Business writing skills

Better business writing – overview

This very practical workshop is designed to enable participants to improve the impact, clarity and accuracy of their business documents – both internal and external. The workshop can cover, but is not limited to:

  • Proposal writing
  • Report writing
  • Policy writing
  • Web/email writing

Full details below or download course outline.

Learning objectives

This workshop will help participants:

  • Identify the purpose of writing their documents – to themselves and to their readers
  • Recognise and meet the needs of their readers
  • Plan documents systematically and improve the layout, flow and structure
  • Express the content more clearly, concisely and correctly
  • Adapt the tone and style of writing to the circumstances
  • Proof-read and edit work effectively, using formal marks and techniques
  • Improve visual layout, format and appearance
Who should attend?

This workshop is suitable for everyone, at any level in an organisation, whose job demands better written communication.

Course format

An interactive one-day programme, the workshop includes many practical exercises, spaced regularly throughout the day, with participants working on a selection of their own and their colleagues’ documents.

Special features

The sessions will include practice in applying particular skills, exercises in critical analysis, group and tutor review. Participants are asked to send to the trainer before the course, and bring with them on the day, a selection of recent business documents. This is essential, as they will be needed for assignments during the workshop review sessions that are run regularly during the course. In this way, no matter what type of documents a participant produces, the workshop will be relevant and the participant will gain specific instruction and feedback.

Expert trainer

Graham is an experienced trainer, business consultant and author. He has written and published more than a dozen books on business and training and is a regular contributor to journals and many websites.

Better business writing – course outline

1 Course objectives

  • Welcome and Introductions
  • The problems now – group discussion

2 Writing better business documents

  • What points to highlight/exclude
  • Starting off
  • Introductions
  • Conclusions
  • Executive summaries

3 Rules and standards

  • George Orwell’s famous maxim
  • Why write? – clarifying your aims and objectives
  • A seven-step method for better preparation
  • The three-stage process for writing well
  • Grouping information for your reader

4 Proof-reading and editing

  • The difference between proof-reading and editing
  • Proof-reading methods and strategies
  • Proof-reading marks and techniques
  • Training your eye for detail
  • Knowing what to look for

5 Effective editing

  • Grammar and English standards
  • Words – usage and spelling
  • Sentences – units of thought
  • Paragraphs – themes
  • Punctuation – spotting and correcting common errors
  • Say what you mean – active v passive language

6 How’s your English?

  • Grammar quizzes and punctuation test
  • Spotting spelling errors
  • Rephrasing jargons and clichés
  • Common error’s and mistakes

7 Document layout

  • House style
  • Use of white space
  • Fonts and effects

8 One-to-one workshops

  • These are practical sessions with one-to-one consultation with colleagues and the trainer
  • They are held at key points to consolidate the learning from different sessions

9 Course summary

  • Summary of key points
  • Action plans