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Activities on business writing skills



I've got this feeler in all my training sessions that after some point the complete session revolves too much around theory only. can anybody please hhelp me with some good impactful exercises and icebreakers for my business writing skills workshop.

Pooja Bhatia

4 Responses

  1. Time and variations on a theme
    A lot depends of course on the amount of time you have to hand but there’s a lot of stuff you can do quite easily for this.

    1. Give 10 badly written sentences and have them re-write them

    2. Give a badly written 1 page report and get them to rewrite

    3. Give them a badly written e-mail and get them to rewrite

    4. Give them a badly written letter and get them to rewrite

    5. Get them to bring examples of their own work (e-mails, reports, etc.) and have them rewrite them after stages of the course

    6. Get them to bring badly written material they have seen elsewhere and explain why they think it is poor

    7. Get them to put together a very simple PowerPoint presentation (2 or 3 pages at most) and then deliver it without speaking

    8. Get them to write an e-mail or letter based on a scenario (e.g. customer complaint, supplier enquiry, etc.)

    9. Get them to write a quick marketing statement for a product

    10. And a million other variations on the theme – but… try and make them relevant to the tasks they actually do – getting the HR department to write a marketing statement may be fun but probably won’t improve their skills in the area you want.

    Hope that helps. Good luck.

  2. Two for you to try
    Hi there,

    Here are two that I put into mine…

    The first (which is a good icebreaker) is to provide lots of magazines, journals, newspapers etc. Ask delegates to work in groups to produce a collage (so you need flipchart paper, scissors and glue) that shows the different ways of writing/presenting information. Ask delegates to identify the target audience and how each style will appeal to them. This is good for highlighting that we have to adapt our style when writing to suit our intended audience.

    Another one (which i sometimes throw in as an after-lunch energiser) is to split delegates into 2 teams, and give each team a set of unusual words with their definitions. They have to select 3 or 4 of them, and write alternative ‘false’ definitions for them. then we play a game of ‘Call my Bluff’ where the opposite team gets given the word, and have to gues which is the correct one from the choices provided.

    I know this can be dry subject, but these seem to work well to energise things a bit.

  3. Activities
    Hello Pooja

    We run a two-day Effective Writing skills course.

    The groups to which I deliver particularly enjoy reading material that I’ve either developed or seen in which they have to find tautologies.

    Having them calculate the Fog Index (Google this; there’s lots of information around, but the formula’s universal) on a piece of their own work also gets them to consider how they can make their writing at it’s clearest on first reading.

    As some other commentors have suggested, encouraging your learners to quality audit a piece of work always goes down well. I suspect a bit of ‘holier than thou’ creeps in to the session!

    These activities are relatively light, but reinforce underpinning theory whilst practising the skill.

    Not only do these activities help to break up theory-heavy sessions; they also give the tools for people to consider the material that they want other people to understand.

    Hope this helps!


  4. Business Letter Writing Exericse
    Hi Pooja
    I have a Business Letter Writing activity. Takes about 20 minutes to complete and review. It covers the layout /positioning of the letter. Please let me know ([email protected]) if it would be of interest. Happy to share it with any one else.
    Happy Days!


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