At almost every workplace I’ve been in, verbosity is always one of the most prevalent problems among internally circulated documents. For some reason, there’s a propensity for people to use too many words when writing at work, as if their work performance depended on how many words they can cram into each paragraph.
The good news is, it isn’t that hard to improve conciseness in your workplace documents. Here are a few things you should look into implementing to make it happen:
- Start from the top. Organizations tend to be run like a “follow the leader” type deal. If the bosses write a certain way, those under them will usually write the same way, mimicking how they form their sentences and paragraphs in order to foster rapport. The only way to make an office-wide reform work is if it starts at the top.
- Avoid trying to sound authoritative. There’s too much of that going around in offices, it’s like a flu. Instead of actually being authoritative, the text end up sounding stiff and, often, filled with too much fluff designed to establish the writer’s authority.
- Avoid chatty language. Get to the point. Keep the gossip and personal talk for the water cooler. Stay on business matters when writing business emails.
- Use a grammar software. Modern writing software come with plenty of features that allow you to really trim down writing into a tight bundle. Take advantage of it.
- Review your documents. Any time you write something, review it and assess whether it’s possible to word it in a shorter and more concise manner. Too many times, office documents gets passed around in its first draft form. Taking an extra couple of minutes to go over them can make a huge difference.