3 First, What is Business Writing? Business writing is workplace writing, which is a form of technical writing.Business WritingWorkplace WritingTechnical Writing
4 Business Writing is technical communication or technical writing
5 Workplace WritingWorkplace writing is generally “persuasive” writing:Example 1: A Resume to persuade a potential employer to offer an interviewExample 2: A Findings Report to persuade employees to follow certain policies or procedures in order to improve performance or correct errors or problems
6 Some Types of Workplace Writings Business LettersFormal; An external communicationTransmissionsInformal; External correspondence written to business associates and internal correspondence to personal friendsMemoranda/ MemorandumInformal style of business letter; Internal correspondence written to colleagues within a companyReportsFinancial, audit, or statistical report that identifies the specific problem and presents collected data, research, or recommendations for the change processContractsBinding agreements or proposals between two or more parties that can become legal documents if they include an offer that is acceptedManualsA written set of instructions, procedures or policiesPowerPointA soft-ware generated, visual slide show, with animation options, that hosts a set of notes or bulleted points, an agenda, or other information that supports a discussion
7 General Business Tip . . .Generally, it is an expected and common business practice to keep photocopies / hard (paper) copies of any communication you send to another person regarding any business matter.
8 How to Create Effective Technical or Workplace Writings: Focus on the purpose of your writingFocus on your readers (Audience)Satisfy document requirements (Documentation style; visuals; data)Get to the point (Concise, uncluttered sentences)Provide accurate information (Research)Express yourself clearly (Grammar; Proofreading)Format your pages carefully (be neat and leave white space)Manage your time efficiently (Meet deadlines)
10 What should you know about Business Memos? They . . . are used within an organizationusually are informal in stylenormally function as a non-sensitive communicationare short and to-the-pointhave a business tone / no slang or jokesdo not require a salutation (formal greeting)do not have a complimentary closing as does a business letter (END)have a format very different from a business lettermay address one person or a group of individuals
11 Memo Sample College of Business Administration Business Communication MemorandumTo: CBA StudentsFrom: Dale CoattailDate: September 10, 2007Re: How to Write a MemoYour instructor has asked you to write a memo, which is the most common form of written communication in business. In order to perform this task successfully, you should conform to general business standards of content, format, structure and language use. Regarding Content, the first rule of writing a good memo is "Get to the point!" The second rule is "Know what your purpose is." Before you start writing, be sure that you know what your "answer" is to the boss's or colleague's question. Don't include all your thinking in the memo. While several pages of thinking might get written as you come up with the answer, the memo includes only the answer. Citations, financials, or justifications that must be available to the reader can be added as appendices or written as a separate, formal report. The memo should include only those ideas that are required for the reader's action or decision.Format This memo is an example of memo format. Note especially the routing information, the use of headings, and the single spaced block paragraphs. If your memo looks like a memo, there's a better chance a business reader will take your ideas seriously. If you are working in a CBA lab, the easiest way to duplicate the proper memo format is to use a template. (Select "new" from the File MENU and select the "memo" tab on the dialogue box.) Structure The typical memo is only 2 or 3 paragraphs and fits on one page. The first paragraph summarizes the gist of the whole memo, then the main points are covered in the same order they were previewed. Again, this memo provides an example of the typical structure.Language Use A memo is often less formal than a letter, but should still be written with a businesslike tone. You can be friendly, but not cute. Your professional image depends on perfect spelling and grammar, but you can usually get away with a few "down home" expressions. Edit for wordiness and get directly to the point. Use language to communicate your ideas effectively and efficiently. (END)cc: Your InstructorHeadings/ routing informationExecutive Summary or IntroductionStart the Body / Body HeadingsSpecial note
13 What is a “Business Report”? A business report is a technical report designed to persuade readers.A written business report communicates research findings, progress evaluations, proposal plans, or other information regarding a business practice, situation, or project.
14 Why create Business Reports? In a global society, the ability to report findings and develop expansion plans and propose solutions to business-related problems gives company’s a strategic advantage in world markets.Business reports, formal or informal, are technical communications that support business by persuading business leaders, employees, clients and other business stakeholders.
