Articles

Achieving consistency: why you need to check the style guide
26 July 2019

Achieving consistency: why you need to check the style guide

Which is correct? Single or double quotation marks? Do lists take a semicolon at the end of each bullet point? While it might seem pedantic, checking these details and consistently applying your organisation's preferred style will raise the professionalism of your writing.

Spotting typos: why it's so hard
17 May 2019

Spotting typos: why it's so hard

You’ve checked your report a dozen times, each time finding several ‘new’ typos. They seem to come out of the woodwork. If you see a mistake that you’re sure you fixed last time, you might even begin to believe aliens are sabotaging your work. Despite best efforts, everyone makes typographical errors. So why is it so hard to spot typos in our own work?

The 5 basic building blocks of sound business writing
6 May 2019

The 5 basic building blocks of sound business writing

When you write emails or reports at work, you may find it difficult to identify whether your communication is easy to read. After all, you know what you mean, so surely your reader will too. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. To get the best results from your written communications at work, make sure you use these five basic building blocks.

Pre-employment writing tests: do we need them?
21 February 2019

Pre-employment writing tests: do we need them?

Fixing team members’ writing is an all too time-consuming part of many people leaders’ role. Poor written communications not only cause frustration and inefficiency, they can result in poor team engagement and job dissatisfaction. In turn, this leads to performance issues and increased staff turnover.

How professional writing adds value to business communications
4 February 2019

How professional writing adds value to business communications

By the time we start our first job, we will have written billions of words. But does our primary, secondary or even tertiary education really train us for the kind of communications we need to write at work? 

How to avoid a word and brand clash
7 November 2018

How to avoid a word and brand clash

When you use outdated words, you not only risk misunderstanding, but you may inadvertently create a mismatch between your written communications and your brand. These words can also alienate your reader. Find out what words are 'in' and what words are 'out' in business writing.

How long does it take to write 1,000 words?
23 October 2018

How long does it take to write 1,000 words?

Do you consistently miss deadlines for reports and other written communications at work? There could be several reasons for this. You may have been given an unrealistic deadline or perhaps other more urgent jobs demanded your attention. Although there is not much you can do about these real-life scenarios, accurately estimating how much time you need, and then pacing yourself, will help you get to the finish line on time.

How to invigorate a stodgy report
27 September 2018

How to invigorate a stodgy report

Are your reports clear, concise and contemporary? Or does your writing tend to get bogged down in too many words? There are many ways to make your report easier and faster to read. This simple technique will make your writing more action-oriented and more concise. Find out how.

Four tips for writing brilliant bulleted lists
16 July 2018

Four tips for writing brilliant bulleted lists

Often called ‘dot points’, bulleted lists can be used effectively in business writing to break up large slabs of text or to make information stand out. A well-structured list will make your report, email or other communication easier to read. But there are a few traps that could derail your list and your reader. Once aware of these traps, you can quickly get your list back on track.

Three quick ways to make your writing more concise
2 July 2018

Three quick ways to make your writing more concise

Your first draft of any written communication is likely to be wordier than it needs to be. This is normal. Even professional writers go back and refine their work to make it more concise. Small revisions can make a big impact, so at least one revision is always worth it. If you're under pressure, read on to find out three quick and effective editing tricks.