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Getting Started With Business Writing Courses

Aug 14, 2008
Planning to improve your communication effectiveness with business writing courses?

Let me suggest that you start not with the courses themselves, but with some thinking about your specific goals. By that, I mean what exactly do you want to achieve by taking courses.

Here's an example which may help flesh out that idea, although it does come from a slightly different context. I used to have a lot of trouble selling my newsletter writing and publishing services. That happened until I began using a consultative sales approach; consultative sales referring to the idea that selling is not a presentation, but rather a back and forth process between buyer and seller, and the end result being that the seller understands what the buyer wants and needs.

What was happening in my case was that until I went through this intensive question and answer process, the potential clients usually didn't have firm ideas of what they wanted from their newsletters. And so they weren't ready to buy when I took a typical sales approach, using presentations. On the other hand, using a consultative process, we were jointly able to define what they wanted. That meant they were ready to buy, rather than just kick tires.

That same principle holds if you're looking for business writing courses. Consider these issues:

* Do I want to address a specific issue, or is it general improvement I'm seeking?
* Do I have a deadline, or will this be an ongoing project?

By simply asking those two questions, you will have moved a considerable distance toward identifying what kinds of courses you need. For example, I offer two short business writing courses on my website. And, they have very different functions.

3 Easy Ways to Power Up Your Writing is a broad sort of course, designed to generally improve writing skills and knowledge. On the other hand, How to Craft a Communication Strategy deals with a specific type of writing project.

Both of these business writing courses are based on written booklets, which means they're inexpensive and quick. Obviously, you would look elsewhere if you wanted comprehensive and thorough instruction.

Here's another question worth considering: How do you learn best? Do you learn best from books or from other people? Do you learn better from reading or from doing? Do you like to learn using your computer (and perhaps the Internet), or do you prefer to work with pen and paper, writing in longhand?

Now, you may have other, even radically different, criteria for your writing enhancement. That's fine. The more questions or criteria you have, the more you'll be able to focus your search.

That in turn, means you should be able to find what you need more quickly, and so you'll be able to start working on your writing development sooner, and spend more time on improvement, rather than reading descriptions of an endless number of business writing courses.

So, be an informed. By identifying your needs before you start looking, you'll greatly increase the likelihood of getting the courses you want, and even more importantly, enhancing your business writing skills.
About the Author
Robert F. Abbott is the author of A Manager's Guide to Newsletters: Communicating for Results and the forthcoming Meet the New Owners: How Working People are Buying Up Big Business. His business writing courses include 3 Easy Ways to Power Up Your Writing, which will make your written communication more readable, more lively, and more effective.
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