Well, I did it.

I got wild and crazy and signed up for David Garland’s “Create Awesome Online Courses.” 

I invested because I teach so many live Business Writing courses around the country, and I see how jazzed people get over what they are learning. Then, I ask myself, “How do I make this easier for them, and for me?

My answer is always: TEACH ONLINE! 

The class, I’m thinking about creating first, is Business Writing. I love seeing how happy participants get over what they learn, or over simply refreshing their writing and grammar experience.

Business Writing gets to the point, creates interest and helps readers accomplish their goals and desires. It is written with the reader in mind. It asks: Is my writing Clear? Concise? Correct? Courteous? Conversational? Convincing? Complete? 

Last week, I asked what you would like to learn through an online class about Business Writing.  Here are some of  your great (unedited) responses:

1. What is a business writing?

2a. For letters: Correct salutations & closings. Correct signatures, including ones where I am writing for someone else. 

2b. For reports: Best layouts to concisely convey information. Are summary pages still the norm?

2c. Any ideas on how to write for the various “generations”.

3. To answer your request, I assume that you will be covering the basics of grammar, punctuation, and how to write a business letter or compose a clear and succinct message etc.  which will all be very helpful.  (I personally struggle with keeping it short and simple, because I always want to share context.) My suggestions are based on personal experiences and I hope you will find them helpful.

4. I have two sets of answers:

A.  As a supervisor, if someone I supervise were to take the class I would want that person to learn how to write:

  • professional but easily understandable communications to the public (notices/emails/website); and
  • one-page reports with basic research on a topic and a short analysis presenting important information for decision-makers.

B. Personally, I want to learn how to create written communications that are not taken the wrong way. Not sure how to better explain my thought on that, so an example might be easiest. I once spent hours writing and rewriting an email to a director of a department explaining that I would make sure to keep her department in the loop at every stage of a project (that was decided upon above her head, despite her objections, and diverting control of a system that would normally fall under her department’s jurisdiction) and that she would not be left out of design and implementation of the project. Her response to the email was to “read between the lines” the exact opposite of what I intended or believed that I wrote, causing greater tension. Maybe this can be summarized by adding a bullet to the above list stating, “communications with executives and other leaders”.

5. How to articulate my outcome in a clear and concise manner.

6. I want to be able to put my thoughts together / in order.

7. I would love to learn how to write concisely and tailored to different audiences.  How to grab the reader’s attention and keep it would be great too!

8. How to write performance evaluations. Good wording ideas.

9. I personally would find it interesting to learn the difference between formal, casual and trendy language; and how to determine which one would be appropriate for our purposes.

Thank you for sending in your answers. Please send me more as you think of them. 

Here’s the next question: Why is good Business Writing important these days?   

Be sure and write!