Communication skills are an essential life skill, and improving them can build more effective relationships with friends and family. They can also enhance your career prospects, as employers seek those who communicate well on many platforms and to a variety of audiences, including with colleagues, customers and suppliers. This course is ideal for writers, editors, communication coordinators, admin staff, managers, client-facing sales staff, and those who speak English as a second language.
The Certificate of Business Writing and Communication is a professional development course that will enhance your written, visual and aural communication skills — from increasing profits and improving customer service to boosting productivity and reducing workplace accidents.
In this business writing course, you will study appropriate communication, the types of language, emphatic listening, and the different channels you can use to deliver powerful messages in business. You will also learn how to develop your visual communication skills in public speaking, write for different audiences in a variety of formats, and how to incorporate digital applications and technology into presentations.
Outcomes achieved by undertaking a business writing course include:
- Learning about the problems with poor communication
- Exploring the barriers to effective communication
- Studying how to give instructions
- Examining how to evaluate instructions or orders
- Understanding the different types of communication
- Learning about appropriate communication
- Exploring passive, aggressive and assertive communication
- Studying empathic listening and the obstacles to listening
- Gaining insights into ways to indicate you are listening
- Understanding the informative, persuasive, imaginative and literal language
- Learning about figurative, formal and colloquial language
- Exploring communication channels
- Studying how to review and evaluate your writing
- Gaining insights into using concise wording and condensing your writing
- Understanding clear wording and how to make meanings clear
- Learning about the causes of confusion – homophones, malapropisms, colloquial meanings and ambiguity
- Exploring simplicity in writing and communication
- Studying where writing skills are used
- Gaining insights into determining and writing for a purpose and knowing your reader
- Understanding language and the guidelines for effective writing
- Learning how to write a business letter and other business documents
- Exploring writing themes including analogy and chronological theme
- Studying punctuation, concise wording and how to avoid the common grammatical errors
- Gaining insights into writing for newspapers and magazines
- Understanding visual communication including handouts and digital technology
- Learning about charts and illustrations
- Exploring digital applications like graphics, CAD, multimedia and the internet
- Studying public speaking
- Gaining insights into audio aids and recorded presentations
- Examining the principles of public speaking
- Learning about the functions and how to conduct a committee meeting
- Exploring the role of office bearers
- Studying how to take minutes in a meeting
Causes of Communication Confusion
According to scientists, humans began writing around 4000 B.C and speaking around 100,000 years ago. Prior to written language humans used cave drawings, which then evolved to word symbols. With the evolution of language and with the number of words available, the opportunity for miscommunication became (and still is) high. This is because specific words and the meanings of those words can vary significantly due to different cultures, environments and experiences. After you’ve done our business writing course, you will understand the importance of using the following correctly:
These are abbreviated versions of phrases or organisation names that are formed by combining alphabetical characters to create a new word. They can save time and may improve the recall of a phrase’s underlying meaning, and the use of acronyms also continues to grow as people communicate through different platforms like social media and messaging apps. However, they are so ubiquitous in print and speech that their meanings are often misinterpreted!
Common acronyms used in business include:
- DIY (do it yourself)
- DOB (date of birth)
- ASAP (as soon as possible)
- GST (goods and services tax)
- KPI (key performance indicator)
- BAU (business as usual)
- COB (close of business)
- F2F (face to face)
- ETA (expected time of arrival)
- ATO (Australian Taxation Office)
- OHS (occupational health and safety)
- MYEFO (mid-year economic and fiscal outlook)
Common acronyms used in social media include:
- AMA (ask me anything)
- BTW (by the way)
- FOMO (fear of missing out)
- HBD (Happy Birthday)
- TGIF (Thank god it’s Friday)
- YOLO (You only live once)
- ICYMI (In case you missed it)
- TBH (To be honest)
- TMI (Too much information)
- LMK (Let me know)
- NM (Not much)
These are words or phrases that develop a new meaning outside of the traditional definition. They can be specific to geographic regions or fashionable at a particular time or in a particular context. They also include “buzzwords” (which are words that sound impressive but convey no special meaning), and although they colour writing and speech, the possibility of misunderstanding can be high. Examples of buzzwords used in business include:
- Extensive experience
- Track record
Examples of colloquialisms used in business include:
It’s a no-brainer – A decision or choice that is so easy or obvious, it requires little or no thought.
Think outside the box – A metaphor that means to think unconventionally, differently or from a new perspective.
At the end of the day – When everything is taken into consideration.
It’s a win-win situation – An outcome or situation where everyone comes away happy.
Touch base – To briefly renew or make contact with someone.
Moving forward – A progression in time from the present.
Giving it 100 per cent – Giving it all that you’ve got, plus more.
Close of play – The end of a work or trading day.
It’s on my radar – In a person’s awareness.
These are words that are spelt differently but sound the same. Because English is the most widely spoken language across the globe, it’s not surprising that certain words are pronounced or spelt similarly. But as you will learn in our business writing course, accuracy and error-free communication and documentation is vital in professional dealings. Some of the common homophones that confuse many of us are:
- Complement vs. compliment – To complement is something that enhances or completes, and a compliment is an expression or remark of admiration.
- Ensure vs. insure – Ensure means to make safe or sure and insure to obtain insurance.
- Affect vs. effect – Affect means to act or have an effect upon, and effect is a change caused by the consequences of an action.
- Confirmation vs. conformation – Confirmation is the act of being confirmed, and conformation is compliance with a rule or law.
- Incite vs. insight – Incite is to urge or spur on, insight is a deep understanding of people or situations.
- Accede vs. exceed – Accede is to agree or approve, and exceed to extend beyond or be greater than.
- Imminent vs. eminent – Imminent is something that’s about to happen soon, and eminent is a respected person in a particular sphere.
- Defer vs. differ – Defer is to postpone or delay and differ to disagree or be dissimilar.
- Principle vs. principal – Principle is a fundamental doctrine, principal is the most important thing or person.
- Queue vs. cue – A queue is a sequence of things or people, and a cue is a signal.
This is the misuse of word or words, and it can often have confusing or unintentionally hilarious results. The term comes from an 18th-century play called The Rivals written by Richard B. Sheridan — the main character says things that sound almost correct, but are just a little bit wrong! Common malapropisms used in everyday language include:
“I could care less” – this phrase is often used to utter disinterest in a discussion topic, however, it literally means the opposite of what is probably intended! The correct phrase is “I could not care less” or “I couldn’t care less”.
“For all intensive purposes” – when this is used, the speaker probably means “in every practical sense”, however they are actually saying “for the purposes of making things more intensive”! The correct phrase is “For all intents and purposes”.
Irregardless – this is a combination of two words with the same meaning – “regardless” and “irrespective”. Both mean “setting that aside for the moment” or “despite prevailing circumstances”. This is one of the most common and oldest malapropisms in modern English and humans have been using it since at least the early twentieth century!
Other malapropisms occur because of the misuse of phonetically similar words, and include:
- Ambiguous/ambivalent – the first means unclear and the second unsure.
- Affect/effect – the first is a verb meaning to change, the second a noun referring to the result of a change.
- Allusion/illusion – the first is an indirect reference, the second an apparition, mirage or hallucination.
- Precede/proceed – the first means to go before something, the second, to move forward.
- Jibe/jive – the first means to agree or complement and the second is a type of dance or to perform that type of dance. They are a little different!
Gain the confidence to write, communicate and present professionally in a business setting with a business writing course, such as our Certificate of Business Writing and Communication.