Here is a before/after example. Do you see how the use of headings in the “After” example makes the document much easier to read? Following the examples, you’ll find tips and tools for using headings in your next document.
Hope you can come to the meeting this summer. The annual presidents’ circle sales meeting will be held at the Hilton in San Francisco and you should bring your updated presentations and spreadsheets. You can make travel arrangements yourself or Pam can help you. We’ll have one day of learning with workshop leaders including Jamie Hartwell, Linda Lou, and Peter Panino and one day to look internally at our processes with Jack Deiner. We’re going to Alcatraz. It will be three days long with an optional dinner on Tuesday night. Sally is no longer available to help with travel arrangements. Another agenda will be sent out. You can come on Wednesday morning or Tuesday night but make sure that you’re there till Friday morning. Bring comfortable walking shoes. If you make the travel arrangements yourself, use billing code 55789. You don’t need to bring anything else. You were selected because you did a great job.
Annual Presidents’ Circle Sales Meeting – July 14th – 17th, 2009
Because of the great job you did this year, you’ve been invited to the Presidents’ Circle Sales Meeting in San Francisco this summer. Following is all the information you’ll need to make your travel arrangements. A more detailed agenda will be sent to you by the first of May.
(Heading) Meeting Dates and Location
The meeting will be held in the San Francisco Hilton from Tuesday, July 14th through Friday, July 17th, 2009
(HEADING) Travel Arrangements
The travel process has changed; Sally is no longer available to help. You can make arrangements yourself using your company credit card and billing code 55789 or ask Pam to help.
(HEADING) What to Bring
Please bring your updated spreadsheets and presentations. Also, please bring comfortable walking shoes for an outing to Alacatraz on Friday morning. We’ll provide everything else you need.
Tuesday: meet for dinner at the hotel restaurant at 7pm (optional)
Wednesday: Meetings from 9-5 with Jamie Hartwell, Linda Lou, and Peter Paninofollowed by dinner at Aziza
Thursday: Meetings from 9-5 with Jack Deiner followed by dinner at La Mar Cebicheria
Friday: morning excursion to Alcatraz. Meeting convenes at 1pm.
Please let me know if you have any questions. I’ll send out a detailed agenda by May 1st. Thanks and congratulations!
Headings make your documents easier to read; they provide a road map for your reader. Headings and subheadings are essential if your document is long, complicated, or contains technical information. Here’s why:
Headings make it easier for people to find answers. At work, people don’t read every word of every document; they skim through e-mails, reports, and proposals, looking for answers to their questions.
They make the document more attractive. Headings create an organized visual layout. Research shows that long, dense paragraphs are the most difficult and discouraging way to present information to your readers. Headings are a good way to break up dense text.
Headings force you to group relevant facts and information together. This makes your document easy to read.
They make your document last longer. Your document serves as a reference because people know where and how to find the information again.
Do you want to know how to write effective headings? Here’s how:
Determine the audience, purpose, and main point of your document.
Brainstorm all of your readers’ questions and write down the answers.
Group the answers into relevant categories.
Write a heading for that category.
Add an introduction that includes the main point of your message and conclusion that re-states the main point, and you have a complete document.