What are you looking to do? Any of the above mentioned? OR
- Deliver a good presentation?
- Communicate with your peers and seniors?
- Communicate with external partners or clients?
This program has practical and executable solutions instructed in a experiential training methodology to ensure that you not just remember but also deliver!
Self-assessment exercises allow you to evaluate how good you are at communicating. As you begin to communicate more effectively, this workshop will help you to consolidate and build on your own skills.
Your career awaits you. It is time to speak loud and speak right!
Level 1: Get your grammar right! Learn every little detail you need to know about writing skills
Writing skills involves expressing yourself clearly, using language with precision; constructing a logical argument; note taking, editing and summarizing; and writing reports.
There are three main elements to Writing skills
- structure (the way the content is laid out)
- style (the way it is written)
- content (what you are writing about)
Structure and layout can be relatively quickly learnt but learning how to write good quality content takes much longer.
A good structure will help you to express yourself more clearly, whether in a dissertation, an essay, a job application letter or a CV. The following tactics may help you to structure your writing:
- Clarify your thoughts and the purpose of your communication before you start writing. In business communications, clarity is more important than style.
- Identify the key points, facts and themes
- Decide on a logical order for what you have to say
- Compose a strong introduction and ending. The first will make an immediate and positive impression on the reader; the second will remain in their mind after they have finished reading
- Use short paragraphs and sentences rather than long, rambling ones. Keep to one idea per paragraph and put your point in the first line, then add the supporting information.
- Help key points to stand out by the use of headings, sub-headings and bullet points. This will allow your reader to quickly scan your message for the main points.
Style (the way it is written)
- Does it look neat, and elegant?
- Is it concise, with an exact use of words and economy of style?
“If in doubt, cut it out!”.
For example instead of saying forward planning, just say planning – there is no such thing as backward planning! Words such as very, just, quite, perhaps, maybe and really should all be removed .
Microsoft’s new CEO used 3,000 words to communicate what he wanted from his staff.
Bill Gates used 11 words: ‘To put a computer on every desk and in every home’.
- Are paragraphs too long?
Paragraphs of less than 10 lines are easier to read.
- Is a blank line left between paragraphs to aid clarity?
- Are sentences too long? A sentence should contain just one idea.
- Sentences with more than 30 words should normally be split.
- Is the first sentence interesting/ Does it draw the reader in?
- Have you used short, concrete, familiar words rather than long, obscure, complex words?
- Use the active words where possible rather than the passive voice? “It is recommended ….” should be replaced by “We recommend” as this is simpler and more direct
- Have you kept wordy phrases to a minimum?
- Have you avoided repetition?
- The Plain English Campaign recommends
sans serif fonts (e.g. Arial, Verdana) such as this, as clearer and easier to read than
serif fonts (e.g. Times New Roman, Garamond) such as this.
Content (what you are writing about)
- Have you carefully checked the spelling and punctuation?
- Have you thought through in advance what you want to say?
- Have you a clear objective?
- Have you listed the essential points you wish to make?
- Have you made these points clearly?
- Have you developed your argument in a logical way?
- Have you allowed detail to obscure the main issues?
- Is the content positive and constructive?
- Have you shown an interest in the reader by writing with warmth, sensitivity and friendliness?
- Have you edited it through several revisions, honing the text until it is just right?
- Have you left it overnight if possible: your mind will assimilate it better and you will come back with a fresh view.
Level 2: Learn about the different ways you can apply your grammar, reading, writing and speaking skills and take your communication skills to an all new level!
The writing rules of George Orwell
- Never use a long word where a short one will do.
- If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
- Never use the passive voice (e.g. “Bones are liked by dogs”) where you can use the active voice (“Dogs like bones”).
- Never use jargon if you can think of an everyday equivalent.