Best practices in business writing and communication


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Week 8 assignment for ORG 536

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Best practices in business writing and communication

  1. 1. By Amanda Marenda
  2. 2. "Developing excellent communication skills is absolutely essential to effective leadership. The leader must be able to share knowledge and ideas to transmit a sense of urgency and enthusiasm to others. If a leader can't get a message across clearly and motivate others to act on it, then having a message doesn't even matter.“ — Gilbert Amelio President and CEO of National Semiconductor Corp. (Leading Thoughts, 2010, para 3)
  3. 3. • Leaders must have excellent writing and communication skills in order to be an effective and successful leader. • The following topics will provide guidance for best practices for business writing and communication.
  4. 4. Effective and ethical business communication Professionalism in the workplace Intercultural business communication Writing tips for business presentations Using email and digital media for business Positive and negative messages Business presentations Business reports, plans, and proposals
  5. 5. Communication - is the transmission of information from one individual or group to another. Communication – involves speaking, listening, non- verbal communication, and writing. Communication – is done in business by phone, emails, meetings, presentations, business proposals and reports, and face-to-face. (Guffey & Loewy, 2011) Source: Yahoo Images
  6. 6. • Effective business communication is essential in order to properly communicate with your audience. The ACE method is a tool one can use to ensure effective communication: • What is the purpose or desired message? • Who is the intended audience? • Determine if you need to share information or persuade the audience Analyze • Organize information • Show professional image • Effective delivery of message Compose • Revise, edit, and proofread • Determine if desired outcome was achieved • Is there a more effective way to deliver message? Evaluate (Snyder & Shwon, 2011)
  7. 7. Communication will fail if one cannot learn to successfully recognize barriers that can disrupt the communication process. Bypassing •When use of vague language causes misunderstanding Differing frames of reference •When one’s experience, expectations, and personality creates a unique frame of reference Lack of language skills •When one uses poor language and communication skills. Distractions • Other barriers such as emotions, physical distractions, and digital media that can lead to distractions (Guffey & Loewy, 2011)
  8. 8. • Ethics refers to the conventional standards of right and wrong that provide guidance on what people should do: • Must follow the law • Be honest at all times • Be objective • Use inclusive language • Give credit for others ideas • State facts v. opinions clearly (Clegg, 2010) Source: Yahoo Images
  9. 9. PROFESSIONALI SM TRAITS Specialized Knowledge Competency Honesty and Integrity Respect Accountability and Self- Regulation Professional Image (MindTools, 2014) Having good manners and projecting a professional demeanor are important soft skills to have when communicating. (Guffey & Loewy, 2011)
  10. 10. • Effective business communications directed at an intercultural audience must include a review process to mitigate misunderstandings due to linguistic and cultural differences. • Create an outline • Limit text to six lines • Anticipate potential questions from audience • Make sure communication does not violate legal or ethical protocol • Show respect towards audience • Be patient (Duggan, 2014) Source: Yahoo Images
  11. 11. Know target audience Avoid using acronyms and buzzwords Use strong active voice Detail benefits for reader Write from customer perspective Use strong facts and reputable data Don’t use flowery language Be clear, concise, and get to the point Edit, edit, and edit again (American Management Association, 2010)
  12. 12. Editing Phase • Utilize an Editor • Use a second and a third set of eyes • Come back later and re-review • Read material backward • Read material out loud (Sampson, 2008) Source: Yahoo Images Source: Yahoo Images
  13. 13. CHANNEL BEST USE Blog When one person needs to present digital information easily so that it is available to others Email When you don’t need immediate feedback Face-to-face conversation When you need a rich, interactive medium. Useful for bad-news and personal messages Face-to-face group meeting When group decisions are important Instant message When you are online and need an immediate response for unimportant details Letter When a formal written record is required, particularly with customers, government agency, or outside organization Phone Call When you need to deliver or gather information quickly Report or proposal When you need to deliver considerable data internally or externally Video conferencing When group consensus and interaction are important, but members are geographically dispersed Wiki When digital information must be made available to others. Most useful for collaboration amongst a team because participants can easily add, remove, and edit content (Guffey & Loewy, 2011)
  14. 14. DRAFTING PROFESSIONAL EMAILS •Explain details •Be cautious with information •Provide facts and data •Request action •Provide closing thought •End professionally •State purpose of email •Supply information directly •Draw reader in •Summarize central idea •Avoid empty words SUBJECT LINE OPENING BODYCLOSING (Guffey & Loewy, 2011)
