Key Elements of Effective Business Communication Part 2

Clarity and Consistency


Every document needs to be clear about the message it is meant to deliver; otherwise, the reader will

be confused, and totally ignores the correspondence.

If you want to deliver a message about expense payments, then it not a good idea to start adding additional information about unrelated issues, such as car parking or the company image, unless, of course, it is necessary to include other topics because there is a connection with your principal communication. Always categorise your communication, convey information in separate documents; keep it simple, remember.


It can be very off-putting if a reader finds your message is inconsistent. So, don't take a certain stance on an issue in your newsletters or blogs, only to change that a week later. Readers will perceive you as untrustworthy, so you are unlikely to take any action you recommend.

Make sure your grammar tenses stay the same and that your point of view doesn't switch between the first and third person, then back again, unless you want to make it a storytelling approach. Also, keep the main theme and message the same.

Check List for Consistency

  • Grammar and Language Usage

Stick to the rules of parallel writing when making a list, horizontal or bulleted, or in the use of active or passive voice.

  • Spelling and Vocabulary

Choose American or British spellings, or stick to the company in-house style.

Do not use colour on one document and color on another.

  • Capitalisation

You must not change how you capitalise titles, be they for documents or people; also, check for capitalisation of the title in one document and underlining or italicising in another.

It would be best to decide when and how to use capitalisation for people's titles, titles, and descriptions.

Some companies can have their own preferences.

  • Punctuation

Don't use closed punctuation in one document and open in another. For instance, leaving commas after greetings in a letter and not in another. Use either double or single inverted commas, en or em dash.

  • Abbreviations and Acronyms

Decide if you put a full stop after Mr. or shorten Professor to Prof.

  • Format

Ensure consistency with the type and size of spacings, fonts, paragraphs, and margins.

  • Citations References and Footnotes

Various style guides recommend different styles, so do not chop and change these. Always be consistent according to your style guide.

Well, I hope you found this blog helpful; please contact us at if you need any more help, suggestions, or would like a free quote for our proofreading and editing services.

Please join us for the next blog.

Thanks for reading.

William Harrison

Certified Proofreader and Editor at Motivation Monday Proofreading and Editing Services

Certified by the College of Media and Publishing UK Member of the Chartered Institute of Editors and Proofreaders UK

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