Business Writing: Attractiveness Counts

by Al Borowski, MEd, CSP, PP

Image from http://smallbiztrends.com/2011/02/five-steps-better-business-writing.html

Successful Business Writing requires that you to make your documents attractive as well as informative.

Business letters, reports, e-mails, proposals, even memos benefit the author when these documents are attractive.

And, in most instances, the more attractive, the better the results you achieve.

You can make your Business Writing more attractive in at least three ways.

AVOID THE “WAR AND PEACE” PRESENTATION

When reading your document conjures up images in your readers’ heads of reading “War and Peace,” you know you are in trouble.

The first important rule to remember is the 5-18 rule.

That means no paragraph you ever write should contain more than five sentences. You may have more than five sentences worth of
information.

Big Deal!

Reading a five-sentence paragraph is definitely more attractive to your readers than reading a ten-sentence paragraph.

Either say what you have to say in five sentences or break a long, unattractive paragraph into two or even three paragraphs.

You shudder and blink when you see long paragraphs. Think what your readers are thinking. When paragraphs get too long, your
readers lose interest. When they lose interest, you lose. If you are looking for success in your writing, learn to hit the “Enter”
key more often so that your readers don’t get the feeling you are trying to impress them with your knowledge or your superior
writing skills. You were inclined to suffer verbal hemorrhages when you had to write a ten-page term paper in high school or fill
two blue books on a college exam. Those were the rules in school. You now follow a different set of rules in the business world.

Get the point? Which paragraph would you prefer to read? This one or the one above?

A document with shorter paragraphs immediately proves to the readers that your writing will be pleasing to the eye and not a
burden on their brain.

FLATTERY BRINGS MORE SUCCESS THAN BRAGGING

Attractive also means the readers will be drawn into your document because it addresses their wants, needs, desires, goals, budgets
or timetables. Flatter your readers by making them the Number One consideration in your writing, not how much you know, how
extensive you vocabulary is, or what you want them to know.

Here’s a tip for you. Imagine how much shorter your “War and Peace” paragraph would become if you used “use” rather than
“utilize” and “project” rather than “initiative.”

You also become more attractive as a “real” person when you use “do,” “happen,” or “occur” rather than “transpire.”

AIM FOR THE HEART AND THE HEAD

Your writing becomes more attractive when it appeals to your readers emotionally and logically.

It appeals to their emotions because they appreciate something created to solve their problem, fix their pain, or vault them into
a productive, prominent, profitable, or recognized position.

It appeals to their logic because they recognize the value your document delivers to them. If your writing is easy to read, easy
to understand, easy to remember, and easy to act on, your “Attraction Index” increases.

This is simple logic.

Easy equals attractive.

Long and complicated equals work.

Think Hawaii.. Now think IRS instructions.

That’s the power of attractiveness in your Business Writing.
Agree?

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