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Communication through writing: Socially Shared’s Women in Business Conference

I was delighted to be asked to speak at networking group Socially Shared’s Women in Business Conference this year. I first spoke at this event a few years ago and found it a great space full of inspiring, interesting people from all walks of life.

The conference hasn’t happened for the past few years due to Covid but returned in 2022 with the theme of communication. The programme covered pretty much every different element of communication from body language to how we communication digitally and – unsurprisingly – how we communicate through the written word courtesy of Yours Truly.

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Image courtesy of Studio Forty Six

As a journalist, PR consultant and blogger, words are pretty much the backbone of what I do. And call me biased, but I firmly believe that using the right language is vital in getting your message across.

Why? Because when it comes to business, written communication covers everything:-

  • Emails
  • Text messages or direct messages
  • Flyers and posters
  • Websites
  • Press releases and newsletters
  • Social media

 

It’s simple – write the wrong words and you send the wrong message – and nobody wants that. Added to that, the language we use can change according to the context. This applies across all communication but includes written communication. you wouldn’t use the same written language in a jokey Facebook post as you would on your professional website.  You also wouldn’t use the same language in a text as a formal email.

Language isn’t fixed – you need to use the right language for the right subject, right context and right audience.

Image courtesy of Studio Forty Six

I won’t regurgitate the whole half-hour speech, which included plenty of examples and slides, but the basic thing to think about is:-

  • What message are you trying to send?
  • How can you you do that? 

The answer is in a whole range of elements when it comes to written communication. Get these right and you’ll probably nail it.

  • The words you use – think about context and pick the appropriate words
  • The way you put these words into phrases – again, do those phrases fit the context and the message you’re trying to get across?
  • Punctuation – this counts in written communication. Think about the time the person uses exclamation marks unnecessary, none of us like that
  • Attention to detail – if your spelling’s weak, your punctuation missing, and your words wrong, what does that say about your business?

Sometimes I think these things are better explained by those more experienced or reputable than me, so here’s a bit of advice from the greats:-

The chief virtue that language can have is clarity: Hippocrates

Think before you write, while you write- and definitely after you have written: Sudakshina Bhattacharjee

The way you communicate reveals everything about you. Words are the clothes your thoughts wear: Amanda Patterson

Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say ‘infinitely’ when you mean ‘very’; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite: C. S. Lewis