Business Writing - Get Results - No Stress | Peter Urey | Skillshare

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Business Writing - Get Results - No Stress

teacher avatar Peter Urey, Business Coaching

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

29 Lessons (1h 33m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Overview and Objectives

    • 3. 3 Outline of Content and Method

    • 4. 4. The Value of Metaphor

    • 5. General Principles

    • 6. Plan Everything

    • 7. Scan EVerything

    • 8. Scenario One Direct Mail

    • 9. The Why of Direct Mail

    • 10. The What of Direct Mail

    • 11. How Where When of Direct Mail

    • 12. Good v Bad Direct Mail

    • 13. Plain Language

    • 14. Scenario 2 Email

    • 15. Email Constructionm

    • 16. Email additional thoughts

    • 17. Reports

    • 18. Presentations

    • 19. Flyers

    • 20. Letters

    • 21. Business Proposals

    • 22. Memos

    • 23. Spelling and Punctuation

    • 24. Grammar Tips

    • 25. Writing for the web

    • 26. Press Releases

    • 27. Web pages and blog posts

    • 28. Feedback

    • 29. Summary

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About This Class

Situation - you are required to write in business and to make your point effectively.
Problem - you are not as effective as you should be or you get stressed doing it.
Need - this course to learn and apply the basic guidelines of effective writing.            

Learn to Plan and Scan so that the reader's eye follows your message across the page.
Remember that we skim documents up to 9 times for key words before we read them.

  • Distil your message to its essence in 12¬†words to prove¬†you know your subject.
  • Use the AIDA model to win Attention, build Interest and Desire to generate¬†Action.
  • Use the KISS¬†rule to Keep It Short and Simple.
  • Focus on the top 3 logical and emotional¬†arguments in your writing.
  • Discover tools to make sure you use Plain Language.
  • Imagine you are writing for a reading age of 14 years.
  • Get onto the reader's wavelength by mirroring the metaphors they use.
  • Write powerful headlines and subject lines to make your¬†point fast.
  • Break your words up with white space, indents and bold to make it easier to follow

Using real life scenarios learn to write better:

                                     direct mail
                                     blog posts
                                     press releases
                                     business proposals
                                     memos and much more

Learn how to discover the keywords at the "sweet spot" which will help your writing to get found online. Write using keywords without your message sounding distorted.

In one way or another you will only ever be wrting about:

                                    where we are - current circumstances
                                    where we could go - our options
                                    how to get there - the plan of action

If you keep to the plot of the story and remember why you are writing and who you are writing for, then what you are going to write will fall into place.

Eliminate the worst errors of grammar, spelling and punctuation with our list of the Top 20 most common problems.

We reveal the magic words which will help you to give and receive critical feedback on your writing without giving or taking any offence.

The course will help anybody who is required to write in their business role to communicate effectively. If you need to be more effective or find that you get stressed and confused then this course will teach you the basic techniques on which you can rely.

The course is mostly video which has been designed to help you recall simple tools like:

                                    Plan and Scan
                                    SPIN and others.

By making these tools easy to recall and by looking at before and after examples you will quickly be able to write in business and will greatly improve your personal reputation.

We are always available to answer your questions.

Includes relevant Mind Maps throughout and an hour of free coaching for those who complete the course if requested.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Peter Urey

Business Coaching


1. There are many times in life when we know we need some guidance but it's tough to ask for help.

2. Fear of what others might think, pride or embarrassment can hold us back.

3. Our courses deal with subjects which are difficult to talk about to your boss or other people.

* Motivation
* Bullying
* Dealing with difficult people
* Confidence
* Anxiety about basic skills
* Alcohol issues

