Challenge Every Word

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Communication that is satisfying to our audience requires us to put their needs first. Rather than thinking about what we want to say, we must consider what they must hear to find value in the message.

In a live conversation, a speaker can adjust their message based on real-time feedback from the listener. But writing is different. In writing, your words must work alone to deliver your message. Your written words are your proxy when you’re not physically present. What message do your words deliver?

In the third section of Simply Said, award-winning author, former practicing lawyer, and executive communication coach Jay Sullivan gives practical advice about how to effectively deliver your message in writing. In Chapter 8, “Challenge Every Word: Editing for Clarity,” Jay outlines three steps for writing better:

  • Cut the clutter by challenging every word you use
  • Edit for precision by making sure every word you’ve chosen is the best to convey your idea
  • Identify the actor and the accountable person in every sentence

Download this chapter and try applying the advice to your own writing. Then check out the book for more straightforward tactical steps you can implement immediately to communicate more effectively in meetings, presentations and pitches, and leadership scenarios.

As Jay reminds us, the longer your document, the less likely it is to be read. So let WordRake help you edit for clarity and brevity. WordRake is editing software for Microsoft Word and Outlook that will help you get to the point with one click. Try WordRake today!

Chapter reprinted with permission. Originally published in Simply Said: Communicating Better at Work and Beyond by Jay Sullivan, Wiley Publishers. Copyright © 2016. Complete book available here. Exec-Comm also offers training for groups with CLE and CPE credit.