Top Tips for Brilliant Business Writing

Business professionals must express their ideas clearly, concisely, and completely when speaking and writing. If your written messages are not clear or lack important details, people will be confused and will not know how to respond. In addition, if your written messages are too lengthy, people simply don’t read them.

You don’t have to be a great writer to be successful. However you must be able to clearly and succinctly explain your thoughts and ideas in writing. Strive to be simple, clear, and brief. Like any skill, “good writing” requires practice, feedback, and on-going improvement.

Ensure your business writing will pass the 5 Cs test?

Concise – to the point and professionally presented
Clear – all the necessary information is included
Complete – format, headings and layout logical
Correct – suits requirements of the primary reader
Corrected – well edited and proof read


Who Is The Audience? – knowing the reader, is critical. Implicit in that knowledge is the question, “What do they want to know?” As a general rule, readers are looking for two things: the bottom line and how will it effect me.

Write for Your Reader – don’t allow yourself to fall into jargon and phrasing no matter how much you or other people may feel it’s more appropriate. It isn’t. Use language and tone of voice that your key readers will feel comfortable with. Your writing is a reflection on you and the company you represent.

Set the right tone in business writing – how you say it is as important as what you say. Tone is the quality in your writing that reveals your attitude toward your topic and reader. It comes from your choice of words, the structure of your sentences, and the order of the information you present. Control the tone of your writing so to achieve the results intended. An inappropriate tone can cause a reader to ignore, delete, or overreact to your message.

Review your writing especially emails messages

Five tips in setting the right tone in e-mail – the best advice in setting the tone for your business e-mail is to write in a tone that is closest to the way you would speak to your reader in person. These five tips will help you write e-mail in a courteous and professional tone:

Be more polite than when you speak – because the tone and inflection are missing, it is more important to use friendly language, descriptive adjectives and carefully chosen words.

Email is supposed to be quick and simple – Aha! But that’s what gets you in trouble. If you don’t consider how it will sound on the other end and take steps to shape the delivery so the meaning is understood you could be doing damage control later.

You’re judged by your grammar and spelling – just as if you were writing a letter – sloppy email’s with poor punctuation, misspelled words or written in lower case letters shows that the writer doesn’t realize that what they write and how they write telegraphs their credibility to others.

“The writer’s aim is not to wow people with big words. Instead, the accomplished writer uses ordinary words to achieve extraordinary results.” James Michener

Kwelanga Training has offices based in Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town and presents public training courses at corporate venues in:

  • Johannesburg – Southern Sun Hotel, Katherine Street, Sandton
  • Pretoria – Southern Sun Hotel, Arcadia, Pretoria
  • Cape Town: Southern Sun Hotel, Newlands
  • Durban: Hilton Hotel, North Beach
  • Port Elizabeth: Cherry Place, Walmer

On-site training can be presented at any location in Southern Africa, our facilitators will train at your premises

For further information contact:
Julie Shoobridge
Tel: +27 11 704 0720


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