Every business finds its own path to success. But virtually all effective business teams have one thing in common: They’ve harnessed the power of persuasion.
Even if you don’t work in direct sales, you probably engage in the art of persuasion on a weekly if not daily basis. Have you written a message to motivate your team members to implement new processes or complete a big project? Have you sent an email to convince another company to partner with yours? Have you created copy designed to inspire customers to make a purchase or engage with your brand online?
If you answered yes to any of those scenarios, then you know persuasion plays a hand in every industry, every business, and in many forms of business-related writing. And persuasion hinges on effective communication.
You can’t change people’s minds or inspire specific behaviors if you can’t communicate well, which is why clear and effective writing is one of the most crucial skills you can possess in the business world. Keep reading to discover the power of persuasive writing and learn proven strategies to improve your business writing for greater success at work.
- Argue that you simply can’t write. …
- Pretend that your first draft is perfect, or even passable. …
- Bury your argument.
Business Writing Tips
How to write in a business environment
Knowing how to write effectively for business can help you succeed in your role. Demonstrating good writing skills can highlight your intelligence, improve your performance and help you to be seen as trustworthy. These skills can also help you to influence others through your writing, boost your professional confidence and create opportunities to achieve career goals.
Use these steps to help you develop your skill in business writings:
1. Identify your purpose.
The goal of business writing usually falls into one of the following four categories: to convey information, provide instructions, persuade or define a transaction. Take time to clearly define why you are writing to decide on the best way to approach your subject.
2. Write for your audience.
Before creating any business document, define your audience. Consider what your audience already knows about the subject, what they need to know and how they may feel about it. It is also important to know their names, positions, location and other key details. This will also help you determine the tone you should use when writing. For example, you might feel comfortable taking a more familiar approach when writing to a coworker, while you may reserve more formal writing for a client.
3. Develop an outline.
Write out a list of the major subheadings or topics you will address in your writing. These should be the main ideas you will cover in the document. If needed, you might further divide those subheadings into more detailed points. If your document includes any important data, this is where you could use it to clarify your main ideas.
4. Create a rough draft.
Using your outline as a guide, you can create a first draft by writing out each of your points in full detail. Aim for simplicity and clarity in your writing. Be direct by using short words, sentences and paragraphs. Choose everyday words that most audiences will be able to easily understand. Everything you write should contribute to fulfilling the goal of your document.
Once you create the first draft, give yourself a chance to read it over, and look for areas that could use more direct wording or clarification. If possible, ask a trusted peer or coworker to look over your writing, which will help you approach the document with a new perspective.
5. Check for accuracy and proper grammar.
Carefully proofread to ensure your spelling, grammar and punctuation are correct throughout.
You should also use this time to double-check the details you’ve included such as dates, figures and charts. You may also want to verify the names of people, places and organizations, including spelling and capitalization.
What is business writing?
Business writing is a form of written professional communication. Business communications can be internal (written only for those within a company) or external (written for clients or target customers). All business writing should be substantive and practical. The goal is to communicate your information as clearly, accurately and quickly as possible. Emails, proposals, reports, memos and many other types of documents are all considered business writing.
Business writing tips and techniques
Use these tips and techniques to further develop your business writing skills:
Write the points of your plan in any order
It can sometimes be easier to know how to finish a point than it is to know where to start. Begin with the information you are most comfortable and confident with, then go back and complete the rest.
Use the active voice
The active voice gives clarity to writing and avoids unnecessary wordiness. In active voice, the subject of the sentence performs the action, but in the passive voice, the subject is acted on by the verb. For example, “The car was hit by the truck” is a passive sentence. “The truck hit the car,” which instead puts the idea in the active voice, is more concise and helps the reader quickly understand the point of the sentence.
Divide your writing into easily identifiable sections. Using headings and subheadings makes it easier for the reader to scan and to move to an area of focus.
Support your statements
A paragraph should begin with a statement of its main idea, but that idea will be more convincing if you support it with facts. When you have the opportunity, expand on any information you provide by using examples.
How do I improve my business writing?
- Uses plain language.
- Has a purpose.
- Makes a point, and supports that point with relevant information.
- Has information that is connected.
- Uses appropriate words in concise, accurate sentences.
- Is persuasive.
- Includes a call to action.
What makes good writing in business?
- Be Clear & Concise. …
- Know Your Audience. …
- Plan Your Approach. …
- Take Advantage of Online Tools. …
- Edit and Edit Again. …
- Use Online Courses to Improve Your Skills. …
- Have Someone Else Read Your Writing. …
- Don’t be Afraid to Get Creative.