Join Judy Steiner-Williams for an in-depth discussion in this video Getting the most from this course, part of Business Writing Principles.
- Two cliches come to mind. Practice makes perfect and old habits are hard to break. Both of these apply to improving your business writing. You may think your writing style is just your style and can't be changed, or you may be resistant to change it, especially when you discover that some of your ingrained notions about business writing aren't true. Some of your writing bubbles may burst along this improved writing journey. Being open-minded can be difficult at times.
You may also think that writing experts can't make up their minds about the best way to write. Do understand, before you begin, that business writing is not the same type of writing used for pleasure writing, such as novels or journals. The purpose of that writing is to entertain or for personal reflection. Business writing's purpose is to inform or to persuade with facts. So, all successful writing is adapted to its audience and to its purpose. Business people are busy, have communication overload, and are scan readers, so effective business writers send only messages that need to be sent, use concise wording, and make the documents reader-friendly.
In order to be able to write effectively for business, practice is necessary. Not just an occasional practice session, but regular consistent practice. Changing your current habits to new improved habits can be time-consuming, but as with any habit, it can be changed. Two more cliches come to mind. "The measure of intelligence is the ability to change." Albert Einstein and "Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything." George Bernard Shaw Intelligent business people understand that having effective business writing skills can help them get noticed and advanced in their careers.
Changing preconceived ideas about how people in business write is necessary to actually implement effective business writing principles. Being willing to change is the first step, knowing what and how to change is the second step, and practicing until effective business writing becomes second nature is the third step. The total of these three steps is being a successful business writer. So, you can get the most out of this course by beginning with an open mind and by being willing to practice.
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