Whether you are an entrepreneur with your own business or a worker in the corporate world, chances are you communicate with clients, colleagues, or even executives. While there are verbal and non-verbal ways of communicating, written communication is the most fundamental in all types of jobs.
With that said, it is vital then that you adopt good business writing skills. Remember whatever stature you hold in an organization, writing skills are essential. Tasks that may involve writing includes emails, sales proposals, company brochures, presentation slides, annual reports, sales materials, and other business documents.
In engaging a professional business communication, you convey that your company is credible, reliable, and trustworthy. Nonetheless, with the email as the most common means of communication, here are 5 powerful tips to a professional looking email:
- Be mindful of your audience
Are your readers Australian or British? Avoid spelling these words with a “z”:
Take note also of the following words:
- Favour, not favor
- Centre, not center
- Colour, not color
- Know your collective nouns
Use singular voice, if you are writing about a team, group, department, or an organization. These words are known as collective nouns. Pay attention to the following examples:
Incorrect: The Marketing Department are stunned.
Correct: The Marketing Department is stunned.
Incorrect: Landers have another one-day sale.
Correct: Landers has another one-day sale.
- Learn when to capitalise
Remember that it is alright to capitalise titles or top level headings. In any case, avoid title case in subheadings or body text except in the following cases:
- It is your beginning word in a sentence
- You made it a part of an official title, place or name
Keep in mind that random capitalisation sends out a message of disorderliness and unprofessionalism.
- Understand the difference between fewer and less
Take note that fewer and less are not interchangeable. In writing a subject you can count, the proper word to use is fewer. On one hand, use the word less in describing a subject you can’t count. See the below samples:
- Nowadays, children engage in less activity than they used to, as a result, they suffer fewer injuries.
- Kate drinks less Vodka than you, thus she experiences fewer headaches.
- Last month, we had less rainfall. Consequently, I bought fewer umbrellas.
- Use it’s and its appropriately
We see a lot of people struggling with the apostrophe in the word it’s or its. Remember that “it’s” is a contraction for it is or it has. That being said, it is only sensible to add an apostrophe when your sentence makes sense once the words are separated out again. Look at the following samples:
Incorrect: The organization is working on it’s corporate image.
Correct: The organization is working on its corporate image.
Incorrect: The company is celebrating it’s 8th anniversary.
Correct: The company is celebrating its 8th anniversary.