Communications Coaching

I have worked intensively in the field of management and business communications as program director and professor at Lesley University and Emerson College, where hundreds of students took the courses in writing and presentations that I developed, taught, and supervised. I have also given numerous workshops in professional writing to corporate clients. My book, The Writing Manual (TWM),  offers a transformative approach for improving your writing whether you are working in a professional or academic setting.

In 1990 I began work as a Program Director and Professor at Lesley University’s School of Management. One of my first tasks was to write a writing manual for our Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree students. Our students were a special bunch: working adults, aged 25-70 years, many already in lower or middle level management positions. To earn their degrees, they were sacrificing a great deal of family time and energy, and they took the program very seriously. I entered into the task of writing the Manual just as seriously, both because that’s how I work and because I wanted to produce something that would do justice to their expectations.

I realized that the best approach was not a “how to” book with sample proposals and memos and so forth that one could find anywhere. As an experienced professor, I knew that the best approach to achieving immediate, positive change in writing skills combined practical techniques and a strategic approach to the writing process itself. It embodied a strategic vision of communication that started where writing itself does: in the core needs, objectives, and strategies of both writer and audience.

At the School of Management, several thousand business people received The Writing Manual upon entering our programs. I thought the Manual was well-done but I was amazed at student response. People loved it. They loved the way it addressed them directly and the way it acknowledged the real blocks and anxieties that got in the way of their writing. They found it easy to reference and actually enjoyed reading it. Throughout my 16 years at the School of Management, I received hundreds (really!) of appreciative comments about The Writing Manual.

I cannot guarantee that TWM will earn you a promotion or a raise, or turn your style into the epitome of elegance, though it may. I can guarantee that if you read it and use it your writing will improve. It is not a textbook nor does it have to be read straight through. Just start with whatever is likely to help you the most.

A couple of things, though. Some sections may seem somewhat removed from your immediate writing concerns—for instance, the Analytic Writing Glossary. The Glossary takes the long-range view. Unlike the Usage section, it is unlikely to be applicable right away. But it does address vital elements of thinking and writing that will improve your writing as much as the more immediately applicable sections. Give it a try.

What do you get if you buy The Writing Manual?

  • An 85 page, single-spaced, information-packed book that will improve your writing and presenting skills.
  • Free upgrades to any future edited versions.
  • Reduced prices for any newly developed materials.

So check out the excerpts and list of topics and click here if you’d like to purchase The Writing Manual for a very reasonable $9.95.

Ask a Question

If you have a question about being a more effective communicator, submit it here. Barton will read it and, if your question is selected to appear on the website, he will post his response. Questions about strategic communication, persuasion techniques, business documents, behavior at meetings, research, public speaking, or even grammar and syntax, are welcomed.