Competency Development Writing to Get Things Done

Writing to Get Things Done

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This Package Contains Courses - See More
  • Course Delivery: On Demand
  • Duration: 12 
  • Language: English
  • Audience:

    Individual Contributors, Team Members,Managers

Vado is a Project Management Institute (PMI) Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.) This course has been approved for (Number of hours listed in duration field, currently) credit hours for project managers looking to maintain their certification.


Individuals improve productivity by learning how to use writing as a powerful for getting things done. Individuals will improve their on-the-job writing skills, including creating clear, easy-to-read emails, letters, memorandums, meeting minutes, procedures, and technical reports.


Course Objectives

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • Effective Business Communication
  • Separating Readers' and Writers' Needs
  • Identifying Ineffective Writing Styles
  • Using the Reporting Process
  • Selecting the Best Writing Model
  • Write Effective Opening Paragraphs
  • Effective Middle and Closing Paragraphs
  • Forecasting Subject Lines
  • Most Common Business Writing Model
  • Writing Model for Reports and Documents
  • Writing Style and Tone
  • Effective Emails

Topics Covered

Effective Business Communication

Effective business writing is essential to our success at work. No matter what role we play, when we communicate effectively in emails, reports, proposals, or documents, we are more successful and more productive at work. When we write confusing or unclear communications, it seems others don™t know what to do and important information gets lost.

Effective business writing is about getting things done. When we compose emails or documents that clearly state what must happen, when it must happen, and why it must happen, we create an opportunity for everyone to be more effective and productive at work.

Writing to get things done is not hard, anyone can do it, all we need to know are the essential components for written communication at work.

By completing this course, you will:

  • Know and use the three components of effective business communication

Separating Readers and Writers Needs

There is a huge contrast between what we need as a reader and what we need as a writer. For example, business readers want the bottom line up front followed by the explanation, whereas the writer wants the reverse. Also, as readers, we live in a very busy culture. From morning until night there is tremendous competition for our time. First, we are bombarded by numerous emails. In fact 30 to 50% of our workday can be spent managing emails. In addition, our voicemails, to-do lists, and phone calls contribute to the complexity of our day. All of which means there is a steady flow of information continually taking up our time throughout the day.

It™s important to note readers typically give any email or document three to five seconds to decide if it™s something they should read now, read later, or delete. Which means you ha™ve got to capture the reader™s attention quickly and get to the point right away.

By completing this course, you will:

  • Be able to separate the readers™ needs from the writers™ needs

    Identifying Ineffective Writing Styles

    Have you ever read an email or document that seems to go on and on? Typically it™s hard to understand, it™s a challenge to find the key points, and frankly you really don™t know what the writer is trying to say. In this situation you most likely stopped reading, put the document down, and may or may not have picked it up again. Unfortunately this ineffective writing style, called the Rambling Rose, is used by over 95% of corporate employees, at all levels of management, from senior executives to new hires. Just imagine what could get done if that number was cut in half

    When we start writing without a plan, which can certainly happen, we tend to fall into a stream of consciousness. Unfortunately, this rarely works in our (or the reader™s) favor. When we write this way, we tend to bury our key points, opinions, and conclusions in a flood of words. This makes it difficult for us to make our point and for readers to understand what we mean. Frankly, this isn™t writing, it™s typing.

    By completing this course, you will:

    • Know how to identify ineffective writing styles

    Using the Reporting Process

    Writers come from a perspective that is completely opposite from what readers want. All too often writers tend to write how they think. For example, they put background information at the top of their communication. They do this because they want to build a case before drawing conclusions. We believe we need to help the reader understand certain points before he or she can understand a request or recommendation. This is a natural response, everyone wants to do it, and yet it tends to be painful for the reader. Another example is that we can be hesitant to put our conclusions upfront. Instead, we want to persuade the reader first. Again, a natural thing to do from a writer™s perspective, but it™s still ineffective for the reader.

    While there is nothing wrong with this approach as a way to think through an issue, it™s essential you make an effort not to use it in your business writing. Instead, you want to invert the thinking process to a reporting process by starting with the required actions and ending with the background information to support the action requested or what needs to get done. With this approach, you wi™ll find that a lot more happens at work.

    By completing this course, you will:

    • Know how to use the reporting process when creating written communications

    Selecting the Best Writing Model

    Writing to get things done is easy to do if you have the right tools, among which include three essential writing models. These three methods provide a simple and easy to use process to organize and present your information. Building your skills to select and use the best model will make a significant difference in your business writing and speaking. When you clearly state what you want to get done, write your explanation or background details, and provide a sense of urgency, you wi™ll find your business writing to be more effective and much more successful.

    To be an effective business writer, you should consider the best structure for your written communications each and every time you sit down to type. When you consider what you need to write, and the amount of information you have to deliver, you can adjust your writing model to accommodate these needs, and thus ensure you consistently present clear communications to help get things done.

    By completing this course, you will:

    • Know how to select and use the best writing model for presenting your thoughts and ideas

    Write Effective Opening Paragraphs

    Writing to get things done always starts with a strong opening paragraph. When opening paragraphs are confusing or don™t grab the reader™s attention, the reader typically stops reading and thus does not find out about critical information or what needs to get done.

    A good opening paragraph is essential to your success as a business writer. This is the paragraph that sets the tone of your writing, states what you want to get done, and will let the reader know what your communication is all about.

