5 keys to powerful, precise writing

Whip your prose into shape with these tips—they work every time. Promise.

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“The writing always counts.”

Whether it’s a speech, a cover letter, a memo, or just a quick note, the writing always counts.

If your audience has to read your communication a few times to make sense of it, you’ll have lost them. If your memo fails to make your point crisply and clearly, you’ll have blown your chance. And, of course, if your cover letter rambles or doesn’t grab the attention of the hiring manager right away, you’ll hinder your chances of getting an interview.

Too often, though, we’re eager to grant ourselves exceptions to the rule. “It’s just a thank-you note … or an email … or a note to my kid’s teacher … or, or, or.”

How to make your writing count for—instead of against—yourself

If you feel like your writing could use some shaping up, the first thing to do is to own up to that. Commit to paying more attention to your writing, no matter what the circumstances or the audience. And then, to make it easier to keep your commitment, follow these five tips that work for everyone, every time. I promise.

1. Say it out loud.

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