Regardless of the field you work in, writing is a task everyone has to face. Some write more than others, but nobody is excused. How many emails, blogs, social media posts, or presentations do you create on a weekly basis? Today, all writing is meant to educate or advertise.
Here are 5 writing tips that will improve your writing and communication skills in 2017.
- Edit your first paragraph
Setting the tone, giving context and establishing a structure are some of the most difficult tasks when writing the first paragraph. Going back to the beginning of the draft and continuously editing the first paragraph allows the writer to “warm-up”. Find what fits well and delete what doesn’t, so our readers don’t have to struggle with us.
- Embrace the reader
When referring to the audience, using pronouns such as “you” or “we” creates a captivating style of writing. Although this technique isn’t always in line with editorial guidelines, you will find it makes your writing direct, short, and more lively (active verbs).
- Short and sweet
Keep it simple! Keeping jargon out of your writing will help readers who may not know as much about your field, understand. You can reduce this by reading your writing from the perspective of someone who knows nothing about the topic, and inspecting it for confusing ideas or misunderstood terminology.
- Control the exaggerations
We often like to illustrate and exaggerate our writing with words like “very”, “incredibly”, “most”, or “often”. Too many overstatements can minimize the effect of your message. Replacing these hyperboles with precise and sincere statements allows for the message to be clear and available to the reader.
- Headlines and subject lines are key
Article headlines and email subjects are crucial components of writing. If your title is expressive, memorable, short and literal, more people are likely to open and read your piece. Although it is easier said than done, there are tools available to analyze the quality of headlines. Practice and analysis will help determine what titles work best.
Writing is a skill that can always be improved. Committing to becoming a confident communicator begins with impactful writing. In 2017, having an established plan to communicate ideas provides the basis for powerful business writing.