In the business world, correspondence pitch ideas, accept or decline proposals, make offers, introduce products, advertise services, communicate core values, goals and quotas – this list is endless. However, the effectiveness of these correspondence principally depends on the quality of the sentences with which they are prepared.

Whatever the goal is, everyone writes with the hope of capturing the attention of their audience. And like never before, the 21st-century audience has a short attention span – they are easily distracted. Therefore, it is fundamental that every writer deploys effective strategies to engage their audience. Writing powerful sentences is one major way of capturing and keeping your audience’s attention. The following tips will guide you in curating powerful sentences.

Rely more on Active Voice: always deploy active sentences in your business messages. This way, your audience will understand the message easily. Passive sentences are faceless, boring, and most importantly, do not conform to one of the 7cs of communication – conciseness.

  1. The Operation Manager will chair the next board meeting.
  2. The next board meeting will be chaired by the Operation Manager.

Sentence 1 is more succinct than sentence 2.

Choose your words carefully: Words determine the meanings and the effects that a sentence generates. The kinds of words you use in preparing your business message will determine whether your document is crisp or soggy.

  1. We have agreed to give you the loan. Please, visit the bank to discuss how the money will be paid into your account.
  2. Your loan application was approved last week. Kindly visit the bank to commence the disbursement procedure.

Sentence 2 is a better version of 1.
Composing your business messages with the right words will evoke the right effects on your audience.

Avoid redundancy: many of the words that are commonly used in emails and other business correspondence these days are overused and have lost their savour. Overused or redundant expressions will make your text drab and lifeless. Examples include:

Redundant Expressions Preferred Option
brief summary summary
future plans plans
revert back revert
sworn affidavit affidavit


Overused Words Preferred Option
important fundamental, principal, chief
interesting exciting, engaging
new fresh, original
very highly, especially


 Use positive statements: in linguistics, negative sentences are marked and are believed to carry some kind of ideology. To this end, business messages should not be open to various interpretations – be as direct as possible. Moreover, negative statements are colourless and hesitant, and should not characterise a business correspondence.
a. They are not very diligent.
Sentence a is better written as
b. They are Lazy.

The tips mentioned above will help improve the quality of your sentences. As you continue to write with these nuggets in mind, your document will evoke the right effects and get the appropriate responses.


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