Face it, proofreading is not fun. It is also not something that you want to take time out of your busy work schedule to do, especially if you have other things on your plate. Even though it seems like a hassle, a poor business communication can be a deal-breaking situation. Keep reading to learn about the reasons proofreading is so important in business communications, as well as some proofreading techniques that you can use to get the job done right.
Why Proofreading is Critical in Business
There are many reasons that businesses must encourage their employees to proofread, including:
- Failing to Proofread Can Cost You Clients
- It Can Serve as a Good (or Poor) First Impression
- Written Communications Can Be Unclear
Imagine that you were hired to create an advertisement. It reads freelance writers wanted for writing jobs. The only problem is that you misspelled the client’s name. This may seem like a small mistake, but it can mean hours recreating the materials. It can also lead to a disappointed client who will not return for additional business in the future.
When you are introducing yourself to a prospective client or to a fellow employee you will be working with, you only have one chance to make a first impression. If this is a written communication, simple errors in spelling, grammar, or clarity can result in a poor first impression.
When people are reading something instead of hearing it directly from a person, it can be easy to misunderstand the message. This is because non-verbal cues like body posture, tone, and facial expressions cannot be communicated across written message. For this reason, it is important to carefully read for clarity before you press ‘Send’ on a business communication.
Essential Business Communication Proofreading Tips
As you complete proofreading for business activities, it is important that you do it efficiently and effectively. Here are some useful tips.
- Read Aloud When You Can
- Check for Clarity
- Give Your Eyes a Rest
While reading a memo in a crowded office is not always possible, it can be useful for catching errors that you may not have. This is especially true if you have misplaced words, subject-verb errors, and other issues that lay outside the realm of the typical spelling and grammar issues you check for. Reading aloud also helps you catch lengthy or hard-to-understand sentences.
In business communication proofreader jobs, you should always check for clarity. Avoid wordy sentences and using jargon or slang. This becomes increasingly true when you are dealing with clients from different areas, since they may not understand ‘common’ expressions you are familiar with.
How hard do you think it will be to spot errors on a computer screen you have been looking at all day? To avoid missing errors, let your eyes rest before your proofreading session. Take at least a 15-minute break from the screen. If you can’t print out your business communication to make edits.
Even though you can probably think of other things you could spend company time doing, proofreading is an essential part of business success. If you cannot muster the time or patience to do it yourself, consider hiring a proofreading service to help you. Alternatively, you can use some of the tips discussed toward the end of the preceding article to make your job a little easier.