There’s a simple technique professional writers use that can also help you make your business correspondence more readable. It’s simply to vary the length of your sentences.
Look at the sentences above. They vary in length from nine words to seventeen. Use short sentences to make single dramatic points. Seriously.
Repetition and redundant phrases can creep in unnoticed when you don’t check and re-check your writing carefully. Have a look at this paragraph:
I arrived at the office this morning at 10.00am. As soon as the lift doors opened, I noticed that the cleaner’s cart had been used to hold open the doors of the other lift so that the builders could unload their materials and equipment quickly. I asked to see the supervisor so that I could point out that this action was causing the lift to be delayed and people waiting downstairs would be late for work and that they should let the lift go immediately.
Let’s see how we can make this shorter without losing any important information.
This morning at 10.00, the cleaner’s cart was holding open the door to lift number 2 while the builders unloaded their materials. I told their supervisor that the people waiting downstairs would be delayed and they should release the lift immediately.
The first paragraph runs to 85 words while second is a mere 41. Nothing essential has been lost, yet it takes half the time to read.