Letter and Report Writing Skills – How to plan writing a letter

Our letter writing course will allow delegates to gain useful letter writing tools, tips and techniques and also includes constructive letter and report templates. Delegates who have trained with us have effectively applied the skills gained from this course to their everyday workplace correspondence. This productive course will also demonstrate the particulars of writing effective emails, whilst improving punctuation and grammar.

All organisations need to convey a professional image in every way to stay ahead of the competition. It is paramount that all pieces of written documentation are faultless. As your professional reputation can be enhanced or ruined by your correspondence, it is essential that the style, content and message is concise, correct and appropriate.


There are many occasions when letter writers complain of their reader’s unwillingness or inability to do what is asked of them. It is not always the reader’s fault. Many letters that are intended to get a swift response end up ignored and the fault may lie with the writer. The fault is usually one of four things:

•  annoying the reader through the use of emotive phrases or by apportioning blame; as soon as the reader is on the defensive, the writer has less chance of achieving the desired outcome;

•  confusing the reader with a letter that has so much background detail that the importance of the message is lost;

•  not making the message clear, usually by using phrases such as, ‘as soon as possible’ (which might be read as, ‘when you can be bothered’);

•  not asking for the action desired, with phrases such as, ‘All accounts must be settled within one month.” You must pay within one month”, applies directly to the reader and is therefore more effective.

Achieving action

Follow these simple guidelines to ensure that your letters achieve the action you need.

Before you begin

Define, preferably in writing, exactly what it is you want done, and when.

The person with the power

Make sure that the person you are writing to is able to supply the information or take the action you require. Always get a name and write personally

Avoid accusations

If you accuse the reader, the result will be defensiveness and this is unlikely to lead to action. Replace phrases like, “You have not paid” with “We have not been paid.” Save the ‘you’ phrases for the request for action.

Cut out cloudiness

Having defined exactly what you want, keep only to information and facts that are relevant. Any superfluous detail detracts from your message. For example, do not list every call made, but summarise: “I spoke to your accounts clerk on four occasions during July and…”. You can always supply details if asked. If you do want to supply details such as a schedule of events, attach it as a separate list to keep the letter clear.

Offer to help

This might be some practical assistance or simply the willingness to supply details or discuss the problem. Remember, however, that if there is no help available, don’t to imply that there is.

Actually ask

Include an isolated paragraph clearly stating the action required. The word ‘please’ is very useful here and is much more direct than, “I would be grateful if you could…..”. Whereas you gave details from your point of view (‘I’/’we’), here you should ensure that you are writing directly to the reader, using ‘you’ rather than ‘I’ or ‘we’. For example, “You must supply details of the tax code….” rather than, “I need details of…”.

Finish on the positive

Look forward to the action and if there has been a paragraph between this last paragraph and the original request for action, restate the deadline in summary For example. “I look forward to receiving the contact by the end of the month”.

Letter and Report writing course

Our letter and report writing course is tailored to the needs of delegates who already retain business writing skills and those who would like to gain further knowledge on:

  • how to write a good report
  • how to write effective letters
  • how to write professionally
  • how to write confidently
  • how to write a standard letter
  • how to write a formal report
  • how to write a complaint letter

Course Dates

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Who will benefit from the course?

What are the best ways to produce effective letters and reports? This course is designed to lead to practical skills to enable delegates to be both competent and confident in their written communication. Our courses allow all staff to benefit from enhanced writing skills. The types of delegate we have trained previously are:

  • Directors and senior managers
  • Sales and fundraising staff
  • Local government employees
  • Managers, department heads, team leaders and supervisors
  • Technical and academic team members
  • Customer service staff

In-Company Courses

Total Success have developed a series of in-house training modules. These are designed so that an organisation can pick the training which is more applicable to its own needs and budget. Please call us to discuss your specific requirements

Total Success Training Packs

Why use a total success training pack

If you are looking to run your own training course but lack the materials and the time to develop a fully functional training seminar we produce a range of training materials and packs which will suit your requirements exactly. All of our packs and been written by our own training experts and we can guarantee that the training pack will satisfy your course requirements. Each pack will contain a full set of PowerPoint training slides, trainer’s notes, a course manual, and a full set of handouts and activities.

We have been running our courses since 1995 and have trained 1000’s of people via open courses and in-company seminars. We guarantee that the course you buy is the one we train. All courses are trainer and trainee friendly so you’ll be up and running quickly (depending on your training experience).

We know how difficult it is to choose amongst the many training materials available on line, that’s why we have 3 packages that will suit you needs. With our gold, silver and bronze packages you can choose the training format that’s right for you and your budget. Call us 0044 (0)208 269 1177 to discuss your requirements or email us info@totalsuccess.co.uk

Related information

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