Get the confidence and skills you need to think clearly & write what you mean.

Information is plentiful in every organization. But how you communicate that information is critical. You must continually turn information into knowledge to help your managers, colleagues, and customers understand often complex ideas, and make educated decisions.  

Clear writing starts with clear thinking.

John Sturtevant's Business Writing Seminar is an energetic, fun, challenging, and thought-provoking day packed with new ideas and practical techniques – all designed to give you the confidence to master what people struggle with the most – how to think clearly and write what you mean.

What you’ll learn:  

  • The most important goal in writing (it’s not what you think).
  • The #1 question on every reader’s mind (you’re thinking it right now).
  • Why thinking about tomatoes will make you a better writer (it really works!)
  • 4 ways to define your objective and expected outcome.
  • Listening skills that help you identify your reader’s perspective.
  • Persuasive-writing structure and techniques that produce results.

Who should attend:

Managers, technical professionals, business analysts, sales & marketing pros, administrative staff – everyone who has to communicate their ideas throughout the work day.

In this highly-interactive full-day session, you will collaborate on problem- solving exercises, write and revise assignments, and learn from others through peer critiques. 

You’ll also learn and practice the principles of analysis and argument. In business, you most often write to convince others to do something –  approve a budget, change a process, support a project, and dozens of other kinds of decisions. You’ll learn how to think analytically and form a logical, persuasive argument. 


Thursday, January 13, 2011


University of Phoenix
4888 Loop Central Drive
Houston, TX 77081


8:00am - Coffee and check-in

8:30am - 12:00pm morning session

12:00pm - 1:00pm working lunch - lunch provided

1:00pm - 5:00pm afternoon session

Have questions?

Call us: 713-861-9992

Email us: john@JohnSturtevant.Com

Supported by:

Register here

Workshop syllabus:

Clear Writing Essentials

You’ll learn to organize your thinking and write what you mean, without the clutter of useless words and complexity.

What you’ll learn:

How to be clear – The single most important goal in writing.
Purpose – Why are you writing? What are you writing? What do you want to accomplish?
Audience – Who is your reader? What’s his perspective? What are his expectations?
Plan, write, revise, edit – A process to help you think clearly, organize your ideas, and focus your objectives.


You will learn how to dig deeper, understand your objectives, consider options, choose a direction, and organize your ideas.

You will learn how to use these planning tools:
Analytical questions - How to look beyond the obvious.
Brainstorming - How to generate ideas and form connections.
Outlining - How to organize your ideas and structure a logical document.

Analysis Exercises

You will participate in a series of exercises designed to help you examine a situation thoroughly, and ask the right kinds of questions. 

What you’ll learn:
A 4-step process that’s guaranteed to improve your efficiency.
Practical ways to uncover your real objectives for writing.
How to keep your words from obscuring your ideas.
How to address the 4 most common reader attitudes.   

Persuasive Communication Skills

We’ll look at the principles of persuasive communication. You will learn how to structure an argument, introduce facts, support claims, and make clear recommendations – all essential to persuasive communication.

We’ll analyze a given business situation and produce an outline for an effective argument.

What you’ll learn:

  • The 5 most common communication mistakes business people make – and how to avoid them.
  • 29 questions to help you think and write analytically.
  • How to achieve cooperation and encourage action through writing.
  • The 7 essential components of an effective argument.
  • Sentences & Paragraphs  
  • The Sentence - People use them every day, but don’t know what they are.
  • The Paragraph - Your document’s rhythm section.
  • Style - How to set the right tone for your audience and purpose.
  • Loud, later, slow - A 3-step technique to help strengthen your writing.


Working in teams, you will write an assignment based on a given business scenario. Using the ideas and outline you created during the workshop, you will determine purpose, audience, and expected outcome.


Each team will present their paper and discuss how they accomplished the assignment.

What You'll Get:

You'll learn dozens of new ideas and techniques you can use right away to communicate clearly and persuasively. 

You'll also receive a 78-page workbook with notes, examples, exercises, grammar tips, and a recommended reading list.


John SturtevantAbout your instructor:

John Sturtevant has taught thousands of business people around the world how to think analytically and communicate their ideas clearly and persuasively.

He co-developed a business-writing curriculum and taught a highly-acclaimed writing course at Harvard Business School. He also created a communications program and was Professor of Business Communications at The European School of Economics in Rome, Italy.

John was also Vice President of Marketing for an Internet software company, which was acquired in 2000. Prior to that, John co-founded SturtevantFishbourne, an award-winning, full-service advertising and marketing agency in Boston.

He began his career in communications in 1985 as Senior Producer at AVW, Houston's premier multimedia production company. He created programs designed to motivate employees, and simplify complex ideas.

Today, John is a top-rated speaker at conferences and association events throughout the world. He also presents writing training at organizations worldwide.