Client: I need you to turn this two-page paper into two or three sentences.
And so began my education on writing for executives and decision-makers.
Here are a few things that I learned during this assignment: Getting to the essence of the issue is critical, as is communicating the impact of any decisions. Using clear, plain language certainly helps, too, versus using technical jargon. Perhaps most important is understanding what your audience needs to hear to get value out of your writing.
When you become more aware of the impact of your words on others, you won’t just write or speak anything. You’ll constantly be editing to achieve maximum effect with your words.
The act of turning two pages of words into a few sentences helped me get clear on what mattered most to my client. It also enabled me to see the impact that a few well-placed words could have on others.
Choose your words carefully!