Speak up and Proofread

At Ruby Receptionists, we do a lot of writing.  Our team of virtual receptionists takes hundreds of messages each day.  The office is always abuzz with the sound of friendly voices and rapidly typing fingers.  Taking clear, accurate messages while balancing multiple telephone calls and remaining relentlessly friendly is no simple feat, but our team makes it seem so.  Two weeks ago, I fielded calls for the first time in many months, and believe me–it ain’t easy.

I started at Ruby as a receptionist around five years ago, and have since taken a position that is centered around writing.  From my days as a receptionist, working at Ruby has taught me the value of proofreading.  I’ve become a borderline-obsessive re-reader in an effort to catch any and all errors in my writing.  The trouble is, re-reading doesn’t always do the trick for me, and those sneaky errors have a habit of making themselves known after an email has been sent or a document published.

Recently, I’ve started using a new proofreading strategy: reading aloud.  Seems simple, right?  Obvious?  Well, it wasn’t to me, sadly, but it has proven very helpful.  I’ll admit it feels a bit awkward at first, but the results are well worth it for me.  By the way, in case you’re worried about disturbing your co-workers, you don’t have to read aloud loudly in order for this method to be effective.  No need to turn your latest memo into a test of your public speaking skills!

The next time you’re proofreading, I suggest speaking up (or speaking quietly to yourself). Now let’s hope this post is error-free…


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