For some people, writing can seem as simple as finding a nice nook in your favorite coffee shop and starting to type. Professional writers understand that a ton of work is necessary before the first keystroke, though. Even when you start to write, it can be incredibly difficult to write well consistently. The first major goal is to achieve distraction free writing.

When you’re writing for a business, you tend to have firm deadlines—making it even more important to discover the best writing techniques so you can meet them. These techniques and styles can be used to improve efficiency and the overall quality of your work. That is why we have put together this comprehensive guide for business professionals–so they can learn more about helpful techniques or discover a new style they never thought to use. The world of business writing can be challenging, but we’re here to help. 

What Are Writing Techniques?

Writing techniques are approaches a writer uses to express their message in a meaningful and engaging way to their audience. In professional business writing, you will often need to change good writing techniques multiple times a day as you work to connect with different audiences. Rhetorical devices are among the most common writing techniques to help writers convey their message. While we could go on forever listing every rhetorical device, we will keep our list concise.

  • Anecdote: An anecdote is a brief story that engages a reader about a specific subject. In business writing, an anecdote can help you connect to readers through a shared experience. If you are writing to parents of young athletes, you could start by reflecting on a relatable memory about your youth sports experience. This helps the reader engage with the content to come. 
  • Aphorism: There is a good chance that you have used an aphorism in your daily writing. This rhetorical device expresses a common truth or principle. Some examples include “actions speak louder than words” or “you made your bed, now you have to sleep in it.” These sayings can be quite effective at the beginning of a piece to grab the reader’s attention with a catchy line. 
  • Procatalepsis: Though you may not have known its name, you’ve probably used this one. Procatalepsis is a rhetorical device used when you anticipate an objection from your audience. For example, if you are writing a piece for your company that sells a SaaS product, you may say, “I know what you’re thinking, we already have good automation software, so we don’t need an upgrade.” You can then follow up by acknowledging the reader’s point of view while still persuading them to become a customer of your company. 
  • Logos, Ethos, & Pathos: We are kind of cheating here with a three-for-one section, but these rhetorical devices are all related and too important not to mention. Regardless of the type of writing, you will need to connect logically, ethically, and/or emotionally with your audience at some point. Often, you will hit on two or three within one piece of writing. These three are core pillars of effective writing that other devices build from.

Professional writing does not need to be bland. In fact, you should strive to make it as interesting as possible! If your topics are not as interesting as your favorite fiction novel, work in literary elements like those listed above to convey your message in a human way. To learn more about these conventions, read our blog on writing techniques!

Writing Styles

Often used in connection with the various writing techniques, writing styles significantly impact the end result of your work. The most commonly taught and practiced writing styles are:

  • Narrative: Narrative writing is about sharing information with a story. In business writing, a proposal is a great opportunity to use a narrative writing style. Stories help your audience understand why a new venture, product, or market is valuable. 
  • Expository: This writing style is all about explaining a concept–clearly–to an audience. Expository writing is not about conveying a compelling message, but communicating sometimes complicated information in a manner that can be understood by everyone in your target audience.
  • Analytical: Analytical writing is about dissecting information or data. In a business setting, do this when you need to analyze the merits of an issue.
  • Persuasive: When you want to convince your audience to think or feel a certain way about something, use this writing style. Craft your language to illustrate why a certain plan or move is–or is not–the right one. Words and structure can have a profound effect on the reader. 
  • Argumentative: Argumentative writing is seen often in the business world, because it both informs and persuades the reader. You can think of it as a combination of the analytical and persuasive writing styles. You can also think of it as letting the data do the talking for you.

These writing styles examples can be effective tools in your everyday arsenal (sometimes a piece of writing will use multiple styles). If you are writing up a report about data from the last quarter, you need to be able to effectively tell the “story” of the data and what it means in an engaging way. Play around with these styles and see which ones positively impact your writing. You might be surprised. 

What Are the 5 Features of Effective Writing?

Effective writing skills are required to create the best material. Identifying the features of effective writing is more manageable than mastering them, so let’s start there.

