Tip One: Start with your point
All of us are busy people, including your clients, customers, contractors and others. We don’t like to read carefully when we’re reading for business. Leave all the background and introductory stuff for later, if it’s needed. Make your point in the first sentence if you possibly can. Notice how I put the most important point in the heading (and as the first Tip)?
Tip Two: Have a point
Think about what you need to say before you start writing. Maybe make a list of points to cover. For each sentence you write make sure it says something that contributes to the point you’re making and isn’t just
Tip Three: Forget you’re writing: imagine you’re talking
A lot of us learned at school to write in a formal way. That can quickly get complicated and tricky, and unless you’re a lawyer you probably don’t need to be so stuffy. Instead imagine you’re talking to your client or supplier and put down what you’d say.
Tip Four: Use ordinary words
We might think
big words, like
utilise for example, make us sound smart and important. Often though they just make it harder to get the message across. If
use would work just as well, then use it.
Tip Five: Think about your readers
Are you writing for a special interest group, such as engineers? If so, then use the engineering terms they expect. Are you writing for the general public? Then find the ordinary words that are meaningful to them. If they want more detailed information then they can always ask for it.
Tip Six: Use the Flesch Reading Ease test
Rather than just thinking your web page, brochure or email is easy to read, you can test it. Copy the main text from your web page or email — don’t copy the header or footer, menu links or any ads — and paste it in to the
Test by Direct Input area at Read-Able then click the
Calculate Readability button. If the Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease score result is over 60 then you’re doing well. The closer to 100 it is, the better you’re doing.
Tip Seven: Get some coaching
These are easy Tips that anyone can use to better communicate with readers. For more detailed coaching though, helping you with your brochures, leaflets, web pages, standard emails and other documents contact me. We can discuss exactly what you need to make your words fly…