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Opinion | How to Get Every Email Returned

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/25/opinion/sunday/writing-advice.html

nytimes.com

Opinion | How to Get Every Email Returned
Or at least how to try. We're all writers now. We fling words out into the universe through text, email, Facebook and more. Even people who hate writing have to do it, because you need to text your husband back, write your boss a condolence note and do better on Tinder than "hey."

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Tell the Truth

In general, facts matter less than emotions when trying to persuade someone. People choose to believe information that matches what they already believe and avoid facts that might contradict them.

But they will get angry if you mislead them. And you will lose their trust. Accuracy matters. Make sure what you say rings true.

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Be Quick About It

Most daily communications are too long and rambling. Get to the point. 

People are busy. They don’t want you to go on and on. Be honest, direct and short.

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Just Ask

People usually avoid asking directly because they fear rejection and embarrassment.

But we as humans are wired to want to help. Think about yourself, how you react when someone asks something of you - you probably make an effort to do it.

And if you’re rejected, you’ve lost nothing.

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Know Your Audience

We're usually persuaded by people who make it clear they understand us, that they relate to our concerns. So seek out those opportunities for connection. Ask questions and really listen to the answers.

Think about this in everything you write. What does your audience really want to hear?

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Banish Jargon

Even if you use it with someone working in the same field as you, it doesn't make you sound smart.

No matter the audience, write simply and clearly. That takes longer, but the effort will pay off. 

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Tips for Better Business Writing

You can be a good business writer, just by following these five tips:

1. Write as you speak.

2. Read it aloud.

3. Ditch the Jargon.

4. Ignore the English Teacher.

Write how you Speak

Writing simply, and in an alive tone, using everyday words is more forthcoming and refreshing, than using unnatural sounding words. 

Write like a human.

Read it Aloud

If you read your written text aloud, you will realize where it can be worded better, or where to add or remove a comma. You can also let someone else read it.

3 more ideas

Reframe past “failures”

Thinking about our past mistakes usually brings us feelings of despair.

You can stop this by reframing your past failures by recognizing that you did the best you could with the information t...

It’s OK to be uncomfortable

Putting yourself out there is very uncomfortable for most of us.

But try to remember that discomfort is pretty normal. It's just a feeling, nothing more. So allow yourself to feel uncomfortable and accept that the feeling doesn’t mean you should stop trying that new thing your considering.

One step at a time

New projects can feel overwhelming, so imagining how you will get from start to finish it hard.

But you don't have to do it all in a day. Pick one small thing that will take you closer to your goal. And focus on that.