We offer the soft skills for hard times

4. They are affordable and accessible any time and any place on the internet.

5. You can learn in total privacy.

6. We are on-hand to offer personal support via Skype should you need it. We've been... See full profile

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1. Introduction: This course is designed for people who want to master the art of getting that point across in written business communication effectively. Now we've all been taught to read and write, but we've not necessarily ever been taught how to manage the process of taking a business idea, rendering it into simple terms and then putting it on the page so other people's eyes can follow through that story, get the point on moved to take the action that you want them to take. Now, fortunately, this is a learning ble technique. That's what the course is gonna be about teaching you these techniques. But it is true to say, this quality of life is quality of communication. Communicate poorly on you. Waste your time, other people's time on your crate, frustration and damage your reputation. Communicate using these techniques, and you will demonstrate that you can see would fir trees and build your reputation as a leader. I've been very fortunate to have been taught these techniques, firstly in my year, studying Gloria Oxford University on then in business and particularly in sales and marketing with Hewlett Packard. We will teach you techniques to gain the attention of the reader, often through the headline, build their interest to the point where they have enough desire to take your proposed action. And to do this by using before and after examples of how to lay out a message across the page. Well, then, look at the type of language that you should use, what we call plain language and show you tools for keeping your language very simple. Will also examine the use of key words in writing for the Web in Block Posts, Press releases, Web pages. How to research them on how to write them into your documents without distorting the meaning or spoiling the flow. Then we'll look at how the brain treats chunks of information generally in clusters of three pertinent ideas, both logical and then emotional. At any one time. They will look at spelling grammar and punctuation, which come after the gaining the attention on the moving. The I threw the message well, look at matching your style with the needs of your reader and then ways to give feedback on communication to make sure that other people are communicating with you in the way that works best for you. There are plenty of opportunities for you to look at the content of this course in the first few lectures which will make available free of charge. So why not and roll today? The best investment you're ever gonna make is an investment in yourself. 2. Overview and Objectives: to describe the course objectives and outcomes. We're going to do what they call in marketing, eat our own dog food. That is, we're gonna use the material we're going to teach you in the course to get our point across . Andi in all business communication, this being verbal. But we'll look in a written communication. There's a flow off a story on pretty much in all cases in business. That flow is where are we right now? Where could we go? How are we going to get that? So right now, when you start to think about where you are with your level of comfort with business writing, ask yourself on a scale of 1 to 10. Where am I right now? Then ask yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 where would I like to get to? And then, as she said, the question If I'm currently at a four, what might it take to get me to a five? We don't have to go from three or 4 to 10 straight away. Would just move forward in incremental steps. Keep rating yourself on the progress you make as you go through the course, and if at any point you feel like you need support. Please use the messaging system. Get in touch with us, and we'll do what we have to do to get you making the progress you want to make where we are today is that people are bombarded with so much information they can only skim, and they put value on getting to the point fast. So your job is to guide the reader's attention through a document using structure my guide er's plain language, a metaphors to reduce complexity. How are you going to get there is learn and apply these techniques. Plan and scan. Where does your I go when you look at a document gain attention, interest, desire on action By the way, you lay your story out across the page and keep it short and simple. 3. 3 Outline of Content and Method: the course will teach you how to write better e mails, proposals, presentations, letters, memos and reports by applying basic principles. But we won't spend too much time dwelling on the principles will show you them in application in real documents, as you're going to create them when you're in the workplace. And to do this will set up scenarios for document creation, which will bear hopefully, a similarity to the challenges that you face in your daily business life. In this way, you'll see the theory in practice and be able to move quite quickly from what you are to where you want to be. 4. 4. The Value of Metaphor: and then the third piece is the use of metaphor. Metaphor is central to the way we communicate with understanding. Metaphor is the way that you can get onto the readers. Sensory Waveland. If you know that somebody talks about visions and targets and directions, that's the sort of language you want to use. If they talk about platforms and structures and architectures, you need to use that kind of language. Metaphor is also great for simplifying complexity. Complexity can be reduced by comparing something with which you are very familiar on making comparison with the new situation that you trying to describe. A metaphor is great for painting word pictures prompted by the phrase that's like, what? Remember a picture on a word picture is worth 1000 words. You can communicate so much by the use of well thought through metaphor. So there the basic principles and you'll see them work through in the scenarios that we play out during the rest of this course. 5. General Principles: throughout the scenarios that we create for you, we're gonna be making the following points that will outline in just a moment. Andi. In different types of communications, you'll use different elements of the principles that we're gonna lay before you. But we're just gonna lay them out in overview on Be a little bit repetitious. But you know this. There's value in repetition, particularly early on, so you can see the principles in action through these rial life but imagined scenarios. 6. Plan Everything: George Bernard Shaw once said the problem with communication is the illusion that is taking place. So these steps, I'm gonna be very helpfully making sure that you marry it. What it is you intend to happen with what's going on in the mind of the recipient. The first principle is toe clan. Everything but plan appropriate to the communication that you're making a major presentation will probably require more planning than some simple emails, but still plan on. The gist of the plan is to ask the six standard questions. Why? Who? What? How, where and went when you think about why you're communicating, that is essentially your story, where you where you going and how you're gonna get there with this communication And there are a number of little tools you can use acronyms to help you. Marshall, you're thinking one is called spin. What's his situation? The problem. You're in the implications of that problem on what you need to do. Another one he swapped. What are the strengths of my situation, the weaknesses, the opportunities and the threats or pest? What are the political, economic and social and technological circumstances that I'm dealing with? So each one will have its role dependent on your particular objective, but it's important to understand your story at all time. Who is who you communicating with on what's their story? Where are they? Where they going? How can you help them to get there again? Spin Swatton Pest could be helpful to help you to see the communication from the recipients Point of view. Then what are you going to write? And here we use the acronym Aida, which stands for attention, interest and desire and action. And in the attention piece, we try and get the attention within 12 words or less. What's the rial gist of what we're talking about and an interest in desire? We look at the logic and the emotion of a communication, but it's always about some kind of action and understanding in the mind of the recipient. Then how? Where when is about? How does the recipient receiving respond to information? How you gonna communicate? What particular style of document Where will that document appear? Andi, When will it appear? So this plan, everything 7. Scan EVerything: scan. Everything is about recognizing that people don't read. They skip and they skin. With that, I'm moving across the page, so you need to be aware of where the eye moves across your writing and then the writing itself is kiss writing. Keep it short and simple, also known as Keep it simple, stupid and plain language. What it's plain language. Well, their tools you can use to measure how playing your languages, but generally it will involve using words with fewer than three syllables on keeping your sentences and your paragraphs short and not Chungking, you're you're writing into incomprehensible blocks. Out of the kiss principle comes a scan of your grammar, spelling and punctuation, and there are some simple rules that we can help you with there to make sure you don't make howling errors on that front. And then finally, issues scan the document that you produced. You can ask yourself, How does reading it yourself make you think and feel, and how would you act if this document arrived in front of you? 8. Scenario One Direct Mail: Now we'll move on to a business scenario, which is going to require a document. You'll see it's an artificial scenario. You'll see fairly quickly why I've chosen it on the type of document that we're gonna produce. But it will take us through the thinking about it, the planning, it the choice of wording, the layout on the scanning because it's a subject, but that has challenges. We've chosen financial planning for funerals. So it's you could say it's a doll ish, challenging subject that needs to be brought to life and, well, if you pardon the expression on, we'll show you how that can be done. The particular choice of document is a great one for this exercise, because that contains within it most of the major principles that we've already talked about. So let's get on with the job. We're going to try and raise awareness of the necessity to plan ahead and buy an insurance product to protect your family from future funeral costs. Nice big