Do you write in your job every day? How would you rate your writing skills?
Whether you’re writing an email or a business case, it’s essential to have well-developed business writing skills in any job you have. It not only aids organisational productivity but it will elevate your professional opportunities.
In our ever-evolving business world it’s so important for an organisation to produce and disseminate clear communication to their staff, clients, partners and suppliers, as it enables positive and progressive work relationships, a strong culture and maintain brand position. Therefore, it’s so important that an organisation has staff who can craft articulate messages.
If you are able to communicate your written messages with professionalism, persuasion and a concise idea then you are one step ahead in advancing your career. Acquiring such skills, however, can take time and practice but once you get the hang of it you’ll be glad you put in the effort.
If you’d like to improve your business writing skills, we’ve captured 7 necessary steps to help you achieve your goal.
7 steps to improve your business writing skills
- Think before you write. Have a clear idea of what you want to say before you begin. Jot down dot points that come to mind, they don’t have to be in order.
- Know your audience. Having a good understanding of your audience’s wants, needs, likes and dislikes will aid in steering your message and how quickly you should/need to get your point across.
- Plan. A plan is vital to crafting a great written piece. Whether it’s a memo or a proposal if you’ve planned the structure and ordered your ideas you won’t get lost in the words.
- Be direct. Say what you need to say straight away. This step goes back to knowing your audience; how much time do they have to read your work? Give your audience what they want upfront and don’t make them work for it.
- Keep it simple. Avoid using industry jargon, buzzwords or colloquialism because you don’t want to confuse your audience. Be frank and choose simple words that are clear and easily understood. In addition, keep your sentences short with only one idea per sentence. In a few wise words: “No one really wants to read a document. They just want to know what it says.” – Anonymous
- Read it back. Proofread what you’ve written to correct errors or parts where your message has strayed from the point.
- Practice. Your first draft won’t be perfect so prepare yourself for that. It takes practice to write well and establish a strong framework to build your skill on.
Bonus. Don’t be afraid to write down exactly what you think or what comes to mind. Often this is the best place to start for crafting your message.
Being afraid of writing and negative speak about your ability are two of the biggest errors you can make when it comes to writing.
Here are 3 tricks to help you overcome your fear of writing
- Acknowledge what you are afraid of. Dig deep to understand where that fear stems from and use reason to work through it. Ask yourself; do I want to be afraid anymore? Most of us can agree, we are often our own biggest critics so if you can reason with your inner critic you’re halfway towards overcoming your fear.
- Be brave. You will feel so much better once you have something down on the page, no matter if it’s good or bad you can make edits once you’re done. Put your head down, tail up and just go for it.
- Nobody will judge you. We’ve all been in the same position at one point or another in our working life. We’ve all had to start somewhere.
Most importantly, have confidence in yourself and your ability. You can do it!
Would you like to improve your business writing skills? CIT Solutions offer a number of professional writing workshops from minute taking to writing ministerial briefs. Browse our writing workshops today.