There is a common misconception when it comes to writing that is professional in nature that a person must write in a verbose manner to come across as intelligent.
I'm sorry. Let me do that again.
People often make a mistake in thinking that writing long-winded sentences with big words makes them appear smart.
Actually, let me try this one more time.
You don't need to write a lot or use big words to sound smart.
Now that's better.
Too often, people write sentences like the one at the top when they should choose version #3. The main culprit, in my view, is the loathsome college essay. Only in college are we forced to write a paper a certain length. We develop strategies that balloon our paragraphs so we can fill out eight, 10 or 12 pages and pick up our gold stars on the way out.
In the real world, most people don't enjoy reading lengthy emails, reports and presentations. It's extra work. Worst of all, trying to write beyond our skill level screams, "I'm in over my head!"
When you write with brevity, you make your points quickly and shrewdly. You don't waste words and, in doing so, don't waste a person's time. A vendor or client sees you as sharp and courteous.
The secret to brevity and, in turn, clarity is something we are rarely taught growing up:
Write like you are talking to a friend.
I don't mean write in internet jargon or shorthand. Whenever I am stuck on a sentence, I step back from the computer screen and ask myself, "OK, what am I trying to say here?" Rather than come up with the most eloquent way to make my point, I write it out in plain English as if talking to a buddy. Once I have my conversational sentence, I go and attack it with a red pen.