challenge. Let's quickly recap. A plan is about why we're going to begin writing who will be writing for What are we going to write, then how are we going to present it. Where are we going to present it? When are we gonna present? Why? Who? What, How where went to give some thought to Why we're in the process of writing in this instance will just use the spin analysis, which is to to think about our situation, the problems we face, the implications of those problems and what we're going to need for this exercise. We're not going to do an analysis off this particular market. It's just to demonstrate the way you would think about it. So the broad situation is that funeral expenses are steadily on the rise, and more people seem to bay seems to be failing to plan for that scenario. So that's the problem. The problem is that many people are reaching a point where they're leaving the cost of the funeral to their families, which presents an issue. So what we need is some kind of communication. If we're in this market to explain that there are adults, that there are alternatives to the family having to pick up the cast insurance can be bought to deal with this situation. So that's broadly the scenario. That's what we're looking at just broad scenario planning. Here's a great business market opportunity, but people don't really even want to talk about it or acknowledge it as a problem. Nobody likes to think about that fateful day. The more accurate the data you have, the better the more insight into the market have. The better all this is going to inform what you write, but it's a question of sort of helicoptering away from the situation before you start committing time, energy and money to the communication that you're gonna put together. 9. The Why of Direct Mail: Now let's think about who we're putting this communication together for. What's their story in their head space? Where are they, where they're going and how they're going to get? Or let's think of it from the spin point of view, what's what's their situation? Well, they're in denial. They know this is something they're gonna have to deal with, but they're not really thinking about it. What's the problem? Well, they've gone unexpected cost about to hit them, and the implication of that is it could cause unrest, and it might even harm them financially. They don't do something about it. So what do they need? They need somebody to lay the facts out in front of them in a way that gets their attention but doesn't frighten them and put them off that walks them through the facts of the situation and the features and benefits of the product. Andi leads them to take an action which will benefit you. Was the supplier of this products and them as the recipient of it. So was starting to set the stage for some mutual understanding. We can also make some educated guesses about how old they are. The current level of comfort with financial products and decisions on if we really needed to. We could research the project and even by information about the type of person that we're trying to communicate with. But by pausing and reflecting common sense will tell us a lot about how they like to receive information on what they're prepared to do once they have received it. 10. The What of Direct Mail: only after we've considered why were writing and who were writing for. Should we start to give thought to what we're going to write? Don't dive straight into writing yet. Think about what you're gonna right now we know something about perspective reader. On that we know that this is a subject, but they need made simple for them. So that should start to inform our thinking about summarizing what it is we're talking about. Before we put pen to paper, we can think of this summary as the beginning of an attractive headline, something that will grab attention in our Aida model attention, interest, desire and action. So let's think about that headline or summary in these terms. So, first of all, what's the subject that we're talking about? So in this case, it's funeral plans on who we aiming at, probably the over fifties. Andi. What are we trying to do with the content? Well, we've already said it would try and make it simple. How about a summary headline along the lines off funeral planning for the over fifties made , simple, sort of artificially crafted headline. But you can see there's a structure to now when we think of putting any business case to an audience. We need to be aware that people think in two ways they think logically and they think emotionally. So knowing what we know about the potential client, some of the common sense questions that they might ask themselves which we should address in our content are going to bay. How big is this problem? And it's a really problem. Secondly, if I'm going to address it, how much is it going to cost me? Affordability? I thought. Is it something I need to deal with now? Not being mind. Mind if I was thinking about buying a funeral product? When it comes to emotional drivers, the sort of questions I'm I asked, would bay, Can I trust these people? Will they still be in business when I need them? Half of the people got good things to say about them. Would it be possible to get references on their finally knowing what we know about the recipient? What action can we expect them to take? In this case? We can't expect them to receive a communication for from us and sign up for the product straight away. We have to take the mid stages. So we might think that in this instance, the best next step would be to get them to make contact with us for more information, a pamphlet or a flyer, or maybe even come to a seminar about this topic. So that would be the call to action. So now we have the building blocks of our communication, and we can step back from it and start to think about how it's gonna look on the page on the way we're gonna lay it out. So, to summarize 12 words or less to capture the essence of the document, what we're writing about, Who's it for? What's the benefit? Logical and emotional drivers. Three of each, the best three of each on. Then what can we realistically expect the recipient to do once they've got hold of this particular piece of written communication? 11. How Where When of Direct Mail: the how where and the when of this business writing process can now be considered. So the how is about the choice of document on the way we're going to present it on the page . So in this instance, knowing what we know about the client, we could have chosen to produce a 24 page brochure, glossy sort of a thing and send it out. But we know that would be overwhelming. So what we're gonna do is send a direct mail piece, which you know already because it meets the user's needs and teases them into communicating with this to then go on and get the brochure. And that also helps could our costs. So we only send the brochure to people who really need it in order to make the point about how this document will get laid out. We're going to dio before, and an after and in the before will include all the same data that goes into the after version, when we might even put a bit Maurin there but will demonstrate how the way the document is laid out on the complexity of the language detracts from the message on how in the improved version. The eyes guided through the page on the language makes the point more effectively. The where and the when are also governed by the choice of in this case, send in a direct mail piece. Where will it appear? It will appear in the post on a sheet of a four paper that's going to tell us some things about the way the thing gets laid out, as opposed to laying. Get out in an email, where the eye moves in a slightly different way on when, well, that will be governed by the type of communication. Financial communication may well go out towards the end of the tax year when people are giving thought to matters. Financial. So now let's take a look at that before, on the after documents Onda and subject them to a little bit off scrutiny and analysis so that you learn some techniques about writing effectively 12. Good v Bad Direct Mail: taking a look at the first draft of the letter, Ask yourself, Where does the I fall on this page? Where instinctively, would you go to to start making any sense of it all? So it's an an illustration of poor guiding of the eye, obviously the same this an illustration off complex language rather than playing language. So there's a lot of data in here, but just listen to this first sentence. The cost of funerals is rising at the astonishing high annualized rate of over 10% per annum, allowing for inflation but fewer than 20% of found on too long to many more than three syllable words. No focus. The good thing is, the address is in the right place. The signature is a human signature. Now, then let's look at the after version at the points on the piece of a four where if it were folded, the first fold would appear on the place to which the I go straight away, and I'm going to wager that your I will go there straight away as well is the attention grabbing headline funeral plans for the over fifties made simple. Then we have a block of text, but the eye gets drawn down to the three logical drivers. Then against sent it into the page. The emotional drivers that's amore blocking text than a human eyes signature and then the call to action in the center. Down at the bottom of the page, your eye has been drawn down. So what do we do next? Call that telephone number now on paper. Documents like this haven't been analyzed in detail statistically over a long period. Time. We know this is how the eye moves through a paper document in an email document. It tends to move in a pattern slightly to the left and in what's known as the F technique. The eye goes up and down and then across like a letter F. But in Britain, pages goes up and down, still sort of scanning for left and right. But if you know what you're doing, you can guide the attention to the point where the eye falls naturally. Now, when we look at the blocks of text, more details in there. So once we've skimmed it once skimmed, it's not skimmed. 1/3 at them, we might go in for the detail and that's where we have numbers. 10% per year, 20% of families, £5000 bill, 20 years. We make the body text interesting but supportive of the point that we've made in our bullets. We're also using very plain language, and short sentences are made simple. Brochure explains how our plan will help words of less than three syllables Bang short if and this type of writing. But at least sales, the type of writing less is more and you can only do less is more when you plan properly. 