“Writing for business is a literary form that is full of specific industry styles and rules, which authors Curry and Young decode in this new book. They are the owners of Chicago-based Curry Young Consultants Inc., which provides business writing and editing training to Fortune 500 companies. This book is a compilation of what they teach during those training sessions and is the epitome of user-friendly with lots of examples and easy-to-read bulleted lists of writing tips. The chapters, with titles such as “If you need to write for senior management” or “If you need to convey bad news,” are broken down by the type of writing described in the section.”
—Courtney Crowder, Chicago Tribune reporter, 12/10/10
“You may think you know how to write, but stringing words together is only part of the process, especially in business. They have to be effective. Costco member Jane Curry and Diana Young, in their book, Be a Brilliant Business Writer: Write Well, Write Fast, and Whip the Competition (Ten Speed Press, 2010), offer valuable insights for anyone who finds the art of written communication necessary in the workplace. For instance, if you want to write persuasively (Chapter 1), master five principles:
1. Organize so your key points are clear.
2. Include only relevant content.
3. Make sure readers actually read and respond to what you have written.
4. Write clearly and concisely.
5. Write with the right tone.
If you’re thinking, “That’s fine, but how do I do that?,” this book’s for you.”
—Costco Connection, November 2010
“…if you’re looking to punch up your business communications, it’s no doubt a good investment.”
—BTripp’s Books LiveJournal, 11/21/10
“Curry Young accomplished everything they promised. I got my weekends back, and the firm’s productivity improved by over 15%! Curry Young’s expertise directly contributed to our bottom line.”
—Mike Litwin, former Chief Risk Officer, Merrill Lynch Capital
“In the end, it’s the client’s opinion that matters most; Curry Young’s program helped us focus on the reader, not the writer—and that made all the difference.”
—Bernard Del Rey, Executive Director, Morgan Stanley Institutional Advisory Group
“This book is long overdue. Every time I’m tempted to use the subjunctive tense (‘I would like to thank you for . . .’), I remember their admonishment: ‘Why not just say thank you? It’s short and sweet and to the point.’ Thank you, Jane and Diana!”
—Scott Bates, former EVP, JPMorgan Chase
If you want to write persuasively 1
If you want readers to actually read and respond to what you’ve written 13
If you want to write clearly and concisely 38
If you want to write with the right tone 51
If you think you should write the way you talk 57
If you want to make your writing flow 61
If you want your business writing to be more creative 70
If you think you have to create a formal outline before you start writing 72
If you know what you want to say but aren’t sure
where to start 73
If you need to write for senior management 80
If you need to share technical information 87
If you want to write procedures people can actually follow 97
If you don’t want your email to land you in jail or lose you your job 106
If you need to convey bad news 110
If you want to write financial documents that work for senior management 117
If you want to write persuasive PowerPoint presentations 136
If you want to write executive summaries, sales letters, and email that increase your win ratio 148
If you want to send a thank-you or a follow-up note 169
If you want to write resumes and cover lettersthat will get you noticed—in a good way 176
If you want to know when an email isn’t the best political choice 187
If you want to make the leap from academic to business writing without self-destructing 190
If you want to make sure your writing is right 201