Test Your Messages

To increase your chances for success in workplace writing, test important messages before you send them and periodically evaluate your messages after you send them.

1.  Test for Clarity

With important emails, announcements or procedures, share them with more experienced colleagues or your manager. Ask what would make them better, clearer, easier to read and understand.

With simpler and shorter notes, read them to a colleague and ask specific questions about the message. If that colleague can understand the basic content after only hearing them once, your readers should be comfortable with them after reading them … and more than once if needed.

2.  Test for Tone

Read your emails aloud. So they sound conversational? Do they sound like you? Do they sound like a dynamic, effective business professional? If not, look for some of your old ineffective style habits and edit accordingly.

As with testing for clarity, share them with more experienced colleague or your manager and ask for constructive feedback.

3.  Evaluate your Message

Periodically, ask colleagues who regularly read your emails or other documents for comments on content, style and appearance. Also, get input from your manager. Modify your approach based on the important feedback you get.

Consider creating a self-help network with selected colleagues. Review their important documents and provide constructive feedback and suggestions. Help everyone to continue improving this important workplace skill.