Everyone needs to write intelligently, from Startup CEO to programmer. Clarity is the most important characteristic of good business writing, people will use buzzwords because they want to sound intelligent. Instead, they end up sounding like Donald J Trump, the one term president.
Start by keeping it short and simple. Never write “utilise” when “use” works just as well.
Be ruthless about self-editing; if you don’t need a word, cut it out.
Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or any kind of jargon if you can think of an English equivalent. These expressions may sound important but they make no sense.
When you are composing an email, say what you need to say, and move on. If your big idea is not in the first paragraph, move it there. Start by asking yourself what you want the person to do as a result of this email. Just asking yourself that question can make your communication much clearer.”
Use plain English, and be specific. Just explain exactly what it is.
Curb your enthusiasm. Avoid overusing exclamation points, regardless of how energised or friendly you might feel. Choose professional closing like “Best Regards” not “xoxo” “never ;)-”
Whenever possible, use active verbs instead of passive verbs. Active verbs help to energise your prose. Instead of writing “The meeting was led by Susana,” write: “Susana led the meeting.” Use a straightforward sentence structure–subject, verb, object–that people can read quickly.
Choose pronouns wisely, and don’t be afraid to use “me.” “Send the memo to Bob and me.”
Beware of common grammatical mistakes, like subject-verb agreement. For example, use a singular verb form after nobody, somebody, everybody, neither, everyone, each and either.
Know when to use “that” and “which.” “That” introduces essential information in what’s called a “restrictive clause.” “Which” introduces extra information in a “nonrestrictive clause.” Example: “I’m interested in speaking with you about our new product, which has the potential to increase sales.” “Computers are the only products that we sell,”
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