Sharpen up!  a 2-day in-house training programme

Course detail



Anyone who does any kind of writing for work


How long?

How long?

2 days

(9am – 4:30pm)


How many?

How many?

Up to 12 participants

Course description

You know stuff.  You’re experienced.  You’ve trained in your field.  You might even be an expert.  But has anyone ever actually taught you how to express what you know in writing?  Most of us never get that.

We all write—emails, reports, briefs, summaries, proposals, specs, memos.  But we all usually just guess at how to do it, or copy what others have done before.

The good news is there are international standards for clear communication. They’re simple, easy to learn, and a more natural way of writing than what you might’ve seen or been taught.

You’ll get the tools to write documents that are fit for purpose, every time. Forget templates and formulas – equip yourself with the ability to start each document from scratch to quickly and efficiently achieve exact outcomes.

And one last thing: writing courses sound about as fun as getting the plaque scraped off your teeth.

I take that as a personal challenge.

Course content

  • plain language approaches—how to make your writing clear, simple, and understandable by a wide audience
  • reader-centric tools—understanding your readers’ needs, and structuring a document accordingly
  • editing and reviewing techniques—so you can make sure documents (written by you and others) are sharp, polished, and impressive every time!
  • planning tools—how to separate thinking from writing so you use your time most efficiently
  • fit for purpose structure and tone—understanding the principles to make every document work for its context
  • formatting documents for reader ease
  • supported writing, using your own documents

Course outline day 1

  • what is plain language?
  • who uses it?
  • why use it? (the benefits)

  • active voice
  • 1st person
  • speakable Language
  • sentence length
  • positive
  • professional
  • personal

  • focus on the reader for success
  • putting yourself in the readers’ shoes
  • what all readers want to know
  • bottom line up front

  • separating thinking and writing (so you can use your writing time more efficiently)
  • identifying audience
  • prioritising the needs of multiple readers
  • identifying the overarching purpose
  • planning to achieve the purpose
  • reader-centric structures
  • identifying and achieving the right tone for the audience and purpose

Course outline day 2

  • what readers want
  • the psychology of the visual
  • from mundane to insane(-ly easy to read!)

  • which are the best fonts?
  • how layout affects message reception
  • the importance of white space
  • 3 hat editing process
  • reviewing skills
  • surviving the review process
  • practice, practice, practice!

Other info


Before the course

Before the course

provide samples of your business writing


To bring on the day

To bring on the day

  • laptop/tablet (optional but useful)
  • your own documents to work on

Post-training options

Post-training options

  • 1 – 1 coaching
  • document assessments

What are you waiting for?

Book now

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