A Habit You Won’t Want to Break!

Want to free yourself from writer’s block? Want to regain time lost to re-writing and re-distributing the message? Want to manage your messages to get action?

Follow this simple but essential pre-writing checklist and find a new confidence in communicating with internal and external audiences of all of your documents.

Analyze your audience:

  • Who is the primary reader? Is there a secondary reader?
  • What is the reader’s prior knowledge of the information, or need for additional information?
  • What are the reader’s probable questions?
  • What is the reader’s probable attitude toward the topic?
  • What should be your tone (attitude) in writing?

Compare readability levels (using computer Tools) of your writing and your reader’s writing and bring them in line with each other:

  • What is the typical sentence length/vocabulary expectation of your reader?
  • What is your typical sentence length/ vocabulary usage?
  • Do you need to shorten sentences while using polysyllabic business jargon?
  • Can you vary sentence length because the jargon is not overly polysyllabic?

Select an organization based on whether the message is positive, negative, or persuasive:

  • For positive or informative message, put the main message at the top, like an inverted pyramid.
  • For negative messages, buffer the main message and then give supportive evidence.
  • For persuasive message, use a problem-solution format when you expect resistance.

Now you are ready to write, and you will be “speaking” to the reader as if face to face. If you place the pre-writing checklist by your computer and consult it regularly, it will become automatic and fast. A habit.

Your writer’s block will be gone because you now know how to customize writing strategies for each audience. And after you run the necessary post-writing grammar and spelling checks, you’ll discover that your documents will attract attention, satisfy the need for knowledge, and get action to meet deadlines.

Business Institute instructor, Dora Tippens, Ph.D., is a corporate communications specialist, who can provide training for your organization or business in “Effective Business Communication” for both written and oral skills. 

Save time. Save money. Be clearly understood the first time you write it or say it.  Call the Business Institute to schedule your Business Communication class at 815-232-1362—TODAY!

Written and submitted by Dora Tippens, Ph.D

BI Solutions is a monthly e-newsletter designed to inform you of emerging business trends and help you be more successful in the workplace. Please let us know what you think by sending a note to BusinessInstitute@highland.edu


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Please send us an email or call us at 815 232-1362.

Community Education classes are here!

Blue Print Reading

OSHA 10-Hour
Microsoft 2003 Beyond the Basics of Excel
Microsoft 2003 Word II-Page Design & Layout
Managing Conflict
Handling Delegation
Spanish for the Physician’s Office
And More…

For a complete listing -
Log on to: highland.edu, Class Schedule, All Community Education Classes, Fall 2008.

For more information or to register,
call 815-599-3612. 

(Registrations will not be taken at or through the Business Institute.)

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Business Institute

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July 2008

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