How to Clearly Communicate in Writing

Have you ever gotten an email from someone, read it over two or three times and still can’t figure out what they want you to do – if anything?

Too often, people bury the “call to action” somewhere in the middle of the message or are so darned vague that it’s hard to figure out the main objective.

Wouldn’t it be great if they started their paragraph with what they wanted you to do, then give you all the reasons or backup justification after that?

It’s understandable folks don’t want to come across as a bully or overly directive. We’ve all been schooled in how to be careful with email because it’s easy to sound harsh. But it’s also easy to confuse others when we’re not clear with what we’d like them to do.

Journalists are taught to put the most important stuff up front just in case their editor needs to shorten up the article. They’ll try to remove content from the middle or bottom and that way won’t destroy the main message.

So before you start to write, ask yourself, “What’s the most important thing I want this person to know or do?”

Start off stating your main objective and you’ll reduce the biggest frustration people have with email and other written forms of communication.