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This Business Writing Training class will give business professionals the tools they need to write effective, efficient business correspondence. Students will learn how to get started on a writing project, use appropriate business tone in the document, and discern between the different kinds of business correspondence. Students will learn how to decide what the appropriate vehicle is for written communication in business, electronic or hard copy.
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|Section 1: Preparing for a Business Writing Project|
|The Three Major Functions of Business Writing In today's information-driven business world, communication is the basis of a smoothly run organization, regardless of the size. The majority of that communication is written. When planning a business writing project, consider the three major functions…|
|Check for Understanding: Three Functions of Writing Duration: 5 to 10 minutes. In this exercise, you will respond to the following questions about the three functions of business writing. Which of the following are functions of business writing? To entertain and solicit information. To inform, to…|
|Knowing the Subject There are five qualities of business writing that need to be considered as you are thinking about the subject of the document: Correctness Clearness Completeness Conciseness Courteousness These five qualities are also referred to as the Five Cs of business writing. Let's look at…|
|Check for Understanding: Knowing the Subject Duration: 5 to 10 minutes. In this exercise, you will respond to the following questions: What do clarity and conciseness have to do with knowing the subject? Review the following sentences and find the phrases that have become boring through overuse or a…|
Re-writing Sentences PresentationPreview
|Knowing the Audience There are three reasons why it is important to know your audience when composing a business document. While you are planning your document, think about who your primary audience is and how they will react to your document. Knowing your audience will: Help you determine how you w…|
|Check for Understanding: Knowing the Audience Duration: 5 to 10 minutes. In this exercise, you will respond to the following questions about knowing the audience. Of the following statements, which one is not a reason to know the audience before writing your business document? To help you determin…|
|Section 2: Email and Other Electronic Communication|
|Organize the Information for Electronic Communications Electronic communications, typically emails, need to be short, usually no more than three paragraphs. In order to decide what information to include, you need to first determine the purpose. The sheer volume of business email alone is reason e…|
|Check for Understanding: Organizing Information for Electronic Communications Duration: 10 to 15 minutes. In this exercise, you will consider the following scenario: your supervisor asked you to research the recent downturn in traffic to one of the company bookstores at a local mall and to recomme…|
|Choose the Appropriate Electronic Communication Method There are two commonly used methods of electronic communication in business: email and instant messaging (often referred to as IM). In this lesson, we will look at some appropriate as well as inappropriate uses of both these methods in a busin…|
Email or IM?
|Check for Understanding: Appropriate Electronic Communication Methods Duration: 15 to 20 minutes. In this exercise, you will answer the following questions about appropriate electronic communication methods. Read the following scenario and answer the questions that follow. Scenario: A new software…|
|Structure the Communication for Optimal Results A well-written, structured email provides information about you and your level of professionalism; therefore, this should be considered every time you write a business email. Below is a general structure to business emails that works well, shows your…|
|Check for Understanding: Structuring the Communication for Optimal Results Duration: 10 to 15 minutes. In this exercise, you will do the following: Think of a scenario from your own work environment where you will communicate with two different parties about the same topic: One of the parties is s…|
Structuring an Email
|The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 In 1986, the Federal government amended the Wiretap Act of 1968, extending the protection of information that is transmitted electronically to include email, telephone conversations, and data that is stored electronically: http://it.ojp.gov/default…|
|Check for Understanding: Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 Duration: 5 to 10 minutes. In this exercise, you will respond to the following multiple choice and true/false questions: Which of the following are NOT protected by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986? Inflammator…|
|Section 3: Email and Other Electronic Communication|
|Anticipating Audience Response One step in the planning process for written communication needs to be anticipation of the audience response. If you find yourself having to search for answers to questions you did not see coming, you have not done enough research into your audience. Positive present…|
|Check for Understanding: Anticipating Audience Response Duration: 5 to 10 minutes. In this exercise, you will consider the following scenario. Julian and Marco are in the lunch room at work. They are discussing a presentation they have to do in two weeks. Read the following scenario and answer the…|
Anticipating Audience Response Presentation
