Can someone help me write better
Write better than a consultant
What makes us interesting as consultants? How do we get orders? What happens between our ears and what we can communicate from it is definitely part of it. Writing can help us enormously to structure these thoughts. Because with that we can communicate it much more clearly.
But clear writing is also helpful in customer projects, e.g. in concepts, presentations or simply in emails. I am aware that sometimes the urge arises to want to impress the customer with his expertise. This is probably how this bibliographic sentence was created on a slide:
The sequence of professionalism in the conception and development took into account the special requirements of the project.
And at the same time the shot backfires because in the end the customer wants to understand what is meant. The time that we then have to invest in explanations is not only lost elsewhere, but also increases the customer's frustration.
My guide to better writing
The clearer and simpler a text is, the faster and better it will be understood. That's why I admire everyone who can write interesting texts! The following points help me to improve my writing little by little:
- Put yourself in the place of the reader: Determine clearly who you are writing for and keeping an eye on them is the most important tool when writing. What moves the reader? What is his level of knowledge? And how does he benefit from your concern?
- Use a common thread: “Having the end in mind at the beginning” is one of the paths from Stephen Covey's book “The 7 Ways to Effectiveness” * and also applies to a text. Because this allows you to build the sentences on each other and build transitions. Even cliff hangers can be built in to keep the reader on the text.
- Write short sentences: For me, the best orientation aid to achieve this is: only write one thought per sentence. It is just as important to cross out unimportant passages and words if you can do without them.
- Don't play bullshit bingo: A word is either German or English, not both at once. If a text is German, then I only use English words if there is no other way. Abbreviations should be introduced the first time they are used and Google will tell very quickly whether a word is a word (or a self-creation).
- Formulate actively instead of passively: Using strong, active verbs instead of nouns makes the text livelier. I often miss this, especially in presentations: only single nouns are used as headings or bullet points and nobody knows what is meant. And formulating actively instead of passively has a more dynamic and binding effect.
- Write with pictures and examples: Decorating sentences with adjectives is the icing on the cake. However, I consider examples to be more than just optional. They only transfer a statement into the world of the reader and make it plausible and understandable.
- Read the text aloud: This is the final exam. This allows you to see whether the text is easy to read. It is better to have someone else correct your text who has more practice in writing.
How can that look in practice?
Assuming the example above, project results are presented to a steering committee. The project participants show their findings and how they worked. Then the sentence could be rewritten as follows:
We completed the project quickly and effectively because we involved the customer in tests at an early stage.
The advantage and the result are placed at the front because this is what interests the target group most. The active verbs clearly show what has been done and some of the many nouns have also disappeared. If concrete examples follow that support the statement, attention and understanding remain high.
Therefore, regular writing helps us enormously to sharpen this focus on the customer again and again. This blog is therefore also self-therapy for me, because writing is incredibly difficult for me personally. So I'm all the more happy to be corrected by more experienced copywriters. Thanks for that!
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