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To make sure your written word, says what you want it to say, proofread it to find any errors before your writing is published. Proofreading is simply checking for issues in spelling, grammar and accuracy. Here are some simple ways to proofread.

Read to Yourself

The simplest form of proof reading I know of, is to read to yourself. You can read silently or out-loud. I tend not to read out-loud when others are in the room, except my dog Scout. Scout tolerates my reading rather well.

Proofing by Friend

Ask a friend to proofread your writing. I have a few friends that are good at proofreading, they have an eye for detail and often spot things I do not. They are nice friends to have and I often return the favor for them. It is sort of a proof of friendship. :-)

Proofreading - via MS Word is a Best Choice

The ability to communicate effectively is a most important leadership skill good leaders need to master, and proofreading helps us master this important skill. Our ability to communicate effectively and clearly is just so very important to our success.  Mistakes in accuracy, spelling and grammar can often create misunderstandings and reduce the value our writing has for readers.

Making mistakes as we write is easy, finding and correcting the mistakes before we publish our work should also be easy. One of the easiest and most interesting choices I have found for proofreading came to me earlier this year while editing of a story in Microsoft (MS) Word.



In MS Word there is an option to read text aloud located under the heading of “Review”, which can be found in the navigation ribbon, with the blue background at the top of the MS Word page.

Once you find this option, just place your cursor at the start of the text that you want to read aloud and then select the “Read Aloud Speech” option. You will soon hear your computer speaking your writing. I find that when the computer reads my writing aloud, my ears hear mistakes that my eyes seem to miss. When my wife is in the room, I listen to the computer read my writing aloud through headphones. After 40+ years of marriage, you start to smarten up a little. 

When I combine proofreading and spell checking, the results are pretty good. This MS Word technique of doing proofreading is very handy when working alone, as many of us do.

For finding mistakes in my writings, the MS Word “Read Aloud Speech” option is the Best Choice I have found.

Read Backwards in Pairs:

I learned this method when I was an advertising executive. Before any copy would go to print it had to be proof read backwards in pairs. When you have another person available, print out two copies of the copy (text) you want to proof read. Then have one person read it out loud to the other person backwards. YES, backwards. This technique is rather common among media professionals.