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Planning Business Messages Effective Business Messages • Purposeful • Audience centered • Concise Three Step Writing Process • Planning • Writing • Completing Analyze Your Pu

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Planning Business Messages Effective Business Messages • Purposeful • Audience centered • Concise Three Step Writing Process • Planning • Writing • Completing Analyze Your Pu Powered By Docstoc
					Planning Business
    Messages
  Effective Business Messages
• Purposeful
• Audience-centered
• Concise
   Three-Step Writing Process
• Planning
• Writing
• Completing
       Analyze Your Purpose
• General         • Specific
  – Inform          – Realism
  – Persuade        – Timing
  – Collaborate     – Delivery
                    – Acceptability
 Develop an Audience Profile

• Identify primary audience
• Determine size
• Determine composition
• Gauge level of understanding
• Project expectations and preferences
• Estimate probable reaction
        Gather Information

• Formal sources
• Opinions of others
• Interviews
• Company files
• Employees or customers
• Audience input
            Provide Information
• Accurate
• Complete
• Ethical
• Pertinent
    Business Communication
      Channels and Media
• Oral channel
• Written channel
          Selecting the Best
         Channel and Medium
• Style and tone
• Feedback
• Time
• Cost
• Audience
    Relating to the Audience

• Use the “you” attitude
• Emphasize the positive
• Establish credibility
• Be polite
• Use bias-free language
• Project company’s image
             The “You” Attitude
       Instead of This                      Use This
To help us process this order,    So that your order can be filled
we must ask for another copy of   promptly, please send another
the requisition.                  copy of the requisition.


       Instead of This                      Use This
You should never use that type    That type of paper doesn’t work
of paper in the copy machine.     very well in the copy machine.
       Emphasize the Positive
       Instead of This                      Use This
It is impossible to repair your   Your vacuum cleaner will be
vacuum cleaner today.             ready by Tuesday.



       Instead of This                      Use This
•Cheap merchandise                •Bargain prices
•Toilet paper                     •Bathroom tissue
•Elderly person                   •Senior citizen
         Establish Credibility
• Show understanding
• Explain credentials
• Avoid exaggerating
• Believe in yourself
                          Be Polite
      Instead of This                          Use This
You really fouled things up with   Let’s review what went wrong
that last computer run.            so that the next computer run
                                   goes smoothly.


      Instead of This                          Use This
You’ve been sitting on our order   We are eager to receive our
for two weeks. We need it now!     order. When can we expect
                                   delivery?
         Bias-Free Language
• Gender
• Race or ethnicity
• Age
• Disability
      The Company’s Image
• Be a spokesperson
• Convey the right impression
• Minimize your own views
• Maximize company interests
Writing Business
   Messages
   Three-Step Writing Process
• Planning
• Writing
• Completing
    Organizing the Message

• Writer benefits
  – Save time
  – Facilitate feedback
  – Manage the project
• Audience benefits
  – Promote understanding
  – Boost acceptance
  – Save time
      Defining the Main Idea
• General purpose
• Specific purpose
• Basic topic
• Main idea
        Limiting the Scope

• Main idea
  – Space
  – Time
  – Length
  – Detail
  – Major points
  – Evidence
      Outlining Your Points

• Use numbers
• Indent points to show status
• Divide topics into at least two parts
• Use one category per subdivision
• Make each group separate and distinct
                 Common Outline Form
           Alphanumeric                     Decimal
I.         First Major Part     1.0 First Major Part
      A.     First subpoint        1.1    First subpoint
      B.     Second subpoint       1.2    Second subpoint
            1.   Evidence                1.2.1   Evidence
            2.   Evidence                1.2.2   Evidence
      C.     Third subpoint        1.2.3 Third subpoint
II.        Second Major Point   2.0 Second Major Point
      A.     First subpoint        2.1    First subpoint
      B.     Second subpoint       2.2    Second subpoint
    Sequencing the Message
• Direct approach
  – Deductive
• Indirect approach
  – Inductive
            Composing
        Business Messages
• Controlling style and tone
• Writing effective sentences
• Writing coherent paragraphs
     Control Style and Tone

• Avoid obsolete language
• Avoid intimacy
• Avoid humor
• Avoid preaching or bragging
• Write in plain English
    Balance Your Writing Style
• Abstract words    • Concrete words
  – Intellectual      –   Direct
                      –   Material
  – Academic
                      –   Exact
  – Philosophical
                      –   Tangible
  – Conceptual
           Finding Words
         that Communicate
• Choose strong words
• Prefer familiar words
• Avoid clichés
• Minimize jargon
   Writing Effective Sentences
• Types of sentences
  – Simple
  – Compound
  – Complex
  – Compound-complex
     Effective Sentence Style
• Stress key relationships
• Emphasize important ideas
              The Active Voice

          Avoid Passive Voice in General

•There are problems with this contract.

