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Business Communication Critical Thinking Questions Examples

Critical Thinking for Business Communication & Technical Writing



Learn to consider relationships, situations & intangibles elements that effect business writing.

 

Master skills for Critical Thinking and Technical Writing.

 

In this onsite writing course, participants learn how to use critical thinking skills to write more effective documents and, in the process, enhance your organization’s image.

Using real-world examples and practice exercises, participants consider actual relationships, situations and the intangible elements that effect workplace writing. The tips and techniques offered in this program help them apply newly developed critical thinking abilities in their writing.



The intricate connection between thought and language in business communication often requires:

  • the use of critical thinking processes and

  • the mastery of technical writing skills.



The exercises, with various levels of complexity, stress the importance of critical awareness and provide opportunities for participants to practice technical writing and applying the important principles they have learned. They practice the art and science of persuasion, developing emotional and logical arguments, organizing technical information and ideas for better understanding, and much more.

Everyone leaves this course with a new awareness of how the use of critical thinking techniques helps them communicate more effectively and achieve better results from the documents they write.

A minimum of two iterative activities will occur each session. Attendees are encouraged to bring past and current writing projects, for evaluation and editing, as the activities will focus on developing, writing, editing and polishing their documents. Break or lunch times can be adjusted as needed to maximize learning and best accommodate attendees.



Who Should Attend

Analysts and anyone who needs to be able to communicate findings, recommendations and actions clearly to their team members and co-workers.



Training Benefits

  • Develop critical thinking skills to examine situations and solutions

  • Create logical frameworks for communicating information

  • Clearly communicate problems and solutions so everyone understands the same message

  • Learn the two primary purposes of business documents

  • Develop writing skills for clear communication and documentation


 

Overview of Training Topics and Learning Points Developed

In this course, participants learn how to turn critical thinking into clear written communication. In organizations processing vast amounts of data, it is crucial for analysts to be able to communicate findings, recommendations and actions clearly. This means knowing when to write a technical document with many layers of data possible, and when to build a simple argument that will “sell” the benefits of the recommendations. Audience, scope, desired outcome and memorability are always important elements of this, so the communicator must prepare carefully, considering all the factors.

Participants begin by considering issues that have recently been identified, using critical thinking skills to examine the situation and solutions more closely. Examination of those ideas and the supporting data will use guided decision processes to strengthen reasoning skills. After understanding the breadth of the concern, the steps of resolution, and its impact, attendees will be better able to understand and create a logical framework.

However, understanding a problem and possible solutions is of little value unless the information can be clearly communicated to others so everyone on the team understands the same message. When they do, they can make the necessary shifts and access the same data – thereby creating what some call a single version of truth.

Communication has many different forms, but none is as permanent as the written record. A clearly written document preserves the logic and original thinking, both at the beginning – and in the future if questions arise. Documents provide much – from direction to inspiration, so it is crucial documents clearly reflect the ideas, thinking and supporting information of the writer. 

There are two primary purposes of business documents. The first is to persuade the reader - writings that cause the reader to take an action, make a decision, align with other parts of the organization, streamline activities or work toward goals. Much of business writing is “selling” our ideas – to co-workers, the people we serve or business partners. As Mark Twain once said, “No matter what we’re doing, we’re all selling something” and that truth continues.

The second purpose of writing in business is to provide information to the reader. These are writings that clearly present data, updates, rules, guidelines, policies, process or research conclusions in a manner so the audience clearly understands – and then knows when and how to apply it, or locate it in the future as needed. This requires precise clarity, strong organization and the ability to determine which data is truly relevant.

In this highly interactive course, attendees will be guided through a definable writing process to transform the results of their critical thinking to writing that is clearly understood. Challenges such as getting started, knowing how much data to include, how to provide clear instructions and recommendations are all addressed. Time will be spent focusing on both technical and non-technical writing. Once the attendees draft their document, they will practice polishing content, grammar and layout. In addition, examination of the review process will help to finalize successful written communication – that really works!

 

Course Outline
Day 1
Introduction - Opening Activities
Critical Thinking

  • Defining Critical Thinking

  • Critical Thinking Processes

  • “Good Thinker” Characteristics

  • Clarifying thoughts internally

  • Translating thoughts to messages

  • Questions to ask - Research

Writing Preparation

  • Crystalizing Key Messages

  • Defining Goals

  • Testing the Goals

  • Identifying the Audience

    • Position / Authority

    • Knowledge / Needs

    • Personality / Reading Styles

    • Comprehension Skills

Day 2
Recap - Q&A Set up days learning
Beginning to Write

  • The Three Stages of Writing

  • Writing for Others

  • How to get Ideas

  • Breaking Writer’s Block

  • Writing First Drafts

Organizing to Communicate

  • Examining Basic Structure

  • Document Flow

  • Missing Information and other Problems

  • What to put First

  • Transitions – moving from one thought to the next

  • Sentence logic and emphasis

Day 3
Recap - Q&A Set up days learning
The Art of Persuasion

  • Elements of Persuasion

  • Proven Written Persuasion Techniques

  • The Emotional Argument

  • Assumptions: Four Types

  • Testimonials, Endorsements & Support Techniques

  • Writing to “Sell” your Idea

The Science of Persuasion

  • The Rational and Non-rational – Features

  • Features & Benefits

  • The Logical Argument

  • Induction & Deduction

  • Power of Logical Connections

  • Proving and Supporting Your Idea

  • Testing Persuasion Success

Day 4
Recap - Q&A Set up days learning
Communicating Technical Information

  • Difference between Technical writing and other writing

  • Setting clear objectives

  • Researching for accuracy

  • Determining scope

  • Researching, interviewing and sourcing

  • Simplifying for the non-technical

  • Determining document sections and sequencing

Supporting the Reader

  • Definitions, Process Descriptions, Physical Descriptions

  • Clear instructions for actions

  • Ensuring clarity and precision

  • Indexes, appendices, and back of the book

  • Identifying follow-up support for reader

  • Cross-references, citations and acknowledgments

Day 5
Recap - Q&A Set up days learning
Polishing Your Document

  • Editing Content

  • Editing for style - Use of style guides

  • Readability – Using the Altitude test

  • Proofing

    • Sentence / Paragraph construction

    • Grammar

    • Punctuation

  • Visual layout principles

    • Black Space - Charts, Graphs, Tables, Photos and Illustrations

    • White Space – The importance of use

    • Gray Space – Text use and font guidelines

    • Scholar's column and other visual enhancements

Finalizing Your Document

  • Creating a meaningful review process

  • Managing non-technical reviewers

  • Incorporating final changes

  • Defending the final product for approval

  • Print vs. Electronic Publishing – advantages and disadvantages

  • Attendee personal improvement plan commitment

Evaluations and Wrap-up


Bring this writing skills course to your organization and begin applying these powerful techniques immediately.

To receive more information about this training call toll free at 877-385-5515.


 

Featured Trainers in Communication Skills

 

 

 

 Flatley/Rentz, M: Business Communication, 1/e

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Chapter 2: Understanding the Writing Process and the Main Forms of Business Messages

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