Which words and phrases are best for business writing? While the answer to this question depends greatly on your line of business, it pays to build a professional business vocabulary. Read on for business writing do’s and don’ts, common business English vocabulary, and some examples of the best words to use to spice up your business writing.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Business Writing & Vocabulary
Today’s business world runs on information, so remember this quick ABC: Always be concise. This is one of the biggest, most important “do’s” and it is one of the primary reasons for building a solid business vocabulary. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when writing for business, no matter what the topic.
- Less is More: When it comes to using your vocabulary during the course of business, it’s important to find words and phrases that allow you to express yourself in a concise way. Avoid sentences that meander, get to the point, and send your message.
- Pay close attention to titles, names, and genders: Have you ever received a message in which you were addressed incorrectly? If you have, you know just how irritating it is. From a business vocabulary point of view, an error in someone’s title, name, or gender is incredibly destructive, not to mention embarrassing to you and your company.
- Be professional, courteous, and cordial: Choose business English vocabulary words that are positive, professional, and friendly. In past decades, business writing was quite formal. This is fine for things like job applications and legal documents where every little word is likely to be scrutinized, but overly formal jargon can be jarring and difficult to read.
- When being informal, don’t become unprofessional: It is often appropriate to choose normal, informal vocabulary words to convey messages during the course of business. Stay professional by avoiding off-color jokes, snarky remarks, gossip, and personal comments out of your business communications. Don’t circulate anything – even an email – that you wouldn’t feel comfortable airing in a public forum.
- One H, Five W’s: You should always check and double check your work to be sure that the message you are sending makes sense. The easiest way to make sure you’ve covered all your bases is to follow a business writing rule that originated in journalism. Answer all the questions your audience might have by ensuring How? Who? What? When? Where? and Why? are covered.
- Avoid jargon and “weasel words”: People don’t like to read words that don’t mean anything. Respect your readers’ time by choosing business vocabulary words that leave no room for the reader to question intent or meaning. Plain language is always appreciated.
- Use business vocabulary words that inspire action: Choose words that will spur your readers to take the desired action. Almost all business writing is produced in order to achieve a certain purpose, making a call to action important. Let your readers know what to do to get the right outcome.
- Write once, check twice: No matter what vocabulary words you’ve chosen to use in your writing, do your business a favor and proofread what you have written. Do this twice, preferably once right after you finish and once again a few hours or days after writing, if possible. The brain often skips errors that were made in the recent past but will catch them later. If it is not possible to wait to check your work at a later time, have someone else do the second round of proofreading for you. Little mistakes happen, but people will judge you for them. Nothing is quite so embarrassing as a typo in a document that’s filled with great business vocabulary words and is otherwise perfect.
Wonderful Words: Try These and Spice Up Your Business Vocabulary
Today’s business environment is much different from the way it was in the past, and there are quite a few business vocabulary words that are best left out of communications. Bottom line? If a buzzword or phrase looks complicated, don’t use it. Stay genuine and always use language that is plain and clear.
Here are some examples:
- Agenda: A detailed plan
- Advantage: A specific benefit or improvement
- Benefit: A specific, positive outcome
- Calculate: To do something with numbers, i.e. count, add, subtract, multiply, or divide
- Develop: Bring out the possibilities of or capabilities of
- Estimate: Guess how much something will cost or how long something will take
- Incentive: Provide a reward or offer something at a special price
- Invest: Spend a resource such as time, money, or effort in order to make a future improvement
- Maintain: To take care of, cover expenses, or keepiin a specified state
- Negotiate: Try to make a better arrangement or get a better price
- Objective: A specific goal or target
- Participate: To take part in
- Process: A series of actions that achieves a certain end
- Schedule: A certain time frame
- Structure: A complex system that takes in the entire point of view
- Target: A measurable goal
- Thank you: A polite phrase to use with everyone you interact with; though simple, it goes a long way
These are just a few of the many fantastic words you can incorporate into your business vocabulary. In the event you are looking for a new way to say something, Ginger synonym provides instant help to enrich your documents and improve your business vocabulary.
Building Your Business English Vocabulary
One of the best ways to build your business English vocabulary is to take a business writing course if you haven’t already done so. No time for school? You can increase your word power by reading more. Spend a little time each day reviewing business writing tips and re-reading correspondence that includes the type of language you would like to use.
Ginger has many resources you can use free. Take advantage of them as often as you like.