What is required to succeed in business or any career?
What does it require? Being able to write effectively It’s an essential skill!
Is writing well difficult? It is not difficult if you make an effort. It requires a certain amount of understanding and know-how... And a great deal of practice!
Effective Business Writing Style Incorporates good human relations skills Involves many of the factors involved in face- to-face communication Develop your writing style Reflect a tone of good will Learn to use words effectively
Use the five Cs 1.Correct 2.Complete 3.Clear 4.Concise 5.Courteous
Guidelines for Writing Effective Business Letters 1.Be courteous 2.Use a “you” attitude 3.Be positive 4.Choose the correct words 5.Use nonsexist language 6.Avoid outdated words and jargon 7.Be specific, clear, and concise 8.Use active voice 9.Be correct and complete
Your written communications Makes an impression on the receiver Creates an image of you and your company Impression may be positive or negative Depending on the tone or attitude conveyed in your message
Your written communication Creates goodwill Or causes ill will For who? Your company
Goal in writing effectively Maintain the goodwill of your reader Essential for keeping current customers And bringing in new customers Keep from writing anything that may offend the reader Always keep the reader in mind!
Conveying a Message Depends on your ability to choose the right words Learn to select words that most accurately express the intended message
1. Be Courteous Be courteous in all of your communications. Apply good human relations skills. Your writing should be friendly Treat the reader with respect.
Other Techniques to Develop the Reader’s Goodwill Be sincere and write naturally. Avoid stilted language Never write a letter in anger Don’t make accusations or offensive statements. Be polite and use good manners.
2. Use a “You” Attitude Focus on the benefits to the reader Use the word “you” rather than “I” Emphasize the reader’s point of view (you) Focus on the interests of or the advantages to » the reader
Avoid using the words “I” or “we” too often especially at the beginning of a sentence
Examples Avoid: We sell office supplies at a 12 percent discount. Better: You can purchase office supplies at our store at a 12 percent discount.
Which sentence speaks to the reader? Avoid: We designed our software program to operate faster than all others on the market. Better: Your productivity will increase 10 percent when you use our software program.
3. Be Positive Make your message appear positive Maintain the reader’s goodwill by carefully choosing your words and expressions Change a negative message into a positive one Tell the reader what you can do instead of what you cannot do Explain to the read what you will do to correct the mistake, instead of apologizing for the error
Positive vs. Negative Avoid: We cannot ship your order because you did not give us all the necessary information. Better: As soon as you send the additional information, we will be glad to ship your order.
Positive vs. Negative Avoid: I am sorry that your order was shipped to your Chicago office instead of to the New York office. Better: I will ship a replacement order to your New York office immediately so that you will have it by Friday.
Avoid using negative words and expressions. Avoid anxious claim difficult error fear late mistake neglect negligent overdue sorry unhappy Use agree appreciate congratulations enjoy glad happy please thank you welcome
Some words create unpleasant associations! Avoid bossed cheap ignorant poor Use supervised economical unsophisticated disadvantaged
Choose the Correct Words Using incorrect words is distracting. Using words correctly is fundamental to writing effective messages!
Careful with Words that Sound Alike accept (v)to receive except (v)to exclude or leave out (prep)other than adapt (v)to adjust or alter, to make suitable adept (adj)skilled adopt (v)to take as one’s own advice (n)recommendations, suggestions advise (v)to give advice or make suggestions
More words that sound alike... affect (v)to influence effect (n)result (v)to bring about All ready (adj)prepared Already (adj)previously Compliment (v)to praise or flatter Complement (n)that which completes or makes whole
Even more words that sound alike ensure (v)to make certain insure (v)to protect against financial loss cite (v)to quote or mention sight (v)to see or to take aim (n)a view or spectacle site (n)a location
Let’s keep going farther (adj)at a greater distance (measurable) further (adj)additional, extending beyond (adv)additional, a greater extent (v)to promote or advance later (adj)after the proper time latter (adj)the second of two things mentioned loose (adj)not fastened lose (v)to fail to keep or to misplace
We’re not done yet overdo (v)to exaggerate overdue (adj)delayed beyond an appointed time passed (v)to go by past (n)time gone by or time ended principal (adj)main, most important (n)a sum of money; administrator principle (n)rule, law
Words with Similar Meanings Among - used with three or more objects or persons Between – used with only two elements or persons The marketing project was divided among the four new employees in the department. The estate was equally divided between the two sisters
Word with Similar Mean anxiousfearful, worried eagerenthusiastic The students anxiously awaited the results of the scholarship exams. The sales department is eager to hear about the new products.
More Words with Similar Meanings disinterestedimpartial, detached uninterested indifferent, not interested A judge must be a disinterested party. The employees who attended the seminar appeared to be uninterested in the afternoon session.