|Choosing the Right Tone Tone in writing is just as important as tone in speaking. The tone of the message will affect the reader just as the tone of voice affects the listener. Your attitude toward the reader and even toward the content of the message will influence the tone of the document. You w…|
|Check for Understanding: Choosing the Right Tone Duration: 5 to 10 minutes. Choosing the right tone for your business communication will affect the results of the communication. Review the following scenario and answer the questions that follow. You applied for a job as a salesperson at a local ca…|
Constructive and Positive Messages
|Delivering Positive and Negative Information Delivering good news is something we all like to do. The process for giving someone the good news is relatively simple: state the main idea or the good news, explain the circumstances or the details, and close with a comment encouraging future interacti…|
|Check for Understanding: Positive and Negative News Duration: 5 to 10 minutes. In this exercise, you will pick one of the following scenarios and write a negative news letter to address it. You must turn down a customer's request for credit. You need to tell your supervisor why the project failed.…|
Bad News Messages
|Section 4: Communicating to the Audience Effectively|
|Planning the Writing Project Business writing projects can include: Reports Statements of work and scope documents Cost/benefit analyses Requests for bids or projects The first step in the writing project is to create a plan. The second step is to consider the team members who will be collaboratin…|
|Check for Understanding: Plan the Writing Project Duration: 5 to 10 minutes. In this exercise, you will read the following scenario and respond to the questions at the end. Raul and Eloise are in the break room discussing the project they have both just been assigned to. Raul: Are you ready to get s…|
Defining Project Scope
|Adapting the Tone of the Project Tone in writing is just like the tone of your voice; it conveys the writer's attitude toward the audience and the content in the message. In order to ensure you have the proper tone for your written communication, ask yourself these three questions: What is the purpo…|
|Check for Understanding: Adapt the Tone of the Project Duration: 5 to 10 minutes. In this exercise, you will read the following questions and provide the correct answer. If your audience is knowledgeable about the topic, which of the following approaches to the writing project will you take? Write i…|
|Focusing the Content When creating a business document, keep several things in mind. We have already talked a great deal about the audience and the purpose of the document, and now it is time to bring that all together and talk about how to focus the content so it meets the audience's needs and fulf…|
|Check for Understanding: Focus the Content Duration: 10 to 15 minutes. In this exercise, you will read the following example introduction to a business proposal and note the techniques used to focus the content to keep the reader engaged. Handy Mobile provides customers with a software platform for…|
Handy Mobile Proposal
|Section 5: Writing Effective and Persuasive Business Proposals|
|Determining the Desired Outcome The business document is produced to elicit certain outcomes or responses from the reader. It will also justify the request for commitment of resources and provide the reader with the focus of the project as well as guidelines for the design and delivery of the fina…|
|Check for Understanding: Desired Outcomes Duration: 10 to 15 minutes. In this exercise, you will consider a proposal for an idea you wish to present. Write one or two outcomes for that proposal and respond to the following multiple choice questions: Who will look for the benefits of the proposal? Sh…|
Writing Proposal Outcomes
|Writing an Executive Summary The executive summary is found at the beginning of longer, more detailed business proposals. It is generally not more than 10% of the original document. For example, if your proposal is five pages long, the executive summary would not be more than half a page. Here are s…|
|Check for Understanding: The Executive Summary Duration: 10 to 15 minutes. In this exercise, you will answer the following questions. You are part of a project team that has been assigned the task of writing a proposal to implement a new software program in the accounts receivable department. Your t…|
|Using Informative and Persuasive Techniques You can write an informative proposal and use persuasive techniques to "sell" the ideas, concepts, or programs you are promoting in the document. Or you can write the document to either inform or persuade. An informative document alone will provide infor…|
|Check for Understanding: Informative and Persuasive Techniques Duration: 10 to 15 minutes. In this exercise, you will review the following scenario, and then write some notes responding to the questions at the end. You are the manager of the graphic art department in a greeting card production com…|
Using Persuasive Techniques
|Using Visuals Visuals, when used correctly, can make the proposal very effective. However, you can also overwhelm your audience with the use of visuals if you are not careful. Visuals include: Graphs. Charts. Illustrations. Visuals should: Be clear and easy to understand. Be used sparingly. Suppor…|
|Check for Understanding: Using Visuals Duration: 5 to 10 minutes. In this exercise, you will read and respond to the following questions. Why is it important to use visuals in a proposal? To impress your reader. To break up the blocks of text. To clarify statistical detail in the report. All of th…|