Business Winning Tip

Choosing Words

Writing correctly means different things to different people. Some may interpret it as fact checking what you write. Others may see it as using correct grammar. For our purposes in this article, we will narrow this down into specifically choosing correct words. This includes simplifying long words, avoiding unfamiliar jargon, and using descriptive verbs.

Simplify long words and phrases

Simpler words are understood by more people. If you are presenting a complex offering, use short, simple words and phrases to clearly communicate your point. Some may think that using big, long words will make you look smarter to the customer. This is not true. Instead, they can obscure meaning and hide key concepts.

Avoid jargon and gobbledygook

I love saying that word: gobbledygook. It’s so fun to say out loud. It’s also an absolute nonsense word, which is what industry-specific or technical jargon can look like to customers if they are not familiar with it. A lot of people evaluate proposals; not all of them will be expert readers. Define necessary jargon when you must use it but avoid jargon where it might be misinterpreted. Clear, concise wording is better.

Use precise, powerful, descriptive verbs

Language is an incredible thing because replacing one word can completely change the tone of a sentence. When you use obscure or non-specific verbs in your proposal, you are missing an opportunity to prompt powerful reactions from evaluators. Often, using weak verbs creates longer sentences because the weak construction requires further explanation. Reword weak verb phrases using a more powerful and precise word.

Word choice is important, especially in a proposal. Keeping your words simple, understandable, and precise helps you persuade the customer to select your offering. It makes your proposal easy to read and evaluate.