Mean what you say and say what you mean: Communication skills can make or break businesses.

Business letters. Emails. Instant messages. Memos. Reports. No matter what the business or industry, written communication plays a vital role in getting the job done right.

In fact, according to a recent study published by American Press International, people at work spend twenty percent of their day writing. Add to that another surprising statistic: thirty percent of that writing time is spent clarifying things that weren’t written properly the first time.

James Bussey

“Clearly, effective writing and communication are more important than ever—and bear a significant impact on business productivity,” said James Bussey (MBA ’99), chief of staff, Executive Dean’s Office and instructor, Executive and Professional Education (EPE) in the College of Business Administration.

Bussey points out that as a one-dimensional and linear medium, written communication does not provide the communicator with immediate signals from face responses or body language to support or contradict the message.

“We work in a world that communicates in sound bites. No one has the time for longer letters or documents. People need information quickly, so they can digest it, act on it, and then move on,” Bussey said. “You must get your intended message across clearly and succinctly.”

Students learn to communicate with confidence.

According to Bussey, business people in his EPE writing and presentation skills courses come from companies of all sizes and many different industries.

“Regardless of their work roles or job titles, people need to know that when it comes to hiring new employees or promoting existing ones, companies look first at their ability to communicate,” he said. “You can have a perfect GPA or have done exemplary work, but if you cannot articulate what you know in a way that others can understand, then your knowledge is of little value.”

This message hits home with EPE course participants.

“The Writing for Business course, which gave detailed explanations for writing and correcting emails, exceeded my expectations,” said Stephanie Soto, research assistant, Applied Research Center (ARC) at Florida International University.

Robert C. Galea, technical lead, Burger King Corporation, found that the Presentation Skills course helped him “overcome nervousness and learn new techniques when presenting.”

Bussey relates the story of one student who took an EPE business writing course at her boss’s urging.

“Not only did her own writing skills improve, but also she returned to her company committed to improving its entire communication culture—from the boss on down,” he said.

To learn more about EPE programs, visit:

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