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A study from data services provider SunGard found that approximately 90 percent of business communications are now via electronic text.
A study from the American Management Association found that strong writing skills yield a 30 to 50 percent savings in writing time and up to a 50 percent savings in reading time.
How much time did you spend last month writing emails, reports, proposals or marketing materials — and how much time did people spend reading them? Your readers will appreciate it. On to the list: Embrace your inner tweet Ever have to describe yourself or your company in 50 words or less or some other arbitrary limit?
But the beauty of word and character limits is that they force us to be more direct and reader-focused. Your 50 words likely convey as much as the plus words you would use without the limit. Pick one email a day and give yourself a word limit.
Not sure what limit to set? Look back at an email on a similar topic. Count the words and halve the total. So why have most business professionals long abandoned the practice?
For most, the answer is time. Ironically, time is exactly what is wasted when using a stream-of-consciousness approach to writing. If you list and prioritize your thoughts up front, you reduce the time normally spent writing and revising. See how the snowball starts? A little preparation goes a long way.
When approaching your next document or email, begin by listing your key points. Rearrange these points in order from most to least important, and add a heading above each. Now rewrite your first key point as a sentence, list out the supporting details below it and arrange the details in order of importance.
Often details can be left as a bulleted list.
Do the same for your other key points. Start at the bottom and work your way up. Make sure by using an editing checklist. Use a simple checklist with 10 to 15 items, like this one from the University of Wisconsin Writing Center.
Download a checklist, print it on small piece of paper, and tape it to the left edge of your monitor. For the next two weeks, use the list each time you finish writing a document or longish email. Just avoid the temptation to use it excessively. For many writers, the thesaurus is a crutch — their go-to solution for replacing "common" words with more "descriptive" ones.
Not all synonyms are the same, and most have subtle differences in meaning and connotation. Besides, good business writing is not about using big words or trying to sound smart. Thesaurus words often create slow, choppy writing overrun with extra syllables and unnecessary adjectives.Judy Steiner-Williams is a senior lecturer at Kelley Business School who teaches writing and business communication.
Judy Steiner-Williams is a senior lecturer in business communication at the. Learn how to write a well-constructed business report. Writing a Business Report Course by: Judy Steiner-Williams. Practice while you learn with exercise files.
The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. Business writing that works is a training course held in Midrand, South Africa.
The course will increase your skills in writing and communication, so that you can use effective business writing skills in .
Freelance writing seems like the ultimate dream come true, doesn’t it? You get the freedom to work for yourself, write what you want, when you want and choose who you work with.
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