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How To Be Successful in Business Writing

Technology may be the name of the game in today’s business world, but the art of successful communication remains at the core of every business. From emails, corporate communications, presentations, campaigns, business documents and even blog posts, business writing is a skill that is absolutely essential to get right.

Here are some of the key elements of successful business writing:

  1. Well-defined purpose

Determining the nature of the communication effectively sets the tone for the entire document, from the type of language used, to the tone of voice and overall structure that relays the key message. Is it meant to inform, encourage, persuade or challenge? From the use of bullet points to exclamation marks, every element plays a role.

  1. Simple and clear

Cover all the vital points of your communication, in a clear, concise manner. Do not complicate your messaging any more than necessary, or you will lose the hard-earned attention of the reader. Though people often take shortcuts when replying to emails from smartphones and tablets, it is necessary to keep in mind that your writing is a reflection of you and by extension, your brand.

  1. Know your audience

Since you expect your audience to acknowledge, understand and retain your message, it is only fitting to know what makes them tick. Keep the messaging relevant, informative and interesting, with a tone of voice that is confident and sincere.

  1. Grammar

Whether it’s the use of active verbs over passive, your choice of pronouns, the correct usage of the words ‘that’, ‘which’, ‘affect’ and ‘effect’ – grammar matters, and makes a world of difference to any communication.

  1. Focus

There will always be deadlines, tight schedules and constant feedback to be incorporated. Once all of it is done, ensure a full and final check is done on grammar, spelling, punctuation and the core message. Formatting a document correctly plays a major role in maximising its efficiency and allowing for more user-friendly business writing. Finally, always proofread and if possible, read it out loud – mistakes you hear are generally easier to identify.

When it comes to business writing, just like everything else – there is no harm in learning from the best and taking notes. Bookmark well-written articles, corporate documents and emails you may come across, and refer to them when you write your own. Whether it is to attract customer attention, drive sales, or document a process – writing intelligently is the need of the hour.

Karen Osman
Karen Osman
Originally from England, Karen has lived the ex-pat life for the last 15 years across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. After completing a B.A. in Linguistics and English Language at the University of Durham, a two year period teaching in Tokyo was the start of a career that combined her two great loves; travel and the English language. Moving to Dubai in 2004, Karen engaged in a sales, marketing and public relations role for a luxury hospitality company. It was a great opportunity to develop communication for luxury brands, gaining experience in writing and adapting copy for both off-line and on-line channels. After identifying a gap in the market for specialised writing services for the travel, tourism and hospitality sector, Karen set up Travel Ink in 2011, steadily building the business to include some of the most high-profile hotels, airlines and tourism establishments in the region. In addition to her role as Managing Director, Karen is also the Travel and Tourism Chair Person for the British Business Group and a committee member of Business Network International.

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