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Although storytelling is important even in business writing, don’t bury your message. Save twists in the tale for thrillers, and long introductions for academic essays: structure your business writing to have the most important point first.

Most people won’t read everything you write. Perhaps they’ll get through the first half, maybe just the first 10%. According to research, one in every three visitors spends less than 15 seconds on an article. Don’t let them get away before they know what you have to say!

Especially in press releases, make sure your key points can be understood from the headline and the first paragraph. The rest of the information can be filled in underneath, in order of importance. When you were writing essays at school you could assume your teacher would read to the end, but in business writing every additional sentence will lose you some readers.

Still here? To those of you with an attention span long enough to make it to the end, I salute you!

*Walter Matthau in the classic 1974 film “The Front Page”.

Hungry for more? How about a story on storytelling?