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  • Writer's pictureErin Bailey Lake

Quiz: Do you write with ESP?

In our Writing for Business Workshop, we teach ESP: writing with Economy, Simplicity, and Precision. To test your ESP proficiency, try this exercise: Revise the 100-word paragraph below using a maximum of 35 words.

Give it try – before peeking at our revision at the end of this article.

“I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is William Shakespeare. As you may or may not know, I was recently appointed by your CEO Louisa Alcott to head up the marketing department and help out in other areas that need help. However, in my opinion, I definitely think would probably prefer to be viewed by you as a person that you can come to for assistance in all matters in which you may need advice. Procrastination and putting things off can only compound the problem you have been experiencing. So do not hesitate to reach out to me at your earliest convenience. It will be my pleasure to provide assistance and guidance in your individual efforts to create strategies and plans, and to solve problems.”

Whew! Consider that your colleagues and customers are deluged with memos, emails, texts, and phone calls. It’s vital to make your point quickly – and precisely.

ESP will help.

By Economy, we mean: use as few words as possible.

Simplicity means: use simple sentence structures vs complex structures.

Precision means: use the right word, not just the first word that comes to mind.

True, ESP writing takes more time than just dashing something off. But it your goal is to be effective and persuasive, ESP is paramount.

Now, compare our revision with yours.

I’m William Shakespeare, your new director of marketing. CEO Louisa Alcott has asked me to assist you with strategy, planning and other needs. I look forward to working with each of you. Please contact me at any time.

Want to work on writing more vigorously, using ESP? Contact us for a group workshop or a one-to-one session:

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