Whether you write technical , scientific , or business documents, incorporating some basic principles of communication can make your writing more readable. Frank Luntz , a political consultant and strategist, breaks down these principles in his article, “ 10 Rules Of Successful Communication .” We’ve summarized five of those rules here.
Because professional writing is reader-focused, don’t confuse your audience by using large, unclear words, or jargon. Luntz’s article emphasizes the importance of “avoid[ing] words that might cause your readers to reach for the dictionary.” Using simple terms will allow for better clarity and understanding.
In addition to keeping terminology simple, be mindful of style . For instance, long sentences and large paragraphs can be problematic if the information you’re trying to get across is dense. Luntz says, “Be as brief as possible. Never use a sentence when a phrase will do, and never use four words when three can say just as much.”
Establishing credibility helps create confidence in your writing. “If your words lack sincerity,” Luntz says, “[or] if they contradict accepted facts, circumstances, or perceptions, they will lack impact.”
Along with credibility, expressing importance and relevance helps keep your reader’s attention. Most professionals are busy, so keeping your message on point can enhance readability. Luntz explains, “You have to give people the ‘why’ of a message before you tell them the ‘therefore’ and the ‘so that’.”
Maintaining a consistent format and tone creates a pattern that helps your audience understand the main topic. “Repetition. Repetition. Repetition,” Luntz emphasizes. “Good language is like the Energizer Bunny. It keeps going . . . and going . . . and going.” Being consistent in writing will help you create more readable and user-friendly documents.
Using these five rules can help you write more precisely and concisely. Need more tips? Our customized onsite and online technical , business , and scientific courses can help you and your team write more effective documents. Contact us today!