Why Writing Still Matters (in Business)

8 Mar

The spoken word may clinch deals but the written word still closes them.

The spoken word may excite and energize a people but the written vote still chooses the President.

Books may increasingly be transformed into ebooks and read on Kindles but the matter stands – they are still being written and still being read.

Speaking doesn’t necessarily teach you how to write better, but writing (if done purposefully) should always teach you how to speak better.  How to frame an argument.  How to choose a thesis and support it with relevant points.  How to persuade an audience without depending solely on face-to-face charisma.  How to pack a punch succinctly. How to craft written imagery so it remains with you long after the Super Bowl Ads fade from memory.

Writing is a largely forgotten art.  Dancers are allowed to stretch, artists to dabble, actors to rehearse.  We don’t all dance, paint or act.  But most of us write.  And yet we are expected to churn out endless memos, emails, corporate blogs, presentations,  and pitches with little preparation time.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking grammar and punctuation are unimportant.  That professional appearance and a capable presentation can override the follow-up email that is poorly written and will be poorly received.  Let the written words before and after you speak help convey a sucker punch of professionalism, wit and intelligence.  A customer may never finish a memo/email/reviewing a presentation outline and think “Wow, they didn’t misspell anything!”  But they will certainly notice if you do.  And they will wonder if that means you rushed through your preparation, not giving them the attention to detail, passion and quality work that they deserve.

Learn to write well.  Learn to convey yourself and your vision in a myriad of ways. Don’t forget the power of the written word.  Whether the written word goes before you or follows after you, make sure it is going to complement, rather than confuse, your image.

 

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