Most of what you do at work is conveyed through some form of written or verbal communication. Today I wanted to tackle how you can improve your email writing skills. Here are three easy tips you can use today.
- Remove all types of softener words, i.e. these words diminish the strength of your words and make you seem tentative or weak. Softener words include “just,” “a bit,” “I think,” “maybe” or “perhaps.” This is an easy tip that EVERYBODY could do tomorrow.
- Weak sentence: I think that if we did just a little bit more to increase sales, we’d see revenue growth.
- Stronger sentence: To boost revenue growth, we must increase sales.
- Use more active sentences versus passive:
- Weak sentence: The project was going to be kicked off next week, but got delayed.
- Stronger: I’m postponing the project kickoff.
- All your sentences must serve to fulfill a clear call to action: Identify what you want the audience to do. Then ensure that every sentence you write compels them to do that, whether it’s “respond by date X” or “click here to complete the process.” Any sentence that doesn’t drive to that action or wouldn’t convince someone to complete that action is a wasted sentence.
I’m not including the most obvious tip– know your audience. Depending on what you know about who you’re sending the email to, you’ll adjust how much info you provide and how you structure your feedback or requests.