•It is necessary that the report be finished by next week.


            Use Active Voice in General

•This contract has problems.

•The report must be finished by next week.
            The Passive Voice

          Sometimes Avoid Active Voice

•You lost the shipment.

•We have established criteria to evaluate capital expenditures.


          Sometimes Use Passive Voice

•The shipment was lost.

•Criteria have been established to evaluate capital expenditures.
      Coherent Paragraphs
• Length and form
• Development
• Unity and coherence
      Paragraph Development
• Illustration
• Comparison and contrast
• Cause and effect
• Classification
• Problem and solution
   Frequently Used Transitions

   Additional Detail •Moreover, furthermore, in addition

Causal Relationship •Therefore, because, since, thus

       Comparison •Similarly, likewise, still, in comparison

           Contrast •Whereas, conversely, yet, however

         Illustration •For example, in particular, in this case

    Time Sequence •Formerly, after, meanwhile, sometimes

          Summary •In brief, in short, to sum up
Completing Business
    Messages
   Three-Step Writing Process
• Planning
• Writing
• Completing
     Revise for Effectiveness
• Content
• Organization
• Style
• Tone
          Revise for Clarity
• Break up overly long sentences
• Rewrite hedging sentences
• Impose parallelism
• Correct dangling modifiers
          Revise for Clarity
• Reword long noun sequences
• Replace camouflaged verbs
• Clarify sentence structure
• Clarify awkward references
• Moderate your enthusiasm
      Revise for Conciseness

• Delete unnecessary words and phrases
• Shorten long words and phrases
• Eliminate redundancies
• Recast “It is/There are” starters
     Produce Your Message
• Document design
• Graphics and hypertext
            Design Elements
• White space
• Margins
• Justification
• Typefaces
• Type styles
   Effective Document Design
• Consistency
• Balance
• Detail
• Restraint
 Improve Your Documents with
          Computers
• Revision tools
• Spell checker
• Thesaurus
• Grammar checker
         Graphics, Sound
          and Hypertext
• Presentation software
  – Overhead transparencies
  – Computerized slide shows
• Graphics software
  – Simple diagrams and charts
  – Complex graphical designs
      Proofread the Message
• Overall format
• Grammar, usage, and punctuation
• Spelling errors and typos
• Missing material
• Design errors
       Proofreading Pointers

• Make multiple passes
• Use perceptual tricks
• Obtain impartial reviews
• Distance yourself
• Be vigilant
• Stay focused
• Practice caution
Working with Letters,
Memos, and E-Mail
    Messages
         Sending Letters,
        Memos, and E-Mail
• Audience
• Format
• Readability
• Strategy
             Communication
• Internal
  – Understand the organization’s mission
  – Identify potential problems
  – React to changes
• External
  – Cultivate an impression
  – Respond to crises
  – Gather information
         Format Differences
• Audience
  – Internal
  – External
• Types of messages
  – Letters
  – Memos
  – E-mail
    Format for Business Letters

•   Letterhead stationery
•   Date
•   Inside address
•   Salutation
•   The message
•   Complimentary close
•   Signature block
       Format for Memos

• Memo title
• Headings
• The message
          Format for E-Mail

•   Headings
•   Salutation
•   The message
•   Complimentary close
•   Signature block
       Improving Readability
        in Short Messages
• Vary length of sentences
• Shorten paragraphs
     Using Lists and Bullets

• Sequence your ideas
• Boost visual impact
• Highlight key points
• Simplify complex subjects
• Help readers skim the text
 Headings and Sub-Headings

• Types of headings
  – Informative
  – Descriptive
• Functions of headings
  – Organization
  – Attention
  – Connection
       E-Mail Readability

• Subject lines
• Easy-to-follow messages
• Personalized messages
         E-Mail Etiquette

• Practice courtesy
• Send brief e-mail
• Compose carefully
              Practice Courtesy
•   Compose offline      •   Limit messages
•   Know the audience    •   Respect cultures
•   Clarify time zones   •   Observe schedules
•   Avoid flaming        •   Prioritize e-mail
        Send Brief E-Mail

