Emails. Executive summaries. Annual reports. Meeting notes. Are you confident at writing Business English? Here are three easy ways to improve your skills, fast - and boost your career at the same time.
Why is writing Business English important?
English is the international language of business. Most people in professional roles these days speak at least some English. But you can still stand out by speaking Business English … and knowing how to write it well.
Think about how much you read and write each day. There are emails, Slack messages, Zoom invitations, white papers, meeting notes, ads and more. Those are all examples of Business English writing.
However, surprisingly few people can write well. It’s difficult to write clearly and convincingly, especially in a second language. Developing your business writing skills is a great way to stand out at work.
Three tips to instantly improve your Business English writing
We’ve collected some top tips to make your Business English writing skills world-class. Try these ideas next time you’re working on some business writing.
1. Plan before you write
It’s tempting to sit down and write the first thing that comes into your head. But when someone has to read your unedited thoughts, they might get confused. Instead, it’s better to write with a clear structure.
Start by making a bullet-pointed list of all the things you want to say. Arrange them in an order that makes logical sense. Once you have an outline in place, it will be quick and easy to finish writing.
2. Make your point right away
Picture this: it’s a busy day in the office. You need to read a new report, but you’ve only got a few minutes. You scan through the first page and see that the writer has included a lengthy introduction, some thoughts about the writing process, a string of industry buzzwords …
… and you’ve stopped reading. When it comes to Business English, you need to make your point immediately. Don’t give people time to get bored or distracted.
One way to check that your writing is efficient is to read the first sentence of each paragraph when you review your work. If you can still understand the flow of the writing, then it’s good. But if it becomes confusing, then you probably need to delete some unnecessary phrases.
3. Read your words out loud
The best way to check your writing - and improve it - is to read out loud. Reading out loud makes you think harder about what you’ve written. You hear it from another perspective. Always read your work out loud as the final editing stage.
Get more help with Business English writing
Still looking for ways to improve? The British Council in Singapore can help. We offer a range of programmes, from Business English Skills courses like Better Emails, Business Writing Essentials and Reports that Work to Written Communication Skills workshops like Business Writing Skills 1, Reports Writing Skills and Email Writing Skills 1. You may use your SkillsFuture Credit for some of our courses and workshops too.