You’ve heard it plenty of times: in today’s world, content is king. This means business writers need to be writing consistently in order to develop contacts, prospects, and customers. How is it possible to stay consistently strong with your writing when there is so much competition out there doing the same thing? And how can you be prolific when there are days when you don’t want to touch a keyboard, a pen, or a pencil?
These business writing exercises are designed to help you overcome those momentary obstacles so you can bring royalty back to your words once again.
#1. Tweet It Out
You might not be on Twitter, but that doesn’t mean an effective summary of your subject material should be ignored. Information is absorbed in sound bites more than extensive pieces of content, at least initially, so being able to have a short, precise sales pitch is necessary for all forms of business writing.
On Twitter, you’re confined to 140 characters or less to make your point in a single tweet. Summarize what you want to write about into that limited space and you’ll discover that it becomes necessary to pick and choose your words very carefully. It’s that habit of precision you can then take into the more extensive pieces of content you’ll write later on.
#2. Just the Facts
It’s really easy to go on a tangent when writing. Personal opinions are important, of course, but they are less important in professional content unless you’re writing an opinion piece. What your readers want are the facts and only the facts so they can make up their own mind on what you’re offering.
For this business writing exercise, start your next content item by making a list of the key points you want to make. Put the most important points at the top of the list and the least important on the bottom. Now write each key point in a way that only conveys facts. If your content ends up being too long, then you can trim it from the bottom up so you make sure all of the important stuff stays in there.
#3. Santa Claus It
“He’s making list. He’s checking it twice.”
Kids have been singing about Santa Claus coming to town for generations. Bet you didn’t realize that the song also offers a critical exercise for business writing, did you?
Create a checklist for general writing purposes which allows you to make sure every critical piece of information which needs to be conveyed to readers is included with the content being submitted. It can be something as simple as an editing checklist you download off the internet or a customized checklist that meets all of your internal policies and procedures.
Then be like Santa Claus: compare your content against that list twice to make sure it’s going to leave a nice impression on the reader. This will improve your self-editing skills as you’re writing and eventually save you time because you’re correcting fewer errors.
It can be tempting to use business jargon in your writing. It can also be tempting to use a thesaurus to “liven things up” within your content. Don’t do it. Resist the temptation. The thesaurus and the business jargon is a reflection of you writing for yourself instead of creating content for prospects and customers.
Here’s why keeping it simple is so important: different words have subtle meaning differences. Swapping out “common” words for “descriptive” words may create unintended consequences. Focus on being clear and precise with your business writing and you will naturally create the key points you want to make.
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So in this business writing exercise, go jargonless. Block access to an online thesaurus. Take out any jargon words that your spellcheck may approve. This way you’re creating the need for clarity in everything you write.
#5. Read It
Some may not call this a writing exercise, but it’s still important to read what you write out loud before submitting it to someone. It might seem weird to read your content to a computer screen, but it works because how your brain processed written content is different than how it processes words it hears. You’ll catch more than just typos using this exercise.
You’ll also stop rhythm errors, grammatical issues, and even find transition problems. This conversational business writing exercise can even help you find gaps in your explanations because every word becomes amplified.
These business writing exercises are designed to help you create key points that are consistently effective. Use them if you feel like your content isn’t reaching royalty levels so you can raise up your writing to rule your business kingdom once again.