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Writing for Business Short Course

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The ability to write clearly, confidently and consistently is a fundamental skill in any workplace. Good quality writing, whether in reports, presentations, marketing materials or online is essential to convey messages clearly and reflects on the organisation and the writer.

Why choose this course?

Our Writing for Business short course enables business professionals to enhance their corporate document writing skills across a range of business functions. Students will learn various styles of writing and how to tailor their writing for different audiences, improving their skills and confidence.

Our 10 weekly evening classes, tutored by experienced writers and editors will help students to improve their writing skills and learn best practices for business writing.

Please note, Tuesday evenings are taught by Howard Walwyn and Thursday evenings by Maggie Richards. For more information on the tutors please scroll down.

Course overview

Please note this is a course for delegates already having fluent English and working within a business environment.

This course is not suitable for those wishing to improve their English.

This evening course is for business professionals who want to improve their writing for business skills. It is a highly practical course suitable for anyone whose job involves writing corporate documents, or who wants their business writing to stand out in a crowd.

Topics covered in this Writing for Business short course include:

  • How to write marketing texts;
  • Mission statements;
  • Press releases;
  • USPs and corporate documents for external, in-house web and blog use;
  • How to conduct interviews;
  • How to edit documents;
  • How to write speeches;
  • How to write for the digital market.
  • “ Helpful in everyday business environment ”

    Lenka

    Former student

  • “ Expanded my knowledge in writing and increased vocabulary ”

    Harry Jones

    Former student

  • “ A lot of insight into what I need to write better...the course tutor put a lot of effort and time in and I really appreciated him. ”

    Maria Reiso Mir

    Former student

  • “ I have gained the key skills of Business writing…very practical. ”

    Sophia Wang

    Former student

  • “ Very useful ”

    Dawit Meskel

    Former student

  • “ It’s been one of the best courses and I would highly recommend it to colleagues and friends ”

    Maria James

    Former student

  • “ Thank you so much for your knowledge, professionalism, humour and warmth ”

    Rachel Robinson

    Former student

  • “ The ten week course has served as a useful introduction to various styles of writing and a timely revision of those with which I was already familiar. ”

    Clare Roberts

    Former student

  • “ I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the course and would highly recommend this class and encourage anyone who wants to improve their business writing skills to attend. ”

    Marissa Cooper

    Former student

  • “ The course has given me the confidence to step outside my comfort zone and prepare speaking notes and speeches at a very senior level, secure that the message is tailored to the audience and hits the point succinctly and accurately. The skills I have learnt are the stepping stones to the next phase of my career – good writing is the way forward! ”

    Michelle Taylor

    Former student

  • “ The classmates are inspiring and the feedback always positive and helpful. ”

    Gabriel Xie

    Former student

  • “ The class equipped me with skills I could apply immediately in my job…Feedback from the tutor was very constructive. ”

    Samuel Desbaugh

    Former student

  • “ The course will provide more then you expect ”

    Kirty Solanky

    Former student

  • “ I really enjoyed the course. I believe that it helped me gain confidence and I feel more comfortable now when I write, especially for business ”

    Sohail Sahab

    Former student

  • “ I enjoyed the classes and think your advice has made a difference to my writing. ”

    Papiya Chatterjee

    Former student

What will I learn?

What will I learn?

Over the course of 10 weekly evening classes on the Writing for Business short course, you will learn:

Week 1

Getting the background

  • Discussion of what subjects/aims the group have in mind
  • Different types of business writing, from technical to informal: emails, bios, CVs, press releases, mission statements, sales and marketing copy, summaries, reviews and reports, digital
  • Building confidence, assessing your skills, writing under pressure
  • How to get overall angles and ideas, research and plan to a timeline
  • Importance of being accurate, succinct and creative.

Week 2

Understanding the market and the reader

  • What readers are looking for
  • Different corporate publications: why people want to read them
  • Knowing your reader and identifying their hotspots: what do and don’t they care about?
  • Identifying and personalising your target reader
  • Different styles of writing: adapting the tone and style of a text to suit another outlet
  • Register and voice: finding your individual voice.

Week 3

Planning, researching and interviewing

  • Project managing your copy: planning carefully and managing your resources
  • Where to get information/source facts: do we rely too much on the internet?
  • Interviewing: a key discipline for obtaining first hand information
  • Finding the story: identifying the central idea and building on it
  • Briefs and timelines
  • Writing the first draft – finding your sub-headings and planning the text.

