More About the Business Writing Trend: Short!

Last week, we said that “short” is not what we really want, when we are looking for clearer, faster communication; when we want the reader to “get it” and to act on it now.TwoBusinessPeople175

What we are looking for is “concise.” “Short” can cause you a lot of problems, cost you more time, and result in lost productivity. You need to anticipate the questions you must answer for your reader before he or she can do what you are asking him or her to do. “Concise” – providing the information your reader needs, in as short a space as possible – greatly increases the odds that you will get what you need at all, and probably much sooner.

The second part of this is to make your writing faster and easier to read.

We already talked about alternate formats, cover letters, and whether to pass along this information at all. See last week’s post here.

Here are three more things you can do:

CLICK HERE to finish reading 


Business Writing Tip of the Week: Strategic Business Writing – a Powerful, Cost-Effective Marketing Tool

Companies that thrive today realize that as dollars tighten, every word of every email, memo, letter, report, or proposal could also have a financial payback, as well as the more subliminal, less tangible results brought about by clarity and directness. womanTyping250

More and more, successful business people understand that strategic business writing — writing that gets the results it was meant to get — can be an extremely powerful marketing tool, and certainly one of the most cost-effective.

Here are a few quick tips on what makes everyday business writing — whether we’re talking about email, or paper writing — work today:

Continue reading here.

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Published in: on July 8, 2013 at 10:28 am  Leave a Comment  
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Even Before You Think About Writing…

If I could give you an easy way to be more productive in your working life, would it be worth a try?

Recently-published research from Stanford University (Ophir, Wagner and Nass) indicates that people who identified themselves as high multitaskers did not do as well at filtering irrelevant information, organizing memories, or switching from one thing to another as low multitaskers did.

UCLA researcher Russell Poldrack found that students focused on learning a specific task out-performed those multitaskers who were distracted.  Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI) testing further indicated that different brain systems were involved for each group, and that “there was a cost to switching back and forth” for the actively multitasking group involved in learning new information while distracted.  University of Michigan researcher David E. Meyer notes that switching the brain from one task to another can be incredibly time consuming.

From the historical point of view as far back as the 1890s, according to a Chronicle of Higher Education article, researchers found that while some are better able to concentrate while distracted than others, “Beyond a fairly low level of multitasking, everyone’s performance breaks down.”

Paradoxically, while most of the plethora of current research strongly concludes that, for a variety of reasons, multitaskers do not perform as well as their more focused counterparts, “Heavy multitaskers are often extremely confident in their abilities,” Stanford’s Nass said.  Yet, “they’re suckers for irrelevancy,” and “Everything distracts them.”

“They’re not able to filter out what’s not relevant to their current goal,” Stanford’s Wagner continued, and “That failure to filter means they’re slowed down by that irrelevant information.”

What does this mean in the business situation?  Two things:  (1) It’s possible that by focusing; and (2) by cutting distraction around you, you could actually be more productive, while seemingly doing less.

At a practical level, a single focus, and lack of distraction may be very close to the impossible dream, given today’s rapid-fire, multitasking work environment.

Try dedicating your workspace only to focused work – saving personal email, face book, Twitter, and LinkedIn – for personal time and space at home.

If you are a home office worker, establish and observe definite work hours, and dedicate a definite space used only for work.

More free business writing tips from Gail Tycer are available here, and information about Gail’s Effective Email, and other business writing workshops is available here.

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Published in: on July 1, 2010 at 12:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Advice for Bloggers – Rule #2: Be a Team Player

This week, we’re welcoming back blogger Marilyn Tycer. Marilyn is a graphic designer and blogger, and we’ve asked her to share some of her tips for bloggers.

Advice for Bloggers: Rule #2

Be a team player.

[Image source]


Published in: on April 14, 2010 at 10:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A preposition is a connecting word that shows the relationship between words in a sentence, and elaborates meaning. A prepositional phrase begins with one of the prepositions below. A very common mistake is to match the verb in the sentence to the word at the end of the prepositional phrase, rather than to the subject of the sentence (“A selection of three entrees is available at dinner” is correct; “A selection of three entrees are available at dinner” is incorrect). By learning to recognize a preposition when you see is, you can avoid this grammatical error.

Diagnostic Checkup

Try out your writing skills! See if you can correct the errors in the following sentences.

  1. As a homeowner, repairs have just become too time-consuming for me.
  2. Each 4-H member will have a chance to show their animal at the Fair.
  3. A selection of 3 entrees are available at dinner.
  4. One way to judge software is by installing at your office to see if its making a difference in productivity.
  5. Athletes will have a chance to wear their uniform at the tournament.

Answers after the cut…


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