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Strategies to Improve Business and Technical Writing Francine Mahak, PhD Utah Government Auditors Association June 5, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Strategies to Improve Business and Technical Writing Francine Mahak, PhD Utah Government Auditors Association June 5, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Strategies to Improve Business and Technical Writing Francine Mahak, PhD Utah Government Auditors Association June 5, 2013

2 Two Overall Goals 1.Write faster and better. 2.Produce messages that people Read

3 Two Overall Goals 1.Write faster and better. 2.Produce messages that people Read Understand

4 Two Overall Goals 1.Write faster and better. 2.Produce messages that people Read Understand Act on (the 1 st time around!)

5 How to write faster and better 1.TARGET Readers you are addressing Purpose: what you want them to DO 2.DRAFT (quickly!) Brainstorm content without worrying about style or grammar Organize in order of importance to readers Write the easiest parts first 3.SET ASIDE 4.REVISE

6 We will be writing a document... Think of a policy or procedure youd like to recommend changing

7 What kinds of actions do your readers need to take?

8 Make good use of your time and theirs Your message may be buried among many, many others. Your readers may have only seconds to look at it! (By the way... do you read everything?)

9 Address your purpose Target your audience Basic Principle for Any Writing

10 Address your purpose Target your audience For organizational/technical writing: Focus on what they need to DO (vs. know).

11 Basic Principle for Any Writing Address your purpose Target your audience For organizational/technical writing: Focus on what they need to DO (vs. know) 1.Tell them what youre going to tell them 2.Then tell them 3.Then tell them what you told them

12 It will look something like this Subject Line Main Message + Action Needed Highlights Relevant Details Recap Main Message + Action Needed

13 In brief: What do I want my readers to... Do Feel Know ?

14 What do I want my readers to... DO Feel Know ? Action is key

15 What do I want my readers to... DO Feel Know ? Respected Motivated

16 What do I want my readers to... DO Feel Know ? Only whats needed for the DO and FEEL

17 Lets write a quick document Recommendation to change a policy/procedure

18 Template I Please In brief, (Contact info) RE: _______________________________________ Highlights Relevant Details Close Main Message

19 Template I Please In brief, (Contact info) RE: _______________________________________ Highlights Relevant Details Close Main Message Executive Summary

20 Lets take a look at a memo Date: XX/XX/XXXX To: Xxxx Xxxxxxxx Subject: Maintenance XXxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxx xxxxxx x xxx-xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx

21 How about this as a beginning? Subject: Maintenance

22 How about this as a beginning? In 1998, we had a records maintenance system that did not work well for us. Subject: Maintenance

23 How about this as a beginning? In 1998, we had a records maintenance system that did not work well for us. So in 2002, we tried a new records maintenance system. Subject: Maintenance

24 How about this as a beginning? In 1998, we had a records maintenance system that did not work well for us. So in 2002, we tried a new records maintenance system. That didnt work well either. So in 2007, we…. Subject: Maintenance

25 Where does your eye go next? Date: XX/XX/XXXX To: Xxxx Xxxxxxxx Subject: Maintenance XXxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxx xxxxxx x xxx-xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx

26 Where does your eye go next? Date: XX/XX/XXXX To: Xxxx Xxxxxxxx Subject: Maintenance XXxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxx xxxxxx x xxx-xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx

27 Heres whats at the end: Please to not hesitate to contact me if I can answer any questions.

28 Heres whats at the end: Please to not hesitate to contact me if I can answer any questions. !

29 Date: XX/XX/XXXX To: Xxxx Xxxxxxxx Subject: Maintenance XXxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxx xxxxxx x xxx-xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Have you seen anything important so far in this message?

30 No wonder! None of the Focus Points gave you anything important! Date: XX/XX/XXXX To: Xxxx Xxxxxxxx Subject: Maitenance XXxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxx xxxxxx x xxx-xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx

31 No wonder! None of the Focus Points gave you anything important! Put your main message and action needed in the top focus points. Date: XX/XX/XXXX To: Xxxx Xxxxxxxx Subject: Maitenance XXxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxx xxxxxx x xxx-xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Have you had enough of this message?

32 No wonder! None of the Focus Points gave you anything important! Put your main message and action needed in the top focus points. Then repeat them at the end. Date: XX/XX/XXXX To: Xxxx Xxxxxxxx Subject: Maitenance XXxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxx xxxxxx x xxx-xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Have you had enough of this message?

33 So maybe youve just deleted this message... Date: XX/XX/XXXX To: Xxxx Xxxxxxxx Subject: Maitenance XXxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxx xxxxxx x xxx-xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx Have you had enough of this message?

34 OH NO!

35 What if this was in the middle paragraph of that memo?

36 Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxxx, xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx, xxx xxxxx, xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx. Please deliver a 15-minute presentation on your groups records-maintenance system at Tuesdays staff meeting. Xxxx xxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xx xx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx.

37 Middle: best place to bury your point! Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxxx, xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx, xxx xxxxx, xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx. Please deliver a 15-minute presentation on your groups records-maintenance system at Tuesdays staff meeting. Xxxx xxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xx xx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx. R.I.P.

38 So, what should the Subject line be? Subject: Maintenance

39 The Subject line should be a Purpose line Subject: Request for Records Maintenance Presentation at Tuesday staff meeting

40 The Subject line should be a Purpose line Subject: Request for Records Maintenance Presentation at Tuesday staff meeting Think of the Subject line as a Purpose line. Capitalize on the subject line, so they get the message even if they dont open it

41 Lets look at some real documents - yours

42 See them as if they were in your Inbox Identify authors good choices Formulate suggestions

43 Summary: Capitalize on your Subject line Put key information up front 1.Start with the purpose and action needed. 2.Give the gist, then add relevant details. 3.Recap the gist and action needed.

44 Summary: Capitalize on your Subject line Put key information up front 1.Start with the purpose and action needed. 2.Give the gist, then add relevant details. 3.Recap the gist and action needed. Use a tone that is respectful and motivating.

45 Again: heres the formula Subject Line Main Message + Action Needed Highlights Relevant Details Recap Main Message + Action Needed

46 How to write faster and better 1.TARGET Readers you are addressing Purpose: what you want them to DO 2.DRAFT (quickly!) Brainstorm content without worrying about style or grammar Organize in order of importance to readers Write the easiest parts first 3.SET ASIDE 4.REVISE

47 Quick Debrief

48 Lets Practice Thank you! Francine Mahak, PhD (801) University of Utah Career Services

49 Good communication = good thinking Who am I addressing? What for? What outcomes am I looking for? What do they need to DO as a result of my message? What will motivate them to do that? What do they need to know to do that? ?


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