Striking a Chord with the Reader
The idea expressed by you in your writing, be it mails, reports, or proposals, must reach the reader properly. This forms the basis of effective written communication, a skill that will help you to achieve success. To create an impact, you must know your reader, write constructively, and make your document visually appealing.
Identifying Your Target Audience
Knowing whom you are writing for is important as it will help you to convey the right information. It is pointless to write in-depth reports covering technical data for readers looking for basic/general information. The reader will lose focus if you feed them with unnecessary details. Knowing the location of the reader is equally significant. For instance, you should use UK English spellings and conventions in reports for clients in regions including the Commonwealth and Europe, among others. Before starting work on a report, you must research properly and refer to the right sources. Doing so will help you to provide appropriate content and create a positive outcome.
Constructive writing mainly involves using simple language and presenting ideas in a concise manner. Complicated language and long sentences hamper flow, besides confusing and distracting the reader.
One of the effective ways by which you can make your writing crisp is avoiding redundancy. Redundancy refers to being superfluous, conveying an idea using words/expressions repeatedly. Consider the sentence “The company’s profit doubled year-on-year from USD 20 million in 2018 to USD 40 million in 2019.” Here, you could either remove “year-on-year” or “in 2019” as “year-on-year” implies the period from 2018 to 2019.
Using active instead of passive voice will also make sentences crisp and the document less lengthy. For example, “XYZ Group was acquired by ABC Ltd in 2019” can be written as “ABC Ltd acquired XYZ Group in 2019” – direct and simple.
Enhancing Visual Appeal
Making your report visually appealing is another important aspect of building a connect with the reader. This involves structuring the document well by dividing it into sections with relevant headings, and each section sufficiently into paragraphs. Consecutive sentences and paragraphs must be well connected. Another important point to remember is not to fill pages with text; leave adequate white spaces in between. A well-structured report is easy to read and more pleasing to the eyes than an unstructured and cluttered write-up. Including infographics in the document will relieve monotony and help the reader easily understand the content.
It is important to understand that even if the content of a report is relevant, if it does not resonate with the audience, it is of hardly any value; moreover, the efforts invested in preparing it are a waste. Therefore, it is crucial for you, the author, to research well before drafting a document, write it professionally, and properly structure and format it. Practicing these tips and incorporating them while preparing your next document will help you to strike the right chord with your audience, keep them engaged from the first word to the last, influence them, and make them come back to you for more.