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10 Business Writing Tips

10 Business Writing Tips

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Kelli Matthews

July 01, 2019
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Transcript

  1. TO O L S I N YO U R TO

    O L K I T
  2. G E T R I D O F T H

    E F E A R O N E
  3. W H AT D O E S F E A

    R LO O K L I K E ? Subject: Analysis of service situation As you know, I make a monthly review of the state of our service. I’ll refer you to past reviews that have always shown excellent results. Our service personnel are generally considered the highest-rated regional team across the company. In my detailed analysis of service for the last quarter, I found that things remained generally quite good. Unfortunately, among the positive results, there is one negative. One machine was unrepaired, and the customer went ahead and used it anyway. Regrettably, considerable damage was caused at the customer’s site. If you are wondering who the customer was, it’s Randco. We did everything possible to retain the customer, but retention may not be possible. I am hopeful that this will not end up causing legal issues, but there is the possibility of getting sued for the damage. Please keep in mind our excellent service reputation with the other customers. I hope to be able to maintain those relationships. A review has also been undertaken to determine the cause of this issue, and to prevent a repeat of the problem. I appreciate your attention in this matter and wish you a good end of quarter.
  4. W H AT D O E S F E A

    R LO O K L I K E ? Subject: Analysis of service situation As you know, I make a monthly review of the state of our service. I’ll refer you to past reviews that have always shown excellent results. Our service personnel are generally considered the highest-rated regional team across the company. In my detailed analysis of service for the last quarter, I found that things remained generally quite good. Unfortunately, among the positive results, there is one negative. One machine was unrepaired, and the customer went ahead and used it anyway. Regrettably, considerable damage was caused at the customer’s site. If you are wondering who the customer was, it’s Randco. We did everything possible to retain the customer, but retention may not be possible. I am hopeful that this will not end up causing legal issues, but there is the possibility of getting sued for the damage. Please keep in mind our excellent service reputation with the other customers. I hope to be able to maintain those relationships. A review has also been undertaken to determine the cause of this issue, and to prevent a repeat of the problem. I appreciate your attention in this matter and wish you a good end of quarter.
  5. Subject: Randco service problem and consequences There is a problem

    with Randco, one of our biggest customers. On a service call, one of our techs failed to repair one of their machines. The customer was unaware of the problem and used the machine, causing several hundred thousand dollars’ worth of damage. We have taken the following actions: •Dispatched a senior salesperson to attempt to retain Randco as a client. •Alerted Legal to the possibility of a lawsuit for the damage. •Reviewed the tech’s service record, which was spotless except for this problem. As a result, I issued a warning but did not discipline the tech further. •Reviewed our processes. Based on that review, I concluded that this is not part of a pattern. Our current processes will prevent it from recurring. This is consistent with our 98% quality rating in past quarters. If you interact with Randco, be aware of the incident. Sales staff can continue to be confident about our overall service quality. If you have any further questions, please let me know.
  6. M I N I M I Z E PA SS

    I V E VO I C E T WO
  7. T I P S TO M I N I M

    I Z E PAS S I V E VO I C E • Spot it: the subject of the sentence is not doing the acting. • How? • Add “by zombies” after the verb. Does it make sense? Then it’s passive voice. • Use Microsoft Word’s grammar checker or a tool like Grammarly. (or find a friendly editor) • Look for “is,” “are,” “can,” “could,” “have,” “has,” and “ought.” AT T E N T I O N M U ST B E PA I D… BY ZO M B I E S .
  8. E L I M I N AT E JA R

    G O N T H R E E
  9. D O N ’ T A L I E N

    AT E YO U R R E A D E R ! • Jargon makes writers seem like sophisticated insiders, but it makes life harder for readers. • Direct, informal language is more effective. • Three exceptions: • The terms are ones everyone in your audience knows. Be ok with excluding some. • Legally required • Define the term up front.
  10. E X A M P L E System-level competition is

    a new model for strategy in a globally-linked, information- oriented society. This is a methodology for strategic innovation that blends system design and management, ecosystem-centered business strategy, and applications from complex adaptive systems research. Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. V S
  11. E X A M P L E The Area Vice

    President, Enterprise Customers will develop and manage a sustainable strategic relationship that transforms the current commercial model by creating joint value that results in the ongoing reduction of costs, continuous process improvement, growth and profitability for both partners with the ability to export key learnings. You’ll show key enterprise customers the benefits of working with us and share what you learn. O R
  12. TA M E T H E W E A S

    E L WO R D S F O U R
  13. W H AT TO WATC H FO R • Most

    • Many • Few • Rarely • Millions • Cheap • Countless
  14. “…our incredibly loyal and dedicated employee base has stepped up

    to every challenge along the way….The teams here have not only built incredible products and technologies, but have built Yahoo into one of the most iconic, and universally well-liked companies in the world….I’m incredibly proud of everything that we’ve achieved, and I’m incredibly proud of our team. I love Yahoo, and I believe in all of you.”
  15. E X A M P L E I am excited

    about the incredible opportunity that the United team has to improve the travel experience essential to the vitality of global business and to the personal lives of millions of people. I am excited about the opportunity to improve your travel experience. I know that United Airlines is vital to the global business and personal travel that led you to take 140 million trips with us last year. O R
  16. W R I T E S H O R T

    E R F I V E
  17. T I P S • Treat the reader’s time as

    more valuable than your own. • Eliminate everything you don’t need. • Edit everything. • Emails: under 250 words 
 Blog posts: under 750 • If each word costs $10, how much can you afford?
  18. WO R K O U T A P P R

    OVA L S I N A DVA N C E S I X
  19. • Decide questions of authority ahead of time • Get

    (or give) pre-approval on the objectives and outline before writing • Example: • Legal or compliance reviews claims • Marketing team advocates for the reader • Technical team confirms accuracy • C-Suite overrides the decision to publish • Editor has final say on tone and style
  20. V I S UA L I Z E YO U

    R AU D I E N C E S E V E N
  21. B U L L E T/O U T L I

    N E YO U R I D E A S E I G H T
  22. E D I T. E D I T. E D

    I T. N I N E
  23. E D I T BY C H A I N

    SAW • State your main idea as clearly as you can. • Slash anything extra (even if it’s a good story) • Every paragraph has to earn its keep • Every sentence does, too • Move things around
  24. • Trim the bloat and fat. • Shed the obvious

    (ex: “in this article… I’ve always felt that…”) • Trim word bloat (ex: although instead of despite the fact that… or when instead of when it comes to…) • Ditch adverbs unless they’re necessary to adjust meaning • Get rid of weakling verbs • Don’t rely on “however,” “although,” “therefore” for transition E D I T BY S U R G I C A L TO O L S
  25. O N L I N E TO O L S

    T E N
  26. TO O L S TO U S E • Grammarly.com

    • scribens.com • MS Word (try the “read out loud feature)