It might sound simple, but written communication isn’t as forgiving as verbal communication. To ramble on and switch topics in an email is not charming – the way it could be during a face-to-face conversation.
Instead, write with intention. Ask yourself:
- Who is my reader?
- What am I asking for in my message?
- What are the key takeaways the reader should get from my message?
In addition, you can strengthen your written communication skills by applying the 5W + H method to your writing when necessary to make sure the following information can be easily answered:
- Who is this information relevant to?
- What do they need to know?
- When and where will it apply?
- Why is this information important?
- How should the reader use this information?
Then compose your message accordingly.
EXPERT TIP: When requiring a response from your reader, add a call to action to your message. It’s extremely important in your communication to be clear about your expectations. If you require a response, note that you require a response in the message and include information on how the reader can or should respond. With clear calls to action, assumptions about required actions are eliminated.
Don’t forget to reread before you hit send.
Buzzwords, industry jargon and acronyms are all over the internet and can mean different things to different people. If you use too many buzzwords, your writing looks generated, insincere, marketing-focused and sometimes even ill-informed. Text-based communication is all about the words you use, so in a professional setting, less is (usually) more.
One study on the Impact of Linguistic Concreteness found that “content was judged as truer when written in concrete language than