Rule 20: Write well

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Nigeria's Famous Tabloid Journalist, Dr. Mike Awoyinfa 

We write for two purposes.  We write for others to read and we write for ourselves to read.  How you write for yourself is immaterial.  You can scribble illegible shorthand or write like a five year old.  It doesn’t matter, just so long as no one else sees it.  But how you write for others to read is of utmost and crucial importance.  You will be judged on:

 ·                   What you write
·                    How your writing looks.

Ah, but you say you don’t write anything, you type everything.  Fine.  So what type face do you choose, and why?  What point size, and why?  And you must have to sign documents – that’s writing.  Your signature is as open to judgment as anything else.  I was once told that my signature was that of a very wealthy person.  Good, although completely wrong, but it did indicate that I was getting close to the image I wanted to portray.  A final point on this: always make your signature big – big signature, big person.

If you use hand writing a lot then it needs to be:
·                    Legible – it must be able to be read by everyone – or there simply is no point doing it and it is discourteous not to make the effort.
·                    Neat – no crossing out, all lines equal, that sort of thing
·                    Stylish – a bit of a flourish here and there.
·                    Mature – rounded letters and joined up
·                    Consistent – the writing at the bottom of the page should look like the writing at the top of the page.

“Watch your margins and slope of your writing.  You may not know it but margins – or signatures or any form of writing – that slopes down towards the right of the page indicate a depressed person.  Optimists slant upwards”

Watch your margins and slope of your writing.  You may not know it but margins – or signatures or any form of writing – that slopes down towards the right of the page indicate a depressed person.  Optimists slant upwards.

Make sure your spelling is correct and your grammar adequate – if not gen up on it.


“HOW YOU WRITE FOR OTHERS TO READ IS OF UTMOST AND CRUCIAL IMPORTANCE”.


It you type a lot, use Times Ne Roman or Arial, 12 point and only use italics or bold or underlining sparingly.  Never mix typefaces – it betrays you as an unstable, immature personality, apparently – or point Size.  And you just thought it looked fun. 
 
(Excerpts from THE RULES OF WORK by Richard Templer Read “How to design a Long Term Plan” from The Rules tomorrow on Asabeafrika)
Rule-to-Work Series
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