- On October 31, 2019
Tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and dough make pizza, but if you just threw them all in a bowl and stirred, the only thing you’d end up with is a mess! Writing is like that too. Your ‘ingredients’ — the idea you want to convey, the words you choose to get your point across, the punctuation you use to move the message along, etc. — need to be properly arranged in order to yield the results you want.
One of the best ways to do this is to write a draft of what you want to say, then read it aloud. How does it sound? If you were receiving this communiqué, would you have any idea what it meant? Is it clear and understandable? Do some of the words or phrases ‘sound’ different than you intended? Did your message come through, in whole or in part? Was the WRONG message sent? What could make your finished product better?
After you’ve given your written draft the ‘spoken’ test, take it apart and try putting it back together with corrections and changes that clarify your point. Edit out anything that isn’t absolutely essential. Here’s an example:
A job application asks “What is your career objective?”
I like computers and have some computer skills. The IT field is always growing. I’m a fast learner, especially with technology. In my last job I only used computers to log sales but I could do much more.
I seek a job in the IT field that will utilize my experience and allow me to advance my skills into new and expanding areas.
Both versions answer the question and convey the same basic idea — that you have some limited experience on computers and would like to focus on the field even more — but the second is much more clear, to the point and professional-sounding. It uses the same ‘ingredients’ but cooks up a much better result!
Try this with your own writing — whether it’s an email asking a friend to lunch or a business report for your boss. It’s a quick way to add sizzle to your words!