Decades ago, business writing was passive, wordy and formal. It put a distance between you and the reader, and that was fine in the 50s, because people built relationships slowly then. Today, we need to build relationships quickly, so it makes sense to use writing that’s as close as possible to spoken language.
If you've seen any of my articles recently, you'll know I love sharing my passion about the importance of our writing skills, particularly in emails. You may remember my recent article Don't Write Like A Robot. Make A Human Difference. Well, something happened recently that made me think I may have to eat my words.
Thanks to the many people who have written to me personally about adding a human touch in our emails. One writer said, "I am appalled by the number of college graduates who cannot write a clear, concise sentence. This can just as easily ruin an organisation's reputation, leading to customers losing trust in the company's abilities to conduct business."
This week, let's explore the different styles of communication throughout history. Whatever the era, it seems to me that communication has always been rather like a dance.
In the past few decades, our whole world has changed in so many different ways. But there’s still one major area of our lives where many people are stuck in the past. And because of this, it’s wasting time, lowering productivity, losing trust, and ruining reputations.
I was chatting to my good friend Nabil Doss recently. He's an expert in helping business leaders communicate effectively so they can inform, influence and inspire. Working in the movie business for so long as the French voice of Paramount Pictures in Canada, Nabil has mastered the art of putting together short, compelling messages – just like a movie trailer.
Did you know that most people today spend over 25 per cent of their time writing? The problem is, too many messages are unclear, long-winded and confusing. Employees are losing hours reading and re-reading messages, missing key information, and making errors.
In all our writing workshops and in all my books, I recommend that after you’ve drafted a message, don’t hit ‘send’ immediately. First, it's important to take off your head! Yes, take off your head! And put on the head of... the reader!
In all my years of teaching business writing skills, I'm often asked, "Why don't they teach us this at college?" Yes indeed, why not? There's a huge difference between academic writing and business writing.
Do you think you'll impress readers by using big words? Do you use phrases like Please be informed? Kindly find attached? When you put your fingers on the keyboard, do you think, "What should I write?"