  1. Organization: How your work is organized impacts its quality. Take the necessary time to plan out how each section of your writing will flow into the next and ultimately connect back to one main idea or message. While business writing differs significantly from works of fiction, your writing still needs a beginning, middle, and end. Consistency and purpose, presented through precise, organized work, convey a unified and compelling piece of writing. Our platform, Slice, can aid in this process by helping you segment your work into manageable chunks.
  2. Grammar: Standard grammatical conventions like periods, commas, hyphens, and other mechanics are vital in writing coherent and respectable work. Grammatical errors impede understanding. This element is entirely in the hands of the writer, and mistakes can be avoided with careful proofreading. If you’re not confident about grammar, tools like Grammarly can help. 
  3. Development: This element of effective writing can also be called support or elaboration. The idea is that a writer develops a piece by providing sufficient details to support the idea or message. If you are writing a company-wide report or a public release, having concrete data to support your work is invaluable. Quality is more important than quantity here. Reputable data lends authority to your work. 
  4. Style: Time to channel your inner chameleon! An effective writing style is one that best fits your audience and purpose for the piece. The most effective way to communicate style is through word choice and sentence structure. The language you use should, above all, be purposeful. If you’re writing about cloud-based analytics, for example, your writing style should feature more precise language to present complex information in a digestible form. 
  5. Focus: Focus–your topic, subject, or main idea–is arguably the most important feature of effective writing. If the reader is confused by the material, the writer has not focused well. While you can expand upon the initial subject matter, you should not deviate too far from your central point.  

The writing techniques and strategies we’ve mentioned join together to assist a writer in creating clear and concise work that effectively engages their target audience. The last point mentioned above, focus, brings up another important topic—the focus statement.

What Is a Focus Statement?

If you have a keen eye for writing techniques already, you may have noticed that the blog you are reading features a focus statement, albeit a brief and simple one. The focus statement for this piece was “That is why we have put together this comprehensive guide for business professionals–so they can learn more about helpful techniques or discover a new style they never thought to use.” A focus statement describes the intention behind a person’s efforts. This is the portion of your writing where you announce what you are going to be writing about and why. Writers use a focus statement like the first piece in a puzzle, connecting all the rest of the writing back to it to form a well-structured piece. It connects everything and makes the writing feel whole. 

Why Is Structured Writing Important?

What happens if a building is not supported by a structured frame? It collapses. The same thing can happen to your writing if it is not structured correctly. While there isn’t a particular structure type that will work for all kinds of writing, the order of your work should be coherent and make sense to the reader as it flows from each section. 

The longer and more complex a writing assignment is, the more important its structure becomes. You can often lose sight of the original point of the piece when the length gets to a certain point. If you are writing a 50-page document for an important meeting, not every single sentence will likely be read, but it needs to be written as if it will. If the readers flip back and forth between pages and notice inconsistencies with structure, grammar, tone, and style, they will not be able to focus on your written content. Unstructured writing is the weak frame that will cause your writing to collapse.

What Is a Writing Space?

Simply put, a writing space is an area where you conduct your work. When you think of writing techniques, where you write may not be one of the first few things that come to mind. However, it does play a significant role in the effectiveness and techniques of your writing process.

Over the past few years, many business professionals have begun working from home part-time or even full-time. If you have not worked out of your home before, the profound changes can negatively impact your writing. Creating a clean and separate area of your home, reserved for work only, will help maintain the sense of working in a professional environment like an office. Just as significantly, a separate working area will enable you to disconnect from your writing like you would if you were leaving a traditional office to go home. The right workspace is key to creating a distraction-free writing environment.

Combining the right working area with the different strategies and techniques we’ve mentioned will set you up for success. The only thing missing is a distraction-free writing environment.

Slice: See the Kind of Writer You Can Truly Become

We created Slice to fill a void for business writers. It’s a platform that removes distractions and enables you to think, research, and write in one workspace. 

If you’re ready to use these writing techniques in the environment designed for writers and writing workflow, contact us today.

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