13. Plain Language: will expand a little on plain language because in some parts of the world, the United States being the most obvious one. There's a legal requirement to write government documents in plain language, and as a result, there are quite a few resources available to help you with this subject. You should consider the impact of long, flowery, complex language on the person you communicating with because from their point of view, what it says it is that you are either uncertain with your topic or uncertain with yourself . These are things that plain language will quickly dispelled. In this day and age, people have become very used to playing language, keep it short and simple communications because the TV and much of what you see on social media has been written by professional writers. And they used these rules and techniques because they know that they can get the message across very effectively as a basic guideline. Think of it like this, Would you say to a friend this weekend we embarked upon a challenging journey in orderto access the place at which we would spend our vacation. What would you say? We went on holiday? Think of plain language is the language would used to talk to a friend about something that you both very familiar with. One of the best resources that you can use to simplify your language is www dot plain language dot golf Forward slash how to on there are loads of examples of complicated words being reduced down to the better, simple equivalent. You could also train yourself with this very, very basic technique, which is to try on bring an image to mind off a chair or a table or a bed. Just think yourself out quickly. Those images come into your mind. No. Think about a generalized concept like furniture. How quickly does an image come into your head? The more concrete the terms you used, the easier it is for the reader to visualize what you're talking about. So the implication is, avoid high level concept would stay with the concrete. Another way to make a strong impact is to put the do er in a sentence first, and you'll you'll see. Headline writers are very good at doing this, So take a sentence like the economy Waas crashed by the bankers. You may or may not agree with that but it's it's sort of sentence that you might here today . Ah, Headline writer would put the Dua first Bankers crashed the economy, simplified on git brings attention to the do our first and then what happened that gets through to people faster than the other way around. If you're going to put abbreviations into your writing like, for example, NATO, then what you would do is the first time you use it. Spell out the entire phrase. So North Atlantic Treaty Organization then brackets and a T O in caps close brackets on. Then there, after use the abbreviation. The same thing would go for technical or jargon terms that you have to include in your writing. Um, write them out and then put a brackets after them to explain what they are. And then thereafter. Used the jargon term so that people have got a reference point to go back to. The use of corporate cliches can also make you look like a little bit of a laughing stock disconnected. So phrases like let's think outside the box. Let's give this 110% that sort of thing. They don't come across well on the written page and make you look a little bit silly. So avoid them. No will demonstrate a simple resource which can address a lot of these issues. You can take a paragraph and drop it into this tool on it will tell you very roughly. Whether you're languages is plain language based on the complexity of the words you're using. The syllables in the length of your sentence is in the length of your paragraphs. So a lot of this work is done for you. And it was put together by the American military because in the heat of battle, failure to communicate properly and quickly has dreadful consequences. So this process has a pedigree, and it will save you a lot of time and effort. If you find it difficult to write in plain language, then you're gonna have to practice on the best place to go are obviously the business magazines and periodicals, the online versions of them. Because they're written in plain language, they have to get the point across quickly, and if you can start to mimic that style, then you'll make progress very quickly. 14. Scenario 2 Email: we're now going to set up a new scenario which will help develop some of the techniques for writing Good email. Imagine that you are the chief administration manager of ah, large business. You're responsible for the day to day grind of making things happen on. You've come across a great new piece of software here, and it gives you a view of all the information you have in the business. And you would like to ask the board for an investment in this software. So you're gonna be talking to the chief executive, the chief financial officer on the chief information officer. You're gonna have to make your case to all of them. On what you'd like to do is bring them together for a first meeting where you can talk about the advantages of this piece of software. So we've captured some of the Waibel writing. We want to get this piece of software in. It makes your life easier. It saves the firm money. It makes you look good. If you can pull it off. Who you writing to senior people? They're gonna have very busy inboxes. I can promise you that what you want is an hour in their diaries at some point in the future. But to be very clear about where they should bay on why they should be there, we know we're going to send an email That's the best way to get hold of these people. They wouldn't necessarily understand or appreciate a hand written letter in this environment when we're going to send it, we're gonna think about the time when it's most likely to show up in the list of emails so that they're likely to respond to it on Where is it going to appear? Well, it's going to appear in their email so that we've covered off the the six planning questions. But now we gotta think about how are we gonna put this email together on The point we're going to demonstrate is the way we would alter our language for each of the different characters that we're trying to communicate with. First of all, let's think about the sort of language used by chief executive officers. They tend to talk using these sorts of metaphors. I have a vision for the business. I'm going to set targets along the way. I know which direction we're moving in. They tend to see the world in visual terms in terms of moving from one place to another. Andi, usually as a team I can bring us together on take us to the destination. That's the sort of language is C. E O a chief executive officer would use. It helps if you in your email allude to that kind of imagery. Talk in terms of visions and visibility and directions. Now, when it comes to a chief information officer there, metaphor languages about structures and data, highways and platforms Think about incorporating engineering G type language in the mail it on. When it comes to chief financial officers that people managing the money, they talk about money as a fluid, that's their metaphor. Liquidity, cash flow afloat in petty cash. So when we're writing our email to communicate with them, that's the kind of language which we would use here. We're talking about matching the metaphor language of the the audience with what you're gonna put into your email 15. Email Constructionm: Now we can go on to construct the email in the light of our plan on, the first thing we must get right is the subject line. That's why we're going to gain attention. And it's fighting for attention against all the other subject lines in an email inbox. So it helps if we can write a subject line using a sort of process, which is similar to how we might write a headline for a newspaper or a direct mail piece. And here we pay attention to what's the subject that we're talking about? And who is it for on what do we want toe happen as a result off this communication, so subject target reader intended outcome. So here we zoom in on the subject, which is about challenges facing the administration department notice. We don't talk about problems. Who wants a problem? What challenges We rise to challenges and what we're going to do. We're gonna propose to fix it. That's what it's about. So if I'm in the distribution, this chief executive and so on serious players in the business, if something's wrong in admin, then that should get my attention and what I want to happen as a result of getting your attention is alert you to the fact that an executive briefing is planned. Notice that we don't necessarily have to use sentence structure were effectively using bullet points to gain attention on that again says that you're the type of person who could distill the essence of a message down to what's really important. You're not gonna waste anybody's time subject lines written in sentence structure. Just don't stand out there too long. The I doesn't really focus anywhere, doesn't get to the point. Notice that we've also included a link to the report on this subject on again that says that you've done the thinking for them, that the executive briefing will have content rather than being some sort of vague idea shop where their time might be wasted. The content of the email follows the structure. Where are we describe the current situation? Where could we go give detail about the way circumstances could be improved on then how will we get there? Offer a step by step and specific guidance on how to move forward? A poorly constructed email may well contain all the relevant information, but just not get the point across, and it may also contain a lot of ingratiating company politics sort of language, which nobody really wants to read, even though you might think it makes you look more impressive or covered you. In the case of failure, this sort of material has to be eliminated. Ah, well constructed email guides the eye through the story with the indented headings, Current situation, thoughts and improvement. Next steps specific Next steps. The overall email is framed to draw attention to this central text, but in the introduction, we do point out that amore detailed executive summary is available in the attachments above . We harness the principal off the eye, scanning to the F pattern, looking to the left and then across the page on, we allow plenty of white space. We also write the text broadly in punchy headlines again to try and keep it within the visible area in the email box, but also noticed that we've used phraseology that is going to appeal toe each of the recipients. So for the CEO who's visually oriented with, we find it difficult to view key documents and we're blind at times for the financial reader were giving specific details of the hours wasted on the cost to the budget and for the chief information officer. We're talking about the rate of access to data which is not acceptable to us what we moved to think of improvement. We've write out the full name business process management and then abbreviated. So here, after we just referred to it as BPM. And then we use the same metaphor language view, liquidity, transaction processing speeds in order to appeal to the requirements and the wave live getting onto the wavelength off the individual readers to maximize the opportunity for us to be able to get in front of them and tell our story. This email would say to me that the sender knows what they're talking about. They won't waste my time on. We will make some progress together. 