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Effective Business Writing

Learn a business writing style that gets your messages across quickly, clearly and professionally. Make sure your emails are read.

"Bottom Line on Top."

THIS COURSE INCLUDES:

38 BITE-SIZED VIDEOS WITH ACTIONABLE LEARNING TAKEAWAYS

ACCESS ON MOBILE, TABLET & WEB

DOWNLOADABLE RESOURCES

PROFESSIONALLY FILMED AND SCRIPTED VIDEOS

CONTENT DELIVERED BY OUR EXPERT INSTRUCTORS

Course content

Purpose of Business Writing

  • Purpose of Business Writing
  • There are all kinds of different writing styles, but Business Writing is about getting your message across in a clear, focused and engaging way.

Choosing the Medium

  • Choosing the Medium
  • At work you can call, email or instant message; but the most effective business writers know when NOT to write.

Aim

  • Aim Introduction
  • Before you write anything, the most important question to ask yourself is what's your aim? What is your communication trying to achieve?

  • Putting Your Aim into One Sentence
  • When you write, you're generally either asking for something or providing something. Either way, it helps to write down your aim.

  • Aim of the Relationship
  • When composing a message it's also important to consider how you want your reader(s) to feel.

  • The Five W's
  • Once you know about the Five W's you'll soon be stating your aim more clearly.

  • BLOT Writing
  • BLOT is an acronym that highlights the key difference between Academic Writing and Business Writing.

  • SCAN
  • SCAN is an acronym explaining that when people are reading from their screens, you need to formulate your message in a certain way.

  • Top Down Writing
  • Top Down writing is about creating a logical order for your content, based on your aim.

  • The Highlighter Test
  • This shows you how to do a quick exercise that checks your writing is relevant to your audience and your aim clear.

  • Vague Phrases
  • A sure way to bury your aim is to write using vague phrases. This film explains how to get rid of them, thus clarifying your aim and reducing your writing by 30%.

Audience

  • Audience Introduction
  • Each of us will tend to write the way we ourselves most prefer. This film is about tailoring your message to your audience.

  • Personality Types
  • We all fall into four broad, personality types that each prefer to communicate in a certain way.

  • Drivers
  • Driver personalities tend to be very task oriented and to not need much detail to reach decisions. This film suggests the best way to write to them.

  • Analyticals
  • Analytical personalities tend to be detail oriented and to like a lot of information to reach a decision. This film suggests the best way to write to them.

  • Amiables
  • Amiable personality types tends to be non-confrontational and prefer a warm and friendly approach. This film suggests the best way to write to them.

  • Expressives
  • Expressive personality types tend to be big-picture thinkers to whom personal rapport is very important. This film suggests the best way to write to them.

  • Culture, High Context and Low Context
  • There are many unwritten rules within every culture that dictate what is considered good communication.

  • Jargon
  • Jargon may be helpful to show what you know, but you're writing to get your message across clearly, and jargon can get in the way.

  • Cliches
  • Cliches are words, phrases, and figures of speech, that through over-use have become a bit tedious.

  • Buzzwords
  • Buzzwords are similar to cliches and tend to be specific to the world of business. There's a danger cliches may confuse your audience as often they are vague.

  • Questions
  • Questions are a great way to connect with your audience and can help you to get inside the mind of your reader.

Approach

  • Approach Introduction
  • The previous section looked at defining your aim. This section examines the kind of approach to take.

  • Effective Headings
  • Headings are the signposts within your writing that tell the reader where to find the information they need.

  • Effective Subject Lines
  • It doesn’t matter how well-written or beautifully organised your message is, if nobody bothers to open it.

  • Effective Paragraphs
  • A paragraph is essentially a block of thought. To make them effective you want to be sure of a few things.

  • Effective Sentences
  • An effective sentence needs to be short and well constructed.

  • White Space
  • The white space around your writing represents the room you give your reader to breathe and to consider your ideas.

  • Active Verbs
  • This film explains the importance of writing in the Active Voice and how to keep your writing Active whenever possible.

  • Concise Language using Fewer Words
  • This film looks at some of the bad habits prevalent in Business Writing and explains why 'less is often more'.

  • Clear Language
  • Einstein said “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” A helpful reminder why we need to keep things simple and plain.

  • Human Tone
  • Research shows that business readers prefer writing that sounds personable and human.

  • Buried Verbs
  • An explanation of the Buried Verb and why we shouldn't complicate our writing by using them.

Proofreading

  • Proofreading Introduction
  • There's usually no way to recall an email with an embarrassing error in it. This video looks at the importance of checking before sending.

  • What to Look for
  • Your spellchecker will miss a surprising amount of mistakes. This video highlights what to look out for.

  • Email Etiquette
  • Using 'reply all' isn’t the only bad habit when it comes to email. This video investigates how to behave with email.

Actions

  • Actions
  • We've talked about a lot of tools to get your message across crisply and cleanly and to help you to connect with your audience in a more human way. Now it's time for you to practise.

Learning outcomes

  • How to formulate your message
  • The importance of the five W's
  • Why you need to use B.L.O.T.
  • To be relevant and clear

Effective Business Writing

Featured Instructors

Meet our expert instructors who are featured in these videos to take you on your personal learning journey. They have written and designed this course using their extensive experience to provide you with actionable learning takeaways.

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