ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

Ingrid Moyle
Ingrid Moyle Ingrid Moyle is the Chief Word Wizard at Heart Harmony Communications - a copywriting company based in Brisbane. She works with businesses around the world, helping them engage clients through their words, including with their online strategies and general marketing words. Some of Ingrid's clients include Australia's biggest companies, including Flight Centre, BP and a number of the top SEO companies in Australia. When not weaving word magic, Ingrid is mother to two surprisingly well-balanced teenagers and spends many hours trying to find the parallel universe where missing socks disappear.

Ingrid Moyle has written 54 article(s) for us.

Visit https://www.heartcomms.com.au/

Twitter: @ingridmoyle

Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/ingridmoye

Facebook: HeartHarmony

Google+: http://plus.google.com/+IngridCliff/posts



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10 Clear Business Writing Tips

July 4, 2012 | Ingrid Moyle

Writing clear copy for your business can be one of the most simple solutions to effective communication. Follow these tips.

The right words used in the right way at the right time can move a person to tears, make them want to buy, or turn their insides as warm and gooey as caramel custard. However, the wrong words can cost you business.

Here are my top 10 tips to improve your business writing:

  1. Work out what you are trying to say first. Each piece of writing should have at least one clear message in it. Work out your message before you start writing.
  2. Make actions clear. Make the actions you want people to take after reading your document crystal clear. This is not a time to go shy. Loudly shout the actions you want.
  3. Spell check everything: Every email, every document, every piece of correspondence. Set your systems to automatically run spell check before sending or exiting.
  4. Read it aloud. By reading your documents aloud, if you run out of breath before you run out of sentence, your sentence is too long and you need to take the pruning shears to it.
  5. Cut the fluff. When you read your words back, have you said exactly the same thing only different ways? In business communication, once is enough.
  6. Delete jargon and acronyms. Each industry is known for its jargon and those little letters that represent words. Psychologically it is a way to show belonging and keep out strangers. Do a jargon-busting scan through your business documents.
  7.  Keep it simple. Using complex language in documents is tiring to read and creates brain fog, which means you are losing readers and understanding. Keep your reading level to a late primary school student level.
  8. Get active. Write in an active involved way, not a passive couch potato style. “The selection panel reviews all applications” is better than “Once received, applications for positions are reviewed by the selection panel”.
  9. Get up close and personal. Put the “you” back into your writing rather than third person impersonal language. It’s more interesting to read and people will respond better to your writing.
  10. Watch your words. If you can’t define aloud to someone what a word means – don’t use it.

The best business writing is where people are not even aware that they are reading your words … they are focused on your message. After all – isn’t that the point of business communication?