While most people aren't born with stellar business writing skills, writing itself is a natural part of being in the workforce. At some point in your career, you will have to draft an email to a colleague or a client, create a request letter to a supplier or sponsor, or prepare a report for management or stakeholders.
Learning how to write in a professional setting is not just about facing the inevitable at work; it’s about doing it well. A survey that “Writing Without Bullshit” author Josh Bernoff conducted revealed that 81% of the 547 business people he interviewed felt that reading bad writing was a waste of time. The participants said that most business writing is full of unclear jargon and big words. Because of this, most writers fail to achieve the brevity and clarity needed to get the right messages across.
Is it possible to excel at business writing even with limited experience and training? Yes. Fortunately, we exist in a world where technology has made it possible for writing novices to improve business writing skills without having to train from scratch. Here are some simple yet proven strategies to make your output work, if not stand out.
How To Improve Your Business Writing Skills
1. Avoid big words and jargon.
Effective business writing is not about using fancy words to sound superior. It’s about conveying a message in the simplest way possible. By toning down your word choices and consciously steering clear of big words and unrelatable jargon, you save your output from being misunderstood — and that’s a huge deal in business.
2. Read what you write out loud.
Often, the simple action of reading your work out loud to yourself after makes all the difference in spotting potentially problematic writing. Did your sentences sound a bit off as you read them? Were you able to understand what the message was?
3. Stick to a template.
If you’re not too confident in your writing skills and find yourself straying from the topic often, following a template will help you stay on course. Most business documents and reports follow a certain format and structure to help with readability and flow. This way, even those who do not write too frequently will have something to follow while ensuring that all the right information is provided.
4. Use a grammar checker.
There are many free and premium software available to help you check your grammar and spelling at varying levels. Tools like Grammarly (as well as Grammarly alternatives) and Hemingway App are great for checking subject-verb agreement and readability. Run your writing through these before sending them out to make sure they’re clear of the basic grammatical errors that might put readers off.
5. Try text prediction software.
The most impressive and even simplest tip on this list is using a text prediction software to get your business writing skills down pat. Lightkey can correct your grammar and spelling, as well as suggest terms that are relevant to your document in real-time. Its AI-driven technology can instantly turbocharge your writing by providing meaningful professional terms based on your typing patterns, effectively speeding up your usual process fourfold.
Lightkey also bases its personalized predictions on over 68 content domains, including finance, technology, academia, law, and science. The more you use the software, the better it predicts your patterns. This allows it to provide relevant suggestions by up to 12 words in the future, including punctuations. It is listed as a “simple” solution because that’s what it is. All you need to do is start writing, and it will generate meaningful results for you within seconds.
Enhance Your Professional Writing Skills With Lightkey
Business writing might sound intimidating, considering the amount of weight each email, report, or presentation carries. But there’s no need to feel bogged down if writing does not come naturally to you. Lightkey’s machine learning platform is designed to scale with the user to learn and understand typing patterns and make meaningful suggestions and connections the more you use it.
Explore the software’s many nifty features that can turbocharge your business writing skills — and any other type of writing you need. Download Lightkey software to your Windows PC or install its Chrome or Edge extension to your browser.