Read your email aloud.

If you are struggling with phrasing an email or you are writing an important email, try reading your email aloud to yourself. Reading aloud has many potential benefits.

When people read silently, they often read quite fast and can skim over grammatical mistakes or awkward phrasing. Reading aloud forces you to slow down and can help you identify problem areas in your message. Further, when reading aloud, you may be more conscious of the flow of ideas and sentences. Actually hearing what you have written may reveal gaps in your explanation or unclear transitions between ideas. Reading aloud can also give you a better sense of the tone of your email. Is it too casual? Do you shift between informal expressions and more formal ones? How will your reader feel when they receive this email?

To read your email aloud, you must be certain you read exactly what is written. This is harder than it sounds, since our brains have a tendency to skip over and fill in information. Use your finger to point to each word as you read it. Alternatively, you can have your computer read the email back to you. Listening to your computer on headphones may be a good option if you are working in a quiet place.

You may feel silly the first time you read aloud. Give it a try though. Reading aloud can be a powerful tool in writing better emails.

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