Email has become a common form of communication in both our business and personal lives. Technology has made sending an email as easy as picking up your smartphone, meaning you can send messages anywhere, anytime. But before you hammer out a quick response or reach out to a client, it is essential to proofread what you have written.
A seemingly small mistake can make a big difference. Dropping, adding, or changing one letter can create a completely different word and change the meaning of your sentence. Getting a time or place wrong can mean the recipient misses out on a meeting or event. And spelling someone’s name incorrectly can convey carelessness and lack of attention to detail. Taking a few minutes to proofread your emails before hitting send can keep you from making silly mistakes.
- Use Spell Check and Grammar Check Tools. Many email and word processing programs have proofreading software built in. You can also use an external program to check for errors. While these tools are not foolproof and do not catch 100% of mistakes (especially if everything is spelled correctly but you use the wrong word), they can be a great place to start.
- Read It Aloud. Read back what you wrote out loud and listen for any mistakes, missing words, or confusing sentences. Make sure that the tone is appropriate, and you are not coming off as stuffy or hostile. At the same time, you don’t want your message to be too informal either.
- Wait Before Sending. Don’t immediately hit send once you are done writing. Take a break and come back with fresh eyes. Work on a different task for a few minutes to change your train of thought, then come back and reread the email to catch any confusing or unclear phrases.
- Double-Check Important Details. Review any names, dates, times, locations, or other essential detail to verify that they are correct. Don’t rely on just your memory. If you are sending an attachment, make sure that not only is it included, but it is the correct file.
- Keep It Simple. No one wants to waste time reading an excessively long email or trying to decipher your message. Keep things short and simple. Avoid using fancy words or technical jargon for the sake of sounding more impressive. Use language the reader will easily understand and cut unnecessary words or sentences that don’t add value.
- Ask for Help. When it comes to important emails, have another person read them before you hit send. You know what you are trying to say, so it can be easy to overlook mistakes or assume the meaning is clear. Asking someone else to proof your message can provide a different perspective and catch errors you may have missed.
Don’t let your message get overshadowed by confusing wording or spelling/grammar mistakes. Make sure you have a polished, professional email that effectively conveys important information. Reach out to Grammar Chic for proofreading help and feel confident pressing send. Connect with us at www.grammarchic.net or by calling (803) 831-7444.