• Narrow scope
• Short messages
• Concise statements
         Compose Carefully

•   Reply with care
•   Understand “cc” and “bcc” fields
•   Slow down
•   Reread and edit
    Categories of Messages

• Routine, good-news, goodwill
• Bad-news
• Persuasive
Writing Routine, Good-
 News, and Goodwill
      Messages
     The Three-Step Process
• Planning
• Writing
• Completing
          Routine Requests
• Make your request
• Justify your request
• Conclude your message
        State Your Request

• Use a courteous tone
• Be specific and precise
• Assume reader compliance
• Avoid personal introductions
• Use questions and polite requests
        Justify Your Request
• Explain the request
• Offer reader benefits
• Ask questions
     Conclude Your Message
• Request specific action
• Provide contact information
• Promote goodwill
   Types of Routine Requests
• Business orders
• Information and action
• Claims and adjustments
• References and recommendations
           Business Orders
• State your request
• Clarify the order
• Provide shipping information
       Action and Information
• State why you are writing
• Explain the request
• Ask for specific action
     Claims and Adjustments
• State the problem
• Support your assertions
• Propose a solution
           References
      and Recommendations
• State the request
• Provide a résumé
• Say “Thank You”
           Routine Replies
        and Positive Messages
• Impart information
• Answer questions
• Provide details
• Promote goodwill
        The Direct Approach
• Main idea
• Relevant details
• Cordial close
    Types of Routine Replies
     and Positive Messages
• Requests for action and information
• Claims and requests for adjustments
• Recommendations and references
• Messages that promote goodwill
      Action and Information
• Be prompt
• Be gracious
• Be thorough
        Claims and Requests
           for Adjustment
• Who is at fault?
  – The company
  – The customer
  – A third party
            References and
           Recommendations
• Be forthright
• Be specific
• Stick to the facts
• Avoid value judgments
        Goodwill Messages
• Congratulations
• Appreciation
• Condolences
Writing Bad-News
    Messages
     The Three-Step Process
• Planning
• Writing
• Completing
          Strategies for
       Bad-news Messages
• Convey the message
• Gain acceptance
• Maintain goodwill
• Promote a good corporate image
• Minimize future correspondence
     Audience-Centered Tone
• The “You” attitude
• Positive wording
• Respectful language
        The Direct Approach
• State the bad news
• Give reasons
• End with a positive close
       The Indirect Approach
• Begin with a buffer
• Follow with reasons
• State the bad news
• End with a positive close
            Begin With a Buffer
• Sincere             • Respectful
• Relevant            • Succinct
• Not misleading      • Assertive
• Neutral             • Brief
        Provide Reasons
     That Support the Refusal
• Cover positive points
• Provide relevant details
• Highlight benefits
• Minimize company policy
• Avoid apologizing
         State the Message
• De-emphasize the bad news
• Use a conditional statement
• Focus on the positive
• Avoid blunt language
      Close With Confidence
• Maintain a positive tone
• Limit future correspondence
• Be optimistic about the future
• Remain confident and sincere
  Writing Bad-News Messages
• Routine requests
• Organizational news
• Employment information
             Routine
        Workplace Requests
• Business information
• Invitations and favors
        The Status of Orders
• Ship either part or none of the order
  – Work toward an eventual sale
  – Communicate clearly
  – Be confident and optimistic
      Claims and Adjustments
• Things to employ      • Things to avoid
  – Courtesy and tact     – Accepting blame
  – Indirect approach     – Accusations
  – Understanding         – Negative language
  – Alternatives          – Defamation
       Organizational News
• Bad news about products
• Bad news about company operations
              Letters of
           Recommendation
• Requested by businesses
  – Be direct
  – State facts
• Requested by individuals
  – Practice diplomacy
  – Consider feelings
    Employment Applications
• Use the direct approach
• State reasons clearly
• Suggest alternatives
       Performance Reviews
• Review the job requirements
• Provide feedback
• Develop a plan of action
             Negative
       Performance Reviews
• Confront the problem
• Plan the message
• Maintain privacy
• Focus on the problem
• Obtain commitment
Writing Persuasive
    Messages
            Three-Step
        Persuasion Process
• Planning
• Writing
• Completing
      Analyze Your Purpose
• Clear
• Necessary
• Appropriate
        Gauge the Audience
• Demographics   • Psychographics
  – Gender         – Personality
  – Income         – Attitudes
  – Education      – Lifestyle
             Considering
         Cultural Differences
• Individual differences
• Organizational differences
       Establishing Credibility
• Facts            • Objectivity
• Sources          • Sincerity
• Expertise        • Trust
• Common ground    • Good intentions
• Enthusiasm
    Setting Ethical Standards
• Provide information
• Boost understanding
• Promote free choice
• Avoid manipulation
 Writing Persuasive Messages
• Approach
  – Direct (deductive)
  – Indirect (inductive)
• Important Elements
  – Define the main idea
  – Limit the scope
  – Group major point
     Completing the Message
• Evaluate the content
• Revise for clarity and conciseness
• Proofread the message
• Evaluate design and delivery
         Logic and Emotions
• Promote action
• Understand expectations
• Overcome resistance
• Sell your point of view
              The AIDA Plan
• Attention
• Interest
• Desire
• Action
       Persuasive Requests
• Action requests
• Claims and adjustments
         Requests for Action
• Gain attention
• Use facts, figures, and benefits
• Request some specific action
     Claims and Adjustments
• State the problem
• Review the facts
• Motivate the reader
• Make your request
       Sales and Fundraising
             Messages
• For-profit organizations
• Not-for-profit organizations
    Sales Message Strategies
• Emphasizing selling points
• Stressing benefits
• Remembering legal issues
    Sales Message Strategies
• Using action terms
• Talking about price
• Supporting your claims
          Getting Attention