16. Email additional thoughts: here are some more considerations when it comes to writing emails. First of all, think about what works. One other people send emails to you. Do you really like receiving emails that run two paragraphs and paragraphs? And you can't really get to the point quickly? Of course not. So keep them short. Keep you sentences on your paragraphs. Short really 3 to 5 sort of sentence. Stroke paragraphs is more than enough. Email is the way other people will form an opinion of your ability to communicate. So do take your time to go through the planning process. If you got the opportunity, run the spell checker and grammar checker on anything you write. Andi. Don't write anything if you're in an emotional state, if you feel you have to write, save it as a draft on whatever you do. Don't pepper the two box and the the copy box with the names of people who are going to receive the email until after your emotions have subsided. One thing that may surprise you with emails is that block capitals tend to look as though you're shouting. They're not really good for emphasis. Bold on Dwight Space and in dense, do a much better job. It helps if you can get into the habit of structuring all your emails with this technique so that it becomes second nature to you. In this way, when you sit down, the tension of communication will dissolve because there's a structure in place is a beginning, a middle and an end. This is alert technique. It's quite simple, and in the end it's a question of disciplining yourself to use it regularly. 17. Reports: writing the report of the type that we've included in our email scenario follows exactly the same rules as any other form of writing. First of all, we ask ourselves, Why are we writing? And in virtually all instances, this will be toe add some detail to the questions. Where are we current circumstances? Where could we go? Where's the improvement that can be made and how are we going to get their? Depending on the type of report that you're writing, emphasis will be placed on any of those three elements, either more or less of them, depending upon the context, but in some way or another. Reports are about this process, this storytelling process, common sense, and the context will tell you where to place your emphasis. The type of report that you produce will also be informed by your audience. Knowing their expectations gives you a good indication of how you should put the report together and the kind of content on the degree of detail it should contain. However, when it comes to what you're going to write, of course you're going to write the story. Where are we were going, etcetera. But the way that you lay it out will still follow the i e the principles. However, in this case, you gain attention through two elements of the report. One will be the name that you give it on again that's written with the headline writing guidelines in mind. So what's it about who it's for? What's the What's the outcome Again? The headline doesn't necessarily have to be written in sentence structure. Quick bullets dashes are going to attract the reader's attention before they go on to the next element of report reading. And that is what we call the executive summary. And here in the executive summary, you need to get down in, I would say, 1/3 of a sheet of a four, most typically and closed within a frame aligned frame around the executive summary to draw attention to it. This is going to very, very quickly lay out the Where are we? We're we're going, how we're going to get their three logic ALS three emotional drivers of recommendation because this is more likely than not what's going to get red. So here you're going to lay out your argument with some supporting data. Just the key points on then reached your conclusions. That's what's going to get red. So make sure that you, in a way, right the executive summary first, and then flesh out the report. After that, some other elements of a report that are gonna be important are number one, the table of contents that can broadly follow but expand on the structure that were using. So that could be an introduction on situational report. The inclusion off background data and research alternative recommendations that you perhaps could have made on why you've accepted some on rejected others. Then a more detailed description of some of the options for taking your proposal to the next stage throughout to report. You should also be citing the research references that you've used and using a form of referencing so that any reader can, should they choose, go back to the source that you've used to make your points and then you typically number them as you're going through the through the report and then at the back of the report, have a list of those those sources or any other books you've used any people you've interviewed so that there's a proof or a trail of how your argument has been put together. Obviously, the contents page is going to vary by situation, but that's broadly how it will be laid out. It's also a good idea to include charts and graphics within a report again laid out so that they guide the I. Simply through the story on reinforced the point that you're making. It's very easy to take numeric data on Turn it into one of any number of different chart types using Excel. For example, well produced charts are a great indicator that you understand your subject on can take the reader through it to make your argument the how Where went of report writing will, of course, depend on context, but typically reports are produced in paper, often bound but also supported as online documents. Depending upon how big they are. A very large report you would not want to sense up to somebody in email, but leave it on a service somewhere, often as a PdF file so it can't be taken and versions of it altered again. Depending upon the level of technical detail, you may want to include a glossary of technical terms, onda jargon or abbreviations and put that at the back of the report, so anybody can quickly look up. What? These acronyms and an industry jargon terms actually mean to make it make it simpler for them toe follow. If they at any point, I feel a little bit confused. Also, bear in mind a report given that it is a longer document is not an excuse for you to show off. You're still gonna use short sentences. Short words you won't use dense paragraphs even though you're producing mawr data. More information for people. The job that you do in a report is to prove to the audience that you understand your material can synthesize it together on can convey it. Even Teoh, a lay person in a very clear, concise, on understandable way Ah, well written report is a great way to enhance your career. 18. Presentations: now will build on the scenario of making a presentation to the board of the company to talk about issues in administration and your proposed solution. You can think of any speech your presentation, really as the executive summary with pictures on emotional metaphor type language. In a way, what you're aiming for is to put on a bit of a show on, have the audience leave humming your tune, come back to the guiding mantra. Don't make them think your job in a presentation situation is to prove that you can see the wood for the trees once they feel that you know what you're talking about and where you're taking the relax and move with you. That's the essence of good leadership. So you clear about why you're presenting on why the audience of listening Teoh back to this . See the wood for the trees scenario demonstration of leadership. Now we look at the attention, interest, desire and action element of a presentation on the opening slide really is where you're going to gain your attention. No flim flam, no fluff, no crazy graphics. It's really getting down to the point, and in the opening slide you're going to summarize. You're gonna tell them what's wrong at the moment. How you think you can fix it on what the next steps are. So before you even get into the presence ation, summarize it on. Also end with summary the middle of the presentation. YSL the supporting data more than in any other form of writing. Here you use bullets, graphics, sound bites, imagery, metaphor. You're appealing to emotion, even though you'll include logical drivers. You really are appealing to the emotions, and that means you'll use very little standard English sentence structure sentences and paragraphs on screen in a presentation. Just don't work. Now remember, people can only hold onto one principle idea at a time. In most presentations, that's gonna bay the notion that things are broken. There is a fix. What do we do next? That sort of sums up life in a way, how we evolve and survive. Beyond that, people are generally only capable of holding onto between three and nine supporting pieces of evidence, so you don't need to give them everything. In any situation, 80% of the problems will be caused by 20% of the contributory factors, so just focus on the top three issues that are driving any situation, if their arm or making obvious where people can go for the rest of the stuff that make it clear that you're just focusing on the really big issues. Knowing what we know now about the way the brain manages information work with this rule of three and nine don't go to more than nine slides. Roughly nine is getting gonna be enough for anybody on Try and keep your points to three logic ALS three. Emotional. No more than three bullets on any slider anyone time. Think about it like this. People can remember. Ready, Steady go Red, Amber green Good, Better Best. Beyond that, it becomes too complicated. Begin your supporting arguments with your logical points first and back them up with numbers and business style graphics. This buys you credibility with those people who are logically and financially oriented. But really keep your graphic simple. The graphic support your basic point. You're not showing off your supporting the evidence. If they have to think about you. Graphic, you've lost them. Don't make them think. Do you're selling with your three emotional point? Back them up with pertinent imagery and great metaphor. So, for example, in this scenario, we're talking about loss of visibility. That's a great will. Be great supporting imagery for that money. Going down the drain is a great visual than metaphor image. So think carefully about how you'd match your words with a supporting emotional picture. Now pictures can be quite easily source using Google's advanced image. Search Andi. Then take a look at the image rights and usage rights and select the the format there, which is is gonna typically involved commercial use of images. If you're talking, talking in business on, then use a snipping tool to cut the image. Save it as a new image file, typically a J pick on, then import that into your presentation. This way you avoid expense. Andi Upsetting anybody who's got photographic copyright. A good way to make an emotional point is to put your bulleted argument on the image side by side. This way, people will make emotional connections, and we have a virtually infinite capacity to remember images on their associations with an argument in presentations. Repetition really does work, so you tell them with a summary you tell them with the supporting data. You finish with a summary on the call to action. Finally, try to avoid humor it can go wrong on if you're using humor. What you're doing is you're drawing attention back to you are not to your story. The same thing goes for trying to impress with complex technical language or being clever with words. Again, it brings the focus to you and not to the story. Writing for presentations. You've right as you speak on, really in this type of communication, keep it short and simple or keep it simple. Stupid is the order of the day. So just to recap, think about your executive summary on effectively. Turn that to music. Add pictures, metaphors, imagery toe. Make the whole thing sing and leave them humming your chew as they go back to their desks. 