Proofreading is an essential step of writing for business applications, and one that often times gets less than the attention it deserves. From publishing a blog, Tweet, or newsletter article to sending an important email to a key client, proofreading more often than not consists of a quick scan and clicking Send or Publish. Considering the consequences of an incorrect or awkward piece of writing, it's worthwhile to take proofreading just as seriously as creating content. So when you are writing your own script for Message on Hold, a medium where hundreds perhaps thousands of callers will hear your words every day, keep the following 5 tips in mind:
- Never do it alone - If possible, it's always best to have at least one other person look at your writing to make sure there are no small mistakes, you might have missed. Because you wrote the piece, you know what every word is supposed to say--and you might miss that you wrote "Take a sneak pique?" instead of "Take a sneak peek!" By having one or two sets of fresh eyes look at your writing, you're more likely to catch common mistakes.
- Use a dictionary- If you're not sure what word to use, look them up. This way, you'll never mix up stake and steak, confident and confidant, or carrot and carat again. Your spell checker might catch it, but it can't read your mind about what you meant to say.
- Go Backwards- In the phrase "you are formaly invted," both "formally" and "invited" are spelled incorrectly--did you notice? It might sound silly, but read your writing backwards. Often, if you drop a letter in a word, your brain will add in the missing information. If you start at the end, instead of the beginning, it helps to look at the content out of perspective, especially when you think spell checker has got your back.
- Print it Out- While we all want to be green, the best way to proofread something is to have it printed out for your review. Looking at the printed word instead of the digital text will give you a new perspective and force you to pay closer attention. And you won't have to worry about looking at your twitter feed, Facebook notifications, or e-mail inbox for a few minutes. Make it greener by printing on both sides, or printing multiple pages per sheet, please.
- Read it out loud- When you are writing a script for telephony, reading on hold presents two opportunities. First, when you read the script out loud, your brain is processing the information in a different way. You have to be more careful and go through the material more slowly, so you will likely catch some small mistakes. For a long piece, this will work better than reading backwards. Second, because your script will eventually be read aloud and recorded, you will be able to determine how well the script flows and if it is too long or two short. Again, never do it alone--having someone listen is just as valuable as reading it yourself.
If you want to produce the best content, you need to use the best proofreading strategies. Of course if you're uncertain or pressed for time, the Holdcom Script Department can take care of your script writing and proofreading needs. For monthly writing tips, subscribe to our newsletter,