Why and how to ditch writing in favor of conversation

Crafting effective prose takes time. If your calendar is too tight to spend hours on a message, try mapping out key points and talking.

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“But how can I write more easily, so I can get on with other work?”

“But isn’t there a more efficient way to prepare a message?”

“But I want to write faster!”

Usually, these “buts” are an attempt to sidestep the process I recommend for crafting a business message. My process is not fast. It’s a deliberate and time-consuming series of steps:

That’s what it takes to write strategically—to choose and order your words so they will move the recipient to think, believe or do what you want. This process works. When the stakes are high, when your reputation is on the line, when written words are the way to get things done, that is time well spent.

Still, many people would rather do anything than labor over a page of text—and not all communication requires so much time or so many written words.

Take another tack

So, when your schedule is tight and your writing patience is thin, heed this advice:

Don’t write.

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