January 28, 2013

Don’t You Dare Utilize These Writing Tips

iStock_000010326584XSmall-300x193

If today you utilized a paradigm shift to impact a client, resulting in an actionable agreeance, chances are you hail from corporate land. Every industry has its own lingo and jargon, and it’s important to use that when appropriate — but too many businesspeople write in stilted language that’s cold, convoluted and impersonal instead of clear, concise and inviting.

Here are some tips to help you get your point across:

Consider your audience. If your goal is to reach peers, you can use a different set of terms than you would if addressing a general audience. Still, even if your writing is going to an audience that’s familiar with advanced terminology, remember that the goal isn’t to shove as many high-level concepts and impressive buzzwords into a sentence as you can — the goal is to communicate effectively.

Think about what you like to read. You’re probably not a fan of convoluted sentences and complex ways of saying something simple. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes. Instead of statements like “at the end of the day, we came to the conclusion that…,” try “we decided…”

Delete unnecessary words. Most people have a habit of including needless words. Go back and edit your writing to see where you could tighten things up. Something like “owing to the fact that” could easily become “because.”

“Use,” don’t “utilize.” It’s generally a good idea to use simple, everyday language. To make sure your writing doesn't sound stilted, read it out loud, and ask yourself if it sounds like something a real person would say. (Hint: Nobody ever says, “Excuse me, I need to utilize the restroom.”)

Organize your ideas. Using transition sentences, bullet points, subheads, introductions and conclusions are all good ways to keep your thoughts coherent and easy to follow.

There are so many blue-ocean opportunities to book the goods, so highlight your core competencies and get amped to reach out to your potential clients. Or, in regular speak: Write like a real person about what you know. People will listen.

 

Mario Medina

Mario is the Creative Director of madison/miles media. He has a wife, two kids, a dog, a fish (but it might be dead — hard to tell) and an unhealthy obsession with Batman.