By Jessica Hale
First impressions truly are lasting, so every letter or proposal you send needs to be well-written. Awkward, mechanical or just plain boring writing can do irreparable damage to the polished, professional image you work so hard to maintain. Learn to personalize your writing, grab attention and achieve results with Business Writing for Busy People (Career Press, $15.99, 800-CAREER-1), by Philip R. Theibert.
Theibert believes great writing is produced by great thinking. Consequently, he considers organization to be the key to success in writing. Get organized by brainstorming and developing an outline, then go through Theibert's 20-item "Organizational Checklist" to make sure you're on the right track. Questions such as "Do you have one idea per paragraph?" and "Do your arguments justify the conclusion?" help you make sure you've organized your writing correctly.
Once you've written something that gets your point across in an organized fashion, move on to the chapters on jargon, style and "putting the human touch back in your writing." Theibert shows you how to eliminate business jargon and clichés while incorporating your personality into what you write.
After reading Business Writing for Busy People, instead of sounding dull and robotic, your writing will convey a sense of humanity and intelligence that's sure to win over all your readers--and potential customers.
Arthur Andersen's Enterprise Group, (800) 872-2454, http://www.arthurandersen.com