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Master and Manage Business Writing
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Master and Manage Business Writing


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As business owners, we find our writing often flows from paper to mobile device to desktop—email, instant messaging, texts, memos and presentations are just some of the ways we connect at dizzying …

As business owners, we find our writing often flows from paper to mobile device to desktop—email, instant messaging, texts, memos and presentations are just some of the ways we connect at dizzying speeds.

With all of these ways to instantly connect, the demand for strong writing skills is higher than ever. Your buyers are making judgments on the quality of your message whether you like it or not. As our streams of communication narrow and shorten, your writing is ever more expected to be clear, concise and compelling. This short presentation will arm you with tools and information to get you ahead. Learn how to reveal exactly what you intend to with your communication.

You will learn:
- Why so much business writing fails
- What makes writing compelling or irresistible
- How to pack your messages into small spaces
- Where to find the resources to take you to the next level.

Published in: Education, Business

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  • 1. Master and Manage Your Business Writing Create, control and proliferate the right message to the right medium (in 25-ish minutes). @redpaperclipTuesday, 19 June, 12
  • 2. Who are We? What gives me the right to stand up here?Tuesday, 19 June, 12
  • 3. What to expect today: • Eschew “tips and tricks” and delve deeper into some mechanics • Parse and share elements that propel your writing from casual to compelling • Gain tools and resources to move your writing forward Remember: “Nothing is original.” -Jim JarmuschTuesday, 19 June, 12
  • 4. “90% of everythingis CRAP” • Sturgeon’s Law,1958 • Written in defence of Science Fiction against attacks by people who selected the worst work to make an example of. • Even more applicable in business because the parts of great writing have been ignored by so many. • Originally business writing was to catalogue or archive transactions or contracts • Today, it needs to do more...Tuesday, 19 June, 12
  • 5. What is BusinessWriting? "Throughout the globe, the written word, in both paper and electronic forms, is seen less as strictly a way of archiving the business already completed and more as a vital, creative means of problem solving, collaborating, and actually doing business." (R. Inkster and J. M. Kilborn, The Writing of Business, 1999)Tuesday, 19 June, 12
  • 6. What is BusinessWriting? Let’s Try That Again: “We’ve left the stodginess of writing about business and entered an active world of writing compelling, persuasive, collaborative content for conducting business.”Tuesday, 19 June, 12
  • 7. The Parts ofBusiness Writing • Audience - To whom are you speaking? • Message - What are you trying to say? • Medium - How must you say it? • Actions - What do you want them to do?Tuesday, 19 June, 12
  • 8. Audience. Don’t just think of them as a loose group.Tuesday, 19 June, 12
  • 9. Understand Mindset. Look at the individual motivations, perspectives, locations, etc.Tuesday, 19 June, 12
  • 10. Be Relevant.It works. Le Seth Godin Le Purple CowTuesday, 19 June, 12
  • 11. ConnectionConcerns. Possible Barriers or Challenges: • Cultural • Gender • Social Getting this wrong can end the conversation.Tuesday, 19 June, 12
  • 12. Message. Pack It With Story. Character Action/ “Climax” Conclusion Tension Simply put, it’s “... A narrative about a character dealing with an obstacle to achieve some important goal.”Tuesday, 19 June, 12
  • 13. Story in SmallSpaces. • “We Won,” versus “Congrats to the IT department for their success yesterday.” • Show, don’t tell. • “World Economics Newsletter-June 17, 2012” versus our rewrite: “World’s Worst Breakup: The EU Without Greece? WEN-June 17, 2012”Tuesday, 19 June, 12
  • 14. The Greatest Bad-News Memo To: H. R. Haldeman From: Bill Safire July 18, 1969. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- IN EVENT OF MOON DISASTER: Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace. These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice. These two men are laying down their lives in mankinds most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding. They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by the nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown. In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man. In ancient days, men looked at the stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood. Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Mans search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts. For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind. PRIOR TO THE PRESIDENTS STATEMENT: The President should telephone each of the widows-to-be. AFTER THE PRESIDENTS STATEMENT, AT THE POINT WHEN NASA ENDS COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE MEN: A clergyman should adopt the same procedure as a burial at sea, commending their souls to "the deepest of the deep," concluding with the Lords Prayer.Tuesday, 19 June, 12
  • 15. Appeals. How Can I Connect? • Your Character (Trust, Disposition) • Their Logic (Pricing, Exceeds Criteria) • Emotions (Speaks to Mindset. Emotional appeals always leave the most lasting effect)Tuesday, 19 June, 12
  • 16. Medium. VS Requirements LimitsTuesday, 19 June, 12
  • 17. Medium. Take What You Get From Audience: • Take all the audience mindset, story, and appeal and fill it into each of the requirements of the medium. • Snip the extraneous parts that are unimportant by looking at the limits of the medium.Tuesday, 19 June, 12
  • 18. Medium: LiteraryElements. = + Tone Audience Personality or BrandTuesday, 19 June, 12
  • 19. Medium: LiteraryElements.Same Story, Different Tone "Ike Turner, Musician and “Ike ‘Beats’ Tina to Death” Songwriter in Duo With Tina Turner, Dies at 76" One of these is from The New York Times, the other is from the New York Post. *Courtesy of Grammar GirlTuesday, 19 June, 12
  • 20. Outcomes/Actions. Business Writing IS Persuasion.Tuesday, 19 June, 12
  • 21. Outcomes/Actions. “We’ve left the age of information. We are now in an age of transformation.” @redpaperclipTuesday, 19 June, 12
  • 22. Outcomes/Actions. • Understand the action you’re seeking. • Spell it out early in the brainstorming session, if you have to. • Ask, “What do I want the reader to do?”Tuesday, 19 June, 12
  • 23. Outcomes/Actions. Possible Outcomes: • Comprehend Information • Accept a justification • Influence their position with calls to action • Direct Action or Authoritative Action Calls (not as hard to do as above, since authority reigns)Tuesday, 19 June, 12
  • 24. Parting Thoughts. • ALL Business Writing is Persuasive. • Stories move readers more than facts or figures. Stories show, facts tell. • Where you can, inject emotional elements. “We won,” does much better than “Congratulations to the sales department.”Tuesday, 19 June, 12
  • 25. Thanks! @redpaperclip http://redpaperclip.caTuesday, 19 June, 12
  • 26. Resources. • Strunk & White (1918). The Elements of Style • Roddick, H (2003). Business Writing Makeovers: Shortcut solutions to improve your letters, e-mails and faxes. • Seglin, J. L., Coleman, E. (2002). The AMA handbook of business letters (3rd ed.) • Johnson-Sheehan, R. (2008). Writing proposals (2nd ed.) • Signorelli, J., Storybranding: Creating standout brands through the power of story. • Shipley & Schwalbe (2008). Send:Why people email so badly and how to do it better. • The Grammar Girl (The Queen of American Usage) • Seth Godin (2003). The Purple Cow.Tuesday, 19 June, 12