English is the language used by professionals all over the world, regardless of industry, so it’s important to know how to communicate properly in business settings.

Here are some of our top tips for making sure your writing is up to scratch!

Think about your audience

The most important thing to consider is who will be reading your work. You’ll want to achieve different results from different people, which means what you say and how you say it needs to change depending on who you’re communicating with.

Whether you’re writing an internal email, an advert, or an entire website, your intended audience must be at the forefront of your mind.

Ask yourself three key questions: what do I want the audience to do? How can I convince them to do it? What is my relationship with them?

This will help you to decide on a tone of voice and what content you need to include.

Be as simple as possible and get to the point

In an age of smartphones and constant distractions, it’s increasingly difficult to get people’s attention. Keep this in mind when you’re writing and get straight to what you want to say, using simple language that won’t confuse the reader.

Many people worry that using short words will make them sound less professional, but this is not the case; and using long words for the sake of it never comes across well.

For example, instead of “therefore”, use so; or say “use” instead of “utilize”. Most importantly, if you are writing for an external audience, do not use any work jargon or acronyms.

Use facts

Facts and statistics are very powerful in any form of business writing, as they are what will really convince your audience: the truth is always compelling.

This is why testimonials are so effective in advertising, and why knowing the ROI (Return On Investment) is so important for a convincing business proposal.

Use them wherever you can, as it will give your writing more authority and catch the attention of the reader.

Get a second opinion

If you’ve been working on something for a long time, you can miss obvious mistakes.

Get a colleague to look at your writing and give you some feedback on what you can improve and what information could be added to help you get your message across.


Want more tips on language skills that can help you get ahead in the workplace? Take a look at our English for Work daytime or evening courses.