One of the undisputed keys to success in today’s globalized world is fluency in English.
While other languages continue to be vital, English is unequivocally the most important for business, regardless of the sector. From mining to health care, it is crucial to have good English skills to thrive in our global economy.
However, when it comes to communication skills, people tend to give more weight to verbal/oral communication over other forms.
Although speech might seem like our primary form of expression, the truth is that written communication is just as essential – and, in today’s digitalized world, absolutely crucial for prospering as a corporation. From communicating with clients to developing essential paperwork, such as memos or catalogues, knowing how to write in English professionally and effectively can define a company’s success.
I. Benefits of good writing skills in business
Effective written communication makes companies run smoothly and enhances productivity. While becoming proficient in English might not be as easy as people tend to believe, especially when it comes to writing, it is something worth striving for.
Writing is the primary way business gets done in today’s collaborative world. It doesn’t matter if you are communicating your services or products through video, blog, advertising, or email marketing: all these require good writing skills to succeed.
The reason is quite simple: good writing is fundamentally good thinking. By communicating efficiently and effectively, your business grows and profits, mainly because:
● it gets perceived as more reliable and trustworthy;
● it develops better persuasion mechanisms;
● it builds a substantial presence on the market;
● it helps saving time (and money) throughout the operations;
● it boosts the confidence of both management teams and employees;
● it uplifts work relationships, both with co-workers, peers, and clients;
● … and so much more!
II. Tips to improve your writing skills
Companies spend a tremendous amount of time, money, and resources to help their employees develop new skills in areas like management, customer service, or marketing.
But what about writing?
As we have mentioned before, having good writing skills is key in every sector, especially nowadays, when making business involves less conversation and more electronic interactions.
Unfortunately, many good business people are very poor writers, which can surprisingly damage a company’s reputation, reliability, and daily operations.
You might not realize it, but this can be a huge obstacle between you and the success you are striving for.
Improving your writing will make you better at anything you do, whether you are an intern or the CEO. So if you are interested in expanding your expertise, here are some tips on how to improve your English writing skills:
● Be aware of what you are writing, why, and for whom.
All business writing has a goal, so you must understand it and plan for it before rushing to the keyboard (or pen). You need to be conscious of what you need to communicate and, very importantly, of who your audience is. As you can imagine, selling a product to young-adults at the beginning of their career is quite different than selling it to people in retirement. In short, a message aimed at everyone often appeals to no one. The audience is what determines the content to be written, be it in terms of style or even the information itself.
● Strive for brevity and clarity
When it comes to business, there is often the idea that the more extensive and filled with industry-specific buzzwords, the better. Yet, the truth is that everyone prefers a message that it’s both quick and easy to read. So while writing, keep this in mind: the best communication conveys your message in a way that is easily understood and absorbed by your targeted audience. Short sentences and short paragraphs have a better chance of capturing the reader’s attention. Clear writing means clear thinking. Bet on it! After all, there is a reason why people keep preaching “less is more”!
● Proofread what you write.
Whatever it is you write in a business context, you need to proofread it. Always. Even if it is a short email or copy for an online ad. Before finalizing the task, take some time to ensure consistency and accuracy in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and even formatting. All these little ingredients can mean a great deal in the way your message is understood and appraised. And here is a little tip: whenever possible, read your text aloud. Doing so can help you spot places for better word choice or improve sentence structure effectively.
● Take advantage of new technologies
Nowadays, there is an endless array of apps and programs you can use to assist you with your writing. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of them?
Whenever you are proofreading or editing a message, use these new technologies for some additional insights into your writing skills. You can use readability checkers (calculators that identify how easy it is to read your text, jargon graders (apps that recognize and remove excessive jargon), and also dictionaries and thesauruses.
● Enrol in a business writing program
Spell checkers are useful tools, but they are still far from perfect. You can use them to polish your texts, but they cannot do the hard work for you. If you feel like you need to improve your English writing skills in a broad and efficient way, you should consider language training.
At Language Advantage, we offer in-person and online English writing courses for people that, just like you, want their business to excel.
To help you achieve that goal, we start by identifying your struggles and the type of environment you usually communicate in. After gathering all the information, we prepared a personalized training program to meet your needs and goals without losing sight of your business sector. For us, a good program isn’t just about enhancing your language skills – it is also about giving you the tools and inspiration to communicate with confidence!
Case Study #1 :
Language Advantage helps a multinational mining corporation that explores, develops, processes, and markets metals and minerals in different countries. Given that in Canada it operates in bilingual environments, it was clear that investing in language training should be a priority.
After gathering with representatives to understand the company’s needs, we prepared a customized program to enhance the employee’s level of both French and English.
For those who needed to take French exams to work in Quebec (mainly geologist’s permits and engineer’s permit), we designed a program based on the exam requirements and the teams’ daily tasks.
And because our services are tailored both for groups or singular individuals, we have also developed a six-month business English program for one employee who was new to this sector.
The program’s focus was to improve his ability to write professional-level summaries and essays, enhance his comprehension of industry-specific terminology, and develop his listening skills.
By the end of the course, his growth was evident. Not only could he engage in conversations with ease and prepare documentation more efficiently, as he also reported feeling more confident and satisfied with his role.
As we have seen at Language Advantage endless times, a self-confident attitude leads to solid work relationships, an enhanced ability to negotiate, and improved management skills.
Case Study #2 : High-impact business communication
The Procurement Department at the Federal Level relies on their communications skills to deliver a good service.
As many of their employees don’t have English as a first language, the department decided to help them upgrade their business language skills.
Considering that business English serves different purposes than general English, needing to be tailored in a proficient, comprehensive, and informative way, we gathered with the representatives to understand these professionals’ challenges and needs.
Following the assessment, we developed a training course to refine their business English and communications abilities, mainly focusing on presentation skills, negotiation skills, and writing skills.
For the native English speakers, we also designed a program to enhance specific communication abilities required for the roles (such as tools to communicate in a corporate setting and business writing methods).
When the training period ended, the employees reported feeling more confident and positive about their communication skills. Those who weren’t native English speakers reached a higher proficiency level, which led to enhanced productivity and results.
Let us help you improve your English writing skills!
At Language Advantage, helping your company thrive is our ultimate goal. To that end, we design the programs your business needs, focusing on the unique dynamics, daily tasks, and the industry in which you operate.
If you aspire to improve your business English writing skills, we can present you with the best solutions for your specific goals. From focusing on your industry’s jargon to developing the best exercises to enhance your negotiation skills, we can help you transform your business to the core.
If you have any questions or wish to ask for a quote, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team of native instructors will be delighted to design a customized plan for you and your team!