The importance of proof reading: a salutary lesson

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Whenever I deliver a copywriting workshop or presentation, one of my top tips is to proof read your work very carefully.

I say that people like me really notice misplaced apostrophes, typos, sentences that don’t make sense and the like. And much as we might not like to admit it, we often make less than flattering judgements about the business we’re reading about.

My advice is to try to proof read your work a couple of days after writing it. Doing this means you’re more likely to read what you’ve actually written rather than what you think you’ve written. I also suggest sending your work to a friend or colleague. This means you’ve got a completely fresh pair of eyes looking at it and it can be especially useful if you wrote it in a rush or if spelling or grammar aren’t your strong points.

So given all this it was particularly embarrassing to have someone point out a typo in the last edition of my newsletter… My excuse? I didn’t follow my own advice – I was in a hurry and proof read the piece immediately after writing it. Lesson learned…

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