Image supplied by permission, by another Cathy Wilcox
What’s it about?
This course hones delegates’ business writing so that it is well-planned, persuasive and makes the key points succinctly.
The course addresses the importance of focusing your aim and the audience, and on planning before you start writing. It then introduces some important practical principles to improve your writing, and gives plenty of opportunity to practise these, alone and in groups. It can include training on the StyleWriter plain language software (see below) for organisations interested in bringing it in.
Who should attend?
This course is for you if you would like to:
- make your internal and external communications as reader-friendly as possible
- make your readers’ lives easier
- encourage your clients to use you again
- reduce time spent training people on new ideas or techniques
- reduce disputes caused by unclear writing
What does it cover?
- Aim and audience
- A four-stage approach to planning your writing
- Writing with impact:
- Avoid the passive.
- Write in short sentences.
- Don’t use a long word if a short one would do.
- Don’t use three words if one would do.
- Avoid (or explain) jargon.
- Don’t turn verbs into nouns.
- Optional practical training on the StyleWriter software (see below)
What is StyleWriter?
One issue with changing your writing style is how to apply what you’ve learnt once you’re back at your desk. It’s easy to slip into old habits. We recommend using StyleWriter, the plain language editing tool, as a way of reinforcing the principles of good business writing and legal drafting.
For organisations that want to take their written communications seriously, it’s the best way to ensure a consistent approach. We are happy to support businesses wanting to bring in a plain language policy.
What do others say about the course?
“Most worthwhile training I have ever done” (Marketing executive)
“Excellent – one of the most useful courses I have ever attended” (Law firm chief executive)
Clear presentation – made fun, memorable and very relevant to everything I do” (Law firm partner)
“Comprehensive, interactive, interesting” (Professional support lawyer)
“I will train myself to adopt a more concise (structured way of writing and to be more organised with it. This training is very interesting, fun, involving and [there are] very important lessons to be taken away from this.” (Nadia Ali, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Abu Dhabi following a one-day face-to-face course)
“Doing practical exercises and discussing the answers was good. It helped to have a go at applying the techniques. The session was very relevant and will change the way I write to clients!” (Patent attorney, Forresters)
“Really enjoyed the session. Great worked examples. Great to have a lawyer who is also a stickler for detail. Great integration with the Style Guide. Really builds on pyramid principle.” (Economist, Monitor)
“Makes you think carefully about what you’re saying. Great speaker. Really enjoyed the session. Really practical.”
“Very knowledgeable and helpful trainer. She gave us excellent advice. I enjoyed the focus on writing clearly and succinctly.” (Pinsent Masons)
“I’ve had a lot of verbal feedback and all of the associates found the session very useful. A couple of them said they put the training into action the very same day and one even went away and redrafted a document they had done that morning.” (HR professional, Abu Dhabi office of an international firm following a video-conferenced training session)
“Cathy’s style of delivery kept me engaged and interested.” (Joan Davey, King & Wood Mallesons)