Business writing is more important than ever.
Because clear communication is what separates companies that merely survive versus ones who thrive.
It’s about getting to the point for your intended audience.
It’s about a clear layout which makes it easy on the eye.
And it’s about your sentence structure, grammar and spelling.
All of these areas – and more – are covered in our new Business Writing course on the Pink Elephant Academy.
Read on to discover what's in store.
There are a number of factors to consider before putting pen to paper, or fingers to a keyboard.
All of this is covered in the course itself in the form of video modules.
First, the who, what and why of your writing.
That means: who it's for, what it says, and why you're writing it.
You've got to answer those questions at the outset.
Secondly, identify the writing style you're going to use.
Informative, argumentative or persuasive.
Third of all, use your Pyramid of Communication to identify a clear structure for your piece.
And fourthly, get in the zone.
This means different things to different people.
For me, it's light background music, coffee and leaving my phone on silent.
Setting regular deadlines also helps sharpen my focus.
Next, it's onto getting clarity in your writing.
Getting rid of jargon is key.
As is brevity in what you're saying.
We'll address averaging, and explain how that helps you thin out your word count.
Sentence structure follows on from that, with smothered verbs another aspect to watch out for.
If you're writing in a business context, persuading your audience is likely to play a role.
This is where you can use persuasive headlines to your advantage.
The language of leadership - firmly believe, committed, determined, clear goal - can also be utilised to great effect.
Avoiding pink elephants and using only positive language will solidify for your audience what is happening, has happened and will happen.
And bringing numbers to life will play a role here too.
Swapping percentages and abstract totals for real-life visual examples.
Basic mistakes can weaken even the strongest writing.
These usually revolve around grammar and spelling.
Tense and voice are closely interlinked though, and can also be your undoing.
This leads to another vital question: how easy to read is your report or email?
And here's where the layout comes in.
Underestimate its importance at your peril.
The penultimate section of our course deals with report-writing.
Does it have the key component parts?
Those being the Introduction, Executive Summaries, Analysis and Recommendations.
We'll give you an overview of each.
Following this, the course ends with a module on reviewing your work.
Whether it's a self-review or peer review, there are a number of boxes to tick.
This final piece of the writing puzzle is regularly overlooked.
But it's a crucial act that often catches errors, visual mistakes and can even produce unexpected benefits.
Are you tired of your emails being misunderstood or ignored entirely?
Frustrated by seeing your in-depth reports being filed away to gather dust?
Buy our e-learning Business Writing course on the Pink Elephant Academy.
And transform your ability to cut through the noise.
Colin Stone is a Senior Trainer at Pink Elephant Communications in Glasgow.
You can read his full profile here.
All photos in Business writing course blog by Pink Elephant Communications.
Blog edited by Colin Stone.
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