The task of writing a memo can seem burdensome as many people struggle to choose the correct format, the right message, and the perfect tone. Memos can be very helpful to employees and CEO’s if done right; however, memos could also be leaked and ignored if done poorly. Follow these tips to create a memo that is clear, effective, and memorable.
Identify The Subject
Before you can write a remarkable memo, you have to know what you are writing about. Not only will this help you avoid going on tangents, but this will also help you clarify your point. Knowing your topic, and staying on topic, will also help the receiver understand the message.
Less Is More
Identifying the subject and staying on topic will also be beneficial when it comes to the length of your memo. By designating your key points, you can avoid extra information that isn’t necessarily needed. The less amount of time it takes to read the entire memo, the more likely it is that it will be read. For co-workers who are on a time-crunch, they may quickly decide whether it is worth a read, or if they can go without. If there is a lot of information to share, consider sending a shorter memo at first, and then following up with more detail for those who would like to read further.
Remember back in grade school English class and the teacher asked each student to write a paper on some random subject? When starting off the paper, the first sentence should always be an attention-grabber or something that makes the reader want to keep reading. The same goes for memos and email subject lines. Those are the first impression, and if severely lacking, the reader most likely won’t open or continue reading the memo.
This one can be somewhat intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. The first thing to note is that memos are typically used to inform and do not require much more than a factual and professional tone. Present your information, say thank you, and keep it moving. On the other hand, memos can also be used to inspire, encourage, or even scare. It may be surprising what all a story that impresses or details that conveys the vision can do for a memo’s tone.
Honesty And Openness
Along with the message you want to disclose, explain what is expected following the memo, or reasons why the information is being shared. For example, if a new policy is being instated, it would be beneficial to explain how and why the new policy came about, and how it will affect the workers and the day-to-day.
One small grammatical error can ultimately diminish the professionalism and the perceived accuracy of a memo; although, editing should include more than searching for grammatical errors. For example, when asking someone to read and edit a memo, ask them to look for irrelevant information, tone, clarity, content, and perspective before sharing feedback.