  15. 15. Different Types of Digital Media Instant Message s • Immediate interactive way to communicate • Creates a permanent record Text Message s • Short messages sent through mobile devices • Can either be used for person-to-person communication or for marketing purposes Blogs • Website with journal entries • Allows reader to comment and provide feedback Social Media • Allows diverse group of people to communicate at the same time in a public online forum • Endless marketing opportunities for organizations (Feigenbaum, 2014)
  16. 16. Direct Approach • Good news leads the message • Details follow • Used for most communications • Easier to deliver then negative messages (Guffey & Loewy, 2011) Source: Yahoo Images
  17. 17. Indirect Approach • Details and reasons lead message • Start with negative information, but follow-up with positive details • Use to deliver bad news • Use for hostile audience (Guffey & Loewy, 2011) Source: Yahoo Images
  18. 18. Utilizing business presentations to present information is one of the most effective ways to share information with a broad audience. There are several techniques one should follow to ensure they create an effective business presentation. (Guffey & Loewy, 2011) Source: Yahoo Images
  19. 19. Helpful Techniques - Select appropriate theme and decide on a slide design - Select a font style, format, and utilize appropriate number of bullet points throughout presentation (Guffey & Loewy, 2011) Source: Yahoo Images Source: Yahoo Images
  20. 20. Helpful Techniques • Add in graphics and animation where appropriate • Use more photos and avoid clip art when possible • Animate graphics or photos, but do not overuse (Guffey & Loewy, 2011) Source: Yahoo Images
  21. 21. Helpful Techniques • Use hyperlinks to make presentation more interactive and to provide supplemental information • Engage the audience by asking questions and utilizing polls • Share information online by utilizing sites such as Slideshare, Google Presentations, Prezi, and Zoho Show (Guffey & Loewy, 2011) Presentations For Beginners Source: Source: Yahoo Images
  22. 22. Helpful Techniques • Make sure you know your information before presenting • Practice, practice, practice! • Thank the audience when finished and ask if they have any questions (Guffey & Loewy, 2011) Source: Yahoo Images
  23. 23. Business reports are very important in the business world. Business reports provide an exchange of vital information . The reports can be generated for managers, employees or outside organizations or government entities. These reports an be formal or informal depending on the purpose of the report. (Guffey & Loewy, 2011)
  24. 24. Formal Reports • Longer in length • Serious tone • Analytical • Intended for a broader audience • Usually deals with more complex issues Informal Reports • Shorter in length • Informal tone • Presents basic information • Intended for a smaller audience • Usually deals with routine matters (Rasel, 2013)
  25. 25. Business Plan Executive Summary and Mission Statement Table of Contents Company Description Product or Service Description Market Analysis Operations and Management Financial Analysis Appendixes Creating an effective business plan is essential for starting a new business. Business plans show potential investors and banks that the entrepreneur has done their research and that they know what they are doing. The components in the graph on this page are essential components for an effective business plan. (Guffey & Loewy, 2011)
  26. 26. Proposals are written offers to solve problems, provide services, or sell equipment. Some proposals can be used internally to persuade leadership to make changes or improvements. Proposals Can also be made for external use to obtain new business. Business proposals can also be informal or formal depending on the situation. (Guffey & Loewy, 2011) Source: Yahoo Images
  27. 27. • Leaders must have excellent writing and communication skills in order to be an effective and successful leader. • The topics presented throughout this presentation will help a leader be a better communicator • Use ACE method for effective communication • Be ethical in all communications • Be professional in the workplace • Understand how intercultural differences can effect communication • Utilize suggested writing tips for the business professional • Understand which communication channel to use in various situations • Understand when to use positive and negative messages • Utilize helpful techniques when putting together business presentations • Know when to use business reports, plans, and proposals
  28. 28. American Management Association. (2010). Business writing tips for professionals. Retrieved from Clegg, W. (2010). Tips and best practices for ethical and effective corporate communication. Retrieved from communication/ Duggan, T. (2014). Intercultural business communications. Retrieved from communications-3192.html Feigenbaum, E. (2014). Digital methods of communication in business. Retrieved from methods-communication-business-2934.html Guffey, M., & Loewy, D. (2011). Business communication: Process and product 7th ed). Independence, KY: Cengage Learning. Leading Thoughts. (2010). Communication quotes. Retrieved from
  29. 29. MindTools. (2014). Professionalism: Developing the vital characteristics. Retrieved from Rasel, A. (2013). Difference between formal and informal reports. Retrieved from Sampson, B. (2008). Five tips for catching and correcting errors in your business writing. Cost Engineering, 50(2), 22-23. Snyder, L., & Shwon, B. (2011). Teaching effective communication skills for ACE: Analyzing, composing, and evaluating. Journal of Applied Research for Business Instruction, 9(3), 1-5.