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Presentation on theme: "EFFECTIVE APPEARANCE OF BUSINESS MESSAGES Chapter 8."— Presentation transcript:


2 OUTLINE OF CONTENT Introduction Business Letters Stationery, Letterheads and Envelopes, Parts of a letter, and Letter Formats Memorandums Other Business Message Formats Minutes of Meetings, News Releases, Postal Cards and Reply Cards, Office Notes and Message Forms Review

3 Words are the primary tools for forming business messages Communication also occurs without words (non-verbal) Non-verbal communicators- FORMAT and APPEARANCE The guides in this presentation are a part of business writing PROTOCOL Protocol- societal system of appropriate behaviors in business. Applies to business writing also.

4 BUSINESS LETTER The appearance of a letter is a powerful nonverbal stimulus All the below contribute to the readers first impression of the writer of the letter and the business: Stationery quality and size Letterhead and envelope design Letter format

5 STATIONERY Un-ruled, firm-texture paper is customary for business correspondence (communication by letter). The weight of paper affects transparency and durability 20 –or 24 pound paper is commonly used in business stationery. Standard paper size- 8.5x11 inches Some use 8.5x5 inches for short messages

6 STATIONERY, CONT Colors of the stationery can complement the image that the firm wishes to establish White – popular and conservative color, traditionally used Red or green – to project an image of vigor or to attract attention Pastel – suggest warmth or refinement

7 STATIONERY, CONT Use of familiar format of stationery - 8.5x11 inches, 24-pound paper, white paper, the absence of distracting stimuli moves the reader quickly and comfortably into the written message Use of unfamiliar format of stationery- readers will likely react to those touch-see stimuli before reading the message -- reaction may be positive or negative, can influence the response to the verbal message.

8 LETTERHEADS AND ENVELOPES Printed stationery is called Letterhead It customarily shows the name, address, and telephone number of the senders firm at the top of the page. Can also be at the side or bottom of the page. Additional features may be: firms trademarks or logotype slogan or motto cable, fax or Telex II address branch addresses, often telephone number

9 LETTERHEADS AND ENVELOPES, CONT A Business envelope is a vital part of the communication process, should match the letterhead stationery in: Size, quality, texture, design, and color It is more than just a container for a letter- it can show carelessness, inaccurate addressing, inefficiency, etc. A rating guide will help one evaluate a letterheads effectiveness: 1.Are data correct? 2.Are items clear? legible? Pleasantly arranged? 3.If a trademark or logotype appears, is it attractive? Is it relevant to the firms purpose? 4.Are addresses complete, including postal codes? 5.Are telephone numbers completed, including area codes? 6.If colors are use, do they enhance legibility and visual appeal?

10 LETTER FORMATS A proper format enhances a business letter Use of picture-frame guide ensures that the letter will be presented in a visually appealing format Picture-Frame Guide The picture-frame guide applies to stationery of standard or of unusual shape and design. How to use the Picture-Frame Guide: Position the message so that the margins frame it evenly Use side and bottom margins in the same width so that the message, under its letterhead, resembles a picture placed in an attractive frame.

11 PARTS OF THE LETTER The parts of the letter are: heading, letter address, greeting, body, complimentary close, signature, and reference initials. They contribute to the writers information exchange and goodwill goals.

12 HEADING Shows the place and date of origin. The writers complete mailing address and date are typed lines from the top of the paper. (Without letterhead) The date is commonly written as month, date and year. Eg. June 5, 20 Avoid using format (6/5/08) because of too much misinterpretation.

13 LETTER ADDRESS The letter address includes the receivers name, title, company unit (if used), the name of the receivers company, street address, city, state, postal code and include country of destination (international bound). All lines are blocked at the left margin, starting four lines below the date.

14 THE GREETING The greeting begins the letter and is typed at the left margin, a doubled space below the last line of the letter address. Addressee:greeting: Mr. A. B. RossDear Mr. Ross Mrs. A. B. RossDear Mrs. Ross Miss A. B. RossDear Ms. Ross Ms. A. B. RossDear Ms. A.B Ross A. B. RossDear A.B Ross A. B. Ross, M.D.Dear Dr. Ross Note* When you do not know the persons gender use a gender-neutral greeting. Always ensure equity and respect of others preferences about their name and titles.

15 OTHER GREETING EXAMPLES: Mr. H. G. Smith and Ms. A. B. Ross Ms. Ann Ross and Mr. Harry Smith Dear Mr. Smith and Ms. Ross Dear Ms. Ross and Mr. Smith Dear Ann and Harry Ladies and Gentlemen – business setting Ladies or Mesdames (if an all-female enterprise) Gentlemen (if an all-male enterprise) Dear Personnel Manager Informal tone examples- Good morning, or Hello. Note** In the simplified block letter format the Greeting is omitted.

16 BODY The body contains the primary message and starts a double space below the greeting. The lines are singled spaced with double spaces between paragraphs. In block letter style the body is started a double space below the subject line.

17 COMPLIMENTARY CLOSE The complimentary close is placed a double space below the last line of the body. Examples: Yours truly, Yours very truly, and Very truly yours, are considered formal closing. Sincerely, Sincerely yours, and Yours Sincerely, are most commonly used in U.S business Correspondence. Cordially, Cordially yours, and Your Very Cordially, are also used, especially when the letter tone is personal or friendly. Note**- Must word our complimentary close to match the prevailing tone of our message.

18 SIGNATURE The signature line may consist only of the name of the writer keyed on the forth line below the complimentary close or may also include the writers official title. The title may follow the typed name and a comma or it may be keyed on the next line space, blocked with the name and the complimentary close.

19 REFERENCE INITIALS The initials of the typist or transcribers, reference initial, are keyed in lowercase at the left margin. Two lines below the keyed signature or senders title. Punctuation styles: Personal Style: Both greeting and complimentary close ends with a comma. Business Letters: either of two punctuation styles is used for the greeting or the complimentary close. Punctuation styles for business letter: Open style: omit punctuation after both greeting and the complimentary close. Mixed style: places a colon after the greeting and comma after the complimentary close


21 LETTER FORMATS 3 types of letter formats are: - Block format Modified Block format Simplified Block format

22 BLOCK FORMAT Block format is the simplest format out of the three types of letter formats. Every line in the letter begins at the left margin. It tends nonverbally to suggest efficiency. It projects a crisp, neat and orderly manner. E.g. Persuasive and Complaint letters and thank you letter to a company.


24 MODIFIED BLOCK FORMAT Modified Block format is popular and moderately conservative. It is commonly used for personal business letters. Paragraphs may or may not be indented and the positions of the date, complimentary close and signature lock provide visual balance. It projects a more traditional image than the other two types of letter formats. E.g. Application letters.


26 SIMPLIFIED BLOCK FORMAT Simplified Block format has grown in popularity during the past decade. Most lines begin at the left margin and the greeting and complimentary close are omitted. It is well received by efficiency conscious business writers and who practices new business communication. E.g. Friendly letter and thank you letter to a friend.



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