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Professional Business Writing Skills

We all know what good writing is. It’s the novel we can’t put down, the poem we never forgot, and the speech that changes the way we look at the world. Good writing is the memo that gets action and the letter that says what a phone call can’t.

In business writing, the language is concrete, the point of view is clear, and the points are well expressed. Good writing is hard work, and even the best writers get discouraged. However, with practice you can feel more confident about your own writing. This two-day workshop will give you the tools to become a better writer.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

Upon attendance to the Effective Business Writing Skills training course, the participants will gain:

  • A clear understanding of how to plan and structure business writing in a professional manner
  • Practice in building the introduction, the main body, and the conclusion of an effective business communication
  • The ability to compile the writing in a logical sequence
  • A guide to help recognize, and eliminate, common errors in business writing
  • The ability to focus on the main purpose of the communication
  • The skills to maintain clarity in preparing business communication

COURSE Outline

Business Writing Overview

Introduction to Business Writing

    • Course objectives & agenda
    • Review examples of participants current written communication
    • Q & A

The Nature and Range of Business Writing

    • Differences between written and oral communication
    • Differences between types of business writing
    • Effective writing v/s efficient writing

Target Audience

    • Identifying the aim of the business writing
    • Analysing and understanding the target audience and the readers’ needs

Characteristics of Effective Writing

    • Putting the reader first
    • Types of communication to provide information (informative), to make recommendations (persuasive)
    • Setting and meeting objectives and terms of reference
    • Length of writing and the use of appendices
    • Layout and structure
    • Developing and following a house style

Information Gathering, Writing Process and Document Design

Researching Information & Gathering Material

    • Scheduling and deadlines
    • Identifying your knowledge sources
    • Organising and grouping your material

Selection Material and Structuring Communication

    • Criteria of Relevance what to leave out and what to put in
    • Developing logical sequencing
    • Using headings and sub-headings as signposts for the reader
    • The role of introductions and conclusions

The Writing Process

    • Concept and application of rapid composition
    • Planning and drafting processes
    • Developing keyboard skills
    • Editing
    • Getting the best from spell and grammar checks
    • Proofreading

Document Design

    • Standard templates
    • Agree font style & size
    • Use of BOLD and capital letters
    • Headings & subheadings
    • Consistent and correct use of display lists and bullet points
    • Justifications
    • Using and presenting tables
    • Diagrams, figures, and graphs
    • Numbering
    • Footnotes, endnotes, and hyperlinks
    • Addendums

Persuasive Writing and Examples

How to Make Your Writing More Persuasive

    • The 5 Ps of persuasion
    • The 12 most persuasive words
    • The Aikido approach
    • Dr. Cialdini’s 6 levers of persuasion

Examples of Different Types of Written Documents

    • Work Instructions
    • Operating & Maintenance Procedures
    • Manuals & Handbooks
    • Questionnaires

Other Forms of Written Communication (Letters, E-mails & Minutes)

    • Letter style, tone, and structures
    • E-mail style and purpose
    • Meeting notes purpose, structure and writing processes

Readability and Grammar Improvement Techniques

Improve Readability

    • Why is simplicity so important?
    • Fog factor analysis and readability scores
    • Sentence length and paragraph structure
    • Dimensions of writing style
    • Active v/s passive voice
    • Improving language content and style
    • Choosing your words
    • Confusing pronouns

Punctuation and Grammar

    • The language of grammar (a guide to grammatical terms and functions)
    • Commas, full-stops, colons, semi-colons, dashes, brackets, etc.
    • The apostrophes
    • Hyphenating words
    • Consistency in using capital letters for proper nouns

Final Document Review and Presentation

Checking the Final Document

    • Appendices & References
    • Editing & Proof Reading
    • Scheduling into the preparation
    • Developing the skills of a proofreader
    • Developing a systematic approach

Presenting the Document Verbally

    • Selecting relevant information
    • PowerPoint clarity rules
    • Presentation skills

Course Review & Action Planning