    By completing this course, you will:

    • Be able to write an effective opening paragraph

    Effective Middle and Closing Paragraphs

    If you have a fantastic opening paragraph, it™s time to back it up with a great middle and closing paragraph. These paragraphs provide key points and background information, as well as a specific deadline. Just as with opening paragraphs, poorly written middle and closing paragraphs greatly diminish the effectiveness of your communication and may lead to inaction from your readers.

    Having a simple framework to organize your thoughts and ideas will help you be a more successful business writer, even if all you write are emails. Use this framework to communicate more clearly and get more done.

    By completing this course, you will:

    • Know how to write an effective middle and closing paragraph

    Forecasting Subject Lines

    When it comes to business writing, it seems the body of the email or document gets the majority of our attention. If we a™re writing to get things done (which we should be), then we a™re focused on what the reader wants. We a™re taking the time to ensure the opening paragraph contains the action item, the middle paragraph contains the key points, and our closing paragraph contains a specific deadline. All of this is good. However, because so much of our effort goes towards writing the email, we often forget about one of the most important aspects of business writing: the subject line.

    Since a significant amount of our written communication is delivered by email, it is critical to compose great emails at work. This includes not only using the best writing model (Three-Paragraph Model, Three-Paragraph Model with a List, or the Heading Model), it also involves creating a great subject line to capture the reader™s attention and forecast what your email is all about.

    By completing this course, you will:

    • Be able to write a concise and effective subject line

    Most Common Business Writing Model

    You will often find you have a lot to say, and yet you want to get things done and write an effective email. In this situation you may want to build your business case, explain an analysis, or provide key details or facts. If this is your goal, you wi™ll want to use a specific writing model. This model provides a proven process to help you organize a lot of information in a way readers want to receive it. In fact, once you learn this model and begin to use it, you wi™ll find you wi™ll use it for about 80% of your writing.

    The majority of your writing, whether it™s an email or report, will benefit from the Three Paragraph Model with a List. This writing model is used to help the reader clearly and easily know what you need done and when, as well as provides a format to organize key points and information in a way that makes it easy for everyone to read and understand.

    By completing this course, you will:

    • Know how to use the writing model required for about 80% of your writing

    Writing Model for Reports and Documents

    As you increase the amount of detail and length of your document, you wi™ll want to change the writing model you use. When you have lots of information, such as for a proposal, report, or technical manual, you want to switch to a writing model that allows you to organize your information in a way that engages readers and helps them quickly scan for key information.

    Building your capability to present a lot of information in the way readers want to receive it is essential to your success. Do this well and readers will want to read your document (very important), but more importantly, they wi™ll know what to do with it.

    By completing this course, you will:

    • Know how to use the writing model required for long documents, such as reports and manuals

    Writing Style and Tone

    To be an effective business writer, it is essential you keep the reader in mind. Adjusting your writing style and tone to meet the needs of the reader will always work to your advantage. When you do this, your readers will enjoy your document, understand the key points, and most importantly, they wi™ll know what to do.

    Making a conscious effort to implement a few proven writing techniques will make a difference. For example, readers want simple words and short sentences, instead of jargon and business speak. While complicated business language may seem to make your document look more important, simple and easy to read language is always appreciated by all readers.

    Whether you a™re writing an email or long technical document, you will practice applying the essential writing techniques to your written communications. You can use the checklist in two ways. First, to remind you of the elements as you write, second as a way to assess the quality of your draft before finalizing your communication.

    By completing this course, you will:

    • Know how to use an effective writing style and tone

    Effective Emails

    Email has become a standard and frequently used method of written communication at work. Most everyone emails, and we all tend to do a lot of it. In fact, a majority of our written communication is done through email, which means the guidelines for what is acceptable to send has changed. Agreements, proposals, project notes, and reports are all sent by email now, many of which appear directly in the body of the email, instead of as an attachment.

    For this course you will learn about the email guidelines used to compose the best message and create the right tone for any email you create. In addition, you wi™ll receive a checklist you can use as a reminder of the components to consider anytime you send an email at work.

    By completing this course, you will:

    • Know how to assess the quality of your emails

Subject Matter Expert

Vado offers 350+ employee soft skill and management development e-learning courses that is “changing the face of learning” with course design that includes the following elements:

Development Happens on the Job. Research shows that 70% of development happens on the job, and Vado is the only off the shelf elearning courseware provider that helps the learner apply on the job through step by step instructions.

Chucked Learning. Some call it granular, others call it chunked, microlearning or learning bursts . They mean the same thing – learners want short learning courses. Study after study shows that taking in information in small bite sized chunks leads to increased learner retention. The market has been recognizing this trend toward shorter and shorter learning courses and have shortened e-learning courses from 4 hours to 1 hour to 30 minutes. Our learning content takes this trend to the next step to meet the demands of learners.

Video. In their personal life, employees learn new information by watching videos and they have come to expect that on the job. All of Vado’s courses start with a short instructional video. And the videos are in high definition for a better learner experience.

Optimized for the mobile learner. Mobile means two things: technology and the learner experience. Vado’s learning content is optimized for both meanings. From a technology standpoint, all 300+ courses are viewable from all hand held devices. From a learner experience perspective, small bite sized videos fit the mobile learners’ requirement of not having to complete long courses on their hand held device.


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