Do you waffle?

email button on keyboard


By Maria Pantalone

Have you ever found yourself mid-way through a proposal, report or email to a client and then realised that you’d waffled on without covering your key points? Were you sure as to what you wanted to achieve?

We live in an information age where most of us feel overwhelmed by the amount of information we’re expected to read on a daily basis.

You as the reader

As a reader, would you prefer to read a document that had no logical flow, an inconsistent layout and used jargon that you didn’t understand or a document that was easy to read even if you were scanning the page?

Whether your document is a report, proposal or an email you want your reader to actually read it. You wouldn’t be writing it if it wasn’t important, would you?

Benefits of planning

Do you plan your business documents? Most people that I speak to about their business writing often say to me that they’re time poor and need to ‘just get the document done’.

That’s understandable however wouldn’t it be better to have an approach to writing that made your life easier and would save you time?

Just as we gain an impression of a person when we first meet them, your document gives an impression of you and your business to your reader.

A document that is easy to follow with clear objectives will more likely be read.

To achieve this you need to spend some time planning your document. Researching, creating an objective and establishing an outline are key steps in the planning stage.

Planning your writing:

  • Saves time
  • Ensures that your document follows a logical order
  • Ensures that nothing is left out


  • Allows you to meet your deadlines.

Three questions

As a starting point, ask yourself these three questions:

  • Why are you writing the document?
  • Who are you writing for?
  • What important information do you need to include?

What does this mean for you?

By answering these questions you’ll be clearer as to why you’re writing the document, who you’re writing for and what the reader will need to read.

This in turn means that:

  • You’ll take less time to write and edit your document
  • You’ll write a document that’ll meet your reader’s needs
  • Your reader will be more likely to take action as a result of reading your document.

By following these points you’ll find that you’ll spend less time waffling and have a greater chance that your email, report or proposal will be read and acted upon.

    • Added by Susan

      What a great article. I tend to get make my emails a letter to a dear friend and I need to get more to the point. Your article has helped me greatly

      cheers Susan

    • Added by Maria Pantalone (author)

      Thanks for your feedback, Susan.

      All the best with your emails!


    • Added by Prepaid Plans

      We are all guilty of this. I was undertaking a presentation this week and half way though it thought the same thing. Luckily I had two to do in the day and so I shortened the second and kept it to the point.

      The same goes for emails communications. People don’t read paragraphs so give them them the key things they need to make a decision to read on or reply.