Situation - you are required to write in business and to make your point effectively.
Problem - you are not as effective as you should be or you get stressed doing it.
Need - this course to learn and apply the basic guidelines of effective writing.
Learn to Plan and Scan so that the reader's eye follows your message across the page.
Remember that we skim documents up to 9 times for key words before we read them.
Using real life scenarios learn to write better:
memos and much more
Learn how to discover the keywords at the "sweet spot" which will help your writing to get found online. Write using keywords without your message sounding distorted.
In one way or another you will only ever be wrting about:
where we are - current circumstances
where we could go - our options
how to get there - the plan of action
If you keep to the plot of the story and remember why you are writing and who you are writing for, then what you are going to write will fall into place.
Eliminate the worst errors of grammar, spelling and punctuation with our list of the Top 20 most common problems.
We reveal the magic words which will help you to give and receive critical feedback on your writing without giving or taking any offence.
The course will help anybody who is required to write in their business role to communicate effectively. If you need to be more effective or find that you get stressed and confused then this course will teach you the basic techniques on which you can rely.
The course is mostly video which has been designed to help you recall simple tools like:
Plan and Scan
SPIN and others.
By making these tools easy to recall and by looking at before and after examples you will quickly be able to write in business and will greatly improve your personal reputation.
We are always available to answer your questions.
Includes relevant Mind Maps throughout and an hour of free coaching for those who complete the course if requested.
Business writing follows a structure. You will be writing either about where we are / current circumstances, where we could go / options or how to get there / the plan of action.
Readers expect you to get to the point fast. Your reputation is built on your ability to do this.
To do it, follow the Plan and Scan, AIDA and KISS models explained in the course.
We will set up s a series of sample commom scenarios and produce some before and after content once the guidelines have been followed. As we progres we will rely more on the guidelines as they will become familiar to you very quickly.
The course covers:
Plan by asking the Why, Who, What, How, Where and When of your writing.
Fit what you write into the general flow of busines communication which is always about current circumstances, how they can be improved and the plan of action. You will always be writing about some aspect of this genaral flow. A performance appraisal, for example, fits that model when helping an employee work out how to develop their career.
Use SPIN, SWOT, PEST, AIDA and KISS to guide the reader through to your intended outcome.
Mind Maps from the lecture attached as swf and pdf formats.
Message me if you want me to send you the .mmap file extension for use with Mind Manager.
Remember that people do not read until they have scanned your writing up to 9 times, so make sure that you check how your eye naturally moves across the page.
Use of metaphor as the way to write in a way that ideally suits the reader.
Comparing new things to those things with which we are familiar helps communicate complex ideas quickly.
Importance of paying close attention to the language used in normal conversation by the potential reader.
Scenario of writing a Direct Mail Letter to raise awareness of a delicate topic - Funeral Insurance Planning.
Tough challenge and a sensitive topic.
Doing the research first using SPIN and other tools to take a helicopter view of our subject and audience before taking any decisions on the type of letter and the content.
Step back from starting to write and consider your objectives and the mindset of the audience before employing your time and energy on writing content. Research will vary from market to market but the guiding principle is good old common sense.
It's easy to ignore this step and assume you know best but avoid the temptation as new ideas could emerge and it's costly to correct your mistakes at a later date.
How to craft a headline for a Direct Mail Letter to grab attention.
AIDA - attention - interest - desire - action.
KISS - keep it short and simple.
3 Logical and 3 Emotional points to win interest and desire to act.
First look at how to layout a good Direct Mail Letter with the eye guided through indented keywords.
Logical and emotional drivers centred in the page and surrounded by white space.
Deciding on the type of document to present based on knowledge of the recipient and the kind of realistic next action we can expect from them.
Presenting the key data
First comparison of before and after versions of the same content.
Analysis of the good and bad examples.
Guiding the eye.
Use of Plain Language.
Headline at the first fold which is where the eye naturally falls.
Logical and Emotional drivers in punchy text centred into the page and in lots of white space.
Less is more but it takes a lot of planning.
Legal requirement to write in Plain Language (PL).
Readers expect PL as much of what they read is in that form.
Write as if you were talking to a friend - you would not use dazzling long words in that case.
Favour concrete words over concepts where you can.
Put the doer in a sentence first to make most impact.
How to handle abbreviations.
Tool to test you ability to write in Plain Language.
Setting up a new scenario - proposing the consideration of a new software package in your company.
HIgh pressure situation for sending an email to the leaders in a business.
Use of the core planning process.
Matching metaphors used by recipients to create maximum resonance.
Varying your content to ensure all readers feel they are being addressed.
Gain attention with a standout subject line.
Consider the Subject - Target Reader - Intended Outcome model.
Write in punchy bullet points.
Use emotional and logical drivers.
Guide the eye using the F schematic.
In the content use a range of metaphors to appeal to different audience types.
