5 Invaluable Proof Reading Tricks

By Posted in - E-Note on January 7th, 2013 0 Comments

Every day, both you and members of your company have to put on proofreading hats to review emails, reports, brochures, blogs or any number of other content-based material being created and distributed. This can be a scary proposition for you as the leader as questions begin to bounce around in your head:

– Does my team know how to properly format an email?

– Does everyone communicate professionally and cordially?

– Are high-distribution items getting enough sets of eyes on them?

Since it isn’t practical for everyone to go out and earn a degree in English or journalism, here are some invaluable proofreading tips that will give you and your team greater peace of mind before clicking “send.”

Minimum of Three Sets of Eyes
People miss things. Even two people will miss the same thing. Three sets of eyes tends to be the recommended minimum and that number should only go up if there’s a lot at stake.

Find Your Proofers
Some people love to proofread but it’s not exactly a badge they wear on their sleeve. Individuals pursuing a graduate degree are usually a good bet if they aren’t burned out proofing their own papers. Try a large number of people on the same document. Did one of them use a bunch of red ink? Jackpot.

Rinse and Repeat
Contrary to popular belief, you can’t proof something like a brochure just once. Proof it for content. Then proof it for text spacing/alignment. Then proof it for accuracy (phone numbers, emails, names, etc.). Then proof it again. Then let someone else proof it.

It’s Not a Race
Slow down. Way down. If you’ve been multitasking or you have a lot on your mind, just pause for a moment. Stare at what you’re proofing and then read it slow enough that you can focus on each word and whether or not sentences and sections communicate clearly. Be sure to allow your team the time necessary to make this happen.

Zoom Out
Proofreading is about evaluating the entirety of a piece. So just blot out the details for a moment. Turn away and then turn back. What jumps out? What will people see first? Scan the piece and reread sections as needed.

People make assumptions every day about the professionalism and credibility of organizations based on how they use content to communicate. So spend the extra time to get it right and you will probably get more of that sleep thing you keep hearing people talk about.

Contact us if you would like for our team to take the writing and editing off of your hands!

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