Business writing courses

Our plain English business writing courses are a must for organisations that want their staff to write in plain English. For us, plain English means its wording, structure and design are so clear that the target audience can quickly and easily understand and use it.

Here’s an example:

Before

Given the significant amount of time that has elapsed and also following on as per your recent request, you are now obliged to enable the identification of said certificate forthwith. We would esteem it greatly if you would be so kind as to determine this material in a manner that is most timely. (53 words)

After

To meet your request, we need you to find and send us a copy of your certificate as soon as possible. (21 words)

We are experienced in providing in-house, professional business writing courses for federal, state, and local government bodies, law firms, insurance companies and banks. These organisations trust us to pitch our plain English professional business writing courses at an appropriate level, to respect and develop the existing knowledge and skills of their staff, and to provide useable writing and editing tips and techniques.

Our courses are tailored to meet your writers’ needs, which we identify through discussions with you and by studying examples of their writing in advance. The style is informal and participative, with practical work, quizzes and group work.

To ensure the lessons are not forgotten, attendees take away our plain English tips flyer for their desk.

Topics

Our plain English business writing courses teach our eight plain English principles and how to apply these to writing websites, policy documents, case studies, briefing papers, annual reports and more. We can email you a generalised program on request, but our training typically includes:

  • refresher on the basics of structure, sentence length, everyday English, punctuation and essential grammar
  • writing myths explained and exposed
  • how to write plain English
  • close examination of ‘before and after’ samples using a mix of our work and client-supplied examples
  • applying the learnings to individual plain English editing exercises.

Our plain English business writing course can also be tweaked to reflect a particular bias, for example:

  • writing better policy documents
  • business report writing course
  • writing better emails, letters and other communications
  • grammar and punctuation workout
  • writing ministerial and other briefing documents
  • writing for the web.

General aims and benefits of our business writing courses

  • Reduced costs associated with staff having to work with unclear, poorly structured content
  • Staff produce clear, well-punctuated and well-structured writing that fulfils its purpose
  • Increasing staff efficiency by improving their planning of written work
  • Enabling staff to identify good writing and rectify sub-standard work
  • Helping staff decide when writing is ‘fit to go’, and, therefore, when to avoid unnecessary alterations

Number of participants, follow-up and one-to-one training and duration

  • Generally, courses cater for up to 15 participants only to ensure that individual attendees have a full grasp of the concepts
  • All attendees receive follow-up support to reinforce your training investment
  • One-on-one coaching is also available by special arrangement
  • Courses run over a half-day, a full day or an agreed number of weeks
  • We also offer a one-hour Motivator and a two-hour Power Session

 Assessments of our courses

I recently attended one of Andrew’s courses ‘Writing in Plain English’ and learnt a lot of practical tools when writing public facing material. Key considerations I now apply to my writing include:

– writing more succinctly while retaining the message
– avoiding technical jargon people won’t understand, and substituting plain English for buzz words
– making what I write more accessible to a broad audience.

I’d have no hesitation in recommending Andrew’s courses to anyone interested in writing more clearly and concisely.

Communications & Stakeholder Consultant, Level Crossing Removal Authority

It was refreshing to be taught a business writing course by people who could take an independent look at our written work. Their comments and criticisms were constructive. I found them approachable and their enthusiasm motivating.

Victorian Government department

We learnt that by trying to fit too much into a document you actually end up confusing people. And that defeats the basic purpose of communication. Thanks Andrew!

EPA Victoria