Business Writing for Executives

Business Writing for Executives

Course Length:
Delivery Methods: Available for private class only
Course Topics
  • Craft strategic communication versus basic communication
  • Incorporate a higher order of thinking and content in your emails and documents
  • Elaborate on basic grammar skills with prewriting and editing techniques to make your writing clear and concise, and received in the way you intend
  • Write an informative executive summary in a crisp and compelling style
  • Define a clear objective for your writing, and select and implement appropriate formats for your audience
  • Identify the correct medium for communication and adjust your writing style accordingly
Course Overview

Research shows the average employee spends 28 percent of the day on email. That's 73 full days per year. Crafting memos and other business documents further adds to this time spent writing. With this level of communication volume, writing effectively and professionally with the appropriate tone and style can be difficult, and ineffective written correspondence is costly.

This lively, hands-on workshop will build on your knowledge of writing basics and help participants write various types of business emails and documents in a clear, concise, and influential way. This course is of immediate value to professionals who set direction, detail actions, and influence audiences through emails and business documents as part of their job responsibilities.

Course Outline
  1. Introduction
    1. Course overview
    2. Objectives, principles, and challenges of business writing
    3. Activity: Discussion and documentation of challenges and goals of business writing (Whole Group)
  2. Purpose and Audience
    1. Developing a specific objective for each writing piece
    2. Analyzing audience characteristics and traits
    3. Ensuring the appropriate level of detail to meet writing objective and audience needs
    4. Understanding how writing purpose and audience determines content, format, style, and tone
    5. Activity: Determining typical audience for various business emails and documents (Partner Exercise)
  3. Effective Email Writing and Etiquette
    1. Using a direct vs. indirect email format
    2. Highlighting key actions and content
    3. Taking advantage of headings, bulleted lists, and short paragraphs
    4. Creating a respectful tone
    5. Writing a specific, meaningful subject line
    6. Activities:
      1. Re-ordering sentences in a sample email (Partner Exercise)
      2. Adding headings to sample emails (Individual Exercise)
      3. Reviewing a tone scenario and rewriting the email to avoid misinterpretation (Individual Exercise and Group Discussion)
      4. Revising subject lines (Individual Exercise)
      5. Final Email Exercise: Incorporating all email writing techniques in a case study (Partner Exercise and Group Discussion)
  4. The Writing Process and Persuasion in Business Documents
    1. Using the clustering technique for organizing and refining ideas
    2. Testing content against the W- and H- questions
    3. Understanding the six elements of persuasion
    4. Freewriting to draft with speed and flow
    5. Activities:
      1. Identifying and planning a writing topic (Individual Exercise)
      2. Assessing persuasion (Table Discussion)
      3. Crafting a first draft based on writing plan (Individual Exercise)
  5. Executive Summaries
    1. Defining the purpose and elements of executive summaries
    2. Identifying key content to include in executive summaries
    3. Ensuring proper order and connection of ideas
    4. Activity: Writing and receiving feedback on an executive summary (Individual and Partner Exercise)
  6. Revising and Editing
    1. Improving document formatting and layout
    2. Applying parallel structure to lists
    3. Maximizing active voice
    4. Varying sentence structure and length
    5. Ensuring accurate sentence mechanics
    6. Eliminating excess words and minimizing business jargon
    7. Activities:
      1. Completing exercises in each revising and editing technique (Individual and Partner Work)
      2. Revising two sample emails (Individual Exercise)
      3. Applying revision techniques to sample drafted earlier in the class (Individual Exercise)
      4. Getting feedback on writing (Group Critique Session)
  7. Proofreading Business Writing
    1. The importance of error-free writing
    2. Techniques of proofreading
      1. Scanning for overall layout and content
      2. Reading out loud
      3. Proofing someone else's work
    3. Activities:
      1. Discussing the importance of error-free writing (Small Group)
      2. Practicing spotting typos and spelling errors (Small Group)
  8. Closing
    1. Workshop summary
    2. Ways to ensure implementation
Class Materials

Each student in our Live Online and our Onsite classes receives a comprehensive set of materials, including course notes and all the class examples.

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  • Online or On-location
  • Customizable
  • Expert Instructors
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