15 Regardless of what you write, Consider this Triangle . . . Writer(your ethics, morals,skill setand Plans to useYour characteristicsto meet your purpose)Audience(the passions, interests, or characteristics of the ones you’re trying to persuade and their characteristics)Subject(the logic you will present-- your topic or message)
16 Formal Business Report Format General Sections of a long Business Formal Report:Title PageList of Tables and IllustrationsLetter of TransmittalSynopsis / Executive Summary / AbstractTable of ContentsIntroduction (required) (Header may start on this page)Methods of ResearchFindings / Analysis (Discussion)ConclusionsRecommendationsAppendix (Graphs and Tables)
17 7 Cs 0F Communication COMPLETENESS CONCISENESS CONSIDERATION CLARITY CONCRETENESSCOURTESYCORRECTNESS
18 COMPLETENESSBusiness message is complete when it contains all facts the reader or listener needs for the reaction you desire.As you strive for completeness, keep the following guidelines in mind;Provide all necessary informationAnswer all questions askedGive something extra when desirable
19 COMPLETENESS Answer all questions that are asked Give something extra when desirableCheck for five Ws & one HWhoWhatWhenWhereWhy andHow
20 Provide All Necessary Information Answering the five W’s helps make messages clear: Who, What, When, Where, and Why.Answer All Questions AskedLook for questions: some may even appear buried within a paragraph. Locate them and then answer precisely.Give Something Extra, When DesirableUse your good judgment in offering additional material if the sender’s message was incomplete.
21 Exercise-1You are the president of an industry association and have received the following inquiry from an out of town member:“I think I would like to attend my first meeting of the association, even though I am not acquainted with your city. Will you please tell me where the next meeting is being held?”How would you reply to this letter keeping in mind Completeness of the message?
22 CONCISENESS Eliminate wordy expressions Include only relevant statementsbe focusedShorten & avoid long explanationsavoid gushing politenessAvoid unnecessary repetitionsuse short forms the second timeuse pronouns
23 Eliminate Wordy Expressions Use single words in place of phrases. Even Winston Churchill made extensive use of simple, one syllable words.ExampleWordy: At this timeConcise: NowWordy: Due to the fact thatConcise: Because
24 CONCISE Due to the fact that Employed the use of Basic fundamentals Completely eliminateAlternative choicesActual experienceConnected togetherFinal resultProve conclusivelyIn as few words as possible
25 CONCISE Because Used Due to the fact that Fundamentals EliminateAlternativesExperienceConnectedResultProveConciselyDue to the fact thatEmployed the use ofBasic fundamentals Completely eliminateAlternative choicesActual experienceConnected togetherFinal resultProve conclusivelyIn as few words as possible
26 Include Only Relevant Material Wordy: We hereby wish to let you know that our company is pleased with the confidence you have respond in us.
28 Exercise Find single word substitutes for the phrases: With regard to aboutDespite the fact that althoughAt the present writing nowIs of opinion that thinksIn the first place firstAt a rapid rate fast
29 ExerciseRewrite the following by omitting articles, trite (worn out) expressions, wordy sentences and repetitions:
30 Exercise –contd.At this time I am writing to you to enclose the post paid appointment for the purpose of arranging a convenient time when we might get-together for a personal interview.
31 Exercise –contd.Will you ship us sometime, any time during the month of October , or even November if you are rushed , for November will suit us just as well , in fact a little bit better , 300 of the regular three and a half inch blue arm bands with white sewn letter in the middle .
32 CONSIDERATIONConsideration means preparing every message with the message receivers in mind; try to put yourself in their place.You are considerateyou do not lose your temperyou do not accuse and you do not charge them without factsthe thoughtful consideration is also called “you-attitude”.
33 CONSIDERATION Focus on YOU instead of I & WE Show reader benefit & interestEmphasize on positive & pleasantApply integrity & ethics
34 Focus on “You” Instead of “I” or “We” Using “you” does help project a you-attitude. But overuse can lead to a negative reaction.
35 Show Audience Benefit or Interest in the Receiver Reader may react positively when benefits are shown them. Benefits must meet recipients:needsaddress their concerns, oroffer them rewardsMost important they must be perceived as benefits by the receivers.
36 Ex.- Write with a ‘you ‘ attitude , it shows consideration I want to send my congratulations for --(Congratulations to you….)We will ship soon the goods of your order---We pay eight percent interest on -----
37 Ex -Avoid negative – unpleasant words to show consideration It is impossible to open an account for you today.When you travel on company expense, you will not receive approval for first class fare.
38 Ex : Show reader benefit or interest Because we have not written to you in sometime , please help us bring our record by filling and returning the other half of the card.
39 CONCRETENESSCommunicating concretely means being specific, definite, and vivid rather than vague and general. Often it means using donatives (direct, explicit, often dictionary based) rather than connotative words (ideas or notions suggested by or associated with a word or phrase)
40 CONCRETENESS Use specific facts and figures Put action into words Choose vivid image building words by comparison & figurative languageUse more adjectives and adverbs
41 Use Specific Facts and Figures It is desirable to be precise and concrete in both written and oral business communication.
42 Example Vague, General, Indefinite Student GMAT scores are higher. Concrete, PreciseIn 1996, the GMAT scores averaged 600; by 1997 they had risen to 610.
