Communication is the key to doing good business. Whatever your sector or field, whether you sell to the public, businesses or have a cushy contract with the government your business needs to be able to talk to customers, suppliers and internally alike. And as English continues to remain the dominant language for commerce, technology and science into the foreseeable future, learning to talk business the Anglo way is an essential skill for anyone, whether they come from a native speaking background or need to learn.
What Words Mean – Why Business Writing Matters
Once upon a time there was an American company who opened a new European subsidiary in France. Things were going swimmingly – the European operation was rapidly gaining hundreds of thousands of new customers but there was one problem; the French were being rude and intolerable. They sent an unending stream of demands back to their American head office and the Americans’ quite naturally were somewhat annoyed.
It turned out however that what was happening was a complete misunderstanding. Given its mongrel origins, huge numbers of English words have their origin in French. However, overtime many of them changed in meaning or emphasis. One of these words was the French word demand, which in English means to ask for something quite forcefully, even offensively so. However, its French origins were far more humble – in its language of origin, the word simply means to ask for. The comparable word in French being “Exiger”.
Fortunately, these were merely different parts of the same corporation so little harm was done. However, had they been different companies the result might have been drastically different. Conveying the wrong message to potential partners runs the risk of confusing, misleading or offending them and often risks losing business entirely. This is why most business English is written in precise, unambiguous terms and almost always, from e-mails to personal letters, in a formal manner.
Courses for English – Improving Your Skills
Naturally getting your writing skills to a standard where you can best represent yourself and your company is an essential ability for any one at any level of business. From front desk to board room, you need to be able to clarify your position in a concise matter that makes you understood by others.
ADL has a range of courses that are ideal for improving your expressive ability in the direction you may need it most. For example, those involved in creating product descriptions, marketing and advertising may benefit from a creative writing course. None of those great novels would sell if they couldn’t compel a buyer to purchase them from the description on the back, and that’s as true in a bookshop as it is in any marketplace worldwide. The customer needs to know why they should buy your product. With a little creative flare you’ll show them why.
Another essential skill is journalism. Managing PR is an essential part of any growing company. Acquiring a good reputation will lure new customers and present new opportunities both for you personally and for your business. Understanding how articles and news is written will help you, not only understand the effect media can have on your company, but also how you can shape it.
Other key courses that may be of benefit to you are our Efficient Writing course, which will help you learn to write with the essential clarity needed to write good business prose. Those aspiring to write technical documents and manuals may benefit from our Technical Writing course. And for those who don’t have English as another tongue, our ESL Fundamentals course is an essential step in proper writing.
Whatever the needs of your business, improve your prospects with a writing course from ADL.