Saturday, July 19, 2014

Top 10 Tips To Good Business Writing

Top 10 Tips To Good Business Writing
As we are going to discuss the things we should not do in our writing, let's have a glance at the 'Top 10 Tips To Good Business Writing' discussed herein. If you carefully follow these tips, you can certainly help yourself to become a good business writer.

1. Bear in mind ABC policy
Your written communication becomes successful only when you convey your thoughts and ideas properly in your writing, using an appropriate tone. You must make sure that your message is ensuring the ABC policy:  

Accurate      Include all relevant details
                   Check facts carefully                 
                   Proofread completely

Brief            Use simple expressions
                   Keep sentences short
                   Avoid technical language or jargon

Clear            Write in an easy, natural style
                   Use simple, plain English
                   Avoid formality or familiarity

2. Maintain courtesy and consideration
Courtesy means showing proper consideration and respect for your reader's feelings. It does not mean using backdated expressions like 'your esteemed order' or 'your kind consideration'. Even if you write in a courteous style, it will allow a refusal to be made without killing all hope of future business. Courtesy usually includes:
  
Ø  A timely reply to all communications—reply on the same day if possible.

Ø  Writing a brief note and explaining the reason of your failure to reply at this moment. It will create goodwill and develop your image.

Ø  Understanding and respecting the reader's point of view.

Ø  Resisting the temptation to find out the fault with your correspondent.

Ø  Being tactful and trying not to cause offence in spite of some unfair comments made by your correspondent.

Ø  Not replying to an offensive letter in a similar tone. Instead, reply courteously to such a letter without lowering your dignity.

3. Use appropriate tone
The tone of your message must be appropriate as it reflects your efficiency, reliability, and personality. A message written in an inappropriate tone will never meet your desired objectives. Rather, it would sound rude, aggressive, curt, tactless, offensive, and/or sarcastic. For example:
Do not write
Write
(i) We cannot do anything about your problem

(ii) This problem would not have happened if you had connected the wires properly.

(iii) Your television guarantee is up, so you will have to pay for it to be fixed.

(iv) I am writing to complain because I was very unhappy with the way I was treated in your departmental store today.
(i) Unfortunately we are unable to help you on this occasion.

(ii) The problem may be resolved by connecting the wires as shown in the handbook.

(iii) Your television guarantee is ended, so unfortunately you must bear the cost of any repairs.

(iv) I was really unhappy with the standard of service I received from your departmental store today.

During verbal communication, you can easily alter your tone of voice to convey your messages a right direction. In this case you can also take the help of some non-verbal clues like eye contact, gestures, inflections of the voice, etc. But it is not possible in written communication. Therefore, you have to choose your words carefully for your message. Try to avoid the following expressions in your writing.

Ø  I have received your complaint.......
Ø  I can assure you.......
Ø  This is not our fault.......
Ø  You failed to.....
Ø  Your refusal to co-operate......
Ø  You have ignored.....
Ø  You did not comply with.......
Ø  Your failure to reply.......
Ø  We must insist.......
Ø  You should not expect to.....
Ø  Please be informed that......
Ø  Please be advised that.....
Ø  Thank you and regards........
Ø  Kindest regards........

4. Write naturally and sincerely
If your aim is to achieve your purpose, you must show a genuine interest in your reader and his/her problems, needs, and wishes. Use your own style in writing so that your message sounds sincere, candid, and natural. Avoid complexity as far as possible. For example:

Do not write
Write
(i) We do not anticipate any increase in prices

(ii) I have pleasuring in informing you

(iii) Please favor us with a prompt reply

(iv) Please revert to us soonest

(v) I should be grateful if you would be good enough to advise us
(i) We do not expect prices to rise

(ii) I am pleased to tell you

(iii) I hope to receive a prompt reply

(iv) I hope to hear from you soon

(v) Please let me know

5. Maintain your KISS principle
Today business people are very busy and they do not have much time to go through a long message. So, it would be an act of wise to write such a message that is direct, courteous, and straight to the point. In all business communication, try to maintain your KISS policy. KISS represents:

