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Workshops will focus on communication for women, business writing

Western Carolina University’s Office of Professional Growth and Enrichment is offering workshops focusing on communication strategies for women and professional business writing in Asheville in late August.

A session titled “Powerful Communication Strategies for Women” will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23, at WCU’s instructional site at Biltmore Park Town Square. Betty Farmer, WCU professor of communication and public relations, and owner of Farmer Communications, will serve as presenter.

Betty Farmer

“How we communicate has a profound impact on our workplace relationships and, consequently, our careers,” said Farmer. “Research has documented many gender differences in workplace communication. For example, women, more than men, downplay their accomplishments and express less confidence in and more fear of public speaking. To succeed, every woman must identify and address her communication challenges, understand both feminine and masculine communication styles, and commit to building a powerful professional persona.”

The workshop is appropriate for women at all stages in their careers and across all workplace types. It is the first of two workshops Farmer has created to help women build their communication skills. The second workshop, “Powerful Presentation Skills for Women,” will be offered Friday, Sept. 13, and builds on the foundation laid in the “Powerful Communication Strategies” workshop, providing focused training on public speaking in a supportive environment.

The registration fee for the Aug. 23 workshop is $169.

The second workshop, “Professional Business Writing from the Basics to Audience Engagement,” will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, at the Biltmore Park site. Drew Virtue, associate professor in WCU’s Department of English, will serve as instructor.

Drew Virtue

“In this one-day workshop, participants will learn how to improve their writing in professional environments,” said Virtue. “Business writing plays a significant role in countless jobs; however, professionals are rarely provided with the training or resources to help them improve the quality of their writing.”

The workshop is designed to help professionals refine their writing abilities by offering a refresher on some basic writing skills while also providing advanced strategies for composing effective documents.

Throughout the program, participants will be able to improve their writing by taking part in activities designed to change how they think about writing as well as learn the best strategies to communicate with different audiences, Virtue said. The registration fee is $169.

For more information and to register for either workshop, visit and click on “For-profit and Nonprofit Professional Development Workshops” or call 828-227-7397.

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