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Writing 101: 7 Deadly Sins Of Business Writing

When it comes to writing, there are always going to be DOs and DONTs – but some are more, shall we say, fatal than others.

Read These Questions And Answer Them Truthfully With A Simple YES or NO:

1. Do you use unnecessary and redundant expressions in your writing, like ‘Please be informed’, ‘Kindly be advised’, ‘I am writing to inform you’, or ‘Please note that’?

2. Do you use expressions that you would not use if you were speaking to the other person, such as ‘As spoken’,‘As per our telecon’, ‘Appreciate if you would’, or ‘Please revert to me soonest’?

3. Do you like to use long words in your writing (such as disseminate, assistance, accomplish, utilise) because you think they will impress your reader and make them think more highly of you?

4. Do you use passive expressions in your writing rather than active? For example, ‘Your prompt attention is appreciated’, ‘Your co-operation is needed’, or ‘The project was discussed by the managers’?

5. Do you use old-fashioned words and expressions that were made up by our great-grandfathers many decades ago? This includes expressions like ‘Please be reminded’, ‘Please find attached’, ‘above-mentioned’, ‘herewith’, ‘at your soonest’, ‘Kindly’, or ‘for your reference and perusal’.

6. Do your sentences ramble on and on, sometimes more than 20 words, so that the reader has to go back to the beginning to try to understand them?

7. Do you finish messages with ‘Regards’, ‘Warm regards’, ‘Thanks and Regards’, or even worse ‘Tnks & Rgds’, or ‘BRgs’?

If you can answer YES to two or more of these questions, you need help in bringing your writing style up-to-date. You’ve come to the right place. Check back often for advice on how to improve your communication skills – both orally and in writing!

What’s your pet peeve in writing? Add a comment to let me know what really drives you mad! Or if you need some advice, just ask me a question. I’ll do my best to answer it.

Give yourself an edge in this very competitive world by getting to grips with effective writing now!

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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.