Week 4

Writing effective sales documents

  • The 'how', 'what', 'why' and 'if' of documents
  • Highlighting benefits, results and implications
  • A five-step persuasive structure to follow
  • Writing effective conclusions
  • What is a call to action?
  • The golden rules of PowerPoint presentations.

Week 5

Press Releases/Publicity/Marketing Copy

  • Press releases
  • Mission statement/USPs and marketing copy
  • In-house/CEO newsletters
  • Is it newsworthy? Recognising the story: is it timely?  What’s the hook?
  • Is it useful and relevant? Will it cover 'exciting' new ground? If it's a 'worthy' story, how to make it newsworthy
  • Repurposing content.

Week 6

Style and structure

  • Structure and layout (building blocks)
  • Finding the right words, creating the best order
  • Clarity and precision – register, style, tone and voice
  • Vocabulary – avoiding jargon, fluff or fancy words
  • Boxes and sidebars, good quotes, strong headline/intro
  • Rules of grammar, punctuation: what is ‘correct’?

Week 7

Writing emails people want to read

  • Essential principles of email: brevity, clarity, courtesy
  • Common myths and mistakes
  • Titles, starts and ends
  • Calls to action
  • Including additional information
  • Following up and inbox management.

Week 8

Going Digital

  • Brevity and the need for a different style when writing digitally
  • Story and structure: avoiding disengagement
  • The importance of social media: making LinkedIn/Twitter/Facebook work for you
  • Blogs and website copy
  • Using good sources in online writing: avoiding secondary sources and fake news
  • Online writing techniques: SEO and readability.

Week 9

Editing

  • Editing and proofreading
  • Style guides, automated tools and testing for sound
  • Tips and techniques for self-editing
  • Risk management
  • Legal issues and rights
  • Copyright, plagiarism.

Week 10

Presentation skills and self-marketing

  • Writing a CV/resume/bio
  • How to write and make a speech
  • Self-marketing - how to get people interested in your ideas
  • The dos and don’ts of cold calling
  • Building relationships with the right people, for future work
  • Places to find help with brand vision and business advice.

Eligibility

Eligibility

Prerequisite knowledge

No specific qualifications are necessary but students should be working within a business environment and have a desire to improve their written skills within this context.

This course is not suitable for those wishing to improve their English.

English requirements

Applicants must be fluent in written and spoken English.

Teaching & assessment

Teaching & assessment

Students will be set homework and class exercises each week and tutor feedback will be given throughout the course.

Students will be expected to share written work with the group as well as with the tutor, and give and receive feedback in class.

Recommended reading

Recommended reading

  • Pinker, Steven, (2014) A Sense of Style, Allen Lane

Tutor information

  • Howard Walwyn (Tuesdays)

    Howard Walwyn is a freelance writer and editor who helps people write clear business English.

    After a long career in the City of London, including the Bank of England and J.P. Morgan, in 2016 he established a new writing, editorial, consultancy and training business Prism-Clarity and now works with a range of business clients, educational establishments and students, helping to improve the clarity of their documentation and their business writing skills.

    Howard has degrees in English Language and Literature (Newcastle upon Tyne) and Economics (London), enabling him to bridge the worlds of business and language: he is currently writing a book: Clear Business English for Financial Services Professionals.

    You can find out more about Howard here: www.prism-clarity.com, or on Twitter @prismdocuments.

  • Maggie Richards (Thursdays)

    Maggie Richards is a freelance journalist, copywriter and author who empowers others to communicate with clarity and confidence.

    Honed over 20 years, her commercial writing excellence has supported the success of all kinds and sizes of business, from sole traders to global giants, such as Harrods, Shell and Marks & Spencer.

    A former celebrity interviewer for The Times, The Times Educational Supplement, and The Guardian, Maggie has a degree in English Language & Literature (Leeds), and a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism (Cardiff).

    With Cher Chevalier, she co-wrote meditations that launched Calm, iTunes App of the Year 2017. A coffee table book she ghostwrote was featured on ITV’s This Morning.

    Maggie has enjoyed teaching and uplifting diverse groups in the UK and abroad for over a decade.

    Read her work here: http://www.theenglishwriters.com/

Next steps

This freelance writing short course is aimed at those interested in writing as a journalist.…