Updated: Oct 29, 2022
We’ve all had to write something at the last minute, complete a paper and/or presentation, or even type an important email. Let’s face it, writing is a part of our daily lives.
Some love it and some don’t, but regardless of how you feel about it, writing in some form is here to stay. Technology has evolved to elevate our writing from the traditional pen and paper. Although still my favorite, no matter how you “write,” it’s important to do so efficiently and effectively.
That’s what I’m here for, to give you proven strategies to improve your writing skills. Whether for personal, work, or business purposes, these strategies will help you to improve your written communication and possess those great skills in your field/industry. These strategies have worked for me for the past 10 years and I’m here to help you too! Ready?! Let’s get into it!
I started my first corporate job over 10 years ago and I knew nothing about professional communication. Of course, I had graduated college and had written multiple research papers while in school but communicating within an office setting was unfamiliar to me. Despite that, I quickly learned what to say and what not to say when sending emails, speaking with leadership, and speaking with my fellow co-workers.
I remember one day, I was heated and needed to address an issue via email. You know, so I could cover my butt and make sure there was some form of written proof of the conversation. I sat down to type the email, but I did so out of my emotions. As I was typing, my manager came by my desk and noticed the message I was typing out. I was upset and he knew it. He told me to take a breather before writing the email.
I decided to step outside for fresh air and when I came back in, my manager said there was too much emotion in that email. Take it out and try again were his words to me.
Reluctantly, I went back to my desk and wrote a very professional email that was well-received and solved the pressing issue. It was the first of many professional emails I have sent, and I am still grateful to my previous manager to this day for his wisdom and direction in the heat of the moment.
The following strategies have helped me to write effective communications for a variety of industries over the past 10 years. You can use them for emails, papers, research, reports, presentations, and more. Let’s improve your writing for good!
Strategy #1: Spell Check
Ok, so you might be thinking, “Why is she saying this? I use spell check all the time.” I know spell check is built into a lot of our document and email applications already, but you would be surprised at the number of people who don’t use it. Using spell check is one of the easiest ways to improve your writing. After typing out your content, go to the References section of Microsoft Word/Google Docs, or Select Edit, then Spelling and Grammar in Pages on Mac to review any spelling errors you may have in your document. Let the application do the spelling for you.
If you want a program that works on any device to take the guesswork out of writing so you can always have great emails, presentations, documents, and web content, download Grammarly to do the work for you. Try it for free! Click here!
Strategy #2: Read, Read, and Read Again
The one simple thing we forget about when writing is to read it before we send it. Yes, you may be a typing extraordinaire, exceeding 80 wpm, but it’s still important to re-read what you typed before sending it on to the next person. Read it more than once until you are sure you have covered everything needed.
Strategy #3: Grammarly
One amazing tool that I am so grateful for is Grammarly. Over 10 years ago, when I started my first corporate job, I didn’t know anything about it, but since then, it has been a lifesaver. Grammarly is a program that helps you write better, anywhere, anytime. You can use it on your computer, laptop, Mac, phone, and tablet. It even helps with text messages. As you type, Grammarly corrects spelling and improves grammar, all at the tip of your fingers. Click here to download it for free today!
Strategy #4: Fresh Eyes
There is power in taking a stepping away and writing/reading with fresh eyes. Take a 5, 15, or even 30-minute break, if needed so that you can read your document or email with fresh eyes. You will be surprised at the little things you missed previously, like incorrect grammar, a missing word, or a formatting issue. This is also a tool I use when editing documents, resumes, and web content for my business, Always Written. Click here to see the services I offer.
Strategy #5: Read Out Loud
Remember when you were a kid and your teacher asked you to read aloud to the class? Well, this strategy is still useful today. Reading aloud is the link between verbal and written communication. When you read aloud, you are forced to sound out each word and really understand how you sound to others, whether in written or verbal form. Try it! I guarantee it works!
Strategy #6: Slow Down
When you are writing or reading it aloud… slow down! I get it. Our culture is fast-paced and always on the go, but when writing important emails and documents, you must slow down when re-reading what you’ve written. You can recognize missed words, words used out of context, and even unnecessary emotions in your writing that need to be removed. Take your time, slow down, and read your content fully to ensure an effective message.
Strategy #7: Consult a Friend
Hopefully, you have at least one person we can call to bounce ideas off of (if you don’t, I pray you find someone). It never hurts to “phone a friend” to read your document/email/etc. This is another pair of fresh eyes that can spot mistakes, you aren’t able to see. They can tell if there is too much emotion in it or if something needs to be rewritten or rearranged. Consider their advice and move forward from there. The final decision is yours, but it’s always good to get constructive feedback.
Once I implemented these 7 strategies in my writing and professional communications, my career soared. I finally took writing seriously and learned how to use it to leverage great connections and communication. It’s one of the reasons I can run a successful writing/editing business, Always Written, from home. I have a deeper love for writing, especially since I can do so with ease using the strategies I mentioned.
This is possible for you too! Use these 7 simple strategies to improve your writing skills and ultimately, your career and/or business. It will pay off in the end. You never know which email, document, presentation, or content lands your next big opportunity.
Take the first step by downloading Grammarly for FREE today! And take it a step further by signing up for their Premium plan for even more writing features to make the writing process as seamless as ever. Click here to join!
One way to improve your professional writing is to be mindful of certain things as you write. Even if you can’t install Grammarly on your work/business computer, I have something that will help you write professional emails and improve your written communication.
Get my FREE Professional Communication Checklist! Use the form below to get INSTANT access to this powerful tool and elevate your writing skills for good!