Home
 
Info, Blogs, Contact & Login
Learn
Tests

How Can I Improve My Business Writing Skills?

From the ZandaX Career Success Blog

Articles to help you manage and advance your career

Home  >  Blogs Home  >  Business Blog  >  Career Success Articles  > 
How Can I Improve My Business Writing Skills?

How Can I Improve My Business Writing Skills?

A post from our Career Success blog

      Written by Jordan James
How many times have you read an email, only to feel confused, dismayed, or even, quite frankly, a little bit annoyed? There's no doubt that many people will at some point have received an email which they misread, a situation which is certainly not conducive to productive business. Whilst speaking to someone face to face, or even on the phone, gives us an idea of how that person feels, written communication gives us no such clues.

There is no verbal tone, no body language or inflection to accompany it, which means that getting our message across is much harder. Imagine talking to someone in a monotone voice, whilst wearing a paper bag and with your hands behind your back – this is how much harder it is to communicate in writing.

Business Writing
So, choosing the right words and structuring them in the right way is far more crucial in business writing than in verbal communication. Do you spend hours agonising over the written word? Read on to find out how you can improve your business writing skills.

Consider your reader

As in any other form of writing, trying to see things from the reader's point of view is essential. Rather than thinking about the situation which has happened to you, or the problem that you have come across, start your email by addressing your reader's role in the situation and what he or she may want. Yes, you do need to do a little bit of mind-reading. So, if you have a really great product that you want the reader to know about, bring out the crystal ball and illustrate the benefits of the product to them first.

Modifying the content and tone to your reader's level of knowledge about the subject will greatly help you to get a particular message across. For instance, if you are writing an informative piece about plumbing widgets for the general public, talking about the technical intricacies of widgets is going to win you neither sales nor friends. Instead, think of a softer, gentler way to gradually inform your readers about the subject.

If you have a great deal of complex information to get across to an unmotivated audience, think about breaking the content down into shorter sections. Use short paragraphs and instead of overwhelming your audience with pages and pages of writing, use bullet points and headings to make the content easier to digest. Think back to your school days – which teacher did you prefer: the one who gave you short and simple notes, or the one who spent the whole lesson writing an essay on the board for you to copy?

Plan, plan, plan

Fail to plan, plan to fail. Think carefully about what precisely you would like to say before you begin writing. This will help you to organize your thoughts and in turn to get the message across as simply as possible. It helps if someone else can check through your writing first before you send it. Or simply save the draft and come back to it in a few minutes when you have a clear head. Oh, and remember never to write in anger. You will only regret that furious email you sent to your boss / friend / partner / client and grovel for forgiveness at a later stage!

Don't try to impress

Using long words or over-complicated sentences just for the sake of it might make you feel like you went to Oxford University after all. However, it will put your reader off. Instead, choose words which they will understand and provide all the information in an accessible format.

Keep it short

Remember, you are potentially giving the reader a whole load of new information. Whilst it makes sense to you, especially if you are head over heels in love with the subject, the reader is probably going to need a little more time to take it in. Keep your sentences short so that the reader only needs to process one idea at a time.

Remember the active voice

The active voice gives a more vigorous and proactive air to a document, as it suggests that you or your company are keen to take action on a particular subject. It conjures up the idea of urgency and excitement. This is opposed to the passive voice, which offers less of a sense of control. Do bear in mind, though, that there may be some occasions where using the passive voice is more appropriate. For instance, you wouldn't want to try and sell renovation services to a run down shop and tell them in the process ‘You've let your shop fall into disrepair'.

Check what you have written

Unfortunately, spell checkers will only get you so far. It is better to read through your work carefully and to read it out loud to check if it sounds right. Remember that there is also much heady debate about the use of ‘s' or ‘z' in words such as ‘realise' and ‘organize', so watch out if your computer automatically corrects these words. Naturally, us humans automatically expect something we have written to make sense so it is a good idea to ask a colleague to check.

Check Your Work

The problem is, if you fail to take appropriate care in your work, you may come across as careless, slapdash and even unprofessional. Hardly the impression you wish to create with an important client.

Cut the jargon

Clearly, if you are writing highly specialised content, you will need to use jargon related to your field of expertise. However, the general public will neither be impressed nor amused if you do the same when writing for them. If you are unsure over a word, check: will the reader understand this phrase or word? Is there a different, non-jargon word that could replace it?

Be confident

Not everyone enjoys writing and sometimes even the most talented people out there find it pretty hard to get their ideas down on paper. Do not fear if you suffer from low confidence in your writing capabilities. Careful reflection and practise will help you to improve your skills over time. One way to take a proactive step forward is to attend a business writing skills course. Here you will be taught how exactly it is best to write for different business purposes and you will have the chance to raise any issues you have come across.

Writing takes time

Writing is a hard skill to learn – if you think about it, you are continually refining your writing skills throughout twelve years of compulsory schooling and beyond if you attend sixth form and university. It's no wonder that so many people find it tricky, even if they know their subjects well and can express themselves verbally with ease. There's no shame in asking for help when it comes to business writing and, in fact, it shows that you are dedicated to moving forward both as a writer and as a professional. So take the steps you need to improve your business writing today!
Click here to find out how ZandaX can help you.

