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Are you using the right words? 5 Tips for Clear Written Communication

Updated: Nov 10, 2021

Sorry – that’s not what I meant.

I always think back to my grandmother’s quote, “Think before you speak!” In today’s society full of social media, it should be “Think before you type!” Are you writing clear communication?

How many times do you go through the day apologizing for the words you’re using? Words can be misconstrued, given different meanings. Since the person receiving the message won’t hear the tone of your voice, your text has to convey your thoughts.

You need to choose your words carefully.

This is one of the reasons that it takes time to write content. You want to get the wording just right to deliver your message. Here are 5 tips to make sure your message comes through clearly:

Who’s reading your content?

Different locations have different words for the same item. Remember the little candies that you sprinkle on your ice cream? If you’re from Philadelphia, they’re jimmies. Other parts of the USA refer to them as sprinkles.

What about soccer versus football? Most of the world calls soccer “football” and US football is “American football”. Sneakers in the US are called trainers in the UK. Even the spelling of words is different – color versus colour.

Always write text that speaks to your audience.

Avoid slang and jargon

Don’t use slang or jargon that may confuse your readers. You can even check the readability level of your documents. Keep the text at a level that people will comprehend.

If it’s technical information and the readers know the lingo, then you are good to go. But if the mechanic rambles on explaining the problem and you’re not sure what a distributor cap is, you’ll be lost.

If you are in doubt, it’s better to make the text simpler.

Choose the right words

Words conjure images and help you express yourself. What do you think of when you read “cold” versus “freezing”? Though the two words are similar – your mind has a different image.

Use synonyms and the thesaurus to mix up the text so you aren’t writing the same word over and over. Just be sure that you know the meaning of the word that you choose. The word you select should help paint the right picture and express your information.

Upper or lower case – that is the question?

Are you using all capital letters? My aunt used to do that. Maybe she didn’t know that there was an option for lower case? Or she didn’t care. Either way – using capital letters makes some feel like they’re being yelled at. So – choose your cases carefully.

Punctuate correctly

Misplaced punctuation affects the message. You can see that the sentences below take on different meanings when a period is added.

Clear written communication is key to sharing your ideas, promoting your products and services, and connecting with your clients.

If you are looking for experts who can craft your messages and make sure you’re getting your points across to your ideal clients, contact WriteWizards.

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