Business Writing

Business Writing Workshop 1 & 2

The average reader has an attention span of about 20 seconds. This is why many things we write go unread. Many documents are unclear, full of "business-ese," contain grammatical and word-usage errors, or are just plain boring. People make judgments on your writing. Every day, people form opinions from the letters, faxes, memos and e-mails they receive.

How do you feel when you get a letter that starts: "Pursuant to your request, herein please find enclosed. . ."

Your clients and customers who receive letters and emails filled with bureaucratic phrases get annoyed. When business writing is anonymous, distant, and formal, your organization becomes anonymous, distant, and formal.

When was the last time your organization focused on polishing writing skills (skills we use every day)? The answer for most of us is either college or high school. Many people don’t like the process and results of writing because they use ineffective writing techniques that waste their time and often produce bad results. There is an easier, and more skillful way to write.

Common Problems with writing:

  • Poor organization
  • Failure to rewrite
  • Too long words
  • Too long sentences
  • Writer centered point of view
  • Wrong attitude, wrong tone
  • Meaning is buried or lost

Who should attend the workshop?

Everyone who writes business letters, e-mail, reports, or memos and wants to improve his or her writing skills – from senior executives to every level of the organization. The class is also very helpful for those who don’t often write as a part of their job – it gives them the skills they need when they will have to write performance evaluations, reports or emails.

The Workshops includes:

  • Lively discussion in an interactive, fun atmosphere.
  • Practical exercises to help you master every type of business writing
  • Individualized coaching...confidential critiques
  • The chance to have your own writing evaluated in Business Writing 2

Business Writing 1

In this class, we begin with assessments. Are you making word and grammar mistakes without knowing it? How is your knowledge of grammar and punctuation rules? What are your weaknesses? How are your skills in vocabulary and word usage? How can you improve the flow, tone and style of writing? How can you proofread better to catch mistakes?

Participants will learn ways to organize their writing and to communicate their message more effectively. They will learn tips in writing more effective memos, letters, emails and reports. The workshop also introduces techniques and tools to brainstorm, organize and proofread your writing.

Fix Your Punctuation, Grammar and Word Usage Errors

  • Recognize and fix the most common grammatical and punctuation errors
  • Use appropriate sentence length, structure and design techniques
  • Put more impact into your sentence structure and improve your grammar.
  • Common grammar and word usage mistakes that hurt your professional image
  • Avoiding misplaced modifiers and misused words
  • Avoid noun clutter and adjective overload

Polish Your Tone and Style

  • Warm up and personalize your writing tone and style
  • Eliminate redundancy and excess phrases for clear, concise writing
  • Communicate for results – use clarity and confidence
  • Learn to use writing that comes alive
  • Eliminate wordiness, clichés, and bureaucratic phrases
  • Say more with less to get your message across
  • Cut through jargon and use everyday words

Master Techniques to Organize Your Thoughts

  • The importance of the pre-writing stage: thinking before you write
  • Keys to clarifying your work and cutting out the clutter
  • Organize information so readers don't have to work to understand it
  • Learn powerful brainstorming and mind mapping techniques to help you write
  • Learn the techniques journalists use to create crisp and clear business writing documents

Write for Your Audience, Not for You

  • Learn how to identify your audience and tailor your message to them
  • Identify the purpose of your writing, and make it clear in your document

Write Better Emails, Letters, Memos, Reports and Proposals

  • Learn the world’s biggest email mistakes and how to avoid them
  • Prepare reports, memos, letters and emails that get results
  • Structure memos to persuade, inform and solve problems
  • Write interesting, clear, concise reports and proposals and employee evaluations

Professional Proofreading and Editing Secrets

  • Learn the language of proofreading and editing for speed and accuracy
  • Learn to see if your writing is foggy by using tools like “The FOG index” and readability statistics

Business Writing 2

Better writing comes from better practice. This course offers a chance to practice better grammar, word choice, writing style, tone and flow. This course goes more in depth into the skills of great writing. Participants get to bring in their own work — emails, letters, memos, reports, resumes (anything they write) — and focus on writing better, clearer, and cleaner. The class will examine tips from great writers and learn techniques that transform the writing process. The workshop also covers persuasion, writing in difficult situations, and tips for better writing in any situation

Self-Assessment on Your Writing

  • What is wrong with your writing?
  • What are the biggest problems you face and how can you correct them?
  • Evaluation of your work
  • Exercises for difficult writing situations

Better Writing Techniques and Tools

  • Overcoming writer's block
  • Mind mapping for ideas
  • Using editorial marks and editing/proofreading skills
  • Organizing documents
  • How to tackle major writing projects
  • Avoiding empty praise, and obese adjectives
  • The powerful use of metaphors in great writing

Improving Your Writing Style

  • Choose words carefully: Be precise!
  • Parallel construction
  • Recognizing clichés
  • Avoiding sexism
  • Invite goodwill with tone and form

Tips for Better Writing

  • Nine tips for better memos
  • How to begin a business letter
  • Avoid noun clutter
  • Checklists for proofreading
  • The look of the page: how can you rearrange your writing for more impact?

Writing for Special Circumstances

  • Special kinds of business writing
  • Conveying bad news tactfully
  • When the news is especially sensitive
  • Writing persuasively
  • Responding to angry communications
  • Understanding both obvious and hidden audiences
  • Writing Effective Press Releases, announcements, public service announcements