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Doc Bar Raiser's gift to you...part 3

The final December 2022 business writing top tips for business writing; use writing to bring clarity of thought, check your editor score, write with clarity...
Red dachshund in yellow harness in the UK snow, with snow on is snoot
DBR dog enjoying the UK snow

My series of daily LinkedIn posts has continued. Here are the next 7 all in one place for you, my lovely DBR family.

Top tips 1-8
Top tips 9-14

#15 - Use writing to bring clarity to your own ideas.

Writing is a great way to help the writer flesh out an idea. Next time you have an idea try writing about it. Jot down the key points, how it will help your customer, the benefits and risks. Full sentences help you focus on what is really important.

#16 - Check out your writing editor score (in word).

Word updated this feature a while ago and I LOVE IT!

It gives your writing a score out of 100. It looks at reading ease, formality of your writing, inclusiveness of the language used and lots more! The higher the number, the easier it is to read your document. Plus, you can select the type of document you have written (Formal, Professional, or Casual). The suggested edits are really good too.

#17 - Write with the Clarity of Angel’s singing…

Or take a read of the 2017 Amazon shareholder letter. Jeff Bezos writes about writing and I just love it. Jeff wrote;

“We don’t do PowerPoint (or any other slide-oriented) presentations at Amazon. Instead, we write narratively structured six-page memos. We silently read one at the beginning of each meeting in a kind of “study hall.” Not surprisingly, the quality of these memos varies widely. Some have the clarity of angels singing.”

To read more about the culture and how to build one, check out the DBR article - Building a Writing Culture

#18 - Save the tables for Christmas dinner.

Similar the notion that a picture may says a thousand words and a picture in a document generates a thousand questions…a table can be equally distracting for your reader.

Even if you have the most simplistic table, there is no guarantee that your reader won’t focus on a number that doesn’t add to your story. Or worse still, they may ask why some data points have been omitted.

Pop your tables in the appendix and write about the points you want to highlight, that add to your narrative.

#19 - Remove all unnecessary words.

It is really common that when we don’t have clarity around what we need to say or write, we waffle. This leads to extra words, and sometimes sentences creeping in that don’t add any real value. These just work against you. They can lead to confusion for your reader.

This is another reason Amazon’s six-page limit for documents makes sense. By limiting the space you have it focuses you to stick to the important things.

I was given this piece of advice early on in my Amazon life, to give a monetary value to every word. If you were spending a £ or $ for every word written, would you keep them all?

#20 - Keep your language plain and simple.

No one should need to look up the definition of a word you used. It wastes time and stops their flow of reading and comprehension. There are no prizes for using words that appeared on your “word of the day” calendar.

Think of your reader, keep your language simple.

#21 - Keep it brief.

To quote Winston Churchill, "if I had more time, I would have written a shorter note.”

Take the time, write the shorter document. Get to the point. Stay on message. Use the extra time to discuss and decide the course of action.

Shhhh...don't tell anyone, but these are the final three tips of 2022. As a thank you for subscribing and supporting Doc Bar Raiser this year, you get a special early peek!

#22 - Don’t be a “last minute Larry!”

Plan out the time you need to write. Don’t leave it to the last minute. The more time you give to your writing, the more time you have to get the document right. To build in time to edit, revise, and circulate for early reviews.

Writing is hard, but it only gets harder the longer you leave it. Be kind to yourself, and start as early as you can.

#23 - Write the first draft in a single sitting.

It happens to us all. We start writing, then we have to jump on a call or we answer an email, and when we return to what we were originally writing, it’s like it’s another person writing. The style changes. The sentence structure is different.

Maximise your writing flow and don’t let yourself be interrupted. You’ll thank yourself (and maybe me) later!

#24 - Just keep writing.

Sometimes it takes a lot of draft copies to hone in on the perfect idea.

I recently learned that Andy Jassey and his team spent 18 months writing and rewriting the Press Release (PRFAQ) for Amazon Web Services (AWS). 18 months before a line of code was written. 18 months thinking about the customer use case. 18 months planning out the idea.

AWS then became the fastest company ever to make $1billion!

Merry Christmas everyone! Here’s to a writing filled 2023!

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