Give your writing style a complete makeover in just two days!
Your writing style speaks volumes about who you are. Crisp, clear mistake-proof business documents reveal a powerful, take-charge professional who's going places, fast! On the other hand, slipshod errors, dull, dry prose and grammar gaffes give the impression of someone who is sloppy, careless and not to be trusted with important assignments.
First things first
- A fun, confidential assessment of your writing skills
- How your personality affects your written communication style - are you Visual? Auditory? Kinesthetic? A combination?
- The secrets for adapting your style to communicate more easily with different personalities
- Six questions to ask yourself about your project before you write even one word
- Writer’s block got you stalled out? Five idea- generating methods to jump-start your brain!
- Six different ways to create an outline of your project, and dramatically speed up the writing process
- Patterns of order - what are they? How do you know which is best for your document?
Ready, set, write!
- How the A.I.D.A. method can help you organize your document for maximum impact
- Proven openings (all of them tried and true) that grab your readers’ attention from the get-go
- Ways to let your own personality shine through in your writing, no matter how business-oriented your document is
- How to use business language without sounding forced or stilted
- Tips for creating a natural, conversational tone while maintaining overall professionalism
- The art of keeping your message positive, even if you are the bearer of bad news or negative information
- How to "unbloat" your writing by using fewer words that carry greater impact
- Why you should use "nickel" words, but avoid "quarters"
- Tips to catch and eliminate redundant wording and phrases
- How to pepper your writing with strong action words that mean business and get results
- The power of persuasive language throughout your written document - get others to "see things your way"
- A call to action: the perfect ending for a document
Grammar and punctuation ground rules - back to basics
- Where were you during high school grammar class? A quick review of what you know (and what you’ve forgotten!):
- Subjective and objective pronouns
- Active and passive voice
- Punctuation marks
- Dos and don’ts of capitalization
- How to present numbers in writing
- When is a sentence not a sentence? When it’s a fragment! When you can safely use sentence fragments, and when you shouldn’t
- Four main sentence types - simple, complex, compound, compound-complex
- How sentence structure affects your writing for better or worse
- Topical and special paragraphs - what’s the difference?
- How to write a powerful closing paragraph that’ll knock ’em dead!
- Five types of transitions - how to use them to "smooth the way" and lead readers through your document
- Slang, jargon, and clichés, and how to purge them from your writing (your readers will thank you!)
- Words and expressions to steer clear of (some readers may find them sexist or offensive)
- The most commonly misused words in business writing - which are you guilty of using?
Proofread for perfection
- Seven "hazards" to watch for when editing a document (yours or someone else’s)
- Why you should never, ever rely exclusively on your computer’s spell-checker to catch spelling errors
- Common proofreading marks used by professionals
- Special techniques editors use to seek out tricky typos, punctuation problems, and other hard-to-see mistakes
- How a proofreading "team" can make short work of proofing financial or other numerical data
Writing skills you positively can’t be without
- Not sure about the best way to structure a letter? Four effective business letter templates you’ll use again and again
- How many adjectives are too many? How to apply the "less is more" strategy to your writing
- Ways to trim the fat and cut the fluff from longer documents - keeping them readable, interesting, and effective
- Savvy secrets for crafting memos and e-mails that are clear, easy to read, and to the point
- When it’s your turn to take meeting minutes: surefire tips for getting the most important information on paper fast
- Super-effective letter-writing techniques for soothing angry, disgruntled clients (and keeping their business!)
- The art of the written thank you (don’t gush, just be straightforward and sincere)
- How to write letters of support and encouragement
- The power of the written word to sell, persuade, convince, and win people over to your way of thinking