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Earn A Higher Performance Rating At Work: Persuasive Writing For Business

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Learn how to make your business writing skills outshine your peers. All while reducing the complexity of what you write. Without really having to learn anything revolutionary. Those of us who are still writing our yearly Performance Reviews may find this particularly helpful.

Here’s a quick note on how to write persuasively for any situation.

Firstly, using complex language neither makes you come across as intelligent, nor is it persuasive. It makes you sound pompous and self-interested. Picture a professor of philosophy and humanities. From Yale.

Not convinced of the need for simplicity? Read this article in the journal, Applied Cognitive Psychology, “Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly [1]. I’ve included a link to it at the end of this post.


Here’s what you should do to write persuasively:

Small, clear sentences. Present one point per sentence. Cognitive ease is provided to the reader through simple structuring. Upper management and readers are not as smart as we think, and they get confused easily.

Drop unnecessary words. “My efforts were very much appreciated by the team,” reads better as “My efforts were appreciated by the team.”

The extra words, “very much,” add nothing of significance.

Use plain talk that visually makes your points. Fifth grader language and imagination are all you need to play with.


Put the object before the action. “Six customer support tickets were completed in a day” is more impactful than “In a day, completed six customer support tickets.”

Finally, your first 2-3 sentences should be carefully drafted. That’s where you will anchor the reader.

Good luck!

My full persuasion reading list which will improve your influencing skills in other areas of life can be found here:

Influencing And Persuasion Reading List


  1. Oppenheimer, D.M. “Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly” Appl. Cognit. Psychol., 2006, 20, 139–156.

Thanks for reading! Please follow me if you liked this because you may find my other advice useful too.

You can also follow me on Twitter (@DrShaunAdvice) because many smart people like you enjoy my tweets. My teaching is simple and effective. You will grow with it and your eyes will be opened to how easy it actually is to be influential in your life and at work.


#PerformanceReviews #PersonalDevelopment #CareerAdvice #PersuasiveWriting


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