We live in an age of mass information and communication overload, where we are relentlessly bombarded with messages. To cope we have increased the need to filter information.
- We now read differently – we scan and skim.
- We scan to identify relevance, to us.
- We scan to identify interest, to us.
- We only read if it is deemed necessary and even then, we skim.
If you want to capture your reader’s attention, you need to state your most important message early. A recent study showed that fewer than 10 percent of managers will read the whole email.
Before you start writing, stop and take a few minutes to plan your writing. Think about whom you are communicating with and what your objective is.
Get to the point quickly. Put your information in the order that your reader needs it. Tell your reader up-front why you are writing and why they should read your document. Use bullet points instead of long paragraphs.
Crucial decisions may depend on how you write emails, memos, letters, reports etc. It’s vital to construct your correspondence so that it’s actually read and then actioned.
We have an in-depth Business Writing course for all written correspondence which covers what you need to know to ensure your communication is professional, reader-friendly, clear and concise. See our short courses for more information.