“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your brains won’t get you anywhere.” Lee Iacocca, the famous president and chairman of the Chrysler Corporation, wrote these words in his bestselling 1984 autobiography.
We have all felt this pain of struggling to properly convey our views and opinions. Getting your thoughts across—whether philosophical or practical—can be especially challenging in writing. Many people in the business world have plenty of education and expertise on their subject matter, but they’re usually not taught effective writing skills along the way. This is unfortunate, as 77.5% of employers look for candidates with strong writing skills, according to a recent National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook survey.
If you’re looking to improve your writing, we can help you identify the best writing techniques for business professionals to master distraction free writing. An expert business writer should be able to define common writing styles as well as easily identify writing techniques. Read on for some of our favorite business writing techniques and strategies.
What Are 5 Writing Techniques Business Professionals Should Know?
1. Establishing a Clear Focus Statement
All business writing, from instructional manuals to marketing content, should have a clear message, sometimes called a thesis statement or focus statement. An effective focus statement will be direct in your introduction, woven throughout your writing, and reinforced in your conclusion. Before beginning to write, nail down exactly what this message will be, preferably in concise and memorable terms.
2. Knowing Your Audience
This is an old adage, but we continue repeating it because it is crucial to successful writing. Is your audience young, old, or in between? How familiar are they with your subject matter? Do they already agree with your stance, or must you work to convince them? Before you type or pen a word, answer these questions. As you write, ensure that what you’re writing speaks to your audience at every turn.
3. Combining Writing Styles
What are the 5 styles of writing, you ask? They are:
- Expository: writing to expose facts
- Narrative: writing to tell a story
- Persuasive: writing to argue and convince someone to agree with you
- Analytical: writing to evaluate and criticize
- Argumentative: writing to have your perspective acknowledged as a valid point of view
Depending on what you are writing, consistently focusing on one particular style or mixing these styles can create additional depth and interest for your reader. For example, a salesperson may start with an anecdote (narrative style) followed by supporting facts (expository style) that lead to a sales pitch (persuasive style) instead of jumping straight to persuasion. Alternatively, someone working on a more technical piece may have to stick with a pure analytical style to accurately convey their message.
4. Thinking Like a Journalist
Have you heard of the five Ws and one H of journalism? They are Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. A common stance in journalism is that a piece is not complete until the writer has answered all of these questions. In business writing, focusing on answering these questions can help you remember to include vital pieces of information. It’s unfortunately quite easy to leave these out when you’re too close to a topic. With Slice, you can view your research and writing all in one window, allowing you to double-check whether you’ve included all pertinent details.
5. Using Literary Devices
Sometimes called stylistic devices, literary techniques, or even writing techniques, literary devices add spark and color to your writing. Here is a list of writing techniques and definitions we have found to be popular:
- Tone: Tone is the general attitude or character of a piece of writing. You may find it’s helpful to start with a serious tone to lay the groundwork for a weighty topic, but then switch to a more optimistic tone in your conclusion to give hope to your readers. Other examples of tone include formal, informal, happy, sad, cynical, humorous, assertive, etc.
- Imagery: Visually descriptive or figurative language can add a colorful layer to your writing and capture a reader’s imagination. For example, if your business sells clothing, you may find it helpful to describe where your audience might wear that clothing so they can picture themselves in it and feel more connected to the product. “Imagine the way this dress will sparkle in the light of the cameras as you walk down the red carpet,” or, “These boots will hold up through years of hiking in mountains, along rivers, through mud, or wherever your adventures may take you.”
- Colloquialism: These are informal words and phrases that are typically used in familiar conversation. Some common ones you may have heard are “hard to swallow,” “knee jerk reaction,” “elbow grease,” and “head over heels.”
- Metaphor/Simile: Metaphors and similes are figures of speech that use comparisons to make descriptions more vivid. Revisiting the clothing vendor example from above, you might say, “This dress naturally sparkles like the sunlight on water,” or “These hiking boots are tough as an ox.”
- Alliteration: This is the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words in a row (think Best Buy, Dunkin Donuts, Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, etc.)
Once you know these types of writing techniques well enough to identify them in the writing of others, you’ll find getting your own brilliant ideas across is a much easier process.
Take Your Writing Techniques a Step Further With Slice
Even the most seasoned writer with a thorough grasp of all techniques in writing will still encounter obstacles. Our team at Slice knows that the biggest obstacle all writers face is distractions. Imagine nailing down the perfect alliterative title for your company’s latest marketing campaign, only to forget it a few seconds later because multiple emails ping onto your screen. How infuriating!
We’ve felt these same frustrations, which is why we invented Slice. With Slice, writers can eliminate the dozens of internet tabs, email communications, and interruptions that come with content creation. Our goal is to save our customers time and energy by providing a platform that considers every part of the writing process. If distractions are keeping you from writing your best, check out our 30-day free trial or contact us with any additional questions. Once you’ve experienced the focus and flow of Slice, we have a feeling you won’t want to write any other way.