As a writer, I am always fascinated by the different ways other writers combine words, tone, and cadence to tell their stories. This is true whether the story is a biography or nail-biting thriller, an historical account or far-reaching fiction. The details they use to describe people and relationships, time and places, challenges and victories create a conceptual picture that either engages me to want to read on or not. It’s the same in business – resumes, reports, emails, presentations – they all tell a story. So, what’s your story and how well are you telling it?
Some believe that good business writing is limited to knowing how to spell and use proper grammar or syntax – and, I promise, these factors are essential, but there’s much more to it. To be effective, good business writing should provide a compelling enough reason (the story) to engage your audience to read beyond the first paragraph. Here’s a few quick tips on how best to do this:
- Summarize the facts
- Identify the reason for the communication
- Provide relevant details for them to buy-in, make a decision, or simply be informed
- Define follow-up requirements or deadlines, if applicable.
Short and sweet.
So, the next time you prepare a presentation, report, memo, or email, ask yourself: what’s my story and how well can I tell it?