Posted by: zyxo | April 15, 2009

Delivering quality texts


Today I saw this post by David Silverman at Harvard Business Publishing about “how to revise an email so that people will read it“.
Here I only repeat his 10 points (why exactly 10?), do read the original post.

But there is more. We write not only emails (I hope so) but other texts too. We present slides, we give talks.
The point is : how much do we care about the quality we deliver to the others ?

I remember when we used to do quality inspections for software designs. It is so enlightling when you see the resulting texts after you rewrote it based upon the insight of 3 to five people who went in detail over your texts and pinned down every single “defect” (minors, majors, fatals).

Quality does not come like that. You have to invest effort to get it !

So here are the 10 points of David :
1. Delete redundancies.
2. Use numbers and specifics instead of adverbs and adjectives.
3. Add missing context.
4. Focus on the strongest argument.
5. Delete off-topic material.
6. Seek out equivocation and remove it.
7. Kill your favorites.
8. Delete anything written in the heat of emotion.
9. Shorten.
10. Give it a day.

Almost forgot : any comments, suggestions for improving the quality of this or my other posts are very welcome 🙂

Enjoyed this post ? Then you might be interested in the following :
-reducing my work email
– Micro-email = twitmail
-Email tricks

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