Skill Building Courses

Susan Kline Business Communications promotes excellence in the workplace by providing a variety of workshops to improve business writing and presentation skills. If your employees need to write clearer documents, make business presentations, or upgrade other communication skills, then the following classes and consulting services may be exactly what you need. See also: Bonus benefits for all participants below.

Effective Business Writing – A compact presentation of all one needs to know about business writing, this class will demonstrate and provide ample opportunity for participants to practice the five critical components of good writing: 1) Organization –how to use the 3×3 plan to compose every document’s introduction, body and conclusion; 2) Style – how to write concisely, eliminating excess verbiage; 3) Tone – how to adopt a positive or neutral tone, sound professional, and eliminate needless negatives; 4) Sentence clarity – how to structure sentences so they can be understood by every reader in the same way; 5) English usage – how to avoid obvious errors in grammar, punctuation and word choice. 8 hours. Maximum 15 participants.

Advanced Business Writing: Intended for those who write substantial documents, this class reinforces skills of organization and persuasion. Participants learn to put the reader front and center to ensure comprehension and make even the most complicated topics easy to understand. Advance submission of writing samples is required; includes individual coaching session. 8 hours. Maximum: 8 participants.

E-Mail Excellence in the Workplace: Discover the e-mail gaffes that insult readers and muddy your messages. Learn (and practice) how to make your e-mail communication attention-getting, efficient, productive, polite and correct. Recognize when e-mail does not help you accomplish your business objectives. 2 hours

Grammar Basics for Business: Learn how grammar, punctuation and accurate word choice can work together to make business documents clear, correct and unambiguous. Apply easy-to-understand principles to all work-related messages. Correct the 20 most glaring errors in English usage made throughout the business world. 2 hours

How to Take Minutes at Meetings: Demystify the process and actually enjoy the role of recorder. Understand and practice the very different skills of taking notes (listening, comprehending, summarizing,) and drafting the minutes (writing concisely, accurately and articulately; knowing what not to record; employing a simplified format; using minutes to spur action). Receive a useful template to make minute-taking easy and efficient. 2 hours

Proofreading Under Pressure: How embarrassing it is when an important document is tarnished by a glaring mistake! Readers are likely to form an impression of carelessness and inattention to detail. Put an end to such errors – whether the blunders are typographical mistakes, misspelled names, mismatched days and dates, doubled or missing words, errors in punctuation and capitalization or inconsistent format. This class provides guidelines, strategies and useful tools to sharpen your proofreading skills and apply them to writing you do on the job. 2 hours

Perfect Presentations: Master the skills necessary to be successful when making a business presentation, whether formal or informal. Analyze your purpose, audience, content and format. Learn how to make strategic adjustments to enhance the speaking opportunity. Get tips for reducing anxiety. Then, best of all, practice your skills – and receive feedback – in a friendly setting. 4 hours. Maximum: 6 participants

Readability: The Secret of Memorable Writing: You may have an important message to deliver, but how do you know your audience will understand it? The key is to write at a grade level that makes a document easy to read and digest. It may come as no surprise that even your most sophisticated audience responds best to a simple, concise message. That means most writing should achieve Grade 9-11 readability. In this class you will find out how readability grade level is determined, assess where your writing stands, and learn the secrets of readability. It’s a fascinating process – a “must” if you want to increase the impact of your workplace writing. 2 hours

Thank you, Sympathy & Apology Notes: In a world dominated by technology, we sometimes forget the value of personal notes. They can convey an uplifting message, create or maintain a relationship, or achieve a business purpose. The power of those messages stems from their warmth and sincerity – from the ability of the writer to understand and touch the reader. . Discover how to deliver the sincere, personal, specific and meaningful message that resonates with the recipient. 2 hours

What’s in a Word? Here’s a class to educate and surprise you with a host of words you should know (like acumen and jejune), words typically misunderstood and misused (like bemused and nonplussed), and phrases suddenly popping up everywhere in today’s communication (like crowd funding and tiger mom). Test your ability to recognize foreign expressions, eliminate obvious redundancies, and pronounce words correctly. Emerge from the class with expanded knowledge of words, confidence in how to use them and fascination with our ever-evolving language. 2 hours

Individual Coaching: Benefit from private sessions focusing on your own job writing. Gain feedback about your personal strengths and weaknesses as well as concrete tips and practical exercises for improvement. Benefit from “before and after” writing assessments. Amount of time varies.


Bonus Benefits for all Participants

In addition to a take-away manual – a valuable ongoing resource, all participants get Access to Susan Kline’s Grammar Hotline
This is a complimentary service of Susan Kline Business Communications. It’s just ONE of the many ‘extras’ that makes Susan Kline a valuable resource.
No more need to wonder about using a semicolon or comma, who or whom, affect or effect, or the many other problems that plague writers of business documents. Simply click on Contact Us; submit your question about punctuation, grammar, word choice, or general English usage; and receive a prompt, clear, helpful response.