Resources – Shirley’s Articles For Reprint

Consider Your Reader When You Write

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!

Put yourself in your reader’s position. Imagine how the reader will feel as your message pops up on their screen and they read your message. When you read it as though you are the reader, it can make a huge difference.

As you check through your message, wearing your reader’s head of course, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. Is your message clear and concise?
  2. Could anything be misinterpreted?
  3. Is it organised and structured logically?
  4. Could you break anything down into numbers or bullets?
  5. Have you used any old-fashioned words or redundant phrases?
  6. Have you used an appropriate tone?
  7. Have you clearly stated the action required?
  8. Have you used language you would use if you were speaking to the reader?

When you read out your message carefully, you may decide to revise certain parts of your message. You may decide to break some points into bullets. You may tighten up your sentences and remove redundancies. You may restructure it so the message flows more logically.

When you do this, it will help your reader and it will also help you – because you’re more likely to get the response you want.

Here’s a golden rule from tip #2:

If in doubt, read it out!
When you’re writing anything, imagine you’re speaking to your reader – because you are!

All articles are copyright © Shirley Taylor. All rights reserved. This information may not be distributed, sold, publicly presented, or used in any other manner, except as described here.

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© Shirley Taylor.
Shirley is a high-energy, high-content speaker who is passionate about motivating individuals to make a real difference in our automated world. With inspiring stories and a fun style, she engages audiences quickly, and encourages them to embrace high-touch as well as high-tech so they can connect with heart.

Shirley has been a trusted member of the professional speaking and training community for many years, and has received several awards for her services in leadership. She served as Asia Professional Speakers Singapore President 2011-12 and as Global Speakers Federation President 2017-18. She has spoken in almost 20 countries all over the world.

Author of 12 books published by international publishers, Shirley has established herself as a leading authority in workplace communication, business writing, and email. Her international bestseller Model Business Letters, Emails & Other Business Documents 7th edition has sold over half a million copies worldwide and been translated into 17 languages.

If you would like Shirley to speak at your next event, visit

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