Business writing is usually boring and conservative. It’s always been that way. Businesses are afraid to say anything new and exciting and will stick with what others say. Small Business Trends has four tips on how to improve business writing.
1. Never use clichés or metaphors (Source)
Readers are more engaged when they learn something. If a writer stays away from clichés and bad metaphors, he or she is more likely to connect with a reader. Clichés are common in business writing, and certain words have become extremely common. Today, it’s often technology words like scalable, solutions and disruption. A company must tell its own story and stay away from the buzzwords of business.
2. Cut out verb phrases (Source)
Phrases that start with of, that and which are often suspect. They create language that drags on and can be difficult to understand. A good writer will cut out verb phrases, which often involve a verb and a helping verb. The writing usually includes forms of the word be, such as am, is, are, was, were, being, and been; forms of have, such as has and had; forms of do, such as does and did. The best form of writing is a noun, verb and direct object. Write “Microsoft bought a small software company” rather than “A leader of direction industry solutions which works in the service as a solution space has been acquired by Microsoft.”
3. Don’t use needlessly complicated words (Source)
Simple words are the best way to convey a message. Readers are turned off by overly complicated language. Often, the meaning gets lost in the attempt to use big words. A good writer communicates in a way that is easy to understand and does not come across as arrogant or pompous. A writer is more likely to connect with a reader when the reader understands exactly what the writer is saying.
4. Back up your claims (Source)
Business writers are notorious for saying things like “the most talked-about social media management tool” or “the most efficient document editor.” The writer does nothing to back up the claim, and it really has no meaning. The statements lend nothing to the writer’s argument. A good writer sticks to terms that can be defined and argued in a rational manner.
Bottom-line of how to improve business writing? Write honestly, and write simply.
KDuncan & Company is dedicated to providing knowledge and support for small government contractors about concerns regarding government contracting. For questions on areas such as as cost proposals, accounting systems, DCAA compliance, and incurred cost audits, reach out to KDuncan & Company.