When it comes to written communication, or any form of communication, for that matter, bear in mind that writing that is too formal can alienate readers. Just as being overly casual and informal may well be perceived as insecure or unprofessional.
When choosing a particular style for your writing, it is always worth remembering one golden rule: know your audience.
I mean, you wouldn’t use a very informal and ‘chatty’ tone of voice if you were writing to lawyers or accountants. And you certainly wouldn’t use it in a medical text explaining, say, how to perform a surgical procedure. The ‘casual conversation’ writing style will strike the readers as unprofessional or insincere about the subject matter, and could even cause offence.
Equally, it wouldn’t be wise to use a professional business-writing style in your emails to your family and friend. You could, but they might be suspicious or get upset!
That said, I would suggest striking a balance between formal, professional writing and informal, casual writing for email messages, as well as inter-company memos.
I always like to include some element of friendliness in my writing. The best business writing is professional without coming across as ‘stuffy’. I try to use ‘results-oriented’ words without overbearing the reader.
Finally, I am careful when it comes to using humour in my business correspondence. Humour is a very subjective thing, and you don’t want to risk offending your reader. What might seem funny to you might not be at all to someone else. 😉
Better Writing Skills 101 explains the ins and outs of good, effective writing, and shows you how to work within the ‘rules’ (or when to break them) to write persuasive or professional emails, letters, brochures and more that are clear, convincing, and make an impact.
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