19. Flyers: and this piece will look at building a flyer on what used to scenario off presenting the idea of business process management to the board. And they then say OK, now let's let the people on the shop floor most of whom don't have access to email, come to a workshop to hear you talk about business process management software on the future of improvement in administration. What we're gonna do is apply the guidelines that we've learned so far to produce a printed flyer, which will sit on a company notice board. With that being the case, we really have to put emphasis on the attention aspect of the Aida Attention, interest, desire action model because don't forget, they'll be physically moving when they see the thing on. It will be competing with all the other printed matter that's pinned onto that boards that we need to stand out. Ah, well chosen image will do that job, particularly if it helps resonate with the feelings and emotions off the target audience. And that has to happen quickly, just like a television advert that one image has to say. We understand the situation that you're in the image alone will take up half the available space oven on a four sheet in portrait mode. That's how important the image is gonna bay. So in this instance, our headline might be a simple ass, improving the administration department, a workshop and then some supporting or explanatory text. We recognize the issues you are facing in your daily work. You're invited to a workshop toe. Learn about what's being done to improve the situation on, then in stand out, text the action. What did they do to participate? Okay, that's great. And aware I'm supposed to bay on Oahu speaking. It looks important. Now what do I do? Well, call this telephone number on all will be made clear. You'll be able to register to attend. Hey, we've speeded up the overall process. We know why we're communicating, who were communicating with what we're gonna put into the communication and how, where and when it will appear. We kept in very plain English and we've used the Aida model attention, interest, desire, action, hoof. And we've used imagery and simple plain messaging to make our communication as obvious as we possibly can. In this case, that is no need to think hopefully can see now that the application of the basic principles does speed up the construction of business communications 20. Letters: will now make some observations about writing letters on they follow the planning rules that we've talked about tell a story right in plain English gain attention, interest, desire and with the action that you believe should be taken. But over the years, they've developed their own specific protocols or all layouts very traditional, which we like to follow today. So typically you begin a letter with your name, address and the date it was written, placed in the top right of the sheet of paper on the recipients. Details below onto the left letters usually open with dear on with the name. Depending on your relationship with the receiver, that would bay They're Bob Or there, Mr Smith, depending on how well you know that now, such letters end if you begun with a name, you're sincerely. But if you've begun your letter with dear sir or dear madam than they typically end yours faithfully, as with the direct mail piece that we begin, this course with the purpose of the letter can be captured in a centered head life, and you help the reader by making that very pertinent into the point piece of writing. The counter will follow the structure off situation. Where are we? Where we going? How are we going to get there? Written in short, punchy paragraphs with plenty of white space? Andi in letters, we tend to limit the use of in denting or bold, although every now and again it can be important, so don't rule it out. Always check a letter for overuse of sentences. Beginning with, I was very self centered on repetitive. So all right went to the seaside. Could be read, written as having visited the seaside. Just a little. Touch your twist and where possible, Replace eyes with we on us, particularly for you writing on behalf of a company on the more use I am writing to you about, tell me about your day. The more use that you can include in a letter, the less selfish it sounds. Typically, you sign off a letter with a signature that's best written it with an ink pen and in a different color from the body print. A short, hand written PS also adds a touch of humanness. Always spell check on re read your letters. Spelling errors in written letters reflect poorly. They might be overlooked in a rapidly written email, but letters, arm or considered and tend to be more formal people who like receiving formal letters will be sticklers, I would imagine, for layout, etiquette and good spelling. But remember this. Everybody loves a letter. So in the how, where and when I just think about who you communicating with on pick you moment when a letter is the absolute perfect way to express your thoughts. It's very important, given its permanence and the effect that you trying to create to get a letter right first time. 21. Business Proposals: we're not going to take a look at writing business proposals. Imagine you receiving a proposal from a company, something new business process management software. The former where our way worker we go, how we're going to get that absolutely, perfectly lends itself to this scenario. But when anybody breeds a business proposal pretty much, all they do is flick straight to the price. So what we need to do is make sure that before they get to the price, they've at least seen some of the supporting arguments that justify it. Even if you've been asked to complete an invitation to tender and you've answered all the clients questions in a long document always place a to sheet business proposal at the top on top of it, so that the client can go through your features and benefits. You're logical and emotional drivers before they actually see the price. So what we do is we start a business proposal with a brief summary, but though include the price in that, then we go into a couple of paragraphs going into the detail of why the proposal is being made. The client's situation, the issues that face and really lay on the issues at the face and then go into the Where could we go while the benefits of the approach that's being taken, how each of the reasons to buy your product address is one of the issues that the client has got on, including their the logical and emotional driver for each of the issues that the customer faces keeping Teoh, ideally three issues on leaving the greater detail to adopt a supporting document for the invitation to tender. So just get really straight down to the point, then into what are we gonna do for you? Lay out what the proposal's gonna be about. How are you going to deliver on the proposed solution on, then includes sections on what on my responsibilities. What am I committing to on then what are you committing to? If you need information or access to facilities or whatever it might be from the client, make that clear in the document. You're expecting things from them in order to be able to deliver what they want from you on . Then lay out the price with a coat kneeing restatement of feature and benefit. So for this figure, let's just recap you're getting X Y and Zed. Same rules apply. Keep it simple. Guide the eye. But unlike other publications here, one piece of information is something that we're trying Teoh disguise from the client or dress up before the reader actually gets to it. 22. Memos: they will take a look at writing memos on the memo is typically a document that is circulated after decisions have been taken. So the format that we've been using alters slightly so in a memo, the first piece that we're going to write is, How are we going to get there? What are the next steps? It's more action oriented. We don't put quite so much emphasis on our thinking prior to taking the decision because the decisions already been taken. However, we might want to include a little bit of that information if this detail in there that we think is important or that decision may have been a little bit contentious. So we include some of the opposing ideas as bullets beneath that. So we just alter the format a little in relation to the context that we're dealing with. Just to recap, it's how are we going to get there and where are we? Unless emphasis on where could we go? All the other rules apply. Keep it short, simple, punchy bullets. In fact, here the requirement is almost to write the whole memo in sharp to the point headlines. Once decisions are taken, the member will be the document used on a day to day basis to start making progress towards the goal 23. Spelling and Punctuation: melas turn our attention to spelling grammar and punctuation. It is quite clear that you can completely alter the meaning of what you're trying to say. If you don't pay attention, tea these areas. But at the same time, we don't want them to detract your attention from from getting your message across. Now let's look at the middle ground first. There are some common errors, like the difference between the they're belonging to They're the place on that. They are. But if you make this kind of common error, it will reflect badly on your image amongst your colleagues. If you continually make that kind of error and it can be fixed by spell checking, so that's the obvious place