This course is aimed at managers who are reasonably confident writers themselves, and who want to develop better writing skills amongst their teams. All delegates complete a pre-questionnaire to establish their particular needs.


A. Introduction

Good and bad writing: what do we mean

Issues in quality of business writing

Review of pre-questionnaires


B. Exercise 1: clarity; copy analysis


C. Understanding how “business language” is different

Good writing vs good business writing

Establishing writing norms for employees (“how we write”)


D. Exercise 2: conciseness; reduction; polishing


E. How business English has changed

Understanding how and why these changes occur

The “formal-o-meter” and how to use it

Using the “formal-o-meter” with employees


F. Exercise 3: tone; register; informality


G. Correctness and the avoidance of “errors”

Review of the standard English rulebook, including fallacies

Five myths debunked, twenty usages to avoid

Resources for resolving disputes about correctness


H. Exercise 4: levels of correct; dealing with personal peeves


I. Subtext: how written communication affects relationships

Key factors in understanding subtext

Using role-play exercises to deepen understanding


J. Subtexting scenes; identifying strongest factors


K. Writing formats: how to choose

Deciding between report, email, letter, proposal etc

What are the core strengths/weaknesses of each format?


L. Exercise 5: the difficult staff email

analysis via formality, length, tone, subtext


M. Coaching staff about writing – issues

getting a benchmark established

gaining permission for critiquing/ improvement

critiquing approaches – five pointers

ongoing programmes for improvement  

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