Clear Communication vs. Eloquent Language

by Phyllis Zimbler Miller

A new writing coaching client of mine said she needs help with writing because she cannot write “eloquent” language.


I told her that the goal of good business writing is clear communication and that what passes as “eloquent” language can hinder clear communication.

The more I thought about this, the more I realized that probably many would-be writers are held back back by this belief that good writing is using big words and fancy analogies.

I subscribe to the writing theory of not interrupting the mind as a person reads. In other words, a unusual word can take time for the mind to process, interrupting the entire thought and possibly losing the reader all together.

Tips for business writing:

  • Short paragraphs
  • Varied-length sentences but on the whole shorter rather than longer
  • Subheads to divide sections of the text (boldface for these is always welcome)
  • Plain rather than fancy language

Text for websites:

The same clear communication tips go for text on websites. You want to make it easy for your target markets to read your information.

You do NOT want to make them wade through tons of long words and long sentences and long paragraphs to find out what you have on offer. There is no reward for the densest website text!

The best tool for writing clear business communication:

The best tool is the willingness to chop off your favorite expressions and stick to the clearest language you can. Your target audiences will appreciate this!

© 2013 Miller Mosaic LLC

Phyllis Zimbler Miller has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the co-founder of the online marketing company www.MillerMosaicLLC.com

She is also the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks, including TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO PUBLISH AND MARKET YOUR BOOK IN THE AGE OF AMAZON and the romantic suspense spy story CIA FALL GUY.

Click here to visit her Amazon author page at viewAuthor.at/PhyllisZimblerMiller

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan K Becker March 5, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Amen, Phyllis! And, as your use of images shows, the visual communication facilitated by web-based communication may be the most efficiently eloquent communicators.

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Phyllis Zimbler Miller March 5, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Thanks for this comment, Susan. You are so right about the power of visual communication online!

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