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Top 10 business writing skills you need to learn

Business writing is an essential ability to have if you want to be able to communicate professionally and get your ideas across. Doing it effectively requires mastering a number of key skills.

  1. Be clear and to the point. Particularly in business writing, the ability to be concise is incredibly important. Say what you mean with as few words as possible and you will be much more effective as a result.
  2. Who are you writing for? It’s essential to bear in mind your audience when you’re business writing. This will affect everything from the tone and detail to the language you use. You can also personalise what you’re creating by tailoring it to the individuals or demographic you’re aiming at.
  3. Learn how to structure your writing. If the document you’re producing is unstructured and unwieldy you may find that people struggle to get to the end. Bear in mind that a good structure will help a reader to absorb the information in the piece – and also that many people will make a judgment about whether to read on based solely on the first paragraph.
  4. Set yourself a goal. Crucially, before you start writing whatever it is you’re producing, make sure you know why you’re doing it. What’s the reason for the writing you’re about to begin and what are you hoping to achieve with it?
  5. Steer clear of an overly formal tone. Business writing needs to be professional but also accessible. It’s very easy to slip into formal writing that can be dull and mean that people switch off. A conversational tone ensures that a reader can engage with, and enjoy, what you’re writing and won’t be put off by too formal an approach.
  6. Use the right language. Most important is to use accessible vocabulary that is easy to understand – jargon and trending terms don’t usually add much.
  7. Switch from the passive voice to the active voice. Your writing will be more powerful if it’s framed in active terms e.g. switch from “if you want to know more we can be reached at” to “if you want to know more call me on this number.”
  8. Write for the appropriate channel or platform. Business writing for a blog is very different to writing web content or producing a report or white paper. Take the time to appreciate what the differences are between each and to tailor what you produce accordingly.
  9. Stick to the facts. The more facts, statistics and hard data your writing contains the more credible it will be. If you want to integrate opinions use facts to support them and avoid including those that don’t have a factual basis.
  10. Check everything you write – twice. Bad grammar, spelling mistakes and missing punctuation can detract from the point that you’re trying to make.

Great business writing takes a combination of focus, detail and understanding who you’re writing for. Nurturing these key skills will help you to considerably improve what you produce.

Find out more by booking your place on our Professional Writing Skills course

In-House Training with PTP

PTP stands for Practical Training for Professionals and our aim is to make our training as practical as possible so delegates can return to the workplace with skills they can implement immediately. PTP now delivers training to over 40% of the FTSE 100.

What you get for your money

What is 1-to-1 training?

1-to-1 training can be based on any of the 100 plus courses that PTP provides, it includes an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site one to one training session at your premises with one of PTP's expert trainers and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

You have the option of a line manager being involved in both telephone conferences, the second telephone conference which can be for feedback and action planning is generally scheduled during the on-site visit.

Who does 1-to-1 training suit?

Individuals taking on a new challenge or responsibilities. Professionals who want a trusted "sounding board" and thinking partner. Executives or managers who want to enhance their leadership effectiveness to achieve organizational and career success. Executives and professionals wanting to compete successfully but still retain balance in their life. Individuals who want to understand their blind spots so that they don't stand in their own way on their path to success. Executives and Professionals who want to improve their interpersonal skills so as to be more effective with bosses, peers, subordinates, or people in general. How much does 1-to-1 training cost?

A 1-to-1 training session costs from as little as £400 + VAT and will include an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site training at your premises and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

What is U-Choose?

Choose from any of the 150 plus courses that PTP provides, and choose from 1 of our 50 plus UK wide training venues. You must book for 2 or more delegates and at least 4 weeks in advance, but that’s it, the course you want where you want it. The reason we ask for a minimum of 4 weeks notice is to enable us to market the course you have scheduled to other companies and organisations. However, if we fail to sell any additional places we guarantee to run the course just for you.

How much does U-Choose Training cost?

U-choose costs the same as our normal open courses i.e. the normal delegate rate. This includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day, framed certification and comprehensive training notes. A U-Choose booking can only be confirmed once we receive payment which can be made via credit/debit card, BACS or cheque. Payment is due at least 4 weeks before the date you request. Please note to be eligible for U-Choose you must book a minimum of 2 delegates on the same course & date.