Business Writing Basics #2 – How to Write in Fewer Words

Boost your business writing skills – tips & cheat sheets for concise, professional and powerful writing.
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  • Lectures 27
  • Length 2 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 5/2012 English

Course Description

The fewer words you write, the more impact you make.

Your written communication is punchy, to the point and enticing for your readers.

Do you write for business? Client emails, essays, marketing material, technical reports – or simply need to produce your best written communication?

You, too, can write concise content – and convey powerful messages.

“This course is well-planned and well-presented. The instructor teaches from a foundation of experience in writing business messages – marketing, internal communication and other standard business fare. This makes for a decidedly "business-friendly" class rather than one packed with complex rules about grammar and structure.”

“Interesting course and easy to follow. I'm already cutting down on wordiness and achieving better results. Good examples and cheat sheets.”

Often less is more. The fewer words you have on a webpage, brochure or email the more impact you can have.

This powerful business writing course will boost your writing skills with techniques and cheat sheets for concise, professional and powerful written communication. 

Forget grammar theory; think easy-to-follow examples and business-oriented content. Your business writing will:

- Make more impact
- Be more succinct and powerful
- Grab readers’ attention
- Hold readers’ attention

“Material/delivery clear and concise. Enjoyed the exercises. Instructor very knowledgeable.”

“Course has been extremely helpful with my university assignments.”

“I was surprised at how quickly my writing improved… The examples and exercises are relevant and easy to follow, and I will continue to refer to the material in my current role.”

Reduce wordiness and produce more professional writing.

In this fast-paced business writing course, I share my secrets to writing concise content and powerful messages. I reveal simple techniques to keep your words down and your message compelling – giving you the confidence to write concisely, with ease.

I’ve created cheat sheets you can print and keep next to your computer for easy reference, and exercises that will hone your business writing skills.

Start writing business communications with confidence – content that gets noticed and is read to the very end.

Complete this business writing course in as little as three hours, and continue to use the material as a reference.

What are the requirements?

  • The desire to write concisely and with confidence.
  • Sound English writing skills – the course does not include grammar theory.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Write shorter, more concise messages – with confidence.
  • Produce powerful, professional written communication.
  • Write simple, yet elegant content.
  • Select the most compelling words.
  • Learn the secrets to eliminating wordiness.
  • Cheat sheets to keep beside your computer.

What is the target audience?

  • Anyone who writes – whether it’s for business, university or school
  • You should have sound English writing skills as the course does not include grammar theory
  • Marketing executives
  • Content managers
  • Executive assistants
  • Secretaries
  • Sales executives
  • Technicians who write reports
  • Engineers
  • Real estate agents
  • Public servants
  • Defence personnel
  • Journalists
  • Teachers

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Introduction to powerful business writing
Intro to powerful business writing
Preview
01:34
02:12

Two easy techniques to get you writing fewer words immediately.

02:47

The power of simplicity

Why is it so important to keep our writing simple? We look at writing from the reader’s perspective – and how to hold their attention.

Outline

  • Simple steps to clear, concise writing
  • Key messages: planning and how to make them stand out
  • An introduction to word choice
Section 2: Keep your writing simple
06:38

Write powerful sentences

The essential elements of effective sentences. Learn to write simple sentences that pack a powerful punch.

Outline

  • Sentence length and setting word limits 
  • Keep sentences short without omitting information 
  • Punctuation 
  • Bullet points 
  • Wordiness, redundancy and repetition 
11 pages

Exercises powerful sentences

Test your new skills and see how easy it is to keep your writing simple.

06:38

Write powerful paragraphs

Learn how to write paragraphs that keep your readers engaged.

Outline

  • Key messages – keeping to one idea per paragraph 
  • Paragraph length – generally, the shorter, the better 
  • Topic sentences to introduce the main idea of the paragraph
  • Presentation – how to make your paragraphs more reader-friendly
  • Reviewing your paragraphs 
4 pages

Exercise – powerful paragraphs

Test your paragraph construction skills.

Section 3: Language
06:21

How to choose the best words for your piece of written communication.

Outline

  • The importance of planning, and writing with your audience and objectives in mind 
  • Why – and how to – replace complex words with simple ones 
  • Jargon – and using the best language for your audience 
  • Being precise for effective writing 
  • ‘…ing’ words and how to avoid them 
2 pages

Your guide to replacing complex words with simple ones – to make your message easier to understand.

9 pages

Hone your word selection and ability to be concise.

02:22

They may be catchy and easy to write, but clichés can be a product of lazy writing.

Outline

  • What are clichés? 
  • Why avoid them? 
  • How to avoid them 
1 page

Your list of all-too-common clichés – and more powerful alternatives.

01:21

Should you use a neutral and indirect euphemism, or a less wordy, more direct option?

Outline

  • What are euphemisms?
  • The positives and negatives of using euphemisms
  • Reduce words by eliminating euphemisms
1 page

Reduce words by replacing euphemisms with more direct messages.

7 pages

Practise replacing clichés and euphemisms with more powerful, less wordy statements.

Section 4: Reduce wordiness
06:07

Write efficiently

Learn how to write more powerfully – in fewer words.

Outline

  • The beauty of simplifying and deleting 
  • How to halve your word count 
  • ‘It’ and ‘there’ – why and when not to use these words 
  • How to use description effectively 
  • Adjectives to avoid 
  • When to merge two sentences into one 
2 pages

Cheat sheet – write efficiently

Eliminate wordy statements by replacing two, three or even four words with just one.

9 pages

Exercises – write efficiently

See how concisely you can write now.

03:20

Redundancy and repetition

Learn how to identify redundant and repetitive words and phrases – and how to rid your copy of them.

Outline

  • Eliminate redundancy without damaging your message 
  • Deleting redundancy – examples 
  • Different words – same idea 
  • Deleting repetition – examples 
2 pages

Cheat sheet – redundancy and repetition

Halve your content by identifying and eliminating redundant words or repeated ideas.

10 pages

Exercises – redundancy & repetition

Test your ability to identify redundant and repetitious words and phrases – and improve wordy text.

02:41

Making your point

Ensure you get to your point – and your messages cut through.

Outline

  • Planning – your objective, key messages, audience 
  • Ensure your readers can scan for the key points 
  • Make your key message stand out 
  • How to avoid hiding your message in fluff
7 pages

Exercises – making your point

Practise identifying the key points and making your point stand out.

Section 5: Review
9 pages

Final exercise

Put your new writing skills to the test. Make a welcome message concise and compelling by:

  • Eliminating unnecessary words and repetition
  • Making it active
  • Keeping it simple
02:07

Course summary

You now know why less is more. Your writing should be punchier, more powerful and more enticing for your readers.

Here’s a summary of the many simple techniques you can use keep your words down and your message compelling.

Section 6: Bonus
05:40

More examples showing how fewer words make more impact.

Bonus lecture
Article

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Instructor Biography

Caroline McDevitt, Writer and editor

Writewords Writewell founder Caroline McDevitt has worked in media and marketing-communications for 20 years.

As a journalist, Caroline has written for, and edited, high-profile, international publications including The Times, Qantas: The Australian Way and Moneymagazine, covering travel, sport, finance and international affairs.

As a business-communications specialist, she has worked with countless businesses, creative agencies, government entities and not-for-profit organisations.

Caroline's Writewords Writewell courses will give you the skills to write with confidence – in business, at work, in life.

“Caroline has the rare ability to be creative while never losing an eye for detail. I have hired her to write publications, edit magazines, proofread and project manage – and I will continue to use her in the future. She is a valuable freelance resource to any busy communications team." - Chrissa Favaloro, Australian Catholic University

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