By Ron Cooper
The Word Doctor
When I made a suggestion to a company CEO, I was quite surprised at his answer. His message contained a misspelling and a missing word. Hurriedly, he emailed:
“Thank you for your good wishes, and for you marketing idea. We many ideas under review right now to help us weather this difficult economic storm, and we will add your proposal to that list.”
The CEO should have written:
“Thank you for your good wishes, and for your marketing idea. We have many ideas under review right now to help us weather this difficult economic storm, and we will add your proposal to that list.”
Fellow writers, take a long, deep breath before hitting the “send” button. Slow down and take good care to ensure the accuracy of your message.
Here are three tips that will help minimize mistakes:
1. Use the draft folder in your email. Before I send most messages, I take a time-out. I simply place the message into the draft folder, take a break and come back to review and revise.
2. Use a buddy system. Ask a trusted colleague to read the message, especially if it addresses a sensitive topic or concern. Craft your messages carefully, tending to both content and tone. A second set of eyes is a real plus.
3. Read the message aloud, mindful of how it flows. Is it clear enough? What’s missing? Could it be shortened? When in doubt, hold onto it overnight. Your mind will wrap itself around the doubts, and you’ll find a better way to rephrase it in the morning.
Not all messages are urgent. Writing in the slow lane will pay off. Clear communication sends a clear signal: You are a true professional who cares enough about the reader to dot your “i’s” and cross your “t’s.”