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Business writing: 7 phrases to ban, 3 rules to follow

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in Career Management,Leaders & Managers,Management Training,Office Communication,Workplace Communication

You may think you've just penned the most brilliant correspondence of the year, but if it takes the recipient too long to wade through lengthy paragraphs, he'll never know how bright you are.

Let's face it: Fancy-schmancy business-speak does not make for strong business writing. Business Writing: 7 phrases to ban

With that rule in mind, an editor for Harvard Business suggests banning these words and phrases from your writing:

1. As well as. You can almost always use “and” instead.

2. People manager. As opposed to a “non-people manager”?

3. Value add. Saying, “What’s the value add?” is sometimes a way of covering for the fact that you don’t understand.

4. Take away. You take away food in a to-go bag.

5. At the end of the day.
It’s everywhere, yet it’s usually just filler. One source says it's the most written cliche.

6. Out of pocket. People increasingly use it when they are unreachable, on vacation or away from their BlackBerrys. Instead, just say “away.”

7. Individual. It’s often used to create distance between the speaker and the actual person. For example, instead of “We value the individual,” say, “We value the people who work here.” Business Writing: 3 Rules to Follow

Light a fire under your readers and spur them to action by using these three cardinal business-writing rules:

1. Get to the point. Within the first sentence or two, tell them why you’re writing.

2. Don’t assume.
What do you know that your reader doesn’t know? Fill in the gaps. That includes explaining acronyms.

3. Explain what you’re thinking and what you want the reader to spend time on.

Avoid simply sending a forwarded chain of messages with a “What are your thoughts?” tacked at the top. Instead, do the thinking for the recipient. Give your opinion or options for the reader to respond to.

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