With so many different training options available, from online, self-paced programs to webinars and face-to-face workshops, deciding the best training option can be overwhelming.
Although online training offers enormous flexibility, business writing is rarely a case of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. Even with some aspects of grammar, spelling and punctuation, there may be more than one acceptable ‘answer’. For this reason, we recommend small-group face-to-face training workshops supplemented by individual mentoring or coaching.
Ensure the presenter is knowledgeable and engaging
An engaging and entertaining presenter can engender interest and enjoyment in a subject that is often initially seen by staff members as dry or boring. The presenter must have qualifications and experience in writing and editing business and government documents. This experience allows the presenter to analyse participants’ writing with greater depth and proficiency.
Make sure the training is relevant to your industry
A generic writing skills workshop will provide the principles of business writing which theoretically can be adapted to any industry. Our experience has shown us, however, that many participants are not easily able to make the leap from theory to practice. We believe that customised in-house workshops are essential for a more effective transfer of skills to participants’ real world of work.
Check there is a variety of activities specific to your workplace
A variety of small group and pair activities gets all participants involved and helps maintain interest. It also allows stronger writers to guide those with less advanced skills. A comment we often receive after our workshops is ‘I enjoyed the course much more than I expected’ or ‘I was never bored in the subject matter’. We love those comments!
Follow up with individual help when needed
If you’ve ever been to an exercise class at the gym you may have found it enjoyable but become frustrated when you hit a plateau. It may only be when you work one-on-one with a personal trainer, who can tailor your individual fitness program, that you reach your fitness or health goals.
In a writing skills workshop, each participant in the group will be at a different skill level. Some participants will make significant improvements while others will need one-on-one coaching or mentoring to improve their skills.
Learning to write well is a lifelong skill that we begin at age 4 or 5. It’s an incremental process that will require, for most people, more than a one-off training program. Email, internet and other technologies that rely heavily on communicating in writing mean there is greater pressure on staff to have sound writing skills. Providing the right kind of training and ensuring follow-up support to those staff who need it, is well worth the investment.