Learn a business writing style that gets your messages across quickly, clearly and professionally. Make sure your emails are read.
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There are all kinds of different writing styles, but Business Writing is about getting your message across in a clear, focused and engaging way.
At work you can call, email or instant message; but the most effective business writers know when NOT to write.
Before you write anything, the most important question to ask yourself is what's your aim? What is your communication trying to achieve?
When you write, you're generally either asking for something or providing something. Either way, it helps to write down your aim.
When composing a message it's also important to consider how you want your reader(s) to feel.
Once you know about the Five W's you'll soon be stating your aim more clearly.
BLOT is an acronym that highlights the key difference between Academic Writing and Business Writing.
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 is about creating a logical order for your content, based on your aim.
This shows you how to do a quick exercise that checks your writing is relevant to your audience and your aim clear.
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%.
Each of us will tend to write the way we ourselves most prefer. This film is about tailoring your message to your audience.
We all fall into four broad, personality types that each prefer to communicate in a certain way.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are many unwritten rules within every culture that dictate what is considered good communication.
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 are words, phrases, and figures of speech, that through over-use have become a bit tedious.
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 are a great way to connect with your audience and can help you to get inside the mind of your reader.
The previous section looked at defining your aim. This section examines the kind of approach to take.
Headings are the signposts within your writing that tell the reader where to find the information they need.
It doesn’t matter how well-written or beautifully organised your message is, if nobody bothers to open it.
A paragraph is essentially a block of thought. To make them effective you want to be sure of a few things.
An effective sentence needs to be short and well constructed.
The white space around your writing represents the room you give your reader to breathe and to consider your ideas.
This film explains the importance of writing in the Active Voice and how to keep your writing Active whenever possible.
This film looks at some of the bad habits prevalent in Business Writing and explains why 'less is often more'.
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.
Research shows that business readers prefer writing that sounds personable and human.
An explanation of the Buried Verb and why we shouldn't complicate our writing by using them.
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.
Your spellchecker will miss a surprising amount of mistakes. This video highlights what to look out for.
Using 'reply all' isn’t the only bad habit when it comes to email. This video investigates how to behave with email.
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.
Culture, Diversity & Ethics
Networking & Personal Brand
Writing & Productivity
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.
Bringing almost two decades of experience to Working Voices, Allison has coached all levels from beginning career professionals to C-Suite executives on various aspects of effective business communication skills.
Andrew is a successful writer, speaker and educator. He has presented his work in many varied contexts and countries: from small towns in Poland, to international schools in Singapore, to global banks in New York.
Chris has been coaching in the corporate arena – across all levels of seniority, with individuals, teams and with large audiences – for the last 20 years. As a trained actor, teacher and comedy improvisation performer, Chris draws on all 3 of his performance disciplines to inform his engaging, innovative and powerful approach.
Gene is an educator based in New York City. Gene has devoted his career to helping individuals excel at presentation skills, writing skills and the realization of their business/personal strategies.
Henry is a TAI Certified coach and has a long record of success working with C-suite leaders from Fortune 500 companies. He has designed and developed courses in leading with impact and presence, inspiring and motivating, and leadership and personal brand deployed globally.
A veteran of two decades developing professionals in business, education, and the arts, Jay specializes in team alignment, helping bridge communication between groups’ disparate areas of expertise, and in developing confident and flexible leaders.
Jennifer is not just the Head of Working Voices America, she’s also one of our most successful and popular trainers. During her 12 years at Working Voices Jennifer has pioneered our women’s leadership courses, as well as developing and delivering global programs for some of the world’s largest institutions.
Julia is an interpersonal communications trainer, women’s counsellor and mentor. She has extensive, hands-on experience: eighteen years as a Personal Financial Advisor and Women’s Counsellor; eight years as the Training and Quality Head of a major charity fundraiser.
Karl’s a passionate, experienced and engaging trainer – he’s also a training innovator which is why as well as being a coach and workshop facilitator, he’s also our Head of Innovation
Marcus is an educator and artist. His teaching and coaching style is energetic, focused, and caring. He combines his love of teaching and art – and his energy – to bring out in others their power to communicate brilliantly.
Paul has 16-years’ training and coaching experience for Working Voices at all levels within global businesses. He’s a sought-after voice skills coach, and the leader of our writing-course team. He’s also a trained actor which has proved invaluable in our wide variety of presentation skills courses.
Over 13 years’ coaching and training experience at the highest levels within numerous global businesses, preceded by a presentation history grounded in the creative-design sector, and university guest lectureships.
Sara is Working Voices’ key deliverer of image management and media skills related executive coaching, and, during her 14 years with the company, she has also delivered global programmes for some of the world’s largest banking and financial institutions.
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