Include the most relevent hard data points in the body text.
Have a beginning, middle and end following the story model.
Think about what works best for you in the emails you receive.
Emails are best when kept short and simple - KISS.
Run spell, grammar, punctuation and the clarity test before hitting send.
Don't write when you are over-emotional.
To avoid any disasters, add the recipients after you regain emotional control.
Use the "Where are we, where are we going" model but place emphasis on the phase which in context demands the most attention.
Grab attention with a punchy report title written in headline format.
Write a well thought out executive summary - this might be all that gets read.
Guide the eye using AIDA and all the formatting principles.
Include a table of contents.
Cite all your research sources and others books you have used to build your argument.
Include simple graphics to reinforce your point and guide the eye.
Scan the document to gauge how the graphics affect the flow of the eye.
Provide weblinks to reports on file servers to avoid sending very large emails.
A presentation is an Executive Summary packed with emotional content to make it easy to recall.
Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them then tell them what you just told them - repetion works.
Prove you can help them see wood for trees - show them that you have leadership skills.
The audience will relax once they know you have control of your subject.
Run with your main points using the 80:20 rule.
Paint pictures with words and use supporting graphics with 3 word bullets.
Check commercial rights usage and source free images with Google Advanced Image search.
Simple three part layout.
Importance of grabbing attention with a graphic and headline.
Simple call to action.
Audience must get if fast.
Learn the formal etiquette of letter writing.
Dear, sincerely and faithfuly to begin and end.
Centre a simple explanatory headline.
Short punchy paragraphs with limited indenting.
Prefer We and You over I.
Run all the checks to prevent silly errors.
Make sure that before the reader flicks straight to the price (which they will do) you add plenty of re-statements of your features and benefits.
Start with your own 2 page summary even if you have to fill in their own proposal document.
Include your top reasons to buy in the executive summary.
Add sections to cover what you wil be responsible for and what the client is expected to do within the deal.
Place price at the end and wrap it up in feature and benefit statements.
Emphasise the action elements of the next steps required to make the agreed plan progress.
Memo means "aid to memory" so only include supporting arguments if the context demands it..
Write the entire memo in headline format - the punchier the better.
Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation can affect how people think about you; if you persistently make errors or take people to task for very minor mistakes.
If you regularly make mistakes but don't know why then get yourself checked for word blindness.
If you can't relax until it's perfect consider getting support for control issues.
Try to get it right first time,most of the time, without it stalling your ability to communicate.
8 minutes of video on the most commly reported grammatical errors.
Replay a few times to embed the learning but use online tools if you wish to take your learning to the next level.
Your focus should be on making your point, not on winning the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Subtle differences from inter-personal communication.
Expectations of graphic design are very high.
Legal constraints on distribution to prevent spam.
Availability of specialist tools - highly recommended.
Keyword research is imperative.
Use wikipedia, bulletin-boards, blogs and books and use chapter headings as indicators of what interests readers at the level below the headline.
Content layout follows guidelines but you have to creatively include keywords whilst still making it all read well.
Write for the audience and the Search Engines.
Get all your positive news about beneficial change upfront.
Include company and contact details.
DO YOUR KEYWORD RESEARCH.
Gey keywords into the headline and first 100 words.
Get others to look at the headline and ask "So what?"
Keep your focus on search engine optimisation within reasonable limits.
One key phrase - "Something that would work better for me is......." - to give feedback.
"What would work better for you?" to request feedback.
A simple metaphor can convey all the meaning in one image.
As you write think of yourself in the role of a gude on a forest trail. You know the terrain well and can and want to give clear desrciptions of the landscape and directions with it. You'd almost certainly keep it simple and be chocking to se if you got your message across.
Metaphor can do a lot of the hard work for you.
Test how well you've learned the business writing guidelines.
1. There are many times in life when we know we need some guidance but it's tough to ask for help.
2. Fear of what others might think, pride or embarrassment can hold us back.
3. Our courses deal with subjects which are difficult to talk about to your boss or other people.
* Dealing with difficult people
* Anxiety about basic skills
* Alcohol issues
We offer the soft skills for hard times
4. They are affordable and accessible any time and any place on the internet.
5. You can learn in total privacy.
6. We are on-hand to offer personal support via Skype should you need it. We've been where you are now.
We can help you to uncover the sub-conscious forces driving unhelpful patterns of behaviour and create the conditions for you to create a long-term solution.
Preview our courses before you enrol today.
About Peter Urey.
Trained to advanced level in personal coaching techniques including Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling, Hoshin Planning, Business NLP and HP's Leadership Development Programme.
Experienced coach for Hewlett Packard, Symantec, Canon, Epson plus many more.
Educated in Law at University of Oxford.
Aged 56, married 29 years, 3 adult children.
Student of Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling under Marian Way, author of Clean Approaches for Coaches.
Black Belt in Karate.