43 Put Action in Your Verbs Verbs can activate other words and help make your sentences alive, more vigorous.Use active rather than passive verbs.Put action in your verbs rather than nouns
44 Example Passive : The memo was sent by the manager Active: Passive: The scientist discovered the formula.
45 Choose Vivid, Image-Building Words Business writing uses less figurative language than does the world of fiction.Bland ImageThis is a long letter.More Vivid ImagesThis letter is three times as long as you said it would.
46 Ex- Rewrite the following in concrete form as the sentences are too general and vague Our product has won several prizes.These brakes stop a car within a short distance.
47 Ex: Put action into the words by using active instead of passive voice Tests were made by us. A full report will be sent to you by the supervisor.Mr. Singh will give consideration to the report…
48 Ex : Use vivid image building words – adjectives and adverbs , and use less of abstract nouns The camera has a system that gives good pictures.
49 CLARITYGetting the meaning from your head to the head of your reader (accurately) is the purpose of clarity. Of course you know it is not simple. We all carry around our own unique interpretations, ideas, experiences associated with words.
50 CLARITY Choose short , familiar & conversational words Construct effective sentences and paragraphs by unity of idea and sequencingAchieve appropriate readability by using formal & informal languageInclude examples, illustrations & visual aids
51 Choose precise, concrete and familiar words Unfamiliar: After our perusal of pertinent data, the conclusion is that a lucrative market exists for the subject property. Familiar: The data we studies show that your property is profitable and in high demand.
52 Construct Effective Sentences and Paragraphs At the core of clarity is the sentences.This grammatical statement, when clearly expressed, moves thoughts within a paragraph. Important characteristics to consider are:LengthUnityCoherenceEmphasis
53 Ex : Use simple wordsSubsequent laterAccede agreeEndeavour trySupersede replaceDisclose show
54 COURTESYTrue courtesy involves being aware not only of the perspective of others, but also their feelings. Courtesy stems from a sincere you-attitude.
55 COURTESYThe following are suggestions for generating a courteous tone;Be sincere , tactful, thoughtful and appreciativeOmit expressions that hurt , irritate, or insultGrant apologies graciously
56 Be Sincerely Tactful, Thoughtful, and Appreciative Though few people are intentionally abrupt or blunt, these negative traits are a common cause of discourtesy.More TactfulTactless, BluntIt’s my understanding…Sometimes my wording is not precise; let me try againStupid letter; I can’t understand any of it.Clearly, you did not read my latest fax.
57 Use Expressions that Show Respect No reader wants to receive message that offend.Skip Irritating ExpressionsYou are offendingYou failed toContrary to your inferenceInexcusableSimply nonsense
58 Activity Bring courtesy in the following text: Hey man, what’s this I hear about the good news? You sure pulled a fast one this past weekend-and then didn’t tell any of us about it.Give my regards to the little lady. And wish her the best; she’ll need it.
59 More courteousWarm congratulations on your wedding! Well, you certainly took us by surprise. In fact, just a few of us even suspected you were taking off to get married. But even though we did not hear about it, we wish you the best. Give our warm regards to your new partner.
60 Choose Nondiscriminatory Expressions Another requirement for courtesy is the use of nondiscriminatory language that reflects equal treatment of people regardless of gender, race, ethnic origin, and physical features.
65 Ex : Show courtesy by avoiding tactless & blunt language Your letter is not clear at all:Obviously, if you would read your policy carefully you will be able to answer these questions yourself.
66 Ex : Use gender friendly substitutes The best man for the jobManpower Salesman Chairman
67 CORRECTNESSAt the core of correctness is proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. However a message may be perfect grammatically and mechanically but still insult or lose a customer.
68 CORRECTNESS Use the right level of language Check accuracy of facts, figures and wordsMaintain acceptable writing mechanicsChoose non discriminatory languageUse parallel language
69 The right level of language, accuracy, and acceptable mechanics Select the right level of language for your communication either formal or informal.Realize that formal language is most often used in business communication.Check for correct figures, facts, and words.Apply the principles of accepted mechanics to your writing.
70 Use the Right Level of Language Formal and Less Formal LanguageMore FormalLess FormalParticipateProcureEndeavorJoinGetTryCheck Accuracy of Figures, Facts, and WordsA good check of data is to have another person read and comment on the validity of the material.
71 Few tips for effective verbal messages Be directConsider your audienceBe clearWatch your non-verbal signalsPay attention to the receiversRepeat when neededCommunicate bit by bitUse varying techniquesAuditory/Visual/Kinesthetic
72 Summary What is Business writing? Types? 7 Cs of Communication COMPLETENESSCONCISENESSCONSIDERATIONCLARITYCONCRETENESSCOURTESYCORRECTNESS