The Efficiency of Simplicity

In the business world, the words we use are the best tools for persuasion. Whether you are speaking at an event to gain clients or writing a proposal for a potential business partner, it is vital to portray an informative explanation without becoming tedious. Although many realize the power of words, many underestimate the efficiency of simplicity. Below are several ways for your business to cut through the nonsensical verbiage and get straight to the point.

Less is always more. Imagine if this article began as follows: “In the macrocosm of licensed business professions, conjectures exist which state the momentousness of the necessity of the avoidance of superfluity replaced by the simplicity of statements to influence with persuasion.” Although the sentence uses impressive language, are you really able to properly absorb the meaning? Even the most word-savvy of individuals would suggest a re-write. Utilize intelligent language and formulate it into a simple sentence. The more you ramble, the less patience your readers will have to continue forward. Don’t talk in circles or make up word space to look boastful. When crafting a letter or proposal, always say what you mean and move along.

Avoid over-explaining. A general rule of writing is to always assume your audience does not know anything about the topic at hand. However, it is equally as important not to treat your audience in a demeaning manner. For example, when explaining your business goals to a prospective client, don’t assume that he will easily follow along with advanced language and acronyms specific to your company. Additionally, never explain everything the client will ever need to know in a single proposal. Start with a brief description of your company – introduce the rest of the information later.

Remove unnecessary phrases. A word that is heavily overused is “very” – which only serves to eliminate words that would be better served in its place. For example, rather than offering a potential client a “very good” offer, why not offer him a “great” offer? Other phrases that typically serve zero purpose are “the fact that” and “that” in general. Oftentimes, it is rarely important for the word “that” to be written, as it tends to downgrade the quality of the document immensely and subsequently shows a lack of creativity. Unless you are attempting to add emphasis in some circumstances, filler sentences should be avoided. Remember to maintain a balance between intelligent language and simple language.

Focus on quality content. Write well. Your business proposal does not have to be a novel to have persuasive language. Most clients are better impressed by shorter word counts with higher levels of quality. One of the most important aspects of lifting the quality of a sentence is to write well while limiting your use of filler adjectives. Adjectives are useful in many ways when used correctly, but adjectives upon adjectives only sound awkward and look desperate. Stating that your business “offers incredibly great and fantastically helpful services” is not impressive. Instead, get to the point. Your business “offers helpful services.” There is no reason to complicate your content. Focus on the quality, not the quantity.

Business proposals, employee interviews, and client contacts – you name any situation, and proper writing will usually be involved. Always remember to utilize simplicity to your advantage. Not only will it save you time and money, but it eliminates the frustration of others as well. Be confident in your writing and let your skills speak for themselves.

Julia Fortney
Twitter: @JuliaFortney