Revising and Proofreading

WRITTEN May 30, 2019 Author: Rich Atkins

So, it is over. You have finally finished the first draft! A quick proofread and you can be done, right? Not quite.

Whether you are writing a proposal, a grant application, a college essay, or putting together the speech for the next quarterly meeting, there are a couple of crucial steps to take before you are done.

As any good business public speaking training will teach you, it is not over until you do the revising and proofreading. The success of that document, letter, or speech will depend on how effective you are at revising and proofreading.

Writing needs to be read by the writer (and others) before it is delivered to the intended audience. The same holds true with a speech. Read your document, or if it’s a speech, present it (to a small group or recorder, if possible). Check for:

  • Tone consistency – the attitude toward the subject and audience – it can change as you go through the writing process
  • Conciseness – imagine each word costs you $1.00 to use (this makes you practice word economy)
  • Clarity – after reading or listening, will the audience know what to do? Have you been clear?
  • Correct word choice – Make sure you’ve used the correct “their,” “there,” or “they’re.”
  • Style – have you spoken to the level of the group in your own voice, expressing your personality?

Now, go back and reread, or re-present the speech. For goodness’ sake, be brief!

About public speaking, Teddy Roosevelt said, “Be sincere; be brief; be seated.” The Improving Communications business public speaking training, as well as the business writing training builds on that mantra encouraging all to be sincere, accurate, and brief.

Revising and Proofreading Checklist:

  • Read as reader.
  • Is the tone consistent?
  • Is the writing concise? (Edit to take words out.)
  • Is it clear?
  • Verify word choice.
  • Check: Sentence structure, spelling, mechanics, and punctuation.
  • Improve style
  • Read again as reader.

Cleaning up the small issues through revising and proofreading is the final stage in the writing process. It truly works for both the writing a document and the writing of a speech.

Is your writing clear? Is your speech to the point? Will your audience appreciate it? Take the time to polish up your content, make the quality of your words match the quality of your ideas.


Learn more about our Business Writing Class or our Introductory or Advanced Public Speaking training classes or find other tools for your life on our public classes list to see all of our upcoming seminars.


Image by Quinn Kampschroer from Pixabay


Other Resources:

Revising vs Proofreading

Revision, Editing, & Proofreading: What’s the Difference?

Steps for Revising

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