2 Organize Your Data Group Ideas into Patterns Direct pattern for receptive audiencesIndirect pattern for unreceptive audiences5
3 Audience Response Determines Pattern of Organization If pleasedIf neutralDirect PatternGood News orMain IdeaIf mildly interestedTypes that use Direct Approach8
4 Audience Response Determines Pattern of Organization If unwilling oruninterestedIf hostileIndirect PatternIf displeased ordisappointedBad News orMain Idea8
5 Patterns Direct Pattern Indirect Pattern Saves the reader time Sets a proper frame of mindPrevents frustrationRespects feelings of audienceEncourages a fair hearingMinimizes a negative reactionRoutine requests / responseOrders / AcknowledgmentsNonsensitive memos / sInformational reportsInformational oral presentationsBad newsIdeas that require persuasionSensitive newsDirect PatternSaves reader time: Busy people – devote a few minutes to each message – too long to get to the point, lose readerSets proper frame of mind – learning purpose upfront helps reader put rest of information in perspective. Without clear opening, thinking “why am I being told thisPrevents frustration – If reader has to wade through a lot of verbiage to get message; get annoyed and frustratedIndirect PatternRespects feelings of audience – Bad news is painful; helpful to prepare the readerEncourages a fair hearing – If reader upset right away by bad news, the rest of the message is lost; may cause reader to stop readingMinimizes a negative reaction – reaction improved if message delivered gently
6 Create Effective Sentences Use short sentences.Emphasize important ideas.Use the active voice for most sentences.Use the passive voice to deemphasize the performer and/or to be tactful.Avoid dangling and misplaced modifiers.11
7 Use Short Sentences Sentence Length Comprehension Rate 8 words 100%90%80%50%Source: American Press Institute
8 Emphasize Important Ideas Position the most important idea at the beginning of the sentence.Make sure the most important idea is the subject of the sentence.Place the main idea in a short sentence.All production and administrative personnel will meet on May 23, at which time we will announce a new plan of salary incentivesOn May 23 all personnel will meet to learn about salary incentives.14
9 Use the Active Voice for Most Sentences Active voice: We lost money.Active voice: I sent the message yesterday.(The subject is the performer.)15
10 Use Passive Voice To Deemphasize the Performer and/or To Be Tactful Passive voice: Money was lost (by us).Passive voice: The message was sent yesterday (by me).(Passive voice test: Ask “By whom?” If you can fill in the performer, the verb is probably in the passive voice.)16
11 Avoid Dangling Modifiers Dangling modifier: To be hired, an application must be completed.Revision: To be hired, you must complete an application.Revision: To be hired, fill out an application.(In the last example, you is understood to be the subject of fill.)17
12 Avoid Misplaced Modifiers Misplaced modifier: The patient was referred to a psychiatrist with a severe emotional problem.Revision: The patient with a severe emotional problem was referred to a psychiatrist.
13 Create Effective Paragraphs Discuss only one topic in each paragraphCompose short paragraphs for effective business messagesArrange sentences in a strategic planLink ideas to build coherenceUse transitional expressions for coherence20
14 Discuss One Topic in each Paragraph Group similar ideas togetherStart a new paragraph for each new topicKeep paragraph length at 8 to 10 lines maximum21
15 Arrange Sentences in a Strategic Plan Direct Plan: main sentence followed by supporting sentences (for defining, classifying, illustrating, and describing ideas)Indirect Plan: supporting sentences followed by main sentence (for describing causes followed by effects)22
16 Direct vs Indirect Paragraph Direct approach: I recommend we establish an optional “business casual” policy that allows consultants to dress casually, if they wish. According to a recent poll, more than half of all white-collar workers are now dressing casually at work. In our own business, our consultants say they stand out like “sore thumbs” because they dress in traditional suits.Indirect approach: According to a recent poll, more than half of all white-collar workers are now dressing casually at work. In our own business, our consultants say they stand out like “sore thumbs” because they dress in traditional suits. Therefore, I recommend we establish an optional “business casual” policy that allows consultants to dress casually, if they wish.
17 Use Transitions for Coherence ContinuationPauseReversalAlsoMoreoverFirst... Second...For that reason,Therefore,AdditionallyandFor instanceFor example,Strictly speaking,In other words,In effect,As a result,orHowever,On the other hand,Conversely,Nevertheless,Otherwise,but24