Writing Style: Two Rules for Business Writers

May 21, 2012 | Better Writing

I get worried when someone tells me that I’m a great writer. I worry because it means they’re noticing my writing style, when they should be getting the message I’m sending. Here are two simple rules about writing style for people who write business books and blog posts.

Writing Style Rule Nr. 1: Style should be transparent most of the time

You write to explain or persuade, not to win a literary prize. Your writing should reflect that. Most of the time your style should be transparent so your reader will pay attention to your message.

Writing Style Rule Nr. 2: Make a critical point by changing your style

When you want to make a critical point, you can change your style for that instant to make your point more memorably. Make your critical point POP off the page by making your phrasing memorable.

Be cautious. This is not for points which are merely important. It’s for the critical points that are essential for readers to remember. If you overuse this tool, it will lose its power.

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