~by Pat Fontana~
Do you struggle with written communication?
You might be suffering from Communication-itis.
Do you recognize the common symptoms of communication-itis?
- You struggle with putting words together to make a sentence
- You stress over what to capitalize, where to put the comma, when to end a sentence
- You’re not sure if the word is “your” or “you’re”
- You put everything you know into one email
- You put only a few lines in an email and expect the reader to figure out the rest
- The thought of having to write an email terrifies you
- Fear of the blank page is a very real struggle.
If you recognize these symptoms in yourself, don’t despair. There is hope!
The first step is recognizing that you have a problem. So many business owners and entrepreneurs don’t get it. They send out emails, they post articles or blogs, or they lay in web content that is simply unreadable.
Unreadable writing gives potential customers their first impression of you. Do you know how long it takes to develop that first impression? Seconds. How many times do you get a chance to make a positive first impression? One. Do the math. Everything needs to be perfect – i.e., readable – the first time, or there will be no second time.
The next step is to get help. If you struggle with communication-itis, you are most definitely not alone. Many people did not learn what they needed to in kindergarten or fourth grade or even high school. Fortunately, there are also many ways to make up that education deficit. Hire a freelance writer, take a class in business writing, or make use of a second pair of eyes.
If you’re not sure what you’re looking for when you proofread, ask someone else to read your written piece. It’s a known scientific fact that writers only see what they want to see when proofreading their own work. Just remember that whatever feedback you’re given, it’s for your own good.
If you have communication-itis, it can affect your business in many ways. By the way, there’s another symptom: do you know the difference between “affect” and “effect”?
Effective, appropriate, well-written communication is essential for a healthy business. Take care of your communication-itis, before it affects your business!
Are your words working for you?
Meet the Author: Pat Fontana
Pat Fontana is a business writer, communications trainer and speaker, who works with business people to make sure their words are working for them. She has been active in the field of business communications for over 20 years, and has taught for community colleges as well as in the corporate environment. Her specialties are writing business-related pieces, training on generational communications topics, and helping women in business become better communicators.
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the WordsWorking website: www.words-working.net
Connect on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/wordsworking