to go on. It can be fixed by taking a look. Web Online Web resources That will help you with the most common mistakes in all of those areas. And there are little devices for remembering for, for instance, spelling Receive I before e upset. Tough to see that kind of thing. Have you got the time energy and inclination t really put the effort until the that's down to you? Now there are two other sides to this equation. One is where grammar, spelling and punctuation become obsessive. That takes you to the point where you start to de focus from what it is you trying to say and you spending all your time looking at have I got the full stop in the right place. I used to coal on a semicolon and all that kind of thing. If that's happening, you might be using your obsession toe hide on underlying uncertainty or anxiety about what it is you're saying on this can be managed by reverting to the keep it short and simple model. All the effort goes into writing your your materials. If you're writing for a 14 year old, that's the average read engaged that the BBC, for example, writes to. So there are no prizes for writing complicated on the literary prize winning sentences in business. You're not caring, and you just sloppy and you think, listen that the meaning is just the meaning, and so long as they get it, they get it. That can reflect poorly on your sort of brand image in the business. But if you're making errors because you just don't know, or you really struggle with seeing how words should be spelt on how sentences should be laid out. You may well have some undiagnosed form of word blindness, and there are 1000 different variations of this which can all be improved again if you go to the Web and look for experts in this field, the issue is to be honest with yourself about where you are on this spectrum, what zero is just can't spell. Don't know why you can't spell. You really need Teoh. Get yourself checked out and the other is why you completely obsessed with it and losing focus on the meaning of what you trying to convey. Where you are on that continuum will determine the type of action you take to improve your grammar, spelling and punctuation. You never going to get it right. There are so many rules and little regulations in spelling and grammar. Your objective is to get it right most of the time. First time it won't completely destroy your reputation or your meaning if you make the odd era. But if every now and again you get your feedback that says this either didn't understand what you had to say or do you realize you're looking a bit silly by making these persistent errors than it's time to do something about it? 24. Grammar Tips: here is a top 20 off errors in grammar, punctuation and spelling. So we looked at one already. There, there. Andi There, there. T h e I r is belonging to their house is in Paris there t h e r E is the place at which something could be found. It was found there in the corner. There is a contraction of they are with the apostrophe replacing the A of are they are in their home in Paris Number two should have sometimes get spelt as should off. I should have paid my council tax again. The apostrophe replaces the age in the age of half number three The difference between me and I, John and May went to the shops. Now if you left out the job and then said be went to the shops, it wouldn't make any sense at all. So, John on I went to the shops Number four. The use of commerce to principal uses of many uses of commerce are two separate elements in a list I bought apples, onions, cabbages on D carats. The comma is the short pause. It's also a way of separating on opening phrase or an exclamation At first pause, John did not like his boss. So the bit John did not like his boss could stand alone without the at first. So the at first just necks. Is that little that sort of little primer for what's coming next? So we put a pause at the end of it. Number five, Its versus It's with an apostrophe s. So it's with the apostrophe s is an abbreviation off. It is. What? Where's it's is the possessive. If we're talking about a dog and its bowl, it's bowl. The dog's bowl is in the corner. But if we're talking about the bowl itself and was saying Where is it? It's It is in the corner. Another use of the apostrophe is with florals and suggesting possession. So when we talk about the boys footballs and there's only one boy, the apostrophe comes before the s the footballs of the boy. But if there are several boys, we put the apostrophe after the S of the boys footballs which tell us that there are more than one boy. There are several boys and they collectively own some footballs. Number seven is the difference between your and you're with you apostrophe r again the apostrophe abbreviating that you are, You are. You're a beautiful person. Your is belonging to your dog has a bowl number eight every day and every day I go to the park every day. A tin opener is in everyday kitchen appliance. It's a commonplace kitchen. Applied number nine in grammar. We have to be careful about being clear about who is doing what to whom. So a sentence like this. After falling heavily, John improved his sales results. Now what did the falling John or the sales results? So we have to be careful here that we get the order of the falling correct. After John's sales results fell heavily, he improved them. Unless we're trying to say that because John had a fall, his sales results were negatively impacted. 10 which is the difference between affect Andi effect? So affect is a verb. It's that it's the doing off change. By working hard, I can affect my results. The effect of working hard is improved results. Number 11 lose vs loose loses the verb. I often lose my keys. One of my teeth has become loose. Number 12 practice versus practice, one with the sea, Someone with an s. The sea refers to the noun practice. The doctor's practice practice with an S is I practice my golf swing. Compliment versus compliment A compliment is saying something nice to somebody giving them encouragement. You're looking fit and healthy today Compliment. When two things work better together, a red scarf will complement a white shirt. Not sure whether they do or not, but that's the idea. They go well together. Less and fewer fewer describes something quantifiable. I have fewer than five items in my back. But if I'm making a cake and I don't want to put as much sugar and I put less sugar into the cake, 15 semi colons semi colons are used to connect two clauses or phrases of words which could otherwise be sentences on their own. So let's have lunch together. That could be a sentence, but if we don't follow it by, I will give you my report. Then semi Colon links them together so we can have one fluid phrase. Let's have lunch together. I'll give you my report, then 16 n short versus actual. If you ensure something, you make certain off it. But if you. Actually, you promised somebody with confidence. I can assure you I will be there a 10 o'clock. We can ensure that the keys will be in the right place. Whose versus who's who apostrophe s is a contraction of who is who's at the door on whose w h. O. R. C is belonging to whose hat is this? Number 18 on the same lines is who and who. So who is the person for which in action is being done? Who is the person who does the thing? Who is delivering the pizza today? To whom is the pizza being delivered? 90 further and father further means Additionally to so further to my earlier email is further with the U father is distance or time into the future. Paris is father from Manchester than London on 20 and one for the rial grammar sticklers what we call a split infinitive. The famous toe boldly go from Star Trek vs to go boldly. It's regarded as bad form. To split a verb to quickly walk is splitting an infinitive to walk quickly to the grammar. Police is the approved way of communicating, so there's the's in the top 20 hope you've got some value from it. There are great websites. Grandma dot com, without made over the promoting get, seems to be one of the more popular ones at the moment. So grammar check. Just make sure that you're not becoming obsessive or at the other end. There's not an issue with spotting the shapes of words and some sort of reading issues. But in the middle, these 20 should keep you out of most forms of communication trouble. 25. Writing for the web: writing for the Web differs from the sort of interpersonal communication that we've been looking at in this course so far. You have to write first to gain the attention of the search engines like Google and Bingen , so on and so forth. This is going to effect what you write in how you write it. The second thing is the online people have very, very high expectations of the professional graphics on layout and design of your content. And not only that, but everything that you produce has to appear perfectly in all the different Web browsers, all of which is slightly different and require special attention. On third, there's also emerging legislation about what you can and cannot do in distributing content that has been produced for an online audience. These considerations typically applied toe writing block posts and Web pages on two press releases. We're going to look at each of these later in the course in order to address all the issues with the professional graphical content of your email on that, working in the different browsers and all the legal issues, it's best to use the emerging online tools rather than try and do this on your own. The tools take all the pain away. My business uses male chimp for the production and distribution off email shots, for example. However, it's not the only product on the market I'm not endorsing, and this list might give you some idea of alternatives to male chimp. I find it really saves me a lot of time and effort again. My business uses canvas dot com for graphic design purposes, but there are many other sciences well on. Here's a list, which will give you some alternatives for the production and distribution of press releases . Here's a list of alternative sites that you might want to look at too again take away some of the hard work required him. Press release, production and distribution. The main skill in writing for the Web If you're not going Teoh, use professionals. Skilled in this area is the notion off keyword search for your content to be found. Typically, readers will put keywords into the search engines, Google being etcetera and there are many more than just these two, and your objective is to appear in the first screen of any search and to generate the highest number of viewers hence, choosing very popular words will generate more viewers. But you'll be less likely to appear on the first page, especially when you're competing with people who are paying for keywords. Very specific keywords and phrases will help you stand out, but you're not going to get as many viewers. The trick is to research keywords and phrases, which are just outside the very popular list, but don't yet here in what is known as the long tail. So how you gonna find those keywords and phrases that what we call the sweet spot one way is to look at Wikipedia bulletin boards and blog's on the chapter headings of books and articles about the subject you're writing off. For example, I wrote an article which got a lot of hits about the fear of public speaking. But I went to these resources and discovered that one of the topics that we took was being talked about was can be to block his help. So one of the phrases I put early on into my document Waas can be to block is helping. That got plenty of of hits. Some advice is to get your keywords into the 1st 100 words to write a least 1000 words and to include bulleted lists on links back to authoritative websites on also include some images with full descriptions and alternative titles in the image box. When you're asked to insert the image, the idea is to appear to the search engines as if you're a really authority on your subject . But without the actual content becoming stifled by the overuse of your keywords to early on , we'll take a look at some guidelines for each of these areas in the next lectures on the course. 