Here's a few tips for when you’re writing to customers, prospects, suppliers or colleagues. To start, ask yourself is what you’re writing easy to read?
Three things to check are, - Plain language, would you say the words you are writing? - Acronyms, you might know what they mean, will the reader? - Are the phrases you’re using, concise, like these three bullets? Unfortunately, lots of phrases have crept into business writing, where the less is more rule could and should be applied. I’ve listed some of the more common examples I see when people write to me. The column on the left is what they write, the column on the right is what they should write. We are of the opinion - We think
The data is supportive of the conclusion - The data says In relation to the matter of - About For a period of 30 days - For 30 days Regardless of the fact that - Although In as much as - Since At that point in time - Then It is often the case - Often
In the near future - Soon I made contact with - I met / spoke to In all cases - Always
Prior to - Before. Another thing to ask yourself is, will whatever you have written invite your readers in or force them away? Remember, no matter how good the content may be, readers will not pay attention unless the visual presentation is appealing. To ensure great presentation of your writing check, - There is sufficient white space and the text is not too dense - Titles, labels and headers are easy to distinguish - Bullets, graphics, numbers and italics are used effectively - The font type and size is appropriate and easy to read.
To quote Aldous Huxley, "Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly; they'll go through anything. You read and you're pierced." (Brave New World). Hopefully, the above will help the next time you want to catch your readers interest and pierce them with your words.
Writing in plain English forms part of the johnpc ltd Writing Winning Sales Proposals workshop.
More information on Writing Winning Sales Proposals and our other Skills Improvement Workshops can be found by clicking on the "Solutions / Skills Improvement Workshops" on the menu bar at the top of this page.