6 Tips on How to Communicate Professionally With Text
One of the first steps in communicating professionally is knowing with whom you are communicating.
MichellaTextbroker Author Services Rep
Communication in the business world can take on many forms. When you are communicating in text, it is important that all your writing is done professionally. Written communication may be referred back to later, and it represents your professional capability as well as the reputation of the company you’re working for. When communicating with clients or staff, professional writing can go a long way. Here are some of the most helpful tips to ensure that you communicate professionally in text.
Know Your Audience
One of the first steps in communicating professionally is knowing with whom you are communicating. When you sit down to write an email, are you sending it to a single person or a whole department? Are you writing to a superior or a fellow colleague? The answer should have an impact on how you begin your communication.
If you’re sending an email to a peer, then a more casual, conversational style might be fine. If you’re sending an email to your boss or client, however, then you should aim to be as professional as possible. Also, make sure you know exactly who you are communicating with. Sending a message to a Ms. instead of a Dr., for example, can start the conversation off on the wrong foot. Choose salutations carefully, and always err on the side of caution if you’re not sure how to address someone.
Assume Everything Will Be Forwarded
One of the ways that oral communication and written communication are different is that written communication comes with proof. Whether you write a formal letter, a press release or an email, know that it could end up in the hands of more than just your originally intended audience.
Knowing this, it is better to abstain from writing down anything that you don’t want the general public to read. A client message is no place for catty comments about a co-worker or a disparaging conversation about a new company policy. Before you communicate about anything in text, think about whether you might want your superiors, your friends or even the local press to read it. Sometimes, it is best to leave certain thoughts or concerns to face-to-face exchanges.
Proofread Your Written Communication
In the professional world, image matters. When you communicate in text, appearances won’t necessarily include how you dress or how you present yourself. Instead, it will focus on how you present your words and how put-together your written communication can be. That is why proofreading is such a critical component of written communication.
If possible, pass your text on to another person to proofread it for you. Having fresh eyes can make it easier to point out any unclear sentences or typos. If you are proofreading on your own, consider reading the document backwards. Starting at the bottom of the page and working up means that your brain processes the words as new information, making it more likely that you will spot any mistakes.
Tone is easy to misinterpret, especially in written communication. To avoid any miscommunication, it is important to monitor your tone as you write. While long, rambling emails are not usually appreciated, don’t be so direct that it could come off as rude. Also, add in notes of appreciation or gratitude if the message calls for it.
Another way to monitor tone is to read what you have written out loud. This might allow you to spot any unclear sentences or anything that could potentially be misconstrued by the recipient.
Avoid Common Written Communication Errors
In order to communicate clearly and to be professional, there are several common communication errors that should be avoided. These include anything that will detract from the message, lessen your professional appearance or take away from the importance of the text. A few of the things you should always leave out of your written communication include the following:
ALL CAPS: In written communication, using all caps can be equated to yelling.
Ellipses: The three dots of the ellipsis leave room for misunderstanding.
Emojis: There is little to no reason to include emojis in professional communication.
Make Your Communication Easy to Read
Finally, take the time necessary to ensure that your written communication is easy to read and understand. To start, that means skipping over any fonts that are decorative or hard to read. Stick with a basic, sleek font that can be read with ease.
Next, try to eliminate any run-on sentences. If you have long sentences that are essentially lists, try to break them up or turn them into bulleted lists instead. This will make the text much easier to skim. Finally, be sure to leave breaks between paragraphs so that readers aren’t faced with a wall of text.
At Textbroker and in other professional environments, communicating well can set you up for success. Whether you’re communicating with Textbroker staff or with potential clients, these tips can improve your written communication.
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