How to Improve Your Writing Skills and Craft Better Emails and Chat Messages

Most business communication is done in writing, usually via email and chat messages. According to data from Radicati, there are about 124.5 billion business emails sent and received each day.† Writing skills are important.

Being able to communicate your thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively through writing is an essential workplace skill thatís often overlooked. Misspelling, grammatical errors and poor sentence structure can paint you as unprofessional and potentially unintelligent.

Improving writing skills with bonus tips for better emails and chat messages

Effective business decisions depend on clear communication whether itís internal or external. That’s why itís important that you have sharp writing skills and follow the proper communication etiquette at work.

Below are three tips for improving your writing skills plus three more for crafting better emails and chat messages.

Install the Grammarly Browser Extension

If youíre someone whose job requires a lot of writing and you lack grammar skills, Grammarly is the perfect tool. Grammarly is an online tool  that automatically detects grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice, and style mistakes in your writing.

Grammarlyís Chrome extension connects to your browser, correcting mistakes wherever youíre writing online, including Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Docs and Tumblr. Not only does the tool correct thousands of critical grammar and spelling errors, but it also cuts down on time spent re-reading and rewriting documents and emails.

Find a Writing “Mentor”

Find someone whose writing you admire and ask for some tips and tricks. Let them know what you find particularly great about their writing so you can get actionable advice. Come ready with specific examples, for example: ask them how they handled communicating bad news to a client or a team member.

Another great tip is to save emails that display exceptional writing skills. Having an inventory of emails to refer to will help when you encounter writer’s block or youíre unsure on how to phrase something.

Take a Business Writing Course

Donít worry if you have poor writing skills. They can be improved with a little training and practice. There are hundreds of online business writing courses, like this one from Udemy that will teach you how to write clear, simple and concise business emails, memos, and letters.

If you donít have the money to fund a course, ask your employer to cover the cost. You can pitch the course as professional development training that will benefit you as an individual and the company. Once the course is complete, offer to share with the team what youíve learned.

Tips for Writing Better Emails and Chat Messages

If  youíre already a good writer, but want to put together better emails, or communicate more clearly via chat, use these simple tips.

Ask someone to read it first. If youíre sending a long and complex email to a customer or lead, always ask someone on your team to read it first. An extra set of eyes will ensure that you havenít missed any important points or glossed over any grammatical errors.

Provide your colleague with a quick background regarding the goal of the email and what youíre trying to communicate to give them some context. This way they’ll know what they should be looking for when reviewing the email. The feedback can help on the specific email, and with your writing in general.

Be clear with your words. When crafting an email, avoid run-on sentences and complex business jargon. Not only is it unnecessary, but fluff and jargon words can cause misunderstandings and confusion. Instead, use simple and effective language and structure your email in a way in which itís easy to read.

For example, use bullet points to separate topics and bolded text to emphasize an important question or statement.

Make your ask clear. Letís face it, everyone is busy. Odds are your email isnít the only one sitting in your colleagueís or clientís inbox. Therefore, itís important that you compose your message with a concise request thatís easy to identify and understand. Without being pushy, lead with your request first. The goal is to get the readers’ attention and for them to take an action.

Ask someone to read through your email to make sure that your ask is as clear as it seems. If your colleague canít tell you, then you should go back to the drawing board.

Improve your writing skills at work

Anyone can be a better writer. Just look for helpful tools, like Grammarly, and invest in a little training. Donít forget to ask for advice from colleagues and be ready to re-write emails that arenít clear.

In the end, your business writing will improve, youíll look more professional and get what you need to do your job well.

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