If you want to build rapport and a positive impression with others, free of distracting typos and incomplete thoughts, these 10 must-dos for everyday writing will help significantly.
Remember that everything we do and say, and write and create, says something about us.
In a day and age where we converse more in writing than we ever have, I’m often surprised at the lack of attention and detail I see in everyday communications—let alone on websites and business documents. Thus, the reason for this blog:
1. Plan your message—not just in business letters and website content, but emails and social media exchanges too.
2. Reread your note, making sure that your communication is as clear as it can be.
3. Remember your manners. When you write, you are speaking to the reader—a person who has chosen to take the time to read your message.
4. Check for spelling errors and don’t rely on spellcheck alone.
5. For added polish and professionalism, and to stand out in a positive way, notice over-used words and phrases. Taking a minute to rework just a little can add a lot to the fluidity and enjoyment of reading what you have to say.
6. When you proof your writing, think about how your message will make someone feel when they read it. Don’t assume or justify that it is fine because you don’t have time to tweak it or that’s the way you’ve always done things.
7. Notice the results you get and the connections you make with your words. If it’s working, great; if it could be better, make some changes.
8. Although some info and topics do require lengthier exchanges for proper explanation and recording of info, the shorter the better is the rule of thumb, especially since we have so much information coming at us twenty-four/seven. We are all more inclined to absorb shorter messages when we first receive them, whereas with longer correspondence we tend to defer until later when we hope to have more time.
9. When it is appropriate that you share more detail, you have so many tools at your fingertips to still make it an easy read and allow the key points to stand out. Use the basics, headings, lists, small paragraphs . . . not to mention coloured font, underlining and bolding (although be mindful of the use of all CAPS).
10. For business in particular, using personalized salutations and a signature line are recommended. A salutation that looks like a part of your conversation reflects attention to detail and added interest—and it builds more rapport. The signature line makes it easier for others to connect with you in a way that is most convenient to them.
When it comes to website and marketing copy, in addition to a captivating and highly functional design, much of the above still applies of course.
Just like you might hire a graphic designer and webmaster for their expertise and creativity, or a business or life coach for their guidance and support, hiring a writing/editing coach can greatly elevate the message you are portraying in many areas of your life and business.
A writing/editing coach can quickly offer you helpful and tangible insights into your own writing and personal communication style. So as you perfect and refine your creative process, it will still be YOU that shines through, just better!
For those of you who prefer self-study, there are numerous great tips on-line and in books!
Either way, join me on this quest and let’s breathe some life back into our writing!
Thanks very much for reading and sharing with others. I look forward to hearing from you as always. Feel free to contact me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a note in the comment section below.
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