Business Writing Fundamentals
Illustration by Neil Webb

Business Writing Fundamentals

with Judy Steiner-Williams
image
lynda.com's PMI® Program
This course qualifies for 1.50 PDUs towards maintaining PMI® certification. Learn More

Video: Making your writing conversational

- [Voiceover] Effective writing expresses the message in a conversational tone Stiff, stilted legal terms, and old-fashioned business language can make our documents sound like contracts, rather than a simple request or routine announcement. So how can you achieve the conversational style? Often when communicating in business we forget that a human being is reading what we've written. A human being who reacts just like you and just like me. I could give you a multi-page list of words to use and words to avoid using.

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now
please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Business Writing Fundamentals
1h 32m Appropriate for all Feb 04, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Discover the secrets to effective business writing and crafting messages that others want to read and act on. Judy Steiner-Williams, senior lecturer at Kelley School of Business, introduces you to the 10 Cs of strong business communication and provides you with before-and-after writing samples that give you the opportunity to apply each principle and sharpen your communication skills. Judy also points out common grammar and writing mistakes and shares special considerations for formats like emails and reports.

This course qualifies for 1.5 Category A professional development units (PDUs) through lynda.com, PMI Registered Education Provider #4101.


The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Subject:
Business
Author:
Judy Steiner-Williams

Making your writing conversational

- [Voiceover] Effective writing expresses the message in a conversational tone Stiff, stilted legal terms, and old-fashioned business language can make our documents sound like contracts, rather than a simple request or routine announcement. So how can you achieve the conversational style? Often when communicating in business we forget that a human being is reading what we've written. A human being who reacts just like you and just like me. I could give you a multi-page list of words to use and words to avoid using.

But let's make learning how to achieve the conversational style simple. Ask yourself this one basic question. Think what you're about to write and then ask would I say this if I were speaking face to face with someone? For example, would you ever say to someone in the hallway as you handed that person a packet of material, enclosed please find the following items? What would you say as you handed the packet to your coworker? Probably, here are the materials you asked me to gather for you or the forms are in this packet.

Would you ever end a telephone conversation by saying hoping to hear from you in the near future, and hang up the receiver? More than likely you would say, I hope to have your answer by Friday or let me know by Friday if you need more information. Have you recently said "per" as in per your request? I certainly haven't, but an email I received within the last week began with per your request. Why not as you requested. This message is in regards to. Why not, this is regarding? Or this is about your request for a new price list.

So the simple rule is if you wouldn't say it, don't write it. On the other hand, writing can be, too informal or too slangish. Just because you might say something to someone does not mean you should write it that way. I might say to that coworker as I handed that packet, here's your stuff or here you go. But I would never write that. So not stiff and stilted, but also not too slangish. The majority of our day-to-day communication is informal and should use the conversational tone.

But, informal is not the same as slang. The email, the memo, the letter, the announcement on the bulletin board, whatever the channel, your goal is to sound conversational and provide your reader with writing that is natural and personalized. Readers will immediately detect mechnical sounding language. You want your reader to know that you see him or her as a person, rather than as a robot. Readers appreciate business writing that sounds human.

There are currently no FAQs about Business Writing Fundamentals.

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Business Writing Fundamentals.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.