Compare these two tech companies.
Company A makes it easy to build online forms. Their tool allows you to create surveys and invitations to “collect the data, registrations and payments you need.”
Company B is a “contextual content recommendation company for enterprise applications.” They deliver “high–quality, personalized content that is engaging and actionable optimized” for “business professionals in specific verticals such as finance.”
From just reading their websites, Company A seems straightforward and pleasant to deal with.
Company B appears a bit lost. They seem to think complex things need a complex explanation. If they solve a real problem for their customers, it’s not clear from their website what that problem is.
A company’s writing shapes perceptions of its brand.
The same is true for each of us individually. If you write in a way that is sloppy and muddled, people may conclude that you too are sloppy and muddled.
The way you write is as much a projection of yourself as how you conduct yourself in a meeting, or the clothes you wear to work.
A lot of important decisions are made, and swayed, based on what’s written.
Within an organisation, good writing can influence everything from support for your new project to your case for a promotion.
When writing on behalf of your brand – to clients of your business or supporters of your charity – never forget the first requirement: to get read. If people don’t read what you’ve written, your work has zero impact.
So, before you write, think about your reader. Then start with what’s important to them.
Bad writing is often ineffective or ignored. Good writing gets results.
Look back over your past few working days.
How much time have you spent writing or reading? And how much time have you spent responding to, or working with, what other people have written?
We’ve all had emails that start vaguely and meander onwards. The reason for sending the email starts to emerge in paragraph four, and is just about clear by paragraph nine.
Whether it’s an email, a report, or a deck of slides, if you’re making a recommendation at work then do it early. You’re not writing a detective story with a surprise ending.
As Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson put it in their excellent book, Writing that Works, “Bad writing slows things down; good writing speeds things up.”
About the workshop
Write well at work is an engaging and interactive three–hour workshop. It flows best with groups of between five and ten people. We also offer a one–on–one version, designed for business leaders.
The workshop combines a mix of teaching, discussion, exercises and reviewing good and bad writing samples.
The emphasis is on practical application – teaching principles, techniques and models that make a difference in daily business writing.
To find out more or to book a workshop, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.