Similar Meanings fewerrefers to items that can be individually counted less refers to bulk or volume There are fewer shoppers at the suburban branch of the store. The yield this year is less than expected.
Similar Meanings good (adj) having the desired or right qualities well (adv)in a satisfactory manner I read a very good book last week. He is doing very well in the new position.
Similar Meanings thanused in making comparison thenat that time (when) The profit for the current period is greater than last year. Please finish the letters and then begin working on the monthly report.
Similar Meanings Whoreplaces the noun he, she, or they as the subject of the sentence Whomused to take the place of a noun him, her, or them as the object of the sentence Who is planning to attend the lecture tomorrow? With whom are you planning to attend the concert?
Use Nonsexist Language Sexist language Implies sexist attitudes Stereotyped thinking Creates a negative impression May cause ill will Use language that includes both sexes
Avoid Job Stereotypes Avoid using... Job titles Occupations Labels That indicate job category belonging to one sex Replace a job title ending in the following: -man -ess Avoid using the following terms: Woman doctor Male nurse Woman lawyer
Use Nonsexist Salutations When a letter is addressed to a company When you do not know the gender of the person you are addressing
Nonsexist Salutations Outdated salutations : Gentlemen To Whom It May Concern Dear Sir or Madam Acceptable solutions : Use an attention line – Attention: Sales Manager Use a salutation with a title – Dear Customer or Dear Human Resource Director Eliminate both the salutation and the complimentary closing Use a person’s full name when you don not know the gender – Dear C.H. Kelly
Use Appropriate Pronouns Nonsexist pronouns can present problems He, his, him She, her, hers Limit the use of the following: His or her His/her
Acceptable Pronouns to Avoid Sexist Language 1.Make the noun plural so you can use the plural pronoun their. Managers should se the standards for the employees in their departments. 2.Substitute the for the pronoun. A manager should set the standards for all the employees in the department.
Acceptable Pronouns to Avoid Sexist Language 3. Avoid using pronouns by repeating the noun. The manager should set the standards for the employees in the manager’s department. 4. Rewrite the sentence to use a first- or second- person pronoun. As a manager, you should set the standards for the employees in your department.
Acceptable Pronouns to Avoid Sexist Language 5. Rewrite the sentence in the passive voice to eliminate the pronoun. The standards for the employees in a department should be set by the manager. 6. Reword the sentence to eliminate the need for a pronoun. The manager should set the standards for all the department’s employees.
Avoid Using Outdated Words and Jargon as a matter of fact beyond the shadow of a doubt easier said than done few and far between get in a rut in the final analysis in this day and age make ends meet under separate cover
Use words that are fresh, more precise, or more conversational in tone.
Jargon Technical language associated with a particular industry or profession Often not understood by individuals outside the field Legal jargonComputer jargon chattelbaud compensatory damages byte demurrerhypertext
Be specific, clear, and concise Most business people today are extremely busy Need to use their time wisely Prefer to read no more than necessary Effective writer uses as few words as possible Conveying a clear and complete message Concentrate on essential facts Omit needles words/unnecessary detail and info Avoid meaningless words and phrases
Examples Avoid: I would like to thank you for your assistance with the report. Better: Thank you for your assistance with the report.
Vague vs Specific Vague: You will receive the order soon. Specific: You will receive the order in two weeks.
Avoid awkward, trite, and wordy expressions! AvoidUse a large number ofmany according to our filesour files indicate at the present timenow despite the fact thatalthough, though due to the fact that because, since during the year of 1992during 1992 will you be kind enoughplease
Clear and Concise Writing Tips AvoidUse enclosed please findenclosed in the event thatif in the near futuresoon in view of the fact that because my personal opinionmy opinion this is to inform you do not use expression! we are of the opinion thatwe believe
Avoid Redundancy The use of needlessly repetitive or unnecessary words or phrases Repeat a word or phrase only when necessary for emphasis or clarity In my opinion, I think that the program was very successful. I think that the program was very successful. The program was very successful.
Use Active Voice Voice indicates whether the subject of the sentence performs or receives the action of the verb. Active Voice Subject is the doer of the action Passive Voice Subject is the receiver of the action
Active Voice Subject is the doer of the action. The new advertising director praised the staff for their work on the project.
Passive Voice Subject is the receiver of the action. The staff were praised by the new advertising director for their work on the project.
Be Correct and Complete Make sure your letters are correct: Grammar Punctuation Spelling Complete information Correct information Focus on accuracy Proofread carefully!
Avoid Costly mistakes in figures. Embarrassment of poorly prepare correspondence. Edit and proofread carefully!