Business Writing Skills Asmita


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I develop these modules as a part of my job for MBA students and freshers.

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Business Writing Skills Asmita

  1. 1. BUSINESS WRITING SKILLS Training Module- Asmita Patwardhan
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Present even the most complex material in easy-to-understand language </li></ul><ul><li>Eliminate embarrassing grammatical errors from your work </li></ul><ul><li>Keep your readers from snoozing by ditching dull, repetitive language </li></ul><ul><li>Eliminate out-of-date words and jargon — and boost your effectiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid negative words and phrases that can offend or intimidate the readers </li></ul><ul><li>Steer clear of language that might offend by using nonsexist alternatives </li></ul><ul><li>Organize your thoughts and information quickly with a systematic method </li></ul><ul><li>Capitalize on your personal style to make your writing more interesting — and more effective </li></ul><ul><li>Proofread like a pro to keep your letters/mails error free </li></ul><ul><li>Build instant rapport with readers by adopting a casual, contemporary tone </li></ul>
  3. 3. Exploring the points above- <ul><li>1. Present even the most complex material in an easy-to-understand language- </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. If a layperson is learning a programming language, then it is essential that the trainer avoids jargon at least in the initial phases. Practical examples need to be given to a layperson to be able to connect to it. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>2. Organize your thoughts & Information quickly with a systematic method- </li></ul><ul><li>Always write down points & then elaborate on each one. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>3. Steer clear of language that might offend the readers by using nonsexist alternatives- </li></ul><ul><li>We have come a long way from writing “Dear Gentlemen”, “Dear Sir”, etc. There are many people who feel offended & why not? Also avoid using Mrs. / Miss for a lady unless specified to do so. Always use Ms. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>4. Keep your readers away from snoozing by ditching dull, repetitive language- </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid repetition of words in sentence or a paragraph. Most of the times we see sentences having the same meaning are repeated in different styles. Never write essays. Always write in points, we can explain any point if required. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>5. Eliminate embarrassing grammar errors from your work- </li></ul><ul><li>The position of object, subject & verb in a sentence should never change. Do not translate from your Mother tongue into English. That often makes one go wrong. One needs to learn how to think in English. Some words have fixed plural number- people. Most of them say peoples, childrens, etc. It is important to take care of the tense along with the number. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>6. Avoid negative words or phrases that can offend/intimidate the readers- </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid any comments on religion, community, country & gender. </li></ul><ul><li>Even if you are writing about a pending issue or a complaint letter do not forget to be polite. </li></ul><ul><li>If you want some information, always request for it. Use words like please, sorry, thank you wherever required. </li></ul><ul><li>One should learn to write in a diplomatic language. Write in an assertive way. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>7. Building instant rapport with readers by adopting a casual , contemporary tone- </li></ul><ul><li>Remember one thing- the readers should connect to whatever you written. They may not agree with everything but at least they should disagree or argue on it. They should not feel disinterested, bored or intimidated. Always use language which is prevalent, which common people speak & understand- especially when you are writing something for the masses </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>8.Capitalize on your personal style to make your writing more interesting & effective- </li></ul><ul><li>It is important to add your personal touch to your writing. Whatever you write & the way you write reflects your personality. You should write whatever you feel is correct, however the framing should be done properly. Also someone else should not write your mails because you are not confident about your language. That could change the meaning or the point of view. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>9. Eliminate outdated words & jargons to boost your effectiveness- </li></ul><ul><li>Do not write “Respected Sir” or “Mam” . If you know the person to whom you are writing but you are not friendly with him/her then you can write Dear First name </li></ul><ul><li>If it is a very formal letter to a totally unknown person then – </li></ul><ul><li>Dear Mr. last name /Dear Ms. Last name / Dear Mr. First & last name/ Dear Ms. First & Last name </li></ul><ul><li>If you have very friendly relations with the person then you can write- Hi first name </li></ul><ul><li>In the end you can write- Warm regards (formal) </li></ul><ul><li>Best wishes/Thanks & Regards (slightly informal) </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid any technical terms which the reader might not understand. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>10. Proofread like a pro to keep your letter/mail error free- </li></ul><ul><li>Always check your letters/mails before sending them across. Especially in case of mails do not depend on the grammar & spell check. Go through the entire content. Apart from spelling mistakes, you’ll realize a lot of things like adding or deleting a particular point. