What is Business Writing Skills Business writing doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, it can be a great test of your writing skills and how well you can share your ideas. As you look to hone your business writing skills, here are the top 10 skills you should practice:
1. Defining Your Purpose
Don’t just sit down and start writing right away. Instead, you need to think about what you’re writing, and why. What is your purpose for composing this document? By defining your purpose, you’ll have a better understanding of what to write and how to write it.
2. Clear and Concise Language
One of the biggest differences between business writing and other types of writing is that it needs to be concise. You don’t want to use fluff to take up more space.
As a good rule of thumb, don’t use three words when you can say something in one. Less is definitely more when it comes to business writing skills, but you need to make sure that your ideas are clear to your reader, too.
3. Writing for Your Audience
Keep your reader in mind as you write. Think about what they know already, especially as you determine the terminology to use. If you’re writing to a specific person or group of people, look for ways to personalize the document by considering their interests.
4. Conversational Tone
When writing for business, people typically choose a more professional tone. Depending on the document you’re writing, however, a conversational tone may be preferred. Especially when you’re communicating with consumers, your writing should feel like a person wrote it, not a robot. Using a conversational tone helps your readers engage with what they’re reading and connect with you.
It’s important to think about the organization of your paper. How will you determine the order of your ideas? Remember that with business writing you should give the most important information first. Since most people will read the first paragraph before deciding whether or not to read the rest of the document, place your most important points in at the beginning.
6. Word Choice
As an expert in your field, it’s easy to throw in jargon and buzzwords without even thinking about it. Before you do this, think about your audience. What words will your audience know? Try to use simple words that everyone reading your work will understand.
7. Active Voice
Using active voice strengthens your credibility and adds power to your ideas. The opposite of active voice is passive voice. It tends to use more words to say the same thing, weakening your statements. For example:
- Passive voice: If you have any questions or concerns, we can be reached at xxx-xxx-xxxx.
- Active voice: If you have any questions or concerns, call me at xxx-xxx-xxxx.
- Passive voice: The report will be reviewed by the manager for errors and steps will be taken to correct any issues right away.
- Active voice: The manager will review the report for errors and take the steps to correct any issues right away.
Although you may use passive voice at times, try to use it sparingly. Focus on using active voice to improve your business writing skills.
8. Facts Over Opinion
To build your credibility in your industry, try to refrain from infusing your opinion into your writing. Stick to the facts with statistics, data, and benefits of your products or services.
Also, watch out for hyperbole. Readers have a difficult time trusting you when you use hyperbole to get a point across. So, stick to the facts while still making your writing interesting and compelling to your readers.
9. Adapting for Different Platforms
There are many different platforms for your business writing, including web articles, blog posts, social media posts, and video scripts. If you’re planning on writing for these different platforms, you need to learn the techniques and tricks needed for each one.
10. Grammar and Punctuation
And finally, never publish, print, post, or email any document until you’ve proofread it. Make sure that your writing is error-free before it gets in the hands of your customers, clients, investors, and others. Bad grammar and punctuation errors will make a bad impression and reduce your credibility. If you struggle with grammar and punctuation, send your work to someone who can edit it for you.
Mastering these 10 business writing skills will help you improve your writing skills and impress those with whom you communicate. Take the time to practice and review your work to ensure that you’re conveying your ideas in the best ways possible.