Ten Secrets to Powerful Business Writing

A One-Day Seminar

What is “Powerful Writing?”

It’s writing packed with the power of superior communication:

The power of clarity.
The power of conciseness.
The power of simplicity.
The power of coherence.
The power of cogency.

The power to capture and hold attention.
The power to get understood
The power to get action.

Ten Pivotal Secrets

To achieve this power, we tap ten core practical, real-world, mega-principles that successful business writers use.

Ten principles that apply across the board at all levels in business. Ten principles that work synergistically.

Ten principles participants can use immediately to transform their writing back on the job.

What Participants Will Learn

Participants come away knowing precisely how to:

Seize attention of demanding business readers, who have too much to read and no time to waste

Give readers what they most want—in the first sentence

Root out the misguided models of “official” writing that bad writers unconsciously follow, laying a barrier of dead prose between their message and the reader

Turn chaos to clarity by a powerful three-step structuring process that applies at both the macro and micro level of any document

Think more sharply — because the discipline of writing well elicits clearer thinking

Ease readers through the message by knowing and using the kind of words busy readers unconsciously prefer

Say more with fewer words — producing shorter documents with greater impact

Inject life into the driest of documents by knowing how to make the most of verbs

Package the message so that readers spot it even before they read it—making it transparent to fast-paced scanning eyes

Increase readers’ recall of business documents by up to 75 percent – through a strategic packaging of text

Break writer’s block with a proven method to get the writing process in motion even before putting text on the page

Shape sentences that deliver the message flawlessly in readily digestible units

Edit with assurance using a concise workshop checklist that distills the new learning on a handy, laminated, “takeaway” card for use everyday back on the job

Tap a wealth of value-added writing insights that ripple out of each of the “Ten Secrets” synergistically.

Course Design and Structure

The model of “good” writing that most people learned in school was a wordy, heavy, ornate, academic prose. The seminar challenges that model as the wrong one for the fast-paced world of the workplace of the twenty-first century— where virtually all professionals have:

  • Too much to read
  • No time to waste

To communicate effectively with these readers, writers must redefine and redesign their model of good writing. The seminar brings participants through this redesign process. Participants consistently remark that the learning approach the course takes is clever, imaginative and highly engaging.

Three Core Modules

The Elements of Structure

We will begin by learning to change our writing perspective—shifting to the seat of the real-world, fast-paced, busy people who are at the other end of your letters, reports and e-mails. Starting from this critical perspective shift, we will discover the structural and format elements that have maximum effect with this demanding audience.

The Elements of Style

We will next learn the kind of wording strategies that bring well planned structure to life. These are the proven techniques used by professional writers and editors to make their prose lean, crisp, dynamic, cogent and easy for busy readers to grasp immediately.

The Elements of Editing

We will apply these new structural and stylistic skills by editing real documents drawn from participants’ own workplace. The instructor and class join in the editing process. This module brings the new skills home, dramatically illustrating how they can improve writing immediately back on the job.

The Added Challenges of E-Mail

E-mail has become the lynchpin of written communication in the workplace. To respond to this dramatic change, the Whelan Group created Secrets to Powerful E-Mail, a companion half-day seminar that addresses the unique communications challenges posed by e-mail.

As an enrichment to Ten Secrets to Powerful Writing, the course includes excerpts from Secrets to Powerful E-Mail – to show how the Ten Secrets apply equally as powerfully.

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