Saturday, February 21, 2009

Improve your writing in 60 seconds

Successful business writing must be concise and precise in order for you to reap rewards. Typically, you have about 30 to 60 seconds to engage your reader. If you can't capture the reader's attention immediately, expect your document to hit the "circular file," that is, the trash can.
  • Avoid awkward sentences.
  • Use active verbs.
  • Read your document out loud to make sure it makes sense.
  • Use a second set of eyes to proofread your document.
Does this mean extra work and time? Absolutely! But if you're interested in selling your services, product or concept, you must give writing your best effort. Let me give you a quick example of how you can take a "sick" sentence and turn it into a "healthy" one. Here is a sentence you might find in business correspondence.

Poorly written sentence: "Recognizing your desire for an improved pricing arrangement, the following is a good approximation of the existing contract with modifications to reflect the agreements we made when we held our meeting."

Say what?? Let's try this again.

Sentence that gets results: "We realize you want a better pricing arrangement, so we've modified the contract to reflect what we agreed to when we met."

Remember this: When it comes to effective writing, less is often more.

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Shirazi said...

Wish I can master this skill.

Deb S. said...

Shi: Don't be modest. You have!

Shirazi said...

You think so? I am so glad.