Business Writing Training:Writing E-mails, Memos, and Letters that Work

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This class is designed to make business writing easier and more effective for the busy professional. Are your letters too long? Do you spend too much time writing simple memos? Does the task of answering a complaint letter seem daunting?

Topics include:

  • Organizing memos and letters
  • Using bullet points effectively
  • Creating "reader-friendly" documents
  • Choosing the correct pattern of development
  • Shaping your response to letters with impact
  • Producing professional e-mail

Participants will benefit by learning:

  • Six principles of good memo writing
  • Five steps for achieving clarity and brevity
  • The format for a standard business letter
  • How to achieve results by selecting the right tone
  • Ways to manage incoming and outgoing e-mail

Seminar Tips:

  • Organize your memos like a newspaper reporter. Your most important point should be made in the first paragraph.
  • Use symbols instead of numbers to set off your bullet points. Numbers suggest priority or sequence; symbols are egalitarian and suggest items equal in importance.
  • The average length of a sentence in a business document should be between 15-20 words.

Additional E-mail Seminar Available

Effective Communications through Enhanced Customer Service

This course is a one-day seminar designed to improve customer service skills of personnel who communicate with clients by telephone and e-mail. The telephone component is a half-day seminar and the e-mail component is a half-day seminar. This training can be booked as a one-day offering or as separate half-day offerings.

Telephone Component:

  1. A Flash of the Obvious - Introduction

    Customer wants and needs - an experiential exercise

  2. Common Customer Complaints

    Words and phrases that irritate customers

  3. How Do You Sound

    Telephone voice self evaluation

  4. A Way with Words

    Developing "can-do speak" Re-phrasing exercise

  5. Meeting Challenges

    Dealing with upset, angry, dissatisfied, misinformed, demanding or surly customers

  6. Addressing Problems (opportunities)

    Seven progressive steps to problem resolution

  7. Why Customers Become Irate

    Experiential discovery exercise

  8. The Importance of Listening

    How to hear what is not said and confirm what was heard

  9. Voice Mail and General Tele-standards

    Departmental greetings, Desk telephone greetings

  10. Telephone Image

    Experiential exercise of re-stating common telephone responses

E-mail Component: Six Principles of Effective E-mails

  1. The Organization of an E-mail:

    How to organize your information so it's "reader-friendly"

  2. Ways to be E-mail Savvy:

    How to respond to customers with sensitivity and political correctness

  3. Following E-mail Etiquette:

    How to avoid committing an e-mail faux pas

  4. The Elements of an E-mail Message:

    How to make the most of an e-mail's three components

  5. How to Edit your E-mails:

    How to evaluate your e-mail's content and organization to achieve a professional appearance

  6. Using a Spell Checker Program:

    What can Spell Check do-and what can't it do

Seminar Tips:

  • Read your e-mail more than once, and be sensitive to the possibility of various interpretations.
  • When talking to a customer, avoid thinking of what to say next while the other is speaking.
  • State your main idea at the beginning of your e-mail-readers want to know what you are writing about as soon as they start to read.
  • Don't assume you know what the customer is going to say and let your attention lapse.
  • Keep your e-mails narrow in scope-follow the adage, "One e-mail/one topic.

Client Testimonials

"Your class was an enormous success. I learned a great deal and the quality of the writing has improved substantially among those who attended."

Schedule This Training

For groups of 3 or more participants

Cypress Media Group presents this seminar as an on-site offering at your work location or at an off-site location of your choice. We can customize this training program to suit your precise training needs.

For economic reasons, this seminar is only offered to groups of roughly three or more people with the same training needs. If you have a group with similar training needs, please call us at 770-640-9918 or E-mail to discuss your interest.

For fewer than 3 participants

We do not offer this course as an open enrollment public offering for individuals. If you have fewer than three participants who are interested in this course, the cost will be the same as for a larger group.

Please call us at 770-640-9918 or E-mail to discuss your interest.

About the Instructor

Catherine Hibbard

Catherine S. Hibbard is a nationally recognized expert in business and technical writing. She conducts training seminars in technical and business writing, writing effective policies and procedures, and proofreading/editing.

Ms. Hibbard's client base, which is diverse and impressive, draws from both corporations and government agencies such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), several NASA centers, and numerous military branches. Her corporate clients include Nestlé Purina, Verizon, and Northrop Grumman to name just a few. She has been awarded contracts for large training initiatives with the Office of Professional Management (OPM), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Most Influential in Techcomm

Catherine was ranked 15th on The Top 100 Influencers in #Techcomm bloggers list in 2014.

She can be reached by e-mail at

Connect to her on Linkedin.