26. Press Releases: Why are we writing? Because somebody we hope with a strong media following will tell our story to their followers in a positive way on who are we writing for while we're writing for a busy journalist or a blogger who will predominantly use the Web on online press release agencies to source their content or do the research? But we know from analysis of how they behave that they will. It most read no more than five paragraphs of the total release, so the piece has to work the attention, interest, desire, action modeled very quickly. And if they are toe act than typically, they will couldn't pace from the release or go to your suggested Web links or call you very quickly. Once they've taken the decision to do something with your press release. However, we are also writing for the search engines on giving them a reason in the first place to put your press release into the first page of any journalist search. So what are we gonna right? Well, here, we're going to begin with the Where are we going? We want to get all the positive news about the change that's taken place within our business up front. We might want to include some current situation, which supports the reason for that change in the third element of what we write about handling any background objections, just in case they start asking those tough questions about why we got into the situation in the first place, Then we should also include some standard text or boilerplate. Texas it's often called to describe the organization were writing on behalf of the journalist, can cut and paste into their article and then contact information with a very simple and direct link to the person who can confirm, deny or provide a quote. The how of writing requires significant keyword research on often the purchase of online tools, which will rank the popularity of key words and phrases, is a good way to make sure that you using the keywords which media commentators are hooking onto at the moment. For example, when writing about nerves in public speaking, repeating phrases and subheadings in related articles included the Phrases Association of Speakers, Clubs, RB two blockers, good for public speaking on the word glass, a phobia at the time of writing for journalists and bloggers covering this area these words had relevance. Then we have to decide on which 123 key phrases we will use and then take time to get the subject line on the headline of the release and email. Absolutely right. The headline should suggest what the journalists own headline might look like. Statistics which have been fact checked, can suggest the weight and interested the story on the audience. Size, metaphors, word, pictures and witticisms can also help. Coghlan's can also help make the transition from one idea to another efficiently and without too many additional words. So, for example, funeral plans colon 50,000 save blood bonds from unexpected costs. One piece of advice is to write the headline Last Onda as you read it and that's good. This to read it, get them to ask the question. So what if nobody cares that go back to the drawing board on each. Keyword should be used at least three times. Hyperlinks from any keywords should take the journalist into the detail of your issue on your website and do that in a helpful way. Depending on your budget, you might decide to purchase AdWords to improve your chances of being found via Google or via your chosen PR distribution system. We have to make sure that we follow all the guidelines about guiding the I holding attention on moving toe action as well as including the keywords. The first four short, punchy paragraphs do the hard work in a press release on Before writing, it helps to distill your proposition down to 12 words or less. Not. This is very hard to do so allow time to reflect on the market as a whole and your reasons for being relevant and for standing out from the crowd and how your piece of news backs up that point. But when you send it is gonna be dictated by trends within the market. Ride the wave, so keep close to the news and social media on. Put your releases out there in response to trends that are relevant to your market, as well as coincident with the release of of your piece of good news. But in this case, if all else fails, then get professional press release writing support 27. Web pages and blog posts: Now we'll take a look applying our guidelines to writing block posts on Web pages. But just to be clear, we're talking about the written content. Here are not the graphic design of pages that's a whole other subject. Think of your block post on the content on your Web page as if it will repress release. You're putting it out there to be found by people using keyword. Search on. Then you're hoping that you will be able to take them through the attention, interest, desire and action phase to achieve your objective. The challenge is to do everything that you would do in a press release or in any other piece of writing, but to do so without the keywords intruding or affecting the flow and the readability of the content you produced. Unlike a press release, though, ah block posters at its best. When you've written about 1000 words, Google is looking for authoritative articles by well informed authors in order to be able to feed them to people. As a result of the Web searches on Google tends to believe they're more likely to find that kind of author. If the content is that much longer. Some people would say 350 words or there's quite a few more than 1000 but we're not talking about a skimpy piece here. We want something that's got body and seriousness, other things that you can do here to improve your chances of being discovered and which will also help guide the readers I art. Add subheadings, which use keywords. Add bulleted lists, underlining on links to other relevant sites and articles about your topic. Google also like images to be embedded in articles, but do remember the I will follow an image before it will follow your text. So place your images in a way which will move the I in the way you intend from attention through to action, you could find another 60 to 70 tips, which will help you be found. But the question is the balance between getting good enough quality content out there and getting lots of it out there. Vs the time and effort required to tweet the 60 or 70 tips just to get one or two mawr viewers again, it's like the grammar police you can you can become obsessive about this Onda actually forget to write anything on a regular basis, but get content out there first and then worry about all these. Find tricks later on. 28. Feedback: Now we'll take a look at the process of giving on receiving feedback on your writing. Now this one expression will take all the sting out of this process. And it's this. If somebody's written to you and you've either not understood that you've not liked, it's not made the point in the way you think it should have been made. The phrase you would use is something that would work better for me is and then go into what would work better, shorter, longer, crisper mawr indented that kind of thing. But be clear about what would be better for you. What would work better for you equally if you go out seeking feedback? And that's a good thing to do because it's only with feedback that you'll you'll get any idea of what people want from you. At that point, you asked the question. What would work better for you when you receive written communication from me? And in that way we're not naked? Our comments about a person were making our comments about the content on the way the material is put together on. This works from experience really well. It's a polite way of bringing up a difficult subject that dealing with it in a mature and adult way something that would work better for May is it's a great little tip. 29. Summary: to summarize the course. I'm going, Teoh, do what I've been recommending throughout, and that's to use a metaphor. Now, good business writing is like being Ah, forest guide. People will ask you for directions because you know the landscape better than that. You know the situation. You may be able Teoh, interrogate them and give them several different options for getting to where they want to go. But in the end, you will recommend the best route you wouldn't give them. Directions in complicated or flowery language would be able to gauge from talking to them, whether you're getting through or not, and whether you've actually simply communicated the directions that they need to take. Nobody wins literary prizes for giving good, simple directions. You would keep it simple. You describe some of the things that they may see and hear along the way to make sure that they're on track and you get feedback from them that the directions you've given have got through on. They now feel safe with the advice that you've given them in very simple terms. All the tools that we've been talking about planning scan Aida, the Kiss model, clarity playing language, swat spin. All of these things are little guides for you to keep your business writing on track and to make it clear to other people that you know where you are, you know where they could go on. Do you know the best way for them to get there? That's the very essence of good quality business. Writing on when you follow these steps, you'll get results on. There will be no stress in the process. If you have any issues related to the content in the course or you produce them writing that you'd like some advice on and you've completed the course, Then please get hold of me through the messaging system, and I'll do my best to give you any advice should you need it.