Do you ever feel that no-one really reads your business letters, or perhaps they don’t respond to your e-mails as you would like them to?
Many writers seem to believe that the purpose of writing is to impress, not to inform. When writing in this manner, documents are filled with pompous and sometimes incomprehensible jargon. Often totally without substance, and contain a plethora of unintelligible rubbish, including a propensity to use words like ‘propensity’ and ‘plethora’.
“Documents that are poorly written are often confusing, wordy, incomplete, biased, and incorrect,” says Rachel Johnson, owner of Palomino Training Solutions. “This can be as damaging to an organisation as bad customer service.”
Good writing must therefore be clear, concise, complete, and correct.
When your writing is CLEAR you avoid jargon and use short conversational words. The reader should be able to understand what you are trying to say the first time they read it. CONCISE writing is short and sweet and to the point. Unnecessary words are eliminated, and long sentences are avoided.
Ensuring that your writing is COMPLETE means that you have included all the necessary information. For every minor and major point, you have answered the questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why? And how? Lastly, your writing should be CORRECT. Proofread for grammar, punctuation, spelling, and word usage. This is an important step on the road to being taken seriously. NEVER ASSUME that spell check and grammar check software will do this for you.
Remember these four C's next time you are writing and perhaps this will help you get the desired response.
If you would like to learn more about mastering your business writing, join us at our upcoming 2019 public courses. They will be held on 5 September, 4 October or 5 November in Cape Town, Pretoria and Durban and the cost is R2,295 ex vat per delegate. This one-day interactive course includes modules on: spelling and proofreading; professionalism in writing; e-mail etiquette; and much more.
This course is also available as an onsite option at your work premises throughout SA (contact us for the very competitive prices) and also as an online (e-learning) option.
“Our aim is for delegates to leave our workshops feeling inspired and motivated, with a wealth of knowledge and hands-on tools that they are able to implement immediately,” says Johnson.
Palomino Training Solutions, which was established in 2006, offers over 150 training courses ranging from telephone etiquette, public speaking and business writing to conflict resolution, recruitment & selection and supervisory skills.