The workplace is not just the place where you sacrifice your hours to make ends meet. It’s also the perfect place to improve yourself. One aspect you should definitely improve is your communication skills.
Regardless of what your core expertise is, being adept at business communication is a must. When you master it, you can stand proud above your colleagues who foolishly think business writing the secretary’s domain.
That said, there are some things you need to keep in mind. The stake is higher when you make mistakes in your business writing than when you’re writing an English assignment for school. To help you out with this issue, we have listed some of the most common mistakes for you to avoid.
5 Common Business Writing Mistakes
Not knowing your audience
If you don’t even know who your audience is, you cannot focus on what appeals to them. Do they want to get more organized, cut cost, stay ahead of their competitors?
If your boss asks you to send an email to a client you have never communicate with before, ask what the client’s likes and dislikes first. Check out any previous emails and replies from and to the client so you can learn from them.
Writing a Wall of Text
Your teacher in high school may have said this, but a wall of text is hard to read. Divide ideas into short paragraphs and sentences.
Keeping things clean and simple make your message easy to scan. Your audience can quickly grasp the message you’re sending without squinting their eyes or tracing their fingers on the message.
Too Many Jargons and Buzzwords
People are tired of being bombarded with pretentious and annoying business jargons. Avoid writing any jargons or buzzwords as much as you can. Replace them with easy-to-understand terms. Instead of saying “we think outside the box” just say “we are creative.”
And please don’t ever say “take it to the next level.” That’s what people say when they’re clueless about where things are going. Describe in detail what the next level is. Is it more sales, higher margin, more subscribers, improved customer satisfaction, or what?
By avoiding jargons, you’ll look like a person who has a solid idea on what you’re writing about.
Everything should be as clear as possible. Instead of sending a memo to your team to complete a project quickly, tell them exactly how many weeks, days, or even hours they have left.
If you say most of your customers prefer strawberry-flavored pudding instead of chocolate, show the numbers to back your claim.
It’s a good idea to scan your writing for any adverbs and adjectives and see how you can replace them with numbers and data.
Hitting the send button the moment you’re done writing that email to an important client? Well, you better have an incredible luck. More often than not, there are typos, spelling and grammatical errors in the email, memo, and documents that your eyes can’t catch on first glance.
Read the document aloud slowly to catch any misspellings or badly-chosen words. Ask someone else to proofread it if you can. A fresh pair of eyes is always helpful. If you can’t find anybody, use the online spelling checker tool to help you out.
OK, that’s the 5 common business writing mistakes that you must avoid for a more effective business communication with your partners and clients. Be sure to double check your writing and see if it’s cleared from all of them.