Course Outcomes

This business writing course will:

  • Provide participants with tools to organize their thoughts.
  • Offer guidance for eliminating the passive voice.
  • Clear up confusion around commas, colons, semicolons, and other punctuation.
  • Suggest guidelines for making documents visually appealing and easier to read.

Course Overview

Improve your group’s writing skills with Business Training Works’ fast-paced and practical business writing workshop. During this session, participants will learn to pinpoint main messages, organize thoughts, and present ideas in writing so the intended audience understands them in a single rapid reading.

This program pays special attention to eliminating the passive voice, avoiding redundant and confusing vocabulary, using punctuation correctly, and identifying jargon and misused words.  By the workshop’s conclusion, those who attend should have a toolbox of techniques they can access the next time they are faced with a workplace writing assignment.

Program Objectives

At this program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Identify their message’s “bottom line” before they begin a document.
  • Understand the connection between audience awareness and a writer’s style.
  • Arrange information in a logical sequence.
  • Write clear and concise sentences.
  • Eliminate the passive voice, wordiness, and redundancy.
  • Use correct punctuation and grammar.
  • Minimize word, sentence, and paragraph length without sacrificing clarity or substance.
  • Quickly proofread and edit a piece of writing.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

Dollars and Sense: The Benefits of Writing Well

Great writing can provoke ideas, accurately document processes, provide instructions, or move readers to action. In this introductory lesson, participants will identify how they and their organizations could benefit from better writing. They will also highlight any questions or concerns they wish to have addressed before the program’s end.

Good News, Bad News: Discovering the Bottom Line

“This is confusing garbage. I’d rather eat this document than read it. It would be less painful.” The truth hurts. While most of us wouldn’t necessarily verbalize our disdain for someone’s less-than-wonderful creation, we still don’t enjoy being subjected to torturous text. What causes the problem? Often it is a result of unclear thinking. During this program segment, participants will learn how to identify the main message or messages they want to communicate. Then through a series of exercises, they will discover the value of performing this task before they write anything.

Target the Market: Knowing Your Audience

What you write to a close colleague will probably differ from how you communicate the same message to an important client. This workshop component explores the idea of audience awareness and how it should govern such considerations as word choice, tone, and the degree of detail shared.

Flow-Chart Clarity: Getting Information Organized

People who struggled in school when attempting to create a traditional term paper outline know from their experience how painful the process of organizing information can be. During this part of the seminar, participants will learn to use several tools to get their thoughts on paper. Next, they will group those pieces of information in a logical sequence and identify any gaps.

Language Economics 101: Clarity, Brevity, Active Voice

Nothing makes a piece of business writing wordier than excessive use of the passive voice. Through a series of practice activities, in this seminar segment participants will learn to identify the passive voice and what they can do to eliminate it from their writing. Once they know how to make their writing active, group members practice removing unneeded words and phrases from their sentences.

Necessary Layoffs: Removing Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling Mistakes

If you can’t remember when or how to use a semicolon, capitalization, or some other rule you know you were taught at some point, you are not alone. During this part of the workshop, participants will review such problematic issues as sentence construction, subject-verb agreement, capitalization, and frequently misspelled words.

Deal Breakers: Words, Phrases, and Expressions to Avoid

Sexist, racist, and pompous language have no place in business writing–intentional or not. Jargon, cliches, slang, and business buzz words similarly diminish the value of writers’ ideas. This discussion explores the importance of word choices and how to avoid potentially offensive or trite expressions in written communication.

Performance Review: Shortcuts for Proofreading and Editing

This portion of the training exposes participants to the “natural” editing skills we have as humans. Through fast-paced group exercises, participants will see how the brain either overlooks mistakes or fills in the blanks when it processes the written word. Because of this phenomenon, we will review quick steps for finding and eliminating any errors that aren’t caught on a “first read.”

Informed Investment: Applying the Skills

This last activity gives participants a final opportunity to practice what they have learned during class. Group members will craft documents to demonstrate their understanding of the course content.

At the program’s conclusion, participants will understand steps they can take to produce good written communication. They will also have an awareness of the most common writing errors and steps to correct them. Finally, they will see that writing improvement comes through steady practice and conscientious application of the rules they have learned during this program.