• News items       • Product samples
• Features and     • Emotions or values
  benefits         • Stories and
• Numbers or         illustrations
  questions        • Challenges
• Shared traits    • Solutions
     The Central Selling Point
• Study the competition
• Know the product
• Analyze the audience
          Increasing Desire
• Stress the main benefit
• Refer to other benefits
• Provide essential details
          Motivating Action
• Explain the next step
• Create urgency
• Use a post script
• Apply good judgment
 Writing Fundraising Messages
• Analyze the audience
• Study the competition
• Clarify benefits
• Keep the message personal
          Strengthening
       Fundraising Messages
                           • Clarify your needs
• Interest readers
                           • Write concisely
• Use plain language
                           • Include reply forms
• Offer an opportunity
                           • Use versatile
• Make it hard to refuse
                             enclosures
 Understanding and
 Planning Business
Reports and Proposals
     Reports and Proposals

• Guide decisions
• Comply with government regulations
• Gain acceptance of others
• Monitor and control operations
• Implement policies and procedures
• Document results
           Classifying Reports
• Source
• Frequency
• Audience
• Length
• Intent
       Informational Reports
• Monitor and control operations
• State policies and procedures
• Comply with government regulations
• Document progress on projects
         Analytical Reports
• Problem-solving reports
• Business proposals
           Solving Problems
• Troubleshooting reports
• Feasibility reports
• Justification reports
             Writing Proposals
• Internal
• External
• Solicited
• Unsolicited
   Three-Step Writing Process
• Planning
• Writing
• Completing
             Planning Reports
• Analysis
• Investigation
• Adaptation
      Analyzing the Situation
• Informational reports
• Analytical reports
      Defining the Problem

• What needs to be determined?
• Why is this issue important?
• Who is involved in the situation?
• Where is the trouble located?
• How did the situation originate?
• When did it start?
             Writing a
         Purpose Statement
• Analytical      • Informational
  – Analyze         – To summarize
  – Evaluate        – To explain
  – Recommend       – To submit
               Drafting a
          Preliminary Outline
Descriptive (Topical)            Informative (Talking)

  I. Industry Characteristics   I. What is the nature of the industry?
    A. Annual Sales               A. What are the annual sales?
    B. Profitability              B. Is the industry profitable?
    C. Growth Rate                C. What is the growth pattern?
       1. Sales                       1. Sales growth?
       2. Profit                       2. Profit growth?
      Preparing the Work Plan

•   State the problem
•   State the purpose and scope
•   Discuss tasks to be accomplished
•   Review final products or outcomes
•   Review schedules and requirements
•   Set follow-up plans
•   Compose a working outline
        Business Information
          on the Internet
• Internet public library
• Company Websites
• News release sites
      Searching Databases

• Use multiple search engines
• Replace concepts with key words
• Use variations of search terms
• Specify phrases and key words
• Refine searches as needed
        Sources of Primary
           Information
• Documents
• Observations
• Experiments
         Effective Surveys

