With some business audiences, it's easy to know exactly what to say and how to say it. We do it almost without thinking, following the usual rules. But with a global audience of non-native English speakers, the usual rules get tossed aside. We need to take a fresh look at communicating.
So it is with a question Henriette raised yesterday about the latest version of my monthly newsletter, Better Writing at Work, in which I wrote about verbs. I suggested using strong verbs rather than weak ones that need modifiers.
For example, I recommended "Darren flies through his tasks" rather than "Darren works extremely quickly on his tasks." I preferred "She masterminded a solution" to "She very creatively came up with a solution."
Henriette questioned that approach for her audience. She wrote, "I often deliberately choose the lightweight verbs over the heavyweight ones in order to make it easier to understand for non-native speakers/readers."
Yes, Henriette, I agree. For your readers around the globe, you are wise to choose familiar verbs and add very and extremely to strengthen them.
It's the rule that trumps them all. (Or, for our international audiences, it's the most important rule):
Know your audience.