10 Steps To Successful Business Writing – Now that we have looked at things you should not do in your writing, let’s take a look at my top 10 rules of good business writing. If you follow these rules you will be helping yourself to become a better business write.
1. Remember your ABC
Good written communication results when you say exactly what you want to say using an appropriate tone. Your message must meet these essential specifications:
|Accurate||Check facts carefully Include all relevant details Proofread thoroughly|
|Brief||Keep sentences short Use simple expressions Use non-technical language|
|Clear||Use plain, simple English Write in an easy, natural style Avoid formality or familiarity|
2. Be coyrteus and considerate
Courtesy does not mean using old-fashioned expressions like ‘your kind consideration’ or ‘your esteemed order’. It means showing consideration for your correspondent and being empathetic – that- means showing respect for your reader’s feeling. Writing in a courteous style enables a request to be refused killing all hope of future business. It allows a refusal to be made without ruining a friendship. Courtesy also means.
- Reply promptly to all communications – answer on the same day if possible.
- If you cannot answer immediately, write a brief note and explain why. This will create goodwill.
- Understand and respect the recipient’s point of view.
- Resist the temptation to reply as if your correspondent is wrong.
- If you feel some comment are unfair, be tactful and try not to cause offence.
- Resist the temptation to reply to an offensive latter in a similar tone, intead, answer courteously and do not lower your dignity.
3. Use appropriate tone
If your message is to achieve its purpose the tone must be appropriate. The tone of your message reflects the spirit in which you put your message across. Even when writing a clomplaint or replying to one, your message can be conveyed in away so as not to be rude or cause offence.
Ignoring the need to use an appropriate tone could result in a message that sounds aggressive, tactless, curt, rude, sarcastic or offensive. This will not meet your desired objectives.
Table 2. Sample sentences in answering letters in polite tones
|We cannot do anything about your problem||Unfortunately we are unable to help you on this occasion|
|This problem would not have happened if you had connected the wires properly||The problem may be resolved by connecting the wires as sown in the handbook|
|Your television’s guarantee is up, so you will have to pay for it to be fixed||Your television’s guarantee has ended, so unfortunately you must bear the cost of any repairs|
|I am writing to complain because I was very unhappy with the way I was treated in your store today.||I was most unhappy with thw standart of service I received in your store today.|
You alter your tone of voice to convey message in different ways. Much of what you say is also interpreted through non-verbal clues – eyes contact, gestures, inflections of the voice. This type of ‘reading between the lines’ is not possible with the written word.
Therefore it is vital to choose your words carefully. You can be firm or friendly, persuasive or conciliatory – it depends on the impression you wish to convey. It is important to try to get the tone right because using the wrong tone could cause real offence to your reasder.
Here are some expressions to avoid in your business writing.
- Your failure to reply…
- You did not see…
- We must insist…
- You should not expect to…
- Your refusal to co-operate…
- You have ignored…
- This is not our fault…
- I can assure you…
- You failed to…
- I have received your cimplaint…
4. Write naturally and sincerely
Try to show a genuine interest in your reader and his/her problem. Your message should sound sincere. While written in your own style. Write naturally, as if you are having a conversation.
Table 3. examples of interest or interest sentences in business letters
|I have pleasuring in informing you||I am pleased to dell you|
|We do not anticipate any increase in prices||We do not expect to rise|
|I should be grateful if you would be good enough to advise us||Please let me know|
|Please favour us with a prompt reply||I hope to receive prompt reply|
|Please revent to us soonest||I hope to hear from you soon|
5. Remember the KISS principle
Business people today have many document to read. A message that is direct and straight to the point – while retainingcourtesy – will be appreciated. As you work an developing your ariting ability, you should constahtly practice your KISSing stands for:
6. Use modern terminology
Old-Fashioned phrases add nothing to your meaning. Such unnecessary, long-winded phrases are likely to give a poor impression of the writer and may even lead to confusion. A good business message will use no more words than are necessary to convey a clear and accurate message.
Table 4. examples of sentences with terminology
|We are in receipt of your letter of 12 June||Thank you for your letter of 12 June|
|We have receive your letter of 12 June||Thank you for your letter of 12 June|
|Enclosed herewith you will find… Please find enclosed…||I enclose…|
|Please be good enough to advise me…||Please let me know…|
|Please be reminded…||Please remember…|
|… the above-mentioned goods …||… these goods|
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