Business Writing - Get Results - No Stress
3.8 (11 ratings)
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Business Writing - Get Results - No Stress

Techniques to gain attention, build interest and get action from your business writing
3.8 (11 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
303 students enrolled
Created by Peter Urey
Last updated 10/2016
Current price: $12 Original price: $30 Discount: 60% off
3 days left at this price!
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  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 16 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion

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What Will I Learn?
  • Plan the writing of the major types of written business communication
  • Be clear about why you are writing and the intended action or outcome
  • Write to meet the needs of the reader
  • Craft stand-out headlines which draw immediate attention
  • Focus on the 3 main logical and emotional drivers in a business case
  • Mirror the reader's language to maximise understanding
  • Appreciate the value of tools such as SPIN and SWOT in the planning stage
  • Use the AIDA model to gain attention, build interest and desire and get action
  • Write in Plain Language using the KISS model - keep it short and simple
  • Guide the eye through a message using white space, bold and indents
  • Research key words which will be found by search engines
  • Structure business proposals which sell on features and not just price
  • Build your reputation by producing clear and concise reports
  • Use executive summaries to begin complex documents
  • Make your presentations memorable and easy to follow
  • Deliver and receive feedback to improve without any offence
  • Eliminate the most common errors of grammar, spelling and punctuation
  • Get your point across first time every time
  • Eliminate stress by following simple rules
View Curriculum
  • Familiarity with common word processing and presentation software
  • Have a basic grasp of grammar, spelling and punctuation
  • Experience in writing most of the standard business documents

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.

  • Distil your message to its essence in 12 words to prove you know your subject.
  • Use the AIDA model to win Attention, build Interest and Desire to generate Action.
  • Use the KISS rule to Keep It Short and Simple.
  • Focus on the top 3 logical and emotional arguments in your writing.
  • Discover tools to make sure you use Plain Language.
  • Imagine you are writing for a reading age of 14 years.
  • Get onto the reader's wavelength by mirroring the metaphors they use.
  • Write powerful headlines and subject lines to make your point fast.
  • Break your words up with white space, indents and bold to make it easier to follow

Using real life scenarios learn to write better:

                                     direct mail
                                     blog posts
                                     press releases
                                     business proposals
                                     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.

Who is the target audience?
  • People who are expected to be able to influence others, externally and internally, through well produced written documents
  • Those who become stressed by the responsibility of putting their ideas onto paper for others to see and judge
  • Executives who recognise that their reputation is built on being able to see wood for trees and to express their thoughts clearly
Compare to Other Business Writing Courses
Curriculum For This Course
28 Lectures
Summary Overview and Objectives
3 Lectures 03:51

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.

Preview 02:34

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:

Direct Mail
Blog Posts
Press Releases

Preview 00:45

We will repeat the main guidelines several times until they are embedded. After the first three scanarios we will assume that you can apply them in all forms of business writing and examine other key points pertinent to the writing type in the lecture. 

Preview 00:32
General Principles of Business Writing
3 Lectures 05:43

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.

Preview 03:06

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.

Preview 01:23

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.

Preview 01:14
Scenario 1 - Writing a Direct Mail Letter - demonstrating the guidelines
5 Lectures 13:55

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.

Preview 03:21

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.

Scenario 1 - Why are we writing and who are we writing for?

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.

Scenario 1 - What are we going to write to be effective?

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.

Scenario 1 - How, Where and When?

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.

Comparing the Good and Bad Direct Mail Letters
Plain Language
1 Lecture 05:24

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.

Plain Language and how to check you are writing it.
Scenario 2 - Writing Emails
3 Lectures 10:09

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.

Scenario 2 - Writing an email to win support from all Board Members

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.

Scenario 2 Constructing an email using the guidelines

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.

Further observations on email
Applying the guidelines to a full range of business documents
6 Lectures 23:01

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.

Formal Letters

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.

Business Proposals

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
2 Lectures 11:59

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.

Keeping it sensible

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.

Top 20 Tips to cover the most comon errors
Writing for the Web
3 Lectures 11:53

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.

The Importance of Keywords

Write for the audience and the Search Engines.
Get all your positive news about beneficial change upfront.
Include company and contact details.
Gey keywords into the headline and first 100 words.
Get others to look at the headline and ask "So what?"

Press Releases

We are focussing on written content and not graphic design.
Challenge is to weave keywords into the content without spoiling the readability.
Create content with body and substance between 350 and 100 words.
Use all the guidelines to guide the eye from attention to action.

Keep your focus on search engine optimisation within reasonable limits.

Web Pages and Blog Posts
Giving and Receiving Feedback
1 Lecture 01:31

One key phrase - "Something that would work better for me is......."  - to give feedback.
"What would work better for you?" to request feedback.

Something that would work better for me is.....
Summary as a Metaphor
1 Lecture 02:04

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.

Summary - Business Writing is like being a Guide

Test how well you've learned the business writing guidelines.

Business Writing - Get Results - No Stress
9 questions
About the Instructor
Peter Urey
3.7 Average rating
253 Reviews
11,343 Students
20 Courses
Business Coaching Courses for when it's hard to ask for help

1. There are many times in life when we know we need some guidance but it's tough to ask for help.

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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.

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