Business Writing Skills: Producing Professional Written Documents - [website] Email Print
Published: 26th of Jun 2019 by: Carolyn Kessler

Our Business Writing, Report Writing and Minute Taking courses have proven to be up there with our most popular workshops over the 19 years Staff Training has been operating. For a number of very good reasons, namely it's very difficult to compile a cogent letter or written document in your second or, very often, third language.

Verbal fluency is more easily achieved than written fluency – naturally. In person, we often borrow words from Xhosa, English and Afrikaans when chatting. In fact, a linguistics professor from a renowned overseas university wrote his thesis on our unique 'Capetonian vernacular'.

He loved the way we naturally interwove the three languages in our everyday speech and likened it to the British 'cockney rhyming slang' which characterised many people born in central London. For those of you who aren't sure of what cockney sounds like, watch the movie Mary Poppins - you'll understand why this unusual way of speaking became so well known.
It was unique - and so, apparently, is our home grown version right here in the Western Cape!

All this being said, I feel really sorry for those of you who have to unlearn all the 'bad habits' into which you have fallen, before you can produce professional written documents. Even if you have English as a mother tongue, the focus has always to be placed on whether or not you are actually getting your message across. Bear in mind, you may well be writing to someone else whose first language isn't English.

The days of 'writing down' to the recipient are long gone – the person on the other side isn't going to understand you if they need a dictionary to decipher what you have to say. They really don't care if you are more educated than they – in fact they tend to get a little irritated at what comes across as a patronising tone. Justifiably so!

But, whilst we should be compiling conversational missives, we simply cannot compromise on professionalism. 'Simple' doesn’t mean you can use text speak, WhatsApp shorthand or any other slang. It means that you have to maintain a high standard of professionalism whilst ensuring your message is clear, concise and correct.

Naturally, it's not possible to teach someone to become fluent in a language on one or two day courses, but it is definitely possible to draw attention to problem areas and work with content which sets a delegate on the right path.

We focus on structure, tone, language and content of written communication, emphasising what construes effective writing.

If you or one of your employees is battling in this area of communication – join one of our workshops, some great options are our Business Writing, Report Writing and Minute Taking courses. We also offer a Writing Skills for English 2nd language course.
Unfortunately, clients tend to judge your professionalism on the standard of your communication - especially when it's in writing!

Staff Training is a South African soft skills training provider with more than 60 workshops on offer.

Email us at for more info or give us a call at 0861 996 660

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