The LAWS of …Writing for Business – Part 2

LAW 2 – Simplify Simplify Simplify

Let’s face it – people are busier than ever.

Radicati Group estimates that employees on average receive around 78 business emails a day. That’s 390 on average in a working week and with basic maths – likely to be close to 20000 e-mails per year. That’s not taking in to consideration calls, text messages, messaging software or the additional e-mails, calls and messages racked up during the work day in your personal life. In essence – we’re all very busy people with very busy lives with very busy forms of communication. What that means for you? People actually have less time to read your stuff. Possibly less of an inclination unless it’s important to even read it properly even if they do open it.

So starter for 10 – don’t use 1000 words when 100 will do. Maybe it’s just biological – we think that a short amount of text may be judged to be lazy or that perhaps people will think it doesn’t look intelligent to keep things short – like you don’t have anything extensive to contribute. Here’s the thing – you’re not a broadsheet journalist or trying to write a university/college exam. Be to the point – they’re busy and you’re busy. Be professional and polite and give the appropriate level of detail but no more than that. More is just fluff. No substance.

Similarly there is a reverse to this law – simplify simplify simplify – but not to the point where minimalism is taken to atomic portions – “yes” “no” “thx” are not appropriate responses.


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