The 5 Questions to Ask Before Crafting Your Message


Mind these guidelines to write more compelling memos, sharper emails and meatier reports.



Dianna Booher

Chances are, you’ve been through training programs to improve writing or presentation skills.

And most all of them probably started with one or both of these platitudes:

  • Consider your audience.
  • Know your purpose. 

Well and good. But how to do those things warrants a few more specifics. To drill into what audience analysis and your purpose actually entail, ask yourself these key questions:

1. Do I have a single reader or multiple readers?

How many people are on your distribution list? Do you have pass-on readership? Are you writing “through” several people who must approve your email, report or proposal before it goes to the reader(s)?

If you have mixed audiences, rank readers in order of importance. The most important reader gets the information first. Secondary readers must read further into the document to find information they may need.

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