• Provide clear instructions
• Use short questionnaires
• Seek easy-to-analyze questions
• Avoid leading questions
• Ask one thing at a time
• Pretest all questionnaires
        Effective Interviews

• Plan the interview
• Prepare questions
• Prioritize questions
• Don’t ask too many questions
• Edit the questions
• Process information
      Documenting Sources
• Copyrighted material
• General knowledge
      Interpret Your Findings
• Conclusions and recommendations
  – Assumptions
  – Facts
  – Judgment
  – Values
Writing and Completing
Business Reports and
       Proposals
   Three-Step Writing Process
• Planning
• Writing
• Completing
           Organizing Reports
             and Proposals
• Format
• Length
• Order
• Structure
           Selecting Format
             and Length
• Preprinted form
• Letter
• Memo
• Manuscript
      Choosing an Approach
• Direct approach
  – Receptive audience
  – Open-minded audience
• Indirect approach
  – Skeptical audience
  – Hostile audience
           Structuring
      Informational Reports
• Importance
• Sequence
• Chronology
• Spatial orientation
• Geography
• Category
             Structuring
          Analytical Reports
• Audience members
  – Receptive
  – Skeptical
• Focus
  – Conclusions
  – Recommendations
  – Logical arguments
      Structuring Proposals
• Solicited (direct approach)
  – Receptive audience
  – Recognized problem
  – Identified solution
• Unsolicited (indirect approach)
  – Skeptical audience
  – Unrecognized problem
  – Proposed solution
           Selecting Visual Aids
• Tables               • Pie charts
• Line or bar charts   • Line or dot charts
• Pie or area charts   • Maps
• Bar charts           • Flow charts
            The Parts of a Table
                     Multicolumn Head*                   Single    Single
                                                        Column    Column
Stub head          Subhead           Subhead             Head      Head

Row head              XXX               XXX               XX       XX
Row head
 Subhead               XX               XXX               XX       XX
 Subhead               XX               XXX               XX       XX
Total                 XXX               XXX               XX       XX

Source: (In the same format as a text footnote).
*Footnote (for explanation of elements in the table).
          Preparing Tables

• Use common, clearly identified units
• Use the same units for all items in
  columns
• Label column headings
• Separate rows and columns
• Document data sources
             Using Line
         and Surface Charts
• Show changes
• Indicate relationships
          Using Bar Charts
• Compare items
• Show changes
• Indicate relationships
• Show relative sizes
           Using Pie Charts
• Limit the number of slices
• Arrange slices clockwise
• Use a variety of colors
• Show numbers or percentages
    Illustrating Relationships

• Organization charts
  – Positions
  – Units
  – Functions
• Flow charts
  – Processes
  – Procedures
  – Sequences
             Using Computers
             to Create Visuals
• Advantages          • Challenges
  – Speed               – Training
  – Accuracy            – Artistic skills
  – Versatility         – Time requirements
        Composing Reports
          and Proposals
• Text and content
• Degree of formality
• Time perspective
• Navigational clues
         Successful Reports
•   Accurate
•   Complete
•   Balanced
•   Structured
•   Documented
       Successful Proposals
• Demonstrate your knowledge
• Provide concrete examples
• Research the competition
• Prove that your proposal is workable
• Adopt a “you” attitude
• Package your proposal attractively
           The Introduction
• Context or problem
• Subject or purpose
• Main ideas
• Overall tone
         The Body Chapters
• Present
• Analyze
• Interpret
• Support
        The Closing Section
• Emphasizes main points
• Summarizes benefits
• Reinforces structure
• Brings together action items
           Additional
       Report-Writing Tasks
• Formality
• Time frame
• Overall structure
        Completing Reports
          and Proposals
• Revising
• Producing
• Proofreading
             Components
          of Formal Reports
• Prefatory parts
• Text of the report
• Supplementary parts
               Prefatory Parts

• Letter of authorization   • Synopsis or abstract
• Cover page                • Table of contents
• Letter of acceptance      • Letter of transmittal
• Title fly or title page   • Executive summary
            Text of the Report
• Introduction
• Body
• Closing
          Supplementary Parts
• Appendixes
• Bibliography
• Index
               Components of
              Formal Proposals
• Cover               • List of illustrations
• Title fly           • Proposal request
• Title page          • Executive summary
• Table of contents   • Letter of transmittal
         Text of the Proposal
• Introduction
• Body
• Closing

				
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