2 Formal vs. Informal Reports Professional reports are divided into two categories.Formal reports are reports with a specified organization; they include items such as:Title pageTable of ContentsExecutive Summary or AbstractDistinct chapters or sectionsWorks Cited or Sources page
3 Formal vs. Informal Reports Most professional reports, however, are informal reports.Informal reports take one of two forms: letters and memos (including ).The vast majority of communication that goes on internally (within an organization) or externally (between organizations, or between organizations and individuals) takes the form of a letter, memo, or .
4 Effective LettersClear content – Since you won’t be present when a letter is read to clarify any potential misunderstanding AND since business letters are written to accomplish a specific purpose (often involving money), the message conveyed by the letter must be clear.
5 Effective LettersA Tone of Goodwill – Effective communication doesn’t just carry a message; it also enhances or maintains the relationship between the sender and receiver. By analyzing the audience and using the “you” view, a writer can accomplish both.
6 Effective LettersCorrect Form – The world of business is often conservative and traditional and, as such, expects letters to follow the traditional formats.Most word-processing programs have letter templates or letter wizards to guide you through the formatting.
7 Effective Memos and E-mails To, From, Date, Subject Headings – Since they are usually internal documents, memos condense the details of a letter down to the four essential elements:To:From:Date:Subject:
8 Effective Memos and E-mails Single topic – Good memos only deal with a single subject. The second or third subjects discussed in a memo or often get lost. If you have more than one subject, send more than one memo.
9 Effective Memos and E-mails Conversational Tone – Because they are internal, a more conversational tone can be used in a memo or . Be careful, though; s are easily sent, and difficult to take back. People will often say things in a that they would not say face-to-face.
10 Effective Memos and E-mails Conciseness – Memos and do not need a lot of filler, background, or goodwill efforts; they should focus on the message.
11 Effective Memos and E-mails Graphic highlighting – Use techniques like bulleted or numbered lists and bolding to highlight information. Be careful with ; sometimes formatting is lost in the transmission of a message because the receiving program will not recognize it.
12 Smart E-Mail Practices Get the address right.Avoid misleading subject lines.Be concise.Don’t send anything you wouldn’t want published.Don’t use to avoid contact.Never respond when you’re angry.Guffey, Business Communication, 3rd ed.
13 Smart E-Mail Practices Care about correctness.Resist humor and tongue-in-cheek comments.Limit any tendency to send blanket copies.Use design to improve readability of longer messages.Guffey, Business Communication, 3rd ed.
14 Smart E-Mail Practices Consider cultural differences.Double-check before hitting the Send button.Protect against break ins.Don’t CC someone a message just to make the original recipient pay more attention.Guffey, Business Communication, 3rd ed.