Writing: How to Engage and Convince Your Readers

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Instructor Information: Stuart G. Walesh, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, Dist.M.ASCE

Course Length: 1.5 Hours

Purpose and Background

Of the five forms of communication (listening, speaking, writing, visuals, and mathematics), writing is the one that is most likely to have both short term and long term impacts. Writing can have a short term impact in the sense that what we write today may influence co-workers, clients and stakeholders tomorrow. In the long term, what we write today, especially professional articles, papers, and books; may influence others months, years, or decades from now.

Besides the potential to influence others, effective writing can also help each of us determine what we really know and think about professional and other topics. As noted by playwright Edward Albee, “I write to find out what I’m thinking.” Therefore, if we are dissatisfied with our writing skill, improving it can have a significant personal and professional payoff. Improving writing knowledge and skill is the purpose of this webinar.

This webinar offers many specific and pragmatic tips to immediately help you improve your writing ability. Most tips are applicable to the full range of writing including major reports, professional papers, memoranda, letters, and email. Participants receive a detailed handout on which the webinar will draw. The handout includes references to articles, books, e-newsletters, websites, and other self-study materials.

Learning Outcomes

  • Increase awareness of 5 forms of communication
  • Appreciate the one-way, single channel challenge of writing
  • Learn 32 writing tips
  • Consider a 3-part structure for a major report
  • Be aware of 5 gender-neutral writing structures
  • Obtain the names of over 50 writing resources

Webinar Benefits

  • Become more aware of what you really think and know
  • Obtain many practical writing tips
  • Engage your subconscious to help you write more effectively
  • Increase your writing efficiency and effectiveness
  • Produce documents that are more reader friendly
  • Expand your influence within and outside of your organization

Intended Audience

Anyone who wants to improve their report, letter, memoranda, professional paper and other writing ability will benefit from this webinar. By improving your writing you will help yourself and others make good things happen.

Webinar Outline

  • The complete communicator
  • Speaking versus writing
  • Types of written products
  • Profiling the audience
  • Defining the message
  • Style guides
  • Writing starts on Day 1
  • Brainstorming, listing, clustering,outlining and incubating
  • Retaining the outline
  • Writing the “easy parts” first
  • Selecting the “person”
  • Gender neutral, active – not passive
  • Less is more
  • Rhetorical techniques
  • Tin ear
  • Trimming hedges
  • Flexible format
  • Lists
  • Standard maps/diagrams
  • Format writing
  • Writing milestones
  • Appearance
  • Citing sources
  • One more time