For both business people and professional writers, business writing can sometimes be a challenge. It’s easy to slip into jargon and get lost in the weeds of corporate platitudes. Trying to distill a complicated topic into something clients and investors can understand takes practice and effort.
Fortunately, there are several writing tricks you can use to make sure that your business writing doesn’t become a wall of meaningless text that no one wants to read.
Try these tips to improve your business writing:
1. Read your writing out loud.
If you’re having trouble getting a sentence or paragraph to come together, read it out loud to see how it sounds. Hearing the words (instead of reading them silently) can sometimes jump-start a crunchy sentence that just doesn’t want to behave. Once you’ve finished the entire piece, read it through out loud to see if there are any awkward spots or holes you need to fill.
2. Have someone else read your writing out loud.
Hearing another person read your words can help point out awkward phrases or lazy writing that your own brain might try to let you get away with. It will also highlight any sentences that are too long. They’ll be the ones your friend has trouble finishing without taking a breath.
People get tired of reading long sentences in their heads as well, so keep things snappy to improve your business writing.
3. Cut the jargon.
It’s easy to use corporate-speak and fancy business terms to make your enterprise sound plugged in and important, but really, when it comes down to it, most of those words are simply fluff. People need strong language that gives them concrete examples and clear ideas and that helps them to imagine possibilities.
If you find yourself slipping into business lingo as you write, ask yourself, “What does that REALLY mean?” Doing so can help reset your writing and help you come up with word choices that everyone will be able to understand.
4. Find someone to edit your writing.
No matter what you write, it’s important to have someone look it over to see that everything is spelled and punctuated correctly, and that the content makes sense. Every piece of writing can be improved by having someone else edit it, and a second pair of eyes will likely find things you have missed.
5. Always insist on good writing.
Depending on your company, you may have to clear your content writing with other departments or managers — and they might want to undo your hard word by adding more jargon or self-important phrases. Resist! People won’t read what they don’t understand, and the best way to get potential partners and customers to read your content marketing is to write it clearly. Pick your battles wisely, but remember that clear writing sells itself.
By Catherine Conlan