While writing to a friend, colleague, client, or a business partner, the content must be clear, concise, persuasive, accurate, and confident. Read on to know some tips for making the letter / memo / presentation worthwhile.
- Avoid being verbose: Choose shorter words and sentences. For e.g. “I wanted to bring to your notice that the meeting has been cancelled”. [10 words] This sentence could be rephrased as “Please note the meeting has been cancelled”. [7 words]
- Use objective subject lines: The subject of the memo / letter / e-mail should be objective and should reflect the content of the message. For e.g. “Tips on Effective Writing for Business” conveys to the reader that the message content will be related to information on effective writing.
- Decide your audience: It is advisable to write to one set of audience as writing to different professionals would require choosing correct verbiage which is understood by different professionals in the same way. Also, do not use words which are very technical and can be understood only by a specific audience.
- Request for action: Never leave the reader guessing “what next ?” He or she should know what is expected out of him / her. Close your mail / letter with the action you are expecting the reader to take.
- Share companywide messages with a strategy: Do not overload employees with a lot of text heavy mails. Divide the message. For e.g. If a company has set up a videoconference room, the Corporate communication Team should sent out the first message announcing the launch, the second message on how to use the equipment, and the third message on how to block the conference room for client meetings and calls.
- Logically format a document: Ensure that the content in the message is linked to the subject and to the content below and above it. There should be a logical connection in various paragraphs included in the document.
- Be Persuasive: Address one reader rather than many as it increases the focus and also creates accountability of the reader.
- Engage the audience: Talk to the audience. For e.g. Rather than saying, “There will be two ways for calculating the cost.” The sender of the message could say, “Financial Analysts can choose one of two procedures to calculate the cost.”
- Check before you send: Always proofread the mail / memo / document that is to be sent. Remember the first draft is not always the final draft. Do not only check for content, but also, check for formatting, subject lines, audience, and attachments.
- Execute with confidence: Do not be fearful while sending the communication. If a reminder needs to be sent, it should be sent. Do not try to send it to a group, rather send it to those who haven’t sent the reports so far. For e.g. In case you are following up on a report you asked for, address the audience as “Thank You X, Y, Z for sending the reports. We are still awaiting reports from A, B, and C. Request you to send them latest by 4:00 PM today.”