Plain Words – the Documentation and Training People
New! Book an open course. Virtual Classroom on 18 Aug 2020. Cost £395Book a private course, your choice of date and venue (office or virtual classroom)
Effective Business Writing – Business Writing Course Outline
Most people write business documents on a daily basis: emails, reports, meeting summaries, minutes or other business correspondence. Learn how to create business documents in Plain English that say what you mean and achieve the results you want. This document writing training course not only covers the basics of how to improve your writing skills but also how to achieve the right result from your written correspondence.
What you will learn on this business writing course
By the end of the course, you will know how to:
- Write all of the most common types of business documents in Plain English
- Structure your business documents effectively
- Avoid common grammatical mistakes
- Use Plain English – write in a clear, concise style
- Get your message across convincingly
- Give your business documents that final polish before you send them
What our customers say
“I was very impressed with Giulia. She was very knowledgeable and presented in a friendly yet precise style. The course content was excellent.”
KA, George Wimpey Plc.
“Very useful and excellent documentation.”
“The course was interactive and the examples were relevant. The module on passive vs active was particularly helpful.”
RB, Tenon Group plc
How we deliver the business writing course
It is available as :
Private courses (at your premises or online virtual classrooms)
- A two-day instructor-led training session. You will cover all the course contents in the two-day version. In addition you will have the opportunity to do more exercises and have more time working on documents you bring to the session, with the trainer’s help.
- A one-day instructor-led course. We cover the Core Modules, plus one or two of the remaining ones, so you can choose those most relevant to your organisation’s requirements.
We adopt a flexible approach so that even our standard courses are tailored to your needs. Our trainers are all professional writers as well as experienced trainers. They use their judgment on the day to adjust the content and pace of the course so that delegates get the training that is right for them. This is done by:
- Discussing your requirements with you before the course
- Assessing the pre-course questionnaires
- Discussing with the delegates at the start of the course their objectives and outcomes
- Checking throughout the day that objectives are being met.
We can also further adapt the course by:
Our open courses in London
We specialise in small class sizes so that you get personal time with the tutor.
We deliver our business writing course at venues in central London, all easily accessible by public transport. All the rooms have natural daylight, independent air conditioning and free Wi-Fi.
If your journey into London means an early start, don’t worry; on your arrival you can have a light and tasty breakfast of fresh bread, pastries, cereals and fruit. Throughout the day there's an endless supply of freshly brewed coffee and speciality teas as well as chilled water, fruit and homemade snacks. Most venues also provide a hot lunch and all can cater to special dietary requirements.
Business Writing Course Contents
Core content you will cover on a one-day intensive course
1. General principles of business writing
- Clarifying your objective – know where you’re going and you’ll know when you’ve arrived
- Quick and clear messages – six questions to clarify your thinking
- Who is going to read your document? Knowing your reader helps you pitch your message
- Apply our eight principles of good business writing to work you bring with you, with advice from the course presenter
2. Good writing techniques for business correspondence
When you book we send you a questionnaire which we ask you to return to us before you attend the course. This enables our Trainers to assess your needs in advance.
- The best sequence of delivery reflects your contents
- Structuring your text – layouts to support content and draw the reader in
- British Vs American English
- How to ask for things without starting a long sequence of replies to replies
- How to give bad news – being up-front and empathising
- Responding to complaints – when you are at fault; when you wish to make a concession; standing firm; what to avoid
- Writing letters of complaint – useful phrases
3. Writing emails
- Why have email etiquette?
- Email etiquette for header fields – subject lines, content, forward and reply
- Technical issues – signature files, attachments, elaborate fonts can work for or against you
- Choosing the right structure for your content and objective
- Email style counts – it still represents your business!
- Sending the right message – what your email could be saying about you
- How to minimise flaming by recognising ambiguous content and knowing when to use the phone instead
4. Writing reports
- Organising your content for easy comprehension
- Some useful techniques for longer documents
- Structuring your report – standard elements and variations
- Checklist for structure – does it support your content?
- Avoiding writer’s block: the mindset for drafting
5. Writing agendas, minutes or meeting summaries
Want Something a Little Different?
Give us a call today and we will tailor a course to suit you!
- Benefits of good minute taking
- Agenda – layout and contents to facilitate minute taking
- Layout and style of minutes
- Preparation to take the stress out
- Recognising facts from chatter
- Knowing what to include
6. Editing your work
- A top-down approach to improving text – edit like a reader
- Effective transitions – holding the flow of thought
- Tips to maximise impact
- Polishing the words – thinking about tone and readability
- Spelling – why you shouldn’t rely on the spell checker
- Proofing your work – tricks to help you see what’s really there
Supplementary content you will cover on a two-day interactive workshop
7. The BASDELL business writing model
- An easy to remember formula that covers the main elements to consider when writing business documents
8. Managing emails
- Is it your in-box or your total filing system?
- Analysing and processing your email
- Staying on top
9. Gathering and sifting information
- The four main sources of data and the benefits and risks of each
- Gathering information and how to get input from others efficiently
10. Writing letters
- Layouts for letters – address, contact details, salutation
- Main part of letter – structure, tone, style
- Closures and enclosures – standard forms
11. Avoiding common problems with grammar and punctuation
- Making verbs and nouns agree
- Sentence order for easy understanding – how not to confuse your reader
- A round-up of the most common mistakes, why they occur and how you can avoid them
- Full stops, question marks and exclamation marks
- Using the comma correctly
- The difference between colons and semicolons and when to use them
- Apostrophes in contractions, unusual plurals and possessives – including Plain Words’ Foolproof Flowchart for possessive apostrophes!
For the timetable of all courses see the schedule.
To reserve your places you can book a public course, book a private course, call us on +44 (0)1235 60 30 22 or email .
Plain Words Ltd
The Documentation &
tel 01235 60 30 22
Keep your business writing current, clear and concise
All our courses are available as online remote training sessions