Friday, January 6, 2012

Effective Business Writing Uses Simple Language

We've been advised all our lives to write simply. Avoid the passive voice.  Use active, descriptive language, and vary the length of our sentences. We all know this is good advice, and yet we tend to ignore it. As a result, our writing often seems formal or stiff. Maybe the desire to impress others causes us to get lost in the language rather than focus on the message.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Why Executives Can’t Write

Executives achieve their positions, in part, because they’ve developed several very valuable talents and skills. It’s rare that effective writing is among those skills. Why would most executives disagree with that statement? Perhaps, because they think of writing as  an innate attribute, like being smart, rather than as a learned skill. There’s an old saying that, if we all communicated as well as we thought we did, there wouldn’t be any need for lawyers. While lawyers might find value in confusing documents, executives should not.