BUSINESS WRITING

BACKGROUND

For over 35 years we have helped thousands of writers create everything from customer letters to e-mail messages to social media copy. We work with nationally recognized business writing experts to stay on the leading edge of productive business writing techniques. Our course materials and job aids are quick, easy-to-use tools that make writing easier for your employees.

Learn more below:

Executive Summaries That Sell

What are clients looking for when they read an executive summary to an RFP response?  Financials?  Capability?  Differentiation? Learn the foundational techniques to creating executive summaries that encourage readers to delve into the proposal or make them stop and say “I’m convinced.”  If your closing rate for RFPs is lower than you would like, your writers need this seminar.

Audience

Writers of RFP responses, proposals, or client-facing documents.  
RFP response centers, account managers, and administrative staff.

Length
Three hours

Outcomes
At the end of this course, participants will:

  • Write executive summaries that encourage reader action.
  • Differentiate your products or services from the competition.
  • Analyze C-Suite reader needs more effectively.
  • Create memorable, streamlined summaries that speak to the customer’s needs.
  • Persuade readers using visuals.
  • Create documents that emphasize partnership.

Legal Writing

Are you looking for techniques to turn your legal documents into logical, persuasive writing? Does your writing contain pretentious language, perhaps because you have noticed other writers using this style?

The course addresses reasons for plain-language developments in the United States and the recent style changes leading to clearer, more accessible legal documents.

Audience
Lawyers and paralegals

Length
One day (group work) plus individual conferences scheduled a week later

Outcomes
At the end of this course, participants will:

  • Organize an argument persuasively and concisely.
  • Replace jargon and legalese with familiar, unambiguous words.
  • Improve clarity by controlling long sentences, using active verbs, and adding transitions.
  • Use parallel structure to build a logical chain in an argument.
  • Increase effectiveness and efficiency with software outlining tools and readability programs.

Producing Useful Meeting Minutes

Have you noticed that you are spending too much of your work time creating concise and accurate records of business meetings? Are you looking for a better system for taking notes at live meetings, teleconferences, and videoconferences?

This course examines strategies for documenting important decisions and essential details concisely.

Audience

Employees responsible for capturing key meeting highlights and facts and then summarizing them for distribution

Length
Three Hours

Outcomes
At the end of this course, participants will: 

  • Use a note-taking method to summarize information effectively and efficiently.
  • Recognize and apply the specific type of listening skills needed by note-takers.
  • Choose a template that highlights essential details.
  • Implement key editing skills for readable minutes, including short sentences, active verbs, and parallel structure.
  • Consider new electronic tools for taking minutes.

Professional Proofreading

Are you familiar with the “Zoom-In” approach for finding proofreading errors? Would you like to avoid costly mistakes by using tools from the professionals?

This half-day course will help you isolate the discrete errors that less-thorough techniques often overlook.

Audience
Professionals interested in creating a positive image of their organizations through documentation

Length

Three hours

Outcomes
At the end of this course, participants will: 

  • Overcome proofreading roadblocks.
  • Ensure consistency throughout a document.
  • Read for both meaning and correct grammar on paper documents and with online information.
  • Find errors in text and graphics.
  • Apply a variety of techniques for proofreading company documents.

Proposals With Power

Would you hire your company from reading your response to a Request for Proposal (RFP) or Request for Information (RFI)? Are your proposals starting to sound “canned”? Are you closing the amount of business you would like?

Proposals with Power helps writers of RFPs and RFIs increase call-backs, motivate readers to respond, and drive business.

Audience
Anyone responding to RFPs or RFIs

Length
One day OR Two days (one day of group activities, one day of 30-minute individual writing conferences)

Outcomes
At the end of this course, participants will: 

  • Respond to RFPs and RFIs following a logical—yet simple—approach.
  • Write proposals that stand out from the competition.
  • Create memorable, streamlined summaries that speak to the customer’s needs.
  • Persuade readers using formatting techniques.
  • Turn “we” language into “you” language.

Write It Right: A Business Grammar Refresher

Should I write “9” or “nine”? Does this sentence need “affect” or “effect”? Learn the answers to these questions—and hundreds more—in a fun-filled day of grammar, punctuation, and style!

Audience
Anyone responsible for writing and editing business documents

Length
One day

Outcomes
At the end of this course, participants will: 

  • Use a reference manual to find answers quickly.
  • Solve common sentence-structure problems.
  • Recognize errors with verbs, pronouns, numbers, capitals, plurals, possessives, and abbreviations.
  • Understand the proper use of commas, semicolons, colons, italics, boldface, underlining, and quotations (double and single).
  • Follow formatting guidelines for letters and memos.

Write On Target: Effective Business Writing

Would you like to strengthen your business-writing skills? Are you interested in learning a three-step process to help you accomplish your purpose and create a positive effect on your reader?

This course sharpens your skills so that you can delve into your writing tasks with purpose, confidence, and ease.

Audience
Business professionals of all levels

Length
One day

Outcomes
At the end of this course, participants will: 

  • Use a three-step process to improve document quality.
  • Understand the politics of writing through tone and voice.
  • Clarify the purpose of writing and evaluate reader needs.
  • Select the appropriate organization and formatting.
  • Edit for clarity and correctness using updated guidelines and practical job aids.

Write With Confidence: Writing for Support Staff

Does writing an e-mail message for a high-level audience seem to take you hours? Do you labor over every word, ensuring that you don’t offend, misguide, or cause an international incident?

Writing doesn’t have to be as hard as you are making it. Learn a simple process for confidently writing e-mail messages and other business documents.

Audience
Administrative and support staff members

Length
Two days (one classroom day, one 30-minute individual writing conference)

Outcomes
At the end of this course, participants will: 

  • Gain confidence in writing clearly and concisely.
  • Define purpose and profile reader’s needs.
  • Create direct, polite e-mail messages, invitations, and customer-response letters.
  • Choose opening and closings that get attention and action.
  • Proofread for correct, up-to-date business grammar.

Writing Effective E-Mail Messages

Are you convinced that your e-mail messages convey a positive reflection of you and your organization? Do your messages accomplish their purpose and receive the attention they deserve? Are you worried that your messages might carry inappropriate tone or the wrong level of detail?

This course provides templates and up-to-date guidelines for writing safe, effective e-mail messages.

Audience
Employees responsible for writing business e-mail messages

Length
Three hours

Outcomes
At the end of this course, participants will: 

  • Write clear, concise e-mail messages that get results.
  • Organize information quickly.
  • Create attention-getting subject lines.
  • Motivate readers to read–rather than to delete. 
  • Adapt writing style for international readers.

Writing That Sells

What makes readers read and respond to e-mail messages and other promotional material?

Our extensive experience with readers in dozens of industries suggests that there are best practices you can implement to increase reader retention and response. If your readers aren’t responding as quickly as you would like, let us show you the way.

Audience
Any sales or sales support professional, customer service representatives, call-center associates

Length
One day OR Two days (one day of group activities, one day of 30-minute, individual writing conferences)

Outcomes
At the end of this course, participants will: 

  • Create attention-grabbing subject lines.
  • Highlight the key message to promote action.
  • Increase and speed reader response.
  • Compose reader-centered messages that promote products and services.
  • Send messages mobile phone readers will appreciate and answer.