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How to write {eloquent} English emails

emails office communication writing Mar 28, 2021

Getting impatient with yourself because it takes you forever to write that one English e-mail?

What's worse, you know that you're probably wasting energy and focus in the process as well.

Don't worry. There IS a solution!

Let me show you a simple method to quickly transform your e-mails:

(1) Define your 'tone of voice'. Who's your audience? Who's going to read your e-mail? Is the reader a friend? Your boss? A stranger? Do you want to sound friendly or formal? e.g. can you write 'gonna' instead of 'going to'? 'Hi mate' vs 'Dear Mr Johnson'? 'Cheers' vs 'Regards'? Choose YOUR tone of voice and stick to it throughout the whole e-mail.

(2) Stick to a certain structure. If you're not yet feeling confident writing English e-mails, try sticking to what I casually call 'The Beginners' Trinity':

✏️ START: Let your reader know why you're contacting them. Simply start with 'I'm writing to {let you know/inform you/ask about}' or 'Just a quick note to {let you know/inform you/double-check if}. And don't worry about starting an e-mail with 'I'. It's ok.

✏️ MAIN PART: Now you drop whatever it is you want to say. But keep it simple. This is an e-mail. You're not trying to win a Nobel Prize in Literature. Stick to short sentences. Use bullets and numbering. Have space between the paragraphs: this increases the readability and indicates a transition between topics. If you're a technician, people {kinda} expect you to be structured ;-)

✏️ CONCLUSION: Tell the reader what you expect them to do. Do you want them to take action? Do you want them to reply? Do they need to confirm an arrangement? Be specific! Believe me; it saves you and the reader a lot of time. And frustration.

(3) Once you've written your 1st draft DO NOT hit send. Go, have a cup of coffee and then proofread your e-mail. Check for: spelling, word order, overuse of exclamation points (that's my stumbling block!), and double-check the recipients.

Stick to these steps, and you can say goodbye to wasting time and hello to efficiency! Imagine feeling capable, without having a co-worker (or boss) looking over your shoulder!

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