Keep
It
Simple and
Short

Kiss means instead of using long or complex words, use short, simple, plain, and common words. For example:

Do not write
Write
Commence
Start
Regarding
About
Purchase
Buy
Utilize
Use
Require
Need
Endeavour/Attempt
Try
Terminate
End
State
Say
Expedite
Hurry/speed up
Advise/Inform
Tell
Visualize
See
Dispatch
Send
Assist
Help
Sufficient
Enough
Kindly
Please

KISS also means instead of using long phrases, use only a single word if it is appropriate.

Do not write
Write
in spite of the fact
despite
at the present moment in time
now
I should be glad if you would
please
with regard to
about
in view of the fact that
as/because
in the very near future
soon
we would like to ask you to
please
at a later date
later
in the event that
if
conduct an investigation
investigate

6. Use modern terminology
Always try to use modern terminology in your writing. Using unnecessary, long-winded phrases in your writing may give your reader a poor impression about you and eventually lead him/her to confusion. For example:

Do not write
Write
We have received your letter of 12 July
Thank you for your letter of 12 July
We are in receipt of your letter of 12 July
Thank you for your letter of 12 July
Please be kind enough to suggest me
Please let me know
The goods mentioned above
These goods
Enclosed herewith you will find
Please find enclosed
I enclose
Please be reminded
Please remember

7. Include all essential details
Make sure that you have included all important information in your message and nothing is unclear in it. Having written your message, revise it carefully. If you find something important is absent, include it; and if you find any information unclear, clear it as far as possible. For example:

Do not write
Write
My flight arrives at 5:30 on Monday
My flight DB 212 from Paris should arrive at Bangladesh Dhaka Airport at 1730 on Monday 15 July.
Our Sales Manager will contact to you soon.
Mr. Hasan Mahmud, our Sales Manager, will contact to you soon.
I thoroughly enjoyed your article in last month's newsletter.
I thoroughly enjoyed your article on Poverty Alleviation in last month's company newsletter.  

8. Be consistent
Consistency in any writing is very important. Lack of consistency makes your writing dull, worthless, and unappealing. Therefore, while writing your message, make sure that the flow of your writing is consistent.

Do not write
Write
The people attending will be Hasan Mahmud, Tapan Chowdhury, Jone Doe from sales.
The people attending the next committee meeting will be Hasan Mahmud, Tapan Chowdhury, Jone Doe.
I confirm my reservation of a single room on 18/8 and a double room on 20 Sep.
I confirm my reservation of a single room on 18 August and a double room on 20 September.

9. Use active, not passive voice
Using active voice can improve your writing style considerably. It makes your writing more personalized, more interesting, and more focused. Using passive voice more and more in your writing may create distance between you and your reader.

It does not mean you should not use passive voice at all in your writing. There are some occasions when the use of passive voice is more appropriate. It would be better to say:

          A shrill cry was heard in the house last night.

Here, emphasis has been given on 'A shrill cry', not the person who made 'A shrill cry'.

10. Compose CLEAR communications
Use your own discretion while writing a message, and ask yourself whether your message meets the following CLEAR specifications:

Clear—Do not make your reader get confused. Avoid vague expressions. Instead, use simple, plain and straightforward language.

Logical         —Structure your message logically, and start with an introduction. Develop the main body of your message logically, and come to a natural conclusion.

Empathetic—Put yourself in the place of your reader and imagine the reaction of your reader. If you find anything unclear or if you think your message is wordy, make necessary changes.

Accurate—Make certain that you have included all necessary information in your message—dates, times, names, figures, and facts.

Right—Proofread your message carefully, and make sure that it is 100% correct. If everything is okay, you can send it to the right destination.

1 comment:

  1. If I am not mistaken a business writer must be open minded, has a lot of things in mind and has a very wide imagination.

    Business Writer Dubai

    ReplyDelete

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