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Online: Business Writing Masterclass: Write your way to business leadership and success

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​A first impression can make or break your career – and it's often formed on what you write. Write to be read, not ignored. To draw respect, not judgment.

This masterclass takes between 5 and 8 hours to complete. Delegates will receive access to the platform for 4 months and can complete the class at their own pace. On completion delegates receive a certificate of attendance and a digital credential to use on their LinkedIn profile. 

Let two of South Africa's best-known writing trainers, Jo-Anne Richards and Richard Beynon lead you through the dos and don'ts of the new business writing, tailored to a modern business landscape.

Writing clearly and effectively is an essential business skill. Global studies show that successful executives attribute 60% of that success to visibility, image and reputation. As face-to-face meetings wane in a post-Covid world, your written image will grow ever more vital.

This is a four-hour course to complete at your own pace. It consists of seven topics, which cover:

  • The need for a new business writing style.
  • Principles of good writing, including plain language use.
  • Planning a business report: sticking to brief, research and interviewing techniques, the difference between fact and opinion – and how to use them to build trust.
  • Structuring a report, or any business communication: use the inverted pyramid to get your point across with maximum impact.
  • Perfecting your communication, with meaningful titles, headlines and contents, for ease of reading.
  • Forming the best impression, through its layout, spelling and grammar.
  • E-mails: levels of formality, relevance, and striking the right tone with different audiences, of different generations.
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About the Presenters:  Jo-Anne Richards and Richard Beynon

Jo-Anne and Richard founded the writing training company, All About Writing, in 2007. They are highly skilled writing trainers and mentors and run a number of writing programmes. These include creative writing courses, memoir and non-fiction writing courses, together with mentoring and coaching programmes. They have also given structural and editing assistance to post-graduate students working on their theses. All About Writing has cultivated relationships with several leading publishers, who trust their recommendations, and have worked closely with them in presenting webinars and workshops.

Fifty books have been published by All About Writing students.

Jo-Anne Richards

Jo-Anne is one of South Africa's best-known writing trainers. She is an internationally published novelist with a PhD in Creative Writing and is sought after as a writing mentor and course facilitator. Currently, she is a partner in All About Writing and supervises Creative Writing Masters students at UCT and Wits, and acts as examiner for both programmes. She runs an annual Summer School writing programme for UCT.

Between 2000 and 2015, Jo-Anne ran the Honours programme in Journalism & Media Studies at Wits University. She designed and taught Journalism for Communicators, a Wits certificate course for professionals, and has taught business writing and communications skills for companies such as Beachhead Communications, Financial Dynamics, Brunswick Group, Flow Communications and Old Mutual, and through management training consultancy, Consultant Powerhouse.

She taught business writing for the International Leadership Development Programme, organised by the Wholesale and Retail Seta in conjunction with the Wits Business School. She has run workshops for the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism, the annual Power Reporting Conference, International Narrative Journalism Conference, and the Media Monitoring Programme. 

She worked full-time for four South African newspapers, as a reporter, feature writer, sub-editor and news editor, and freelanced for international newspapers and magazines like The Guardian in the UK and Vanity Fair and Talk in the US. She freelanced locally for Successful Salesmanship, Sunday Times Lifestyle, The Star, Sunday Independent, Vrye Weekblad, and the Mail & Guardian

Jo-Anne has published five best-selling novels, has been shortlisted for the M-Net Book Prize, and was nominated for the prestigious Impac International Dublin Literary Award. Her first book was chosen as a Dillon's Debut in London, to be showcased as an "outstanding first novel" and she has twice been nominated for the Sunday Times Literary Award. Her first novel, The Innocence of Roast Chicken, was originally published by Headline Review in the UK, and has recently been rereleased as one of the prestigious Picador Africa Classics collection.

Richard Beynon

Richard is one of South Africa's best-known writing trainers and scriptwriters with a writing career spanning 50 years. He is a sought-after mentor and story consultant. Currently, he is a partner in All About Writing.  He writes a weekly motivational blog for writers and readers.

A former journalist and editor with the Rand Daily Mail, he has conceived, shaped and written scores of documentaries and corporate presentations that include Clem Sunter's High Road/Low Road scenarios, the Nedbank scenarios of the early 1990s, and more recently a McKinsey presentation.

Between 1973 and 1984 he edited Successful Salesmanship, a trade magazine that boasted the highest paid circulation of any in the country. He was a founding member of Endemol South Africa, served as Creative Director for the company, and conceived and wrote factual television programmes including the business programme Boardroom Dancing. He has also given presentations, and run workshops, on the strategic and persuasive power of story for Barclays.

He is skilled at weaving factual messages into narrative and developed the concept of the Soul City series of educational television series. He headed the team that developed a ground-breaking series of radio dramas for the NGO Love/Life. Richard has written for – or headed the writing teams of – many of country's most popular daily dramas from Isidingo and Isibaya to Scandal and S'gudi S'naysi.

He has lectured on writing for film and television at Wits and has won numerous awards for his work specifically in comedy, soap and children's drama. 

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Who should attend?

It doesn't matter if you are at a junior or senior level of an organisation. This class is for anyone requiring help with their writing skills. 

How you will benefit

This masterclass will teach you to shine in your written communications. Seven bite-sized classes will carry you through the essential steps to be read, understood - and to get your point across. The course will show you how to write professional reports that are clear, persuasive and motivational. It will give you confidence, knowing that your business writing is communicating as effectively as possible, and leaving in your readers' minds an impression of crisp professionalism. 

Additional information

This is a four-hour course to complete at your own pace.

On completion delegates receive a certificate of attendance and a digital credential to use on your LinkedIn profile.

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