(Photo: yanyong / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

(Photo: yanyong / iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

Everybody writes, but how many of us write well?

Websites, emails and sales agreements all work better when they communicate clearly and concisely.

Clear communication is a remarkable skill because it’s uncommon. It comes naturally to a few, but for most of us, daily discipline is necessary to hone the skill. 

Nowadays, it’s common for emails and texts to be incomplete, or worse, unnecessarily wordy. This makes prospective and current customers work harder than they should.

They may hang around for a while, but deep down they are frustrated because careless communication steals time, their most valuable resource.

Learn to write for clarity and purpose

Nowadays everybody is busy.

Some people take this as an excuse to ignore phone calls, emails and texts. This is disrespectful because it makes others manage your inefficiencies.

It’s interesting that the busiest people, company leaders who are responsible to many, tend to be the most responsive and skilled communicators.

They are decisive communicators because they have to be.

Their personal brand and the company brand they represent demand it. 

Practice this with all writing, but especially with the texts and emails we use most frequently.

  • Know Your Subject – Know in advance what you want to communicate. This is the subject line of your email or title of your written work.
  • Get Their Attention – Every communication has a purpose, a controlling idea that lets the audience know why it should care. For example: “Bob quit today. I’ve got some candidates to replace him. When can we discuss?” The controlling idea is a key position needs to be filled.
  • Focus On Results – As the previous example suggests, skip what distracts from the message. Use the controlling idea to filter out drama and irrelevant details.

Tools for crystal clear writing

  • Fast Draft – The faster you write your first draft the cleaner it will be. Don’t worry about the quality, only write until its finished. You’ll discover ideas you didn’t know were there when you write to completion.
  • Easy Clean – Grammarly is a free tool that will fix most errors, but it isn’t perfect. More important is that your writing is authentic, that it sounds like you. Upgrading to Grammarly’s paid version will help eliminate the passive voice, trimming your words by as much as 30 percent.
  • Edit by Ear – Many of us have no formal journalistic training, but we know what sounds right. Print your edited draft and make notes while listening to MS Word read it back to you with the Read Aloud feature (online version only). Make any final edits and you are done.
  • Ship It – Send it to its target audience with confidence, knowing it represents your brand well.
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Jeff Korhan

About the Author:

Jeff Korhan is the owner of True Nature Marketing, a Naples, Fla.-based company helping entrepreneurs grow. Reach him at Jeff works with service companies that want to drive growth and enhance their brand experience with digital platforms.

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