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The Importance of Clear Written Communication in Business

by Claudette Roche

The focus is often on verbal communication when training employees on the subject of communication in general. They are taught how to communicate when talking to someone in person or over the phone. There may even be a business speech coach who helps them improve enunciation. However, written communication is one of the most often used means of communicating with other people. It’s important to educate staff on the basics of providing clear written information.

The Difference in Written and Verbal Communication

The goal of all communication is the same: to present information or an idea to someone else. However, the methods vary, and often, so do the results. With verbal communication, you can use body language, vocal tone, and even sometimes facial expressions to relay your meaning. When you write or email someone, you only have your words to use which convey your message.

Sarcasm, humor and even anger may not be relayed as easily with the written word. Though popular tags, such as LOL, make it easier to clarify the meaning behind your words, misunderstandings are far more prevalent using this method than with clear verbal communication. You also don’t get the immediate feedback as you do when speaking over the phone or in person. Even silence conveys the idea that someone either doesn’t understand what you said or doesn’t agree.

How to Be Clear in Written Communication

When you want to learn how to speak to someone clearly in person or over the phone, you can hire a speech coach to teach you how to speak clearly. To communicate clearly with the written word, you must learn through other means. Here are a few tips to help you in creating written communication with customers, employees and outside vendors:

Much like with verbal communication, you should think about the other person when you write your message. Imagine how they will understand what you are saying. While you won’t have to deal with an accent when you are writing which can lead to misunderstandings, you do have to think about the words you say. If English isn’t their native language, they may mistake words you use for a different meaning. Avoid using large words or complicated terms.

From handwritten notes to emails to online chats and even to formal business letters, written communication is still one of the primary ways people speak to each other in the business world. This is a skill that must not be overlooked, especially as more companies work globally with customers and staff.

About the writer

Claudette Roche is a accent reduction in the Vero Beach, FL area. She teaches foreign and American accents to actors and business persons/executives. In 2010 she was named as one of The Top 5 Voice Coaches by Hollywood Weekly Magazine.

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