When you are a consultant, writing becomes an important part of your daily routine. Everything from proposals, emails, to instant messages get written. You need to make sure that you can communicate effectively through your writing even if it is just a simple instant message.
So what are some ways to become a better communicator through the written word? The two best ways that I know of personally are to:
These are two sure fire methods to becoming a better communicator through writing. Now here is the catch, when I say to “read” I mean to read a newspaper, book, or something that’s printed. Yes, you can read blogs and other online content, but there is something about reading online that does not seem to have the same mental translation to better writing then if you read a book or newspaper. For some reason when you read, words on a page the brain seems to store the method of writing in your brain so that you might use it later. It could be the phrasing, use of punctuation, or even just simple adjectives to describe something. It sticks with you better.
The other (more obvious) way to get better at writing is to actually write. It’s true, since I have started blogging (coming up on two years in May) my writing has drastically improved. I get compliments on it all the time. It is nice to be told “well written email” or “your edits made the proposal better” and you’ll get used to hearing it that you’ll strive to become an even better writer. If you do not have a blog, write haikus, short stories, anything to put your words on paper. The more you write, the better you’ll start to get.
Remember that when writing you want to make your point, but you want to be as concise as possible. You want to use as few words as possible but still display a sense of eloquence about your self. Not in a, “I’m above everyone else and so much smarter too” kind of way but rather a demonstration that you have harnessed this skill. If you can show you are an effective writer, it might lead to other opportunities that you might not have thought about at first. So keep that in mind as you write emails, proposals, and anything else for that matter.