Top 10 Skills in Business Writing for the Modern Workplace – Singapore


Bad writing is actually damaging. According to the Harvard Business Review, bad writing can destroy a company’s productivity.[i] In a survey of 547 businesspeople, 81% of them said that poorly written material wastes a lot of their time” and “what they read is frequently ineffective because it’s too long, poorly organized, unclear, filled with jargon, and imprecise.”[i]

 

Moreover, writing is trickier than ever with the Internet and smartphones making our attention spans short. Sam Leith, author of Write to the Point: How to Be Clear, Correct and Persuasive on the Page says, “You are not aiming to win an academic argument (with your writing), but to get your audience on side.”[ii] To gain mastery of good business writing, here are the top 10 skills to adopt:

 

 

1  

Business Writing Essentials

 

 

Know business writing forms and formats, understand the audience, and write clearly and concisely

 

2  

Impactful Professional Writing

 

 

Use the correct sentence structure, grammar and spellings. Proofread and publish the proposal or report for more clarity and precision

 

3  

Email Etiquette

 

 

Structure, format, proofread and broadcast official emails to get it right every time

 

4  

Proposal Writing

 

 

Know how to gather facts, write persuasively, and edit and proofread a proposal

 

5  

Handle Inter-Cultural Exchanges

 

 

Understand the recipient’s cultural differences. Position your company appropriately and be more clear in your communications

 

6  

Minute-Taking

 

 

Learn how to take formal and informal minutes, and make important preparations beforehand

 

7  

Business Ethics

 

 

Know how to recognise ethical and unethical behaviour, understand your company’s ethical standpoint and develop your personal code of ethics

 

8  

Solve Problems & Make Decisions

 

 

Sieve facts from information, and learn to use SWOT analysis and problem-solving models

 

9  

Develop Critical Thinking

 

 

Identify issues, understand assumptions, probe and evaluate

10  

Set Goals             

 

 

Learn to manage your writing better by using SMART goals, work management tools and time management methods

 

 

 

Sources

 

[i] https://hbr.org/2016/09/bad-writing-is-destroying-your-companys-productivity

 

[ii] https://www.ft.com/content/a00f3ea0-a9c0-11e7-ab66-21cc87a2edde

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