How to communicate better in writing

COMMUNICATION IN GENERAL

WRITING SKILLS

In today's information overload world, communicating clearly is the foremost important thing that needs to be mastered within workplaces and in our everyday life. It is always vital to communicate clearly, concisely and effectively so that those receiving the message can easily understand and follow the information you are trying to convey. People don't have time to read book-length messages, and they don't have the patience to polish badly-constructed writings for obscured points.
Therefore the better your writing skills are the better the consciousness you will make on the people around you, such as your boss, your colleagues, and your clients, just because the information they are receiving is reader-friendly.
In order to produce an effective and efficient writing, the following steps will assist you through your writing in avoiding you from making common mistakes when writing a set of Procedures, and when trying to convey messages across to different audiences.

FORMAT

Choosing the right format is important as it will give you the style of how to write clearly. For instance, do you need to write an informal or informal letter, or a detailed report? Knowing exactly the format of your writing will define your “writing voice” and give you a clear idea of how you are going to communicate it clearly to your reader.

AUDIENCE

Identifying your audience is what needs to be done before writing, as it give guide you through your writing style. It is vital to know exactly beforehand who are going to read your message or letter; different audience will define your tone as well as the content of your writing. Therefore, understanding your audience will allow you to communicate clearly as you know exactly what they are expecting to find in the contents, and as well as knowing their needs.

COMPOSITION/STYLE

Once you have identified your format and audience you can then start composing your writing based on the following styles;

  • Start with your audience – it is always important to keep in mind that your readers know nothing of what you are telling them, try introduce them to what you have to tell about, to give them an idea of they will expect in the content
  • Create an outline – writing a long document such as a report, speech or a presentation will be helpful if you break it up into manageable pieces of information. This will guide you through your writing as which steps to take in what order and also making it easier for readers to follow it through
  • Use AIDA – these four steps will inspire action in the reader and can also guide you through the writing process, use AIDA formula for help in making your audience inspired of your writing
  • Try some empathy – this will help in convincing your clients as why should they be buying you products or care about your sales, what are the benefits that they w are getting from it. Always bear in mind your audience’s needs and expectation at all times
  • Use rhetorical triangle – persuading people is not easy, therefore it is very important that you carefully choose appropriate words to communicate to your readers why they should listen to you, pitch your message that can encourage your audience to absorb the information you are telling them. Use the article on RHETORICAL TRIANGLE to present your case in a more effective way
  • Identifying your main THEME – being able to identify your main THEME before writing will allow you to focus on that without diverting, hence able to communicate clearly your intentions across to your audience. This will avoid mixing up information making your audience loose tract of what you intend to tell them
  • Use simple language – always bear in mind using simple and direct language will make the communication more simple and easy to be understood, thus reader-friendly

STRUCTURE

It will be effective if you can make your documents as reader-friendly as possible as it will engage your audience in what you are telling you as they can follow the document with ease. This can be achieved by using Headings, subheadings, bullet points and numbering wherever possible to break up your documents into manageable pieces.
It is always easier for readers to read a page that is broken up into short paragraphs with section headings and bulleted points. Long and dense paragraphed documents will make it difficult for readers to follow and will be hardly get read, compared to a document that is broken up into simpler and short paragraphs making it easier to scan and get read.
Adding graphs and charts will make the writing shorter and convey more information than text, more importantly will engage the reader’s eyes.

GRAMMATICAL ERRORS

Having grammatical errors in your documents can discourage readers from reading the whole documents. Secondly it will give an impression of unprofessionalism writing, the information presented will not be that effective, the message is not communicated clearly to your targeted audience. It is essential to make sure that everything you write should be of quality that your audience find acceptable.

PROOFING

Most writers do their writing at last minute making them rush through the documents before sending it out without bothering to proofread before releasing it. In some cases writers just want to get rid of it, therefore once done they just send it out without making sure that they have proofread, however the following guidelines will assist you in checking what you have written is within an acceptable level;

  • Proof your headers and sub-headers – wrongly spelt headings and subheadings can make the documents meaningless to readers, therefore always make sure to check these before concentrating on the text.
  • Read the document out loud – this will enable you to read it more carefully and at a slower pace enabling to detect misspell words and other grammatical mistakes as you read along
  • Use finger to follow text as you read – this another effective way of proofreading your text as it slows you down when reading along the text
  • Begin at end of document – this technique of proofreading can help you focusing on finding errors in the text rather than concentrating on the content

KEY POINTS

Communicating your points effectively across to your audience can be achieved through the following points;

  • Identifying you audience and writing format
  • Knowing and understanding your audience
  • Knowing how to communicate you points quickly and professionally
  • Knowing how to write better allows you to successfully communicate to your audience
  • Creating outlines of your ideas to help organize your thoughts
  • Learning grammatical and stylistic techniques
  • Proofreading your completed document

The more you practice writing the more knowledge and skills you will gain which will improve your writing ability thus enable you to communicate clearly and effectively.

References
1. Carifio, J., Dagostino, L., & Kanellas, R. J. (1998). Improving the expository writing skills of adolescent. Lanham, Md: University Press of America.
2. Chan, J. F., & Lutovich, D. (2003). Professional writing skills: a self paced training program. San Anselmo, CA: Advanced Communication Designs.
2. Howard, P. (1996). Practical reading & writing skills. Albeit Park, Victoria: Phoenix Education.
2. Laws, A. (1999). Writing skills. Oxford, England: Summertown.



Want to know more?

*http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/george-orwells-5-rules-for-effective-writing/
The website provides 5 rules for effective writing, these rules are well explained in details and you can learn how to improve your writing.
*http://www.ehow.com/how_4475108_communicate-better-business.html
This website also provides some useful techniques of writing in an effective way to your readers.

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