Clear writing tips for increased understanding

Clear writing tips for understanding in Business communication

Tips to make your writing clear and to help engage your reader, by not boring them.

Think before you write.

Clear writing and communication come from thinking clearly. We need to fully understand the process, problem or solution to explain it to others. Use stories and analogies to explain what you mean. First establish the point or message of the piece of writing. Clearly state it up front in the document. Repeat the key idea/concept using different language and analogies several times through the document.

Clear writing tips 1 – Keep It Simple and Short (KISS)

Multi-page wads of reports just don’t get read, especially when they are dry and dull. Top management don’t have time to read your multi-volume ramblings, start with a synopsis of the facts then expand. The use of the news pyramid is useful to put across the important information. Think of a news article. Start with the headline. Then the most important facts in the first paragraph, followed by a more detailed explanation, ensuring the message is clearly and simply delivered. References and more detail can be added in the appendixes.

Clear writing tips 2 – Tailor the message

Clear writing tips

Start with the take-away in mind

Even if you’re writing for fellow economists, use specialised words sparingly. Simple clear language is more effective. Studies have shown readers think less of writers who use long words, where a short word would do. Be careful of jargon, it can make your writing boring and sound stilted, lacking flow. If your writing is for a specific customer academic or economic language may make the information less understandable, and the reader more confused. Readers think more of writers they understand.

Clear writing tips 3 – Read it out loud

Use clear, conversation type language. Written language and spoken language are different. Spoken language uses shorter sentences. We breathe more when we speak. Developing one idea per paragraph makes reading and understanding easier. Start with a simple introduction sentence containing the idea. Follow with more details, analogies, examples and definitions to clarify what you mean. We each have different experiences of the same words; clarify your meaning through examples to avoid fuzzy concepts.

Good writing means rewriting.

Nobody gets it just right the first time. Edit to omit unnecessary words. If you can comfortably read it out loud you are off to a good start. Lively writing contains action verbs, not passive ones. That’s not always possible, especially when you’re talking about ideas, but try, your readers will thank you. Use the Clarity index to ensure your writing is clear and not too wordy.Clear writing tips Infographic

Create One Clear Message through these Clear writing tips

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Richard Riche

Change Communication and Employee Engagement specialist at One Clear Message Consulting
Richard specialises in helping you build real human communication skills. Employee Engagement / Experience, Emotional Intelligence skills, building high performance teams and a great place you want to work. TED style speaking and presentation skills. Training, consulting and coaching.
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