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Earn Trust With Great Writing Style
When you are talking to someone face-to-face, you have lots of visual clues to help you – your tone of voice, gestures, eye contact. It may not be fair, but in the everyday world we are judged and influenced by all these criteria. And like it or not, it’s through the way we speak and look that we earn trust and confidence.
But none of these visual cues present are in written communication, so how do we earn trust in our emails, reports or other business messages?
Well when we write, we have to find other ways to evaluate the person who is ‘speaking’ (writing). People do that by looking at your ‘style’.
‘Style’ In Business Writing
In business writing, ‘style’ means lots of things: It means you must:
- Pay attention to proper spelling and punctuation
- Use correct sentence construction instead of non-sentences
- Spell out words in full instead of abbreviations only suitable for SMS
- Be creative in what you write and how you write
- Make your messages look good
- Use numbered points or bullet lists
- Include headings when necessary
- Make sure your tone hits the right notes
- Structure your messages logically
I recently did a follow-up workshop for a client I’d done a business writing workshop for two months earlier. I asked the participants what had changed since our workshop. They told me proudly:
- We get straight to the point, but are still courteous.
- We use everyday language instead of old-fashioned template writing.
- We avoid redundancies, like ‘Please be informed’, ‘Kindly be advised’, ‘I am writing to inform you’, etc.
- Our messages are structured logically with the intro, details, action and close.
- We make it clear what action the reader needs to take.
- Our clients tell us our messages are more friendly, so we seem more approachable.
Bingo! This is how to earn trust and confidence!
Here’s a golden rule from tip #6:
Pay Attention To Your Writing Style
What you write and how you write will affect what people think of you and your organisation. Give yourself an edge and build trust by paying attention to your writing style!
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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 shirleytaylor.com.
** The website link to shirleytaylor.com must be clickable to receive permission to reprint the article.