I do a lot of writing and often forget that not everyone is tasked with writing reports and papers in their roles. Lots of people are taking care of patients, teaching children, putting out fires and catching criminals. But me, I write.

And in lieu of any other super power, I’m claiming writing as mine!

I thought I might share what I know about writing in case it’s useful to others

  1. Know your audience
  2. Be clear about the punchline you’re leading to
  3. Set out a clear structure. If your organisation has a standard template, even better. Use it
  4. Write a story with a beginning, middle and end
  5. Don’t write 10 words when 3 will do
  6. Avoid jargon and always explain acronyms. Consider your audience to be a beginner in your subject
  7. Get advice along the way. If you have sections dealing with finance, law and staffing never rely on your own knowledge, unless you’re an expert in the field. Spread the risk
  8. Test the document for meaning and accuracy with people who know your topic and people who don’t
  9. Get the grammar, spelling and tone right. We? The organisation? Isn’t? Is not?
  10. Make it look the part. Formatting is everything. If it looks scrappy you won’t get your audience as far as reading your punchline

Happy Friday!