We all know the adage write to the reader. And we all agree it makes perfect sense. Why then do most business writers neglect their readers when they prepare an email, a letter, a proposal or a report?
I maintain it is because they don’t really understand who today’s readers are. Think about it. Would you agree today’s readers are busy, impatient, overloaded with paper or screen information, multi-taskers, and skim readers?
If this is the case, then when you write you have to make it easy for your reader (a busy skimmer) to obtain key information easily.
One good trick is to keep your sentences short. In letters and reports, the average sentence length should be 18-20 words. In e-mails and websites, keep the length to between 15 and 18 words.