Professional Documents: The Crux of Any Argument

February 3, 2016

Bad documents.  We’ve all seen them.  From poor organization to bad grammar, bad documents can make a great argument or cause it to fall flat, while eye-catching and well-crafted documents can make even a minor cause have a greater impact.

Some things to keep in mind when developing and designing professional documents to move your cause forward:

  • Remember your audience.  Who are you hoping to appeal to most?  What is their level of education?  What is their typical work load?  For example, the documents prepared for a Member of Parliament are different than those prepared for university professor.
  • Tone.  Do you ask for specific action?  Or is it an informational document?  Tone is important to remember – particularly in documents for communicating with government officials.  A careful balance of positive vs negative can go a long way in helping your cause.
  • Length.  Is this an issue that can be summarized in a few bullet points?  Or do you need 12 pages of text?  Both are valid options depending on the topic and audience.  But keep in mind that – particularly for introductory informational notes – sometimes less is more.  Remember, your audience may not be an expert in a particular area or have any background at all.  You can sometimes make the same impact by using fewer words, more effectively.
  • Grammar.  Proof read.  And then proof read again.  There’s nothing worse than finding a spelling mistake or grammatical error half way through a document.  It takes the wind out of your organization’s sails.  Take your time and get it right.
  • Look professional.  A well designed package with succinct information and background can help your organization go far.  Work with a designer you trust to ensure the presentation is the best that it can be!
Professional Documents: The Crux of Any Argument