Back to the Career Success blog

Click the button for more Career Success articles.

The ZandaX Business Skills blog

Click a panel for great articles on business skills

ZandaX Blog Contents

Want to see them all? Click to view a full list of articles in our blogs.

Online courses to boost your skills
Click a button to see more about each course
Personal Development
Microsoft Software
 
 
ZandaX online training course logo
ZandaX – Change Your Life ... Today
All content © ZandaX 2021
Close menu element
See how you score on a range of skills that are critical to your well-being and performance
Communication Skill test
Communication Skills
How Can You Communicate Better?
Would you like to see what kind of communicator you are? And how you can improve the effectiveness of your communications?
Likeability test
Likeability
How Much Do People Like You?
Do you sometimes wonder just how likeable you are? And wouldn't you like to see how you can (genuinely) become more likeable?


Time Management test
Time Management
How Can You Make More Use Of Your Time?
Are you frustrated by how easily time slips away? Do you get frustrated when things don't get done just because you run out of time?
Assertiveness test
Assertiveness
Are you Passive, Aggressive or Assertive?
Would you like to know where you fall on the behavior spectrum? Does your response to events sometimes surprise you?


Close menu element
Information & Resources
ZandaX information
Information
Read more about us, our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Service
See how we want to help you, and how we make everything easy for everyone
Callback request
ZandaX Blogs
Articles to increase your knowledge and understanding in key areas of your life and career.
Read our blogs on Personal Development, Business Skills and Leadership & Management


Time Management test
Log In
Log in to your online dashboard
View your courses, review what you want and download your workbooks and certificates
Assertiveness test
Contact Us
An easy online form to get in touch
With options for More Information, Customer Service and Feedback


Close menu element
Learn About:
 
Personal Development
 
Leadership & Management
 
Marketing
 
Microsoft Office
Microsoft Project
Microsoft Visio
 

[NOTE: Mouse over the titles above,
then to visit the website pages you want,
click on the links in the right hand panel]
Our courses
We have everything covered: learn all applications at all levels!   All courses are CPD certified.
Microsoft Excel courses
Microsoft Excel Introduction
Microsoft Excel Professional
Microsoft Excel Intermediate
Microsoft Excel Advanced
Microsoft Powerpoint courses
Microsoft Powerpoint Introduction
Microsoft Powerpoint Advanced
 
Microsoft Word courses
Microsoft Word Introduction
Microsoft Word Intermediate
Microsoft Word Advanced
Microsoft Powerpoint courses
Microsoft Access Introduction
Microsoft Access Intermediate
Microsoft Access Advanced
Microsoft Outlook courses
Microsoft Outlook Essentials
 
 
Microsoft Project
Enhance your project management with our two intensive but very easy-to-follow CPD certified Microsoft Project courses.
Microsoft Project courses
Microsoft Project Introduction
Get a solid foundation in Project software to create solid, resilient project plans.
You don't need prior experience with Project: just be able to use a PC with Microsoft Windows.
Microsoft Project Advanced
The Advanced course takes you to a level that will put you in complete control of your projects.
You should, of course, be fully conversant with the skills and concepts taught in the Introduction course.
Microsoft Visio
Become a Visio master with our two intensive but very easy-to-follow CPD certified Microsoft Visio courses.
Microsoft Visio courses
Microsoft Visio Introduction
Get a solid base for using Visio to create high quality, impressive diagrams.
You don't need prior experience with Visio: just be able to use a PC with Microsoft Windows.
Microsoft Visio Advanced
This course will enable you to use Visio to design graphics at the highest level.
You should, of course, be fully conversant with the skills and concepts taught in the Introduction course.
Take a look at our new Marketing section which we begin with two great books on Copywriting
... there will be more to follow, so stay tuned!
Copywriting books
Copywriting for Results
A two-book set that will give you all you need to write great copy every time.
Get the first book to learn the process, then the second to see how to apply it to all media types.
  • Copywriting for Results: Your Complete Guide
  • Copywriting for Results: Putting It Into Action
Watch This Space
We have more in the pipeline so be sure to check back soon to see what's new!
More marketing books
Take a look at our new Leadership & Management section which we begin with a superb course on Managing Teams
... there's lots more to follow, so keep in touch!
Team Leadership courses
Team Leadership & Line Management
For practical advice on managing teams for results.
Make your team successful and more positive with tons of real-world techniques that work.
  • Team Management for Line Managers & Supervisors
  • Building High Performing Teams (in production)
Watch Out For More!
We have more courses in the pipeline so check back soon to see what's new!
More team leader courses
Great, easy-to-follow CPD certified courses on skills that will change your life!
Learn How to Stop Wasting Time!
Time Management course
Get more out of every day of your life ...
Boost Your Self Esteem: Be Assertive
Assertiveness course
Learn how to deal with bad behavior
Great Communications = A Happy Life!
Communication Skills course
Supercharge your communications
Improve Your Relationships
Building Relationships course
Learn how to be more likeable!
Get a Plan to Beat Your Stress
Stress Management course
Learn how to reduce & manage your stress
It's the Behavior, Not the Anger!
Anger Management course
Control anger in yourself and other people
Site Cookies
We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better.

You can change your cookie settings in your browser. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

I'm fine with this