now, we depend on our writing skills to influence, persuade, encourage, collaborate and to lead. However, most people don’t really notice the quality of the writing they read – they simply react positively, negatively or not at all. If you have ever wondered if there’s a better way to write your messages so they get better results, there is! Here are three of the new rules for achieving more through effective written communication:
1 If you can say it, you can write it
We connect with the world today largely through email, websites, blogs, texting and social media. With all these channels we have only bare facts, without tone of voice, facial expressions, body language or pauses. Doesn’t it make sense, then, to use writing that’s as close as possible to spoken language? When you do this, you gain yourself a great advantage – you put your personality and individuality into your message. This will help you to stand out more and make a greater connection with your reader.
2 Write for today, not yesterday
Yesterday’s writing is passive, wordy and also really dull. It puts a distance between you and the reader. The way it is written also slows down understanding. Today’s writing sounds more conversational. It’s crisp, clear, transparent and the personal context makes it more positive and interesting.
Yesterday: Please be advised that a meeting of the Annual Convention Committee will be held on 24 February (Thursday) at 9.30am. You are required to attend to report on progress made since the last meeting. Kindly advise your availability.
Today: I’d like to hold another meeting of the Annual Convention Committee on Tuesday 24 February at 9.30am. I hope you can attend to report on the great ideas you mentioned at the last meeting. Please confirm if you can join us.
3 Aim to build relationships
In writing, people will judge you based on what you write and how you write it. In today’s fast-paced, communication-crazy world, it’s essential to come across as a human being. If you insist on using old-fashioned or redundant jargon (please be reminded, kindly be advised, please find attached herewith, above mentioned etc) you will obscure the real meaning and will not be adding any personality of your own. Make your writing positive, stimulating and interesting, add some feeling and a personal touch. Help your readers get to know the real person behind the message.
Good writing makes a difference. Good writing will give you a huge advantage in today’s business world. Good writing can help you work more efficiently, build credibility, improve relationships, influence people, win more clients and achieve your goals.
So take another look at the messages you receive, and at the messages you send. Are they full of yesterday’s jargon or today’s conversational expressions? Will they help to enhance your professional reputation or ruin it? Will they help to build relationships or break them? Give yourself an edge in this very competitive world by getting to grips with effective writing now, before it’s too late!”