“Often employees write emails which make sense to themselves, but not to the reader. This is often because they struggle to see their message from the reader’s perspective. Employees need to be able to compose reader-centred emails, which are written with the reader in mind. Although employees tend to try to write in a complex and impressive way because they believe it shows sophistication in thinking, plain language is at the heart of good business writing.”
Walker notes that email writing skills, like any skill, can be improved, and that businesses have the power to help employees improve this skillset with training programmes and courses. “Language Boss, for example, offers face-to-face and online courses that assist employees to become reader-centred in their writing, increase the impact of their writing, and develop a professional writing style. This is one of the few training programmes in the country that focuses on developing email writing skills specifically.”
He shares his Top Seven Tips to write an effective email, which if matched with the correct training, will have a significant impact on employee communication intelligence, efficiency, productivity, professionalism and, ultimately, career success:
When writing, put the reader first, before the subject or situation. Work hard to understand who the reader is and what information they need to understand the subject or situation.
Ask yourself what the key message of your email is and don’t start writing until you can recite the message in 15 seconds or less. This key message should be conveyed at the beginning of your email.
Ensure that the subject line is a condensed version of your key message.
Write in full sentences not sentence fragments.
Learn how to properly use the comma and the apostrophe.
Work hard to be courteous in an email.
Finally, remember what Samuel Johnson (an 18th Century writer, literary historian and lexicographer) said: “What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.”
To find out more about Language Boss and its email writing skills development programme, visit http://www.thelanguageboss.com/ .