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It’s All About Me… Your Business Writing is Anyway

April 24, 2012

Today’s technology tools are great, like GoDaddyIntuit, and VistaPrint. Competent computer users can create impressive websites, brochures, and business cards. Yet templates are merely tools. They don’t make any of us better writers. If you’re a newbie to business writing or want to improve your scribe skills, try this process…

1 – It’s all about me. It is. Really. I don’t care if you have the happiest staff on the planet. Outline your pitch based on my needs. I do care that your customer service rivals Disney and that your product can adapt to my needs with Shapeshifter speed and accuracy.

2 – Write. Don’t edit. Don’t grammar check. Don’t analyze it. Not yet.

3 – Review your work. Replace challenging text with simpler and fewer words. Clarify industry terms. The decision-maker may not know your field. Edit overused words. Try this list from Thompson Writing. A couple of personal pet peeves that can make me a cranky pants are…

  • Leading edge – really? the creative thinkers found better words eons ago.
  • Out of the box thinking – please put the phrase back in the box. forever.
  • Variety is the spice of life – it sure is. so express yourself in your own words.

4 – Whether you’re selling adult training or zoo passes, mix it up. Vary paragraph and sentence length. Keep paragraphs to five lines of text or less. Short sentences imply speed. Long, multi-clause sentences are like long-winded experts. As much as we want to listen, we tune out pretty quickly.

5 – Cut it out. Writers are emotionally attached to their wise words (me too!). Chop anyway.

6 – Find someone who hates you. Okay, that’s extreme. Find at least three people in your target audience that don’t like you as much as your mother or best friend. Edit again.

7 – Proofread by reading aloud. Spellcheck is not always right. Ask someone to proofread. Then proofread again.

Become a skilled business scribe, or contract someone who is. Just make sure you are using those tools to send the message your customers need to hear.

Comments (4)
1. Mary Francis said on 4/23/12 – 04:52PM
What a great blog and you filled it with lots of information and some useful links. I would have thought you were a professional blogger. Can’t wait to read your second blog.
2. Barbara Griffin Billig said on 4/23/12 – 06:55PM
Enjoyed your blog. Thanks for taking the time and sharing. I will post it on: http://facebook.com/BarbaraBilligReadersandWriters.com with a link back to you.
3. Valerie Bauer said on 4/23/12 – 09:31PM
Blog writing is addictive, you may be getting the habit! Check out my blog at http://nooneaskedme-gwammie.blogspot.ca/2012/04/about-homeless-teens-in-saint-john-nb.html?spref=fb
4. Catherine Doucette said on 4/23/12 – 10:50PM
Thanks Mary and Barbara! Appreciate the support. Valerie, yes, it is addictive. Great to be able to share like this!
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One Comment
  1. Susan Critelli permalink

    Love this article – pithy and to the point, and filled with good advice, some of which I have not been following. Thanks for the reminder!

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