Winning Wordage: Writing Skills that Spell SuccessJune 27, 2017
Think back to a big presentation you had and all the preparation that went into it. What did you wear? How did you act? Did your appearance have any effect on the end result? The answer is most likely a resounding, yes—how you present yourself is paramount to success.
Your writing is equal to how you present yourself through words. It’s also how strangers will identify you online or over email, right down to details like your grammar, punctuation, and tone. That means one of the most effective ways to set yourself apart and make an unforgettable impression is to have a polished writing style.
Unconvinced? Some CEOs won’t hire employees with poor grammar, and a small study found that fewer grammar mistakes correlated with more promotions and higher positions. And it doesn’t end there, a study of online dating sites found that nearly half of users considered bad grammar unattractive.
All of this means that smart business isn’t just about grabbing people’s attention—how you present yourself through your writing could make or break your presence in the business world.
Thankfully, there’s a simple solution: make sure your written presence looks and sounds as professional as possible. Everything you write on multiple platforms—computers, tablets, phones, and screens—is a direct representation of your business savvy. People will take you seriously if you pay attention to detail.
So, here are a few tips to get your writing up to snuff.
1. Brush Up On Your Skills
Let’s face it: we all need help from time to time. Even if you’re the creative type and already love to write, humans glean knowledge and inspiration from outside sources—so be willing to take some notes.
Consider taking a writing class, dusting off an old grammar book, or just crawling the web for a refresher course. Most word processors offer an automatic spelling and grammar check; there are various functions and settings available, so make sure to set them to your needs. All of these resources will help you shore up your writing and vocabulary skills.
2. Practice, Practice, Practice
How does anyone get better at anything? Repetition.
Write like your life depends on it. Concentrate on writing concise, well-worded emails, and try your hand at writing a blog. Practicing your skills add-nauseum means writing will get easier over time and soon your voice will flow more smoothly than you ever imagined.
3. Get An Editor
Ever heard the phrase “a fresh pair of eyes”? This is definitely true for writing. No matter how many times you re-read your work, you’re bound to miss a few things. This is no reflection on you or your writing ability, but rather the result of being too familiar with something.
It always helps to have someone look over your writing. Bringing in a new reader means they’ll be far more likely to notice typos or awkward sentences. Find someone who will give you honest feedback and take the feedback to heart, even if it stings at first—it will help you improve in the long run.
4. Read It Out Loud
Don’t have a reader or editor handy? Try reading what you’ve written aloud—you’ll be surprised by what you catch when you slow down to read something out loud.
It’s not always fun to read by yourself, so next time you have an audience use the opportunity to get their opinion on your work.
For those of you who just aren’t interested in writing, the best option may be to hire someone to take care of it. There are many professional writers and editors who can take your project and develop written content to meet your needs. Do whatever it takes to ensure your success!
The bottom line: it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, your personal presentation is key. Writing is an often overlooked, but incredibly influential, form of personal presentation.
Boosting Your Writing Skills
Remember, people want to work with you, so don’t turn them off through sloppy writing. Present yourself favorably and you’ll gain the traction necessary to further your ambitions. Developing strong writing skills isn’t as hard as it seems if you stick to it, and these skills may just streamline your journey to the top!