Pros know their audience can’t read minds

I can think of few reasons why anyone would read a document in the workplace if they already knew what was in it. Sadly, workplace rookies have little experience writing for an audience who knows less than they do. (Remember they’ve created documents exclusively for teachers since they learned to write.)  That means their documents often include gaps that need to be filled in if their workplace audience is going to get their message.

To help amateurs think about how to fill in those gaps, I’m updating a tutorial on developing informative prose (that means definitions, comparisons, examples, etc.) that should be complete tomorrow. Here’s a page from the revised Business Plan for Potential Investors referred to in the tutorial. It was adapted by me based on a sample available from the Center for Business Planning (

  • Writer: the owner of a manufacturing company
  • Readers: potential investors (like venture capitalists)
  • Bottom line message: the company is a good investment because they’ve got an innovative product at reasonable cost with high market demand

Don’t worry. I’m also updating a tutorial on persuasive prose this week, referring to the same business plan.

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