Writing to Influence in Business by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC
Successful business leaders often spend much of their time communicating with employees and clients verbally. Often, this type of communication represents the leader’s strong suit, particularly when it comes to influencing people. However, it is just as important to be able to influence others through written communication. Improving your written communication skills can help increase your influence with those who work with you and those who benefit from the products or services offered by your company. Here are three tips to help you improve your writing.
- Sweat the details. It is not acceptable for a business leader’s writing to be grammatically incorrect or to be riddled with typographical errors. If you are weak in the area of sentence structure, spelling or grammar, work to correct these problems before you begin writing letters or papers that will be read by others. A less than stellar command of the English language reflects poorly on your education and on your attention to detail. Enlist the help of a professional writer, if needed, to edit your work until you feel comfortable. Always have someone else proofread your work for typographical errors before it is released.
- Master adjectives and adverbs. One of the most important keys to writing words that influence others is the ability to evoke emotion, empathy or action. An arsenal of adverbs and adjectives designed to help people feel what you want them to feel will make your writing more powerful and more likely to produce the desired results.
- Practice. If writing for influence is new for you, be sure to practice a bit before releasing your work to the world. Start each communication by creating an outline to help you stay focused on the point you’re making. Read the work of others who write influential materials that command attention, and take note of their style, vocabulary and tone. You may even want to consider taking a class if business writing is to be an ongoing part of your job. Like most other communication skills, writing will get easier and better as you practice.
Dynamic prose can be one of the most commanding ways to influence an audience, whether it is designed to increase employee morale or improve sales. Mastering the art of the written word is important for any business leader who wants to leave a lasting mark on those in their circle of influence. Your work will be read over and over, allowing it to impact many different people over a long period of time. Make sure to follow these three tips to help make certain that your written words are just as powerful as those you speak.