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We connect with people at work every day by speaking and writing. Though we do both, some prefer to speak while others like to communicate through writing.
If you prefer to speak, sometimes you may need to write for your business. Examples are articles, website pages, press notes and plans. Or you may need to write a speech or prepare for a presentation.
People have their reasons why they avoid writing. From my experience, I find that it is often because they are not confident of writing what they need to. They know what they want to say but find it hard to express it in writing. In the process they spend a long time over it and their message still does not turn out the way they want it to.
If this is your reason, consider making yourself confident to write with ease when you need to. It will help you stand out among your peers. (If your profession or seniority does not need you to write for your work, see reason #5).
If you have this knowledge in advance, you will save yourself the trouble (or risk) of finding out from a few rounds of live experience. Interviewers can spot smart speakers and like to have them on their list of experts.
The way things work today, you must make information available to read and in many places. People want to read at their convenience. They cannot always meet you in person or will want to watch a video of you. After a speech at an industry meet or press event, you will need to share a written version of your talk. You must have it ready to share if don’t want to lose that opportunity to promote your work. Your written version will also help you remember your points and speak with more clarity.
When we speak, we say the sentences as they come to our mind. We don’t stop to check how they are sounding and keep saying them again till we are sure they are sounding clear. Many times people don’t speak with clarity, which is why they find it hard to hold people’s interest and attention.
A quick, simple way to make yourself speak with more clarity is to write a few sentences of what you intend to say. Writing will bring you to the exact expression you are looking for. When you read what you wrote (aloud is better) you will recognize how to make it sound clearer. While you need not say the sentences in the exact way you wrote them, it will help you say them in a more smooth and clear manner. Try doing this a few times and you will see how it helps you speak with clarity.
When people are not able to write with ease, it has this effect:
– They waste time trying to bring all their points together and make their message final. (TW).
– They get anxious because their message is not falling into place (A).
– They settle for weak message they are not confident about themselves (WM).
I call this the “TWAWM Effect” and I know is not a good feeling.
Time Waste (TW) + Anxiety (A) + Weak Message (WM) = TWAWM.
Allow yourself to learn the simple way to become confident to write with ease and clarity. You will become free from the “TWAWM effect.”
Many people I work with don’t need to write for their work. But sometimes a few get stuck in these two places:
– When they need a written version of their message.
Those who don’t like to (or need to) write have to rely on someone to write for them. That person may not reflect their talk well. If you are confident of your ability to write well, you can advise writers on how you want them to write your message. Or you can do some power edits yourself to make it stronger.
– When they need to brief or guide their team
Managers and business owners often need to brief their team or agency to write content. Campaign creators often ask you to write a brief for them. Poor briefs can result in poor content. If you are familiar with good writing, you can create better briefs. You can also recognize weak content and guide writers to rework the content.
People like to work with those who appear confident. The main reason why people do not look confident when they speak is because they speak in a hesitant manner. This is not because they are not confident people or shy to speak to people. It because they don’t have enough clarity of what they are about to say before they say it. Don’t rely on body language or dramatic speech techniques to cover this up. If what you are saying is hard to understand, none of this may help you. You may end up sounding worse that you realize.
If you have total clarity of what you will say, you won’t need to struggle to find words during your talk. You will sound clear an appear confident then. Teaching yourself to write clear messages for speaking will help you with this.
You do not need to learn advanced writing skills or take a copywriting course to achieve the advantages shared above. You only need to learn simple ideas to get into the “thinking” process of writing with ease.
C School for Great Communicators