I have had the benefit of working on a writing project with others from my firm recently. One of the key things that I have learned from this is that writers, especially if the work is intended to convince others to act, must put themselves in the shoes of the reader.
The next time you are reviewing a research memo, opinion letter, brief, or argument (or even an email), try to review your work as if you were a member of the intended audience.
This type of review is harder to practice than it sounds. It is especially hard to do when you have just finished the gathering stage of a research project. All of the information that you took in while you were researching makes it difficult to assume the mantle of the fresh eyed reader. It is also difficult to ‘be’ your audience if you don’t ‘know’ your audience.
This is one of those tips where I ask for comments … advice anyone?