Effective Email communication

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The presentation provides simple tips for effective communication through emails.

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Effective Email communication

  1. 1. Writing Effective E-Mails 1
  2. 2. Importance of Effective Email Communication  List down two or three points why it is important to have effective email communication: 1. 2. 3. 2
  3. 3. Importance of Effective Email Communication Any questions about the importance?  It is a way of life! 3
  4. 4. Before writing the email  Make a plan  Think about the purpose of the email  Think about the person who will read the email and how you want him or her to respond/react  Make an outline or list of the main points and details you want to include in the email  Double check any facts, dates, times, or other specific details that will be included in the email 4
  5. 5. The recipient and your relationship  Whom are you writing to and what is your relationship with the person? If the person you are writing to is in a higher position than you, your email should use more formal language than if the person is someone in the same level / position as you.  If you have never met the person receiving your email before, you should use formal language in the first email to him or her.  Once you have sent the first email and received a reply, you can choose to continue using formal language or choose to use less formal language in future emails.  5
  6. 6. What is the situation?  Think about the reason you are sending the email and decide if formal or informal language is better. If you are requesting a service or asking for a favor, you should use formal language.  If you are making a complaint, you must carefully choose the words to express your dissatisfaction or problem but you must be polite.  If you are introducing yourself, you should use formal language but you can use words or phrases that let your personality show through as well.  If you are writing a customer relation letter, you should use formal language. 6 
  7. 7. What do you want to accomplish?  Think about the reason for writing the email and what you want the person who receives the email to do with it.  If you want the receiver to do something for you, make it clear. Tell the receiver exactly what action you want done.  If the mail is for recipient's information only and no action needs to be taken, clearly mention that.  If you want the receiver to respond by a certain date, write the response date.  If you are negotiating or rearranging a meeting, write your requirements or available times clearly. 7
  8. 8. Important Elements  Subject line  Message body  Address / salutation  Purpose  Details / explanation  Closure  Signature  Attachment (optional) 8
  9. 9. Important Elements (contd.)  The Opening  Tells the reader why you are writing the mail  The Focus  Provides details about the topic  The Action  Tells what you want to happen and gives a time frame  The Closing  Includes thanking the if any reader and mention of future actions, 9
  10. 10. Subject Line  Make the subject line clear and concise  It is the decision maker about whether to open, forward, file, or trash the message  Clearly summarize the intention  Do not ever send a mail without a subject line  Do not have the subject as “Hi” or “Hello” unless that IS the intention 10
  11. 11. Address / Salutation  The first line of your email should be a greeting, followed by an empty line and then your message body.  Salutations are tricky, especially if you are crossing cultures.  If it is the first time you are emailing somebody, be formal in addressing. For ex. ‘Dear Mr./Ms. Xxx:’ or ‘Dear Sir / Madam:’  Do not start the mail with just ‘Hello’ or ‘Hi’. 11
  12. 12. Message Body - Purpose  Make the purpose clear in the first line  The objective could be Requesting some info  Sending the status updates  Asking for clarification  Conveying good news  Breaking bad news  Defending your view point  Requesting postponement of deadline  Sending meeting / call minutes  Sending meeting / call agenda   … 12
  13. 13. Message Body - Details  Keep the message focused and readable  Put all important details at the top of the email body  Keep the rest of the email short  Use short paragraphs; consider breaking up paragraphs to only a few sentences a piece.  Don't bury a key piece of information in a large paragraph  Keep sentences short  Try to fit the complete message on one screen  Provide blank lines between paragraphs  Use a bullet list when listing out items 13
  14. 14. Message Body – Details (contd.)  Get right to the point  Don’t use unnecessary words and phrases that distract from the main idea of the email or may confuse the reader  The person reading your email is always pressed for time so you must make it as direct as possible.  Make the reason for writing the email clear at the beginning and only add details that are directly related to the topic of the email. 14
  15. 15. Message Body – Details (contd.)  Use simple sentences  Avoiding difficult or complex sentence structures. This helps you avoid grammatical mistakes.  Simple sentences will make the email easier for your reader to understand, especially if the person reading the email is not a native English speaker. 15
  16. 16. Message Body – Details (contd.)  Pay attention to word choice  Remember that writing is a form of indirect communication.  Unlike having a conversation with someone, you do not have a chance to clarify yourself by restating your ideas or to use nonverbal cues to make your meaning clear.  You have to make sure your reader understands what you want to say and gets the right “message” the first time.  Choose words such that there is no ambiguity in the meaning. 16
  17. 17. Message Body – Details (contd.)  Pay attention to word choice  Think about how the email might be perceived by the reader. Are there any words or phrases that may make the tone seem angry, flippant, or disrespectful?  Avoid trying to make a joke or say something funny in an email. Sometimes what you think is funny might be misunderstood by the reader and create a bad relationship. 17
  18. 18. Message Body - Closure  The final sentence  Either provide something concrete to reply to or make it clear that a reply is not necessary.  Ex.: "Please let me know what appointment times work best for you." or "I look forward to seeing you tomorrow at 1pm in my office." 18
  19. 19. Message Body – Additional Points  Do not use –  Smilies Ex. :-), :-( etc.  Abbreviations  Ex. IIRC for "if I recall correctly", BTW for “by the way” etc.  Non-standard punctuation and spellings  Ex. gimme (give me), tht (that), dificlt (difficult), vil (will), etc.  All-caps means shouting  Use active instead of passive voice  Ex. 'We will take care of your request today', v/s 'Your request will be taken care of today'. 19
  20. 20. Signature  Make sure to use  ‘With best regards’ or  ‘With regards’ or  ‘Thank you and regards’ …  Do not forget to write your name and contact details, company name etc. 20
  21. 21. Attachments  Most common mistakes  Mail goes, attachment follows in next mail!  Incorrect version is attached!  When sending attachments, make it a habit to first attach the file then compose the mail. 21
  22. 22. Proof-reading  Poor spelling and grammar show a lack of attention to details and sends wrong message about the quality standards.  Read your mails before hitting ‘Send’ button.  Set the spell-check option on in your mail client. 22
  23. 23. To:, CC:, and BCC:  Usually it is implied that if you have included someone in the "To:" field, then s/he is an intended recipient and should reply if required.  If someone is in the "Cc:" field, then the email is merely an FYI for him/her, and s/he is not expected to reply.  Make sure you copy the mail to your manager (and recipient's manager) in all official communication. 23
  24. 24. Summary – Do’s  Write an informative subject line.  Be courteous.  Put the key point of your message up front.  Be brief.  Make it easy for the reader to reply yes or no or give a short answer.  End well with an appropriate next step.  Check before pressing 'send' – Proof-read.  Respond promptly. 24
  25. 25. Summary – Don’ts  Don't leave the Subject Line blank.  Don't use all capital letters.  Don't use emoticons or abbreviations.  Don't send without checking for mistakes.  Don’t assume that people have time to read your entire message.  Don’t think that an e-mail is good for everything.  Don’t write an e-mail when you are rushed. 25
  26. 26. THANK YOU 26

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