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Did You Write That Right?
Aug 3rd 2010 at 3:30 PM
With the use of the internet much of company communication is done via email, instant messaging, blogging, Power Point presentations and other written forms. Your writing skills can help you in a big way. As a matter of fact, professionals differentiate themselves by their ability to write clearly and effectively in reports, white papers, blogs and various other content driven applications.
Believe it or not, people judge their colleagues based on their ability to write. A poor writer is often viewed as less intelligent, less educated and less competent. Articulate people are viewed as intelligent, educated and capable.
Illeteracy is the silent killer of business professionals. Poor writing skills can prevent you from moving up in your career.
There is widespread concern about employee's writing ability. Writing ability is considerd when promoting employees and those with poorly written job application materials against candidates could be held back from a promotion regardless of wheather they can perform the job duties effectively.
As a teacher of over 35 years I offer a few tips to improve your writing skills.
Think about your reason for writing. What is your objective or goal?
· Are you informing a customer of a late payment? Asking a client for clarification? Knowing your objective helps you determine how to approach a piece of writing.
· Identify your audience. Who is this writing for? A boss? A colleague? A doctor? Your tone in your writing piece will differ depending on who is going to be reading it…your audience.
· Spell out words. Although the shorthand of instant messaging and texting is what is happening with some technical applications, it is not appropiate in a client email.
· Edit: Read and re-read your messages, especially those to managers and clients.
· Define Technical Terms in the Document: Placing definitions in parentheses, rather than in a separate glossary, will help maintain your document's flow.
· Use Headings, Subheads and Bulleted Lists: These help you organize your writing and guide readers.
· Get help. Use the public library to find writing reference material. The internet is also a good way to find writing resources. Google "writing skills". Professional associations may offer writing courses, while community colleges and universities often provide business-writing classes suitable as well. Business writing references can help you learn the basics of syntax, grammar and good business writing.
Now you should be ready to tackle your next writing assignment with confidence and ease.
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