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Discover the secrets to effective business writing and crafting messages that others want to read and act on. Judy Steiner-Williams, senior lecturer at Kelley School of Business, introduces you to the 10 Cs of strong business communication and provides you with before-and-after writing samples that give you the opportunity to apply each principle and sharpen your communication skills. Judy also points out common grammar and writing mistakes and shares special considerations for formats like emails and reports.
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- Business people are busy, so they read quickly and scan for key points. They also interpret words based on their knowledge. Additionally, they quickly decide if the message is important or deserves their valuable time. For business writers, this means the message should be clear and easy to read. So the reader can quickly get to the point. In other words, to succeed in business you must be able not just to write but to write effectively for business. Any writing training you've had has probably been in creative writing.
You've added adjectives and adverbs to describe that favorite vacation or movie. Business writing and creative writing are not the same. Of course, business writing does follow some of the same principles that creative writing teaches, a clear thesis and topic sentences, correct mechanics and transition. So, the basics do apply. Effective business writers need to constantly analyze the reader. What does my reader all ready know? How will my reader react? Organize the message in the best way for the reader.
Does it begin with a purpose and does it look easy to read? Also, let the reader know what the next step should be, such as, a time by which a reply is needed and contact information. A fourth point is that effective business writers need to give the impression that the reader is important and not just another number. Make the first message effective to decrease the need for follow up messages, which are time consuming and costly. An effective business writer will choose the correct channel, written or face-to-face for example.
Studies show that employers rank the ability to communicate as the number one or number two scale needed to be higher and to be promoted. So how important is having effective business writing skills? It can be the make or break of your career. It really is a big deal.
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