P&M 36: Business Writing That Works with Shirley Taylor

Have you ever written an important email, proposal or memo, sent it off, and then later realised you’d made a huge mistake or that there are some words you get stuck on – one word that you always spell incorrectly? Or have you sent an email and realised you’ve given [the receiver has formed] the wrong impression of you?

Our technology, our work processes, our language has moved with the times, why hasn’t our writing?

In the episode of People & Management we hear from Shirley Taylor.
20130729_NSA-Philly_10935-newShirley lives in Singapore, and she’s a speaker and trainer on communication skills. She’s written 12 successful books including the seventh edition of international bestselling book Model Business Letters, Emails and Other Business Documents, which has been translated into several languages and sold over half a million copies worldwide.
With over 30 years’ experience in teaching and training, Shirley recently launched a new online interactive virtual training program, ‘Business Writing That Works’. She’s very passionate about helping individuals and organisations globally to improve their writing skills and achieve better success by communicating with heart.

Shirley shows you exactly what you’re being ‘old school’ about when it comes to your written communication. Listen to grab all the examples and brilliant tips to improve your writing.

My key takeaways from spending time with Shirley creating this episode include:

    • As a manager, leader, business owner, it’s critical to help staff see the impact of their written communication. To see that how emails are written is giving an impression of the company and that impacts of whether a customer or client stays or goes.
    • When you write with heart, stop imagining what the reader expects of how you write. They expect you to write the way you do. This is great advice for getting past any perceived barriers cross-culturally. (Expect them to write the way they do.)
    • Put the person first, focus on the active verbs.
    • Write as though you are having a conversation.
    • Use Shirley’s great 4 point plan for structuring emails, don’t just sit at the keyboard and dump all your message into an email:
    1. Introduction
    2. Details
    3. Action: “Please <verb>…”
    4. Close

Written communication has never been my strong suite and I simply love how Shirley makes it seem do-able! You will get a lot out of this episode; it’s one which you’ll come back to time and again.

Here are the links we talked about in the interview:

Book: Model Business Letters, Emails and Other Business Documents 

Grab Shirley’s free Checklist and free trial of her Virtual Training – Business Writing That Works: click here


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