Business writing is much different than academic writing. At college, you got instructions for essays, research papers, and all other kinds of papers. If you did well with those projects, you probably got used to structured writing, clear language, and arguments supported by facts. That’s a great foundation for business writing. However, you’ll have to make some style adjustments if you want to succeed in the business world.
Business writing is more confident, powerful, and persuasive. You need to say what you need to say with as few words as possible. You don’t have a word limit, and you’re not bound to a particular structure. You’re free to use humor when appropriate, and you should always address the reader directly. These differences are not so subtle after all.
If you lack the writing skills required from all modern professionals, there’s something you can do: practice. But, how do you practice? First, you should be aware of the techniques that never fail. That’s what this article is all about.
Top 7 Writing Techniques for Modern Professionals
1. The Technique of Persuasion
In its essence, business writing is persuasive writing. You’re trying to convince the reader to believe you and consider your arguments. You can achieve that effect through few simple steps:
- Clarify your point. Why are you making this offer? If necessary, repeat the point throughout the text, so the reader will understand exactly what you want them to do.
- Clarify your arguments. If, for example, you’re offering a business partnership, explain what the recipient of your message would get if they accepted your offer.
- Assume all questions the reader of your message might have. Answer them straight away, leaving them with almost no questions to ask.
2. Results-Oriented Writing
When you engage in business correspondence, this technique will make your style more powerful. In its essence, it means encouraging people to take action and explaining what results those actions will lead to. If, for example, you’re delegating tasks to the members of your team, explain how everyone’s work will contribute towards the success of the overall project.
Another example of this type of business writing is a weekly memo that lists the goals for the team. It should be motivational and action-calling.
Storytelling in business writing? Why not? This time, however, the stories come in the form of experiences and case studies. If you intend to make a crucial change in the organization, you can explain where the idea came from.
You can write about the beginnings of the company, its growth, and all factors that led to this decision. Basically, you’ll be presenting your decision in the form of a story that makes people understand your vision. You can rely on examples and case studies from competitive organizations and explain how this decision will make your company more successful than the competition.
4. The Technique of Negative Communication
This is not the most pleasant kind of writing, but it’s necessary in the world of business. Sometimes you’ll have to reject someone’s offer. Maybe you’ll have to fire someone in written. Whatever the case is, you’ll need to implement the technique of negative communication, which requires diligent planning and tons of tact.
You should have a firm tone, but still show some empathy. I’m sorry to inform you may sound like a cliché, but it’s a good way to start this kind of message. Then, you should clarify the reasons for making this decision and make sure the reader understands it’s not based on your personal preference.
5. High-Precision Writing
Be honest: how many times have you used fillers in academic papers? You had a specific word count to reach, so you often met that requirement by paraphrasing the same arguments over and over again. That’s against the etiquette of business writing. You have to be as precise as possible. That usually means explaining the most complex ideas with as fewer words as possible.
This is a golden rule you have to remember: never use filling words! Whenever possible, get rid of the adverbs. I suggest using tools like Hemingway Editor and Readability Score to achieve the goal of high-precision writing.
6. The Technique of Informational Writing
When writing for business purposes, you’re usually trying to be persuasive. Sometimes, however, you’ll just need to update your coworkers or business partners on the progress of a task. In such situations, you’ll stick to the technique of informational writing.
If, for example, you’re making changes in the organization’s policy, make sure to get into details and explain those changes. You have to be so clear that misinterpretation would be impossible to occur.
7. Targeted Writing
This is the most important technique of all. When you’re trying to be a successful writer in any profession, you have to adjust your style according to the specific audience. Who will read that post, message, or report? You need to get into the reader’s mindset, so you’ll know what questions to answer. When you consider the needs and expectations of the reader, you’ll know how much humor you can use and how extensive explanations they need on the particular topic.
Make sure to get into the role of the reader and brainstorm before writing anything. This will help you target the right audience and achieve the exact impression you’re after.
All modern professionals are expected to have advanced communication skills. Those skills are expressed in written, too. Try to practice writing according to the 7 techniques listed above. Don’t forget to share your impressions in the comments below!