Whether or not good writing skills are in your job description, chances are you’re still asked to use them on a regular basis—whether you’re sending a quick email or writing a detailed presentation. If the thought of writing anything at work makes you nervous, don’t sweat it. Improve your professional writing skills with these tips:
A blank page can intimidate even the most seasoned writers. Taking a few minutes to outline the key points you want to cover will help you communicate your message coherently as you begin to write. Keep your outline as a separate document to reference while you work, so you don’t accidentally veer off course.
When appropriate, ditch the formalities and write like you’re having a professional conversation with a colleague. This can be harder than it sounds but will increase your audience’s trust. Don’t know how to start? Just imagine your reader sitting in front of you and write like you’re talking to them.
Use short sentences and paragraphs to reach your point clearly and communicate your message as effectively as possible. If your sentences are long and cumbersome, remove words that don’t change your overall meaning.
Don’t just give your writing a quick once-over before sending it to your boss or an important client. Reading your work out loud—not in your head—slows you down and will help you catch the errors that spell check missed and recognize areas with awkward phrasing.
Ready to feel more confident in your professional writing skills? Learn to write in a way that inspires your audience to take action with our Business Writing program. You’ll walk away with best practices for effective emails and other writing projects, a five-step writing process to help you save time, and much more.