Remember the time you heard a senior executive making a speech at some corporate dinner or employee’s day when the speaker said something so crisp that it made you go, “That’s what I’m talking about… you nailed it!” In ways more than one, those are exactly the sort of sentiments that good business style writing should evoke every time.
To me, personally, business fashion writing flirts with creative & academic writing; it is like a hybrid of the latter two. You cannot say that a particular writing style is better than the other two; each one has its distinguishing tone & distinctive purpose. However, there are some professional business writing standards which you are supposed to follow rigidly while working with business correspondence and communication.
To successfully identify a correspondence as business writing, one must be familiar with the acceptable and frowned upon characteristics of corporate style writing. That will be the main focus of this humble excerpt; to attempt to touch upon what business cut writing entails.
To start off with the core concept, readers is like to play Bull’s Eye with business style writing; the ‘bottom line’ should become apparent in as less words as possible. Subsequently you will find other things to be mindful of in order to add flair to your management style writing.
Minding the Active and Passive Voice
The active voice should be used for the most part. As a business writer, you should be aware of the difference between the active and the passive voice. An example has been inked below to make it easy to understand.
The grass was cut by the landlord. (Passive voice)
The landlord cut the grass. (Active voice)
The passive voice should be brought into play when you want to make a point without placing too much emphasis on it; as if you want to glance by it.
Striking the Right Balance with the Length of Your Write-ups
After the active and passive voice distinction, a business writer must also appreciate the differentiation between making something sound “short & sweet” & giving someone a “shut-up call”
What that means is that even though you want to nail the points in as less words possible as logic permits, you do not want to make your reader feel disrespected; you don’t want to make scrambled eggs out of your writing. Keep it concise but make sure it maintains a rational flow of thoughts & ideas. Some experts have coined the term KISS for this practice i.e. Keep It Short & Simple.
Stating the Core Purpose
To make the thought flow smoother, state the purpose of the correspondence at the beginning. Consequently, run a quick overview of the points that will be elaborated in the subsequent text.
Also be wary of where you use ‘I’ and ‘We’. ‘I’ is specifically for your sole actions and beliefs. ‘We’ is used to refer to the company as a whole. Therefore, do not use ‘we’ in place of an ‘I’ because your wrong choice of words can drag the firm in to the legal courtyards.
Style and Fonts
The popularly adopted business style font should be a 12pt text; either Arial or Times New Roman – something that is easily legible. Keep scanning through various commercial style writing excerpts with the eyes of an observer; you want to see how the message comes across to you as a reader and what, if any, changes would you make if you had to convey the same message.