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Skeleton of a good letter/mail- Some tips with examples- <ul><li>Use titles for titleholders like Dr, Adv, Prof, etc. Do not use Mr/Miss/Mrs/Ms for these. </li></ul><ul><li>1.The start- </li></ul><ul><li>Mr. Surname/name & surname or Ms Surname/name & surname </li></ul><ul><li>Write Mrs./Miss only if specified by a lady. We in India are used to writing Mr./ Ms First name. This is grammatically incorrect. If we want to use only the first name for any close contact do not use any title. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>2.Reference- </li></ul><ul><li>This is w.r.t. or with reference to your letter dated… </li></ul><ul><li>Or </li></ul><ul><li>As per our telecon please find…. </li></ul><ul><li>This is basically for the person to understand the reference of your mail. </li></ul><ul><li>3.Reason For Writing- </li></ul><ul><li>I am writing to enquire about… </li></ul><ul><li>Or </li></ul><ul><li>This is to confirm that… </li></ul><ul><li>Or </li></ul><ul><li>I/We apologize for the delay…. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>4.Request- </li></ul><ul><li>I request you to please look into this matter </li></ul><ul><li>Or </li></ul><ul><li>Could you please inform us regarding…. </li></ul><ul><li>Or </li></ul><ul><li>I would be grateful if you could….(very formal) </li></ul><ul><li>5. Agreeing to Requests- </li></ul><ul><li>I would be delighted to take up this offer…. </li></ul><ul><li>Or </li></ul><ul><li>I would be more than happy…. </li></ul><ul><li>Or </li></ul><ul><li>I accept this contract & will begin to work on…. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>6. Giving Bad news- </li></ul><ul><li>I am sorry to inform to you that…. </li></ul><ul><li>Or </li></ul><ul><li>Unfortunately…. </li></ul><ul><li>7. Enclosing documents- </li></ul><ul><li>Please find enclosed…. </li></ul><ul><li>Or </li></ul><ul><li>Please find attached…. </li></ul><ul><li>Or </li></ul><ul><li>Please find the profile of…. </li></ul><ul><li>Or </li></ul><ul><li>Enclosed you will find (for a letter not mail)…. </li></ul><ul><li>Give list… </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>8. Closing Remarks- </li></ul><ul><li>Thank you for your help… </li></ul><ul><li>Or </li></ul><ul><li>Please feel free to contact us in case of any queries…. </li></ul><ul><li>Or </li></ul><ul><li>Please contact us again if we can help in any way/you have any question/there are any problems </li></ul><ul><li>9. Reference to future contact- </li></ul><ul><li>I look forward to hearing from you soon/meeting you date / closing profiles for you/ developing a mutually beneficial business relationship </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>10. Finish- </li></ul><ul><li>Warm regards (formal) </li></ul><ul><li>Or </li></ul><ul><li>Best Wishes (slightly informal) </li></ul><ul><li>Or </li></ul><ul><li>Best Regards </li></ul><ul><li>Or </li></ul><ul><li>Thanks & Regards (slightly informal) </li></ul>
  19. 19. Commonly used Abbreviations: <ul><li>EOM: Even on – Mondays </li></ul><ul><li>JLT! (Just Like That </li></ul><ul><li>ASAP = as soon as possible </li></ul><ul><li>BTW = by the way/ back to work </li></ul><ul><li>COD = cash on delivery </li></ul><ul><li>EOD = end of day </li></ul><ul><li>ETA = expected time of arrival </li></ul><ul><li>FOB = free on board </li></ul><ul><li>FYI = for your information </li></ul><ul><li>KRA = key result area </li></ul>
  20. 20. Commonly used Abbreviations: <ul><li>PA = performance appraisal </li></ul><ul><li>TBD = to be decided </li></ul><ul><li>w.e.f. = with effect from </li></ul><ul><li>UFN - Until Futher Notice </li></ul><ul><li>TBA-To Be Announced </li></ul><ul><li>COB-Close of Business </li></ul><ul><li>BAU-Business As Usual </li></ul><ul><li>PLA-Process Level Agreement </li></ul><ul><li>SLA-Service Level Agreement </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>Misuse of Email/Ineffective email: </li></ul><ul><li>Do not use UPPER case alphabets unless using it as a title. This gives a negative connotation (looks like you are yelling those words) </li></ul><ul><li>Font: </li></ul><ul><li>Use standard font throughout the message content </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid colored fonts in a professional email </li></ul><ul><li>Be very specific with the use of bold , italic or underline font style </li></ul><ul><li>Keep the size of the font visible and constant </li></ul><ul><li>Paragraph and line spacing should be legitimate and visually appealing </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid short forms or slang (e.g. ‘u’ instead of ‘you’, ‘y’ instead of ‘why’, ‘r’ instead of ‘are’, etc) </li></ul>
  22. 22. Recommended Subject Line Tags: <ul><li>URG - Stop everything, read me first </li></ul><ul><li>HOT - Need immediate attention </li></ul><ul><li>RSP - Need you to respond, either way </li></ul><ul><li>MTG - New/modified meetings </li></ul><ul><li>FWD - Forward to your respective group(s) </li></ul><ul><li>HLP - Need information, assistance with a problem </li></ul><ul><li>FYI - Just for your information </li></ul><ul><li>ACT - Needs action </li></ul>
  23. 23. Exercises- <ul><li>Write a mail on the following topics- </li></ul><ul><li>You can make assumptions as per the scenario you want. </li></ul><ul><li>You have developed a new client & you have to inform the HR that you have received all the requirements. </li></ul><ul><li>Write a mail to a candidate you’ve spoken to for a particular profile wherein you need to send him/her the JD. </li></ul><ul><li>Write a mail wherein you need to get feedback from the client which is pending for more than a month. </li></ul><ul><li>Write a mail to your reporting manager attaching the monthly team report. </li></ul><ul><li>Write a letter to be couriered mentioning the enclosures as well as a letter stating about the invoice enclosed. </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Thank You </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>