There is no fast rule governing the writing of a good memo, but observing the basics would help do a good job- a memo that would deliver on its purpose.
In other words, consider the following key points as they will serve you well as you go about writing your memo.
This is necessary but not a green light to keep the detail out. Brevity simply means you have to be precise in your writing and leaving out any non-useful content. Choosing the right words of expression in your writing will help you avoid verbosity.
Explain Key Results:
This is necessary since it will save the readers the stress of having to interpret the relationship between data and figures contained the memo. You should do this bit for them beforehand.
Avoid step by step calculations:
Like it’s said above do the bit for the readers in a brief and succinct manner they would appreciate. For better results put details in a separate report to be handed out to the recipients or readers.
State the winners and losers:
Decisions would not always favour everyone, hence, there are those who would benefit while others would lose out. So, it is needful you state winners and losers alike. This helps the source of the memo to predetermine the actions from the group(s) hurt by the information contained in it. Besides, the source of the memo could also devise means to lessen such losses to be borne by those affected.
Predict possible questions:
Being on a safer side is preparing for any eventual questioning by those whoseinterest might be endangered by the memo. It is needful to have done a good work on possible answers that could help safeguard a notion that the decisions taken cannot be substantiated or held for long.
Avoid technical terms:
Nobody has the time to check all the big vocabulary up in the dictionary. For this reason, use words that everyone could possibly relate with. Even if you must use the professional terms, explain the meaning in simple explanation.
If atable would do a better presentation, who says you should not use it? Go ahead and state the variables in a tabular form where all items can be seen and understood. In fact, experiences show that tables enable one use limited words.
Writing a good memo entails an approach that would make the intention of the source very clear to the recipients. The memo contains your intention and you can only make the recipients be part of it if you bring it to their level of understanding where the import of the writing or the message is not lost.
Aim at results, not your opinions:
Dish out all the facts. This is like the roadmap to your destination. It helps for taking the readers or recipients from a point of non-involvement to that of full disclosure and a call for an acceptance and corresponding involvement.
Assess approach, not ends:
It is good to do an evaluation of the means adopted in reaching the recipients or readers of the memo, as to whether it is the best approach for the purpose for which it was intended. Care should be taken not to make a comparison of whether it is good or bad.
The Ready Writers is out to help our readers become better writers. Do you have questions on any particular issue for us? Feel free to drop your questions or comments below.