My writing has come a long way since high school. Back then, I created long essays packed full of expressive (verbose) words, intricate (complicated) sentences and colourful (superfluous) language.While my essay writing style served me well in English, History and Art, it did little to prepare me for the corporate world. I remember once walking in on a group in the office tittering about one of my memos, which I had opened with ‘henceforth’…
I quickly learnt that simple language is the key to good business communications. I’ve picked up a few other tips since then.
‘Active voice’ feels more immediate, engaging and friendly.
Going to the shop, Mary was buying bread.
Mary bought bread from the shop.
The active voice is shorter, sharper and reads better, every time. You might like to consider it the ‘get to the point’ approach.
If you see an “ing” at the start of your sentences, you’re probably using passive voice.
Re-read everything you write and see if you can make it clearer. Your reader doesn’t know all the background stuff you do. Make sure everything you write has a single interpretation (unless you’re trying to be tricky. But don’t try to be tricky).
If you really want to know what a reader will think, ask one! The best way to be sure if your writing is interesting, engaging and makes sense is to show it to someone else, ideally at a point where you can still address any problems.
At Hardman Communications, we peer review each other’s writing as a matter of process.
Hardman Communications can help!