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  • Writer's pictureMatt Hays

A/E/C Writers, Get to the Point

In A/E/C marketing, your readers are generally in a hurry—much like you are! When reading a proposal, a blog, a newsletter, or a website, most are trying to grade you or learn something useful, quickly. They're often skimming.

Why not help them by keeping things brief, clear, and direct?

Not always, of course. There will be places to expand upon your culture, projects, people, and ideas. But what if you want to get basic points across to busy people?

Here are five ideas to help.

1. Put the Punchline First. Most A/E/C readers want a conclusion right away, especially if they're scanning. In a blog, give them the gist in the first few lines. In a proposal, you might answer key questions in one word (yes, no, $30), followed by brief supporting thoughts.

2. Think In Outline Format. It's easier to write clearly and concisely if you know the mission of each paragraph. This will help organize your thoughts into buckets and avoid tangents.

3. Support Important Ideas with Graphics. Diagrams, maps, photos, and charts can often replace big blocks of text. Use them to provide clarity at a glance. They can also humanize your proposal and prove your points.

4. Use Subheadings, Bullets, and/or Short Paragraphs. Subheadings and bullets let people scan. Short paragraphs are easier to navigate and help readers notice key points.

5. UseUtilize Fewer and Shorter Words to Make Your Points. When extra words or long words add nothing, get rid of them. This will help key points stand out. Learn to love short names and acronyms.

None of that needs to dampen your style or personality, which can be important to human connections and branding. Keep your youisms and favorite segues. Just get rid of the excess.

Good luck!

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