19 tips for better business writing

You don’t have to be an accomplished author to craft compelling messages. Just know your audience, focus on planning, make your content scannable, and find a friendly editor.

You can’t escape writing.

In the workplace, clean, clear writing can increase your authority, sway and credibility. Poor writing, however, can harm your career, diminish your influence and even cost you clients.

If you’re keen on reaping the benefits of effective business writing, Entrepreneur has posted an infographic you might find of use.

The graphic features 19 quick tips to enhance your writing, including:

  • Know your audience. Before writing anything, identify the targets of your message. Try to anticipate their needs, and write with them in mind.
  • Focus on planning. Don’t just wing it. Gather your thoughts, and sketch out a first draft long before hitting “send.”
  • Make it easy for your reader to scan. No one on Earth wants to plow through rambling sentences and fluff. Delete extra words, and trim lengthy sentences. Also, use headings, bullet points and numbered lists to make your messages easier to scan.
  • Use active voice. Passive voice puts people to sleep. Here’s a guide the government gives to its communicators regarding this common writing issue.
  • Avoid jargon. Delete industry insider language that might confuse or annoy readers. Keep the goofy acronyms and needle-moving thought showers to yourself.
  • Own your work. The infographic suggests replacing limp phrases such as “I think” or “I suggest” with more forceful, confident wording such as “I recommend.”
  • Double-check punctuation and grammar. If you think grammar is unimportant, just ask the good folks at Pratt Tribune.
  • Find an editor. A fresh set of eyes can save your content. Ask someone to proofread for you.

Writing in the workplace doesn’t have to be scary or complicated. Read through the rest of the infographic below for more quick ways to improve.


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