Posted by: wordsmithsuk | November 23, 2010

What problems do people have when writing for business?

Many business people make a number of mistakes when they are writing. Here are some of the main ones.

The first big mistake I’ve noticed is that writers tend to write for themselves and not for their readers. But readers don’t have the same understanding of the subject, the same objectives and the same interests as the writer. So, if you don’t think of the reader’s needs as you write, you simply won’t engage them.

Secondly I’ve noticed that writers often fail to make their point early on. You need to bear in mind that readers are busy people. If you bury the important point halfway down the page, they may never get that far.

The third common error is failing to stick to the point. As you are writing, something else occurs to you and you veer off at a tangent, exploring another interesting but not vital subject area. This lack of focus is confusing for the reader as it blurs the key message.

Poor structure is the fourth frequent problem in business writing – and it occurs because people fail to plan before they write. If the structure of a document is poor, readers will not be able to follow what you are saying. Again, they may give up before they reach the main point you are trying to communicate.

But structure isn’t just about organising the content in a logical sequence. Many business documents are poorly structured at a deeper level. To write well you have to consider the structure of your paragraphs and your sentences. Structure is a vital part of your reader’s experience, they won’t particularly notice if it is good, but they will be most confused if it’s bad.

Correct grammar and punctuation are major hurdles for many business writers. The nuts and bolts of writing really do matter– both to make your meaning clear and to support the image you are trying to create of a competent person who knows what they want to say.

Last but not least in this list of problems is the failure to write clearly and simply. Years ago most people in business thought that elaborate, jargon-filled written language helped to communicate and  enhance their status. But if you write like that today, your meaning will not be clear and people will think that you are stuffy and old-fashioned. So get rid of the bureaucratic words and phrases and just try to write more as you would speak.

Effective Business Writing for Success

Reports, emails, plans, minutes, articles and presentations: business writers have to write any of these, and write them well. Poor writing causes irritation and lost opportunities. Good writing saves time and gives your organisation a professional image.

Effective Business Writing for Success will give you the skills and confidence to make the right impact, no matter which kinds of documents you have to compose. It includes a number of components that will help you to create more effective documents: an audio CD packed with information on all aspects of business writing, a booklet summarising key points, model documents, exercises and a bonus track on meeting minutes.

The audio CD is available from Amazon (in physical format) and also from our website (in physical or download format).

Prices range from £13.37 per unit. Email us for prices for  bulk orders or a site licence.


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