How to write clearly for business?

In the world of social media, one must revise content to fit the audience profile. No one has time to read through paragraphs after paragraphs. As Harvard Business Review points out, in business writing, you get points for clarity, not style. Instead of trying to wax poetic about your division’s plans for the next 60 days, just make your point.

Here are three ways to do that:

  1. One idea per paragraph. Novels hold several complex ideas and emotions in a single paragraph. In business writing, limit your thoughts to one per paragraph. When you have another suggestion, thought or idea, start a
    new paragraph.
  2. Put your point in the first sentence. Don’t entice your readers with background information and build-up. No one has time for that. Make your primary point first. Then go into supporting detail.
  3. Make it “scannable.” Few people read every word in an email. Use headers and bullet points so that your audience can quickly scan your message and understand your point.

If you would like to dig this one deeper, feel free to check the Harvard Business Review post by David Silverman.

  • This is especially true in email. If I receive a 2 page email, my first instinct is “Is this worth reading?”. Senders are asking you to make an investment of your time. That first sentence should indeed contain your point to get me (or your recipient) to read on.

  • kudos to you for coming up with this nice business idea