©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 1Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation©2014 Intern...
©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 2Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation
Global IIL ...
©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 3Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation
The goal of...
©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 4Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation
At the end ...
©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 5Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation
Have you ev...
©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 6Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation
What’s the ...
©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 7Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation
The audienc...
©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 8Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation
Key writing...
©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 9Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation
The Art and...
©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 10Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation
Writing is...
©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 11Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation
Key activi...
©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 12Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation
Focus on p...
©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 13Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation
Scenario:
...
©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 14Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation
Reconsider...
©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 15Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation
Now concen...
©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 16Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation
E-mail is ...
©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 17Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation
Cons
Gets ...
©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 18Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation
Don’t just...
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Current Su...
©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 20Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation
Do’s Don’t...
©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 21Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation
Bottom Lin...
©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 22Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation
Chunking –...
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Example: B...
©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 24Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation
Subject Li...
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Improving Business Writing: How to Write Communications That Are Retrieved, Read and Remembered

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Writing skills that are taught in school are much different than the writing skills needed for effective business communications. Each business communication competes with multiple e-mails, memos and reports that come across our desks daily. This webinar will introduce a four-stage writing process that utilizes the techniques known as headlining, bottom lining and chunking to improve the effectiveness of your project, program and business communications.

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  • Module Name
  • Module Name
  • Ask participants to raise hand or click on green checkmark if they have ever had writers block?
  • Often, we confuse the goals of school writing with the goals of business writing. What’s the difference?

    In school we write to impress the teacher with our display of knowledge and vocabulary. We want to get a good grade and impress the teacher. The message is geared for the teacher only and most of us learned to focus on the length of the paper, not the message.
    Because we were writing for a grade (judgment) we started to dislike writing.
  • Ask participants to differentiate between school writing goals and business writing goals. In business we write for the purpose of getting a job done, resolving a problem, getting an action recommended or approved…others?
  • 1-8
  • 1-9
  • 3-10
  • 3-11
  • 3-12
  • Ask participants why it is useful to write yourself a sentence of what you want to say. Share additional tips below.
    Talk through what you want to write. A tape recorder is an excellent way to bring the words in your brain to life. The purpose here is to keep you from being distracted by trying to spell every word correctly…etc. Build an outline from what you said. Invite yourself to write the way you speak. The end result is that you produce a credible, engaging read, rather than one that is flat or stilted.
    Vary your audience or vary the writer. For example – if this Senior Vice President of Global Operations is intimidating, try writing to another more friendly audience, or pretend you are someone else (perhaps another Vice President) writing about the same topic.
  • 3-14
  • 3-15
  • Ask Participants to list pros in text chat
  • Tell participants not to be dishonest in their headline. That could cause more harm than good.
  • Ask participants to type into text chat.
  • Have them right click on the file and download this list.
  • 2-21
  • Next two slides provide example
  • Improving Business Writing: How to Write Communications That Are Retrieved, Read and Remembered

    1. 1. ©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 1Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. Thank you for joining us today. This webinar is brought to you by IIL a global leader in: Project, Program and Portfolio Management Microsoft® Project and Project Server Lean Six Sigma | Business Analysis PRINCE2® | ITIL® Leadership and Interpersonal Skills Improving Business Writing How to Write Communications That Are Retrieved, Read and Remembered
    2. 2. ©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 2Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation Global IIL Companies IIL US IIL Asia (Singapore) IIL Australia IIL Brasil IIL Canada IIL China IIL Europe (United Kingdom) IIL Finland IIL France IIL Germany IIL Hong Kong IIL Hungary IIL India IIL Japan IIL Korea (Seoul) IIL México IIL Middle East (Dubai) IIL Spain
    3. 3. ©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 3Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation The goal of this session is to provide participants with techniques for improving the likelihood of business communications being retrieved, read and remembered. Session Goal
    4. 4. ©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 4Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation At the end of this session, you should be able to: Utilize Four Stage Process Of Business Writing Write Better E-Mail Subject Lines (Headlining) Organize Messages Bottom lining Chunking Session Objectives
    5. 5. ©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 5Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation Have you ever sat down to write a memo, e-mail or report and stared at the blank screen or paper with no idea of how to start? Writers Block
    6. 6. ©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 6Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation What’s the difference? Let’s start with school writing. What is the primary goal of school writing? School Writing Versus Business Writing
    7. 7. ©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 7Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation The audience is broader with varying expectations. Business audiences are less patient. Business writing has a different goal. What are the common goals of business communications? Business Writing Demands Different Skills
    8. 8. ©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 8Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation Key writing situations: status reporting and day-to-day process communications There is an art and science to effective writing Content changes depending on the audience – why? The Project and Program Environment
    9. 9. ©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 9Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation The Art and Science of Business Writing Effective Business Writing Science (Clarity) Purpose Point of View Organization Support Coherence
    10. 10. ©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 10Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation Writing is a series of decisions and choices Four stages: 1. Pre-writing 2. Drafting 3. Revising 4. Proofreading Stages often overlap; each calls for a particular kind of attention and skill Writing in Stages
    11. 11. ©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 11Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation Key activities: Gather information Conduct research Take notes Outline your thoughts Assess your reader’s needs Stage 1 – Pre-writing: Prepare to Write
    12. 12. ©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 12Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation Focus on purpose, audience, and subject. Don’t edit and revise as you go. Write first draft quickly and freely. The first sentence should be based on what you want to accomplish with this communication. It will be removed when the correspondence is complete. Stage 2 – Drafting: Get It Down
    13. 13. ©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 13Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation Scenario: You are a program manager who has just assumed responsibility for a new business- related program that is not in your core knowledge area. While you are a proven program manager on the IT side, your experience with leading business related projects is limited. Your program sponsor, who is the Senior Vice President of Global Operations, has requested your game plan for approaching this upcoming challenge. In her e-mail to you, she has asked you to provide her with an overview of your philosophy for managing projects and your ideas on how to best kick off this incentive. She is well aware of your exemplary track record of results. However, she is concerned about the issues your “IT background” is likely to cause with the business team members. She expects your response to be e-mailed to her within the next week. Begin with a first sentence that tells “you” what you want to say. This will be removed later. “I want to convince you that my program management experience is more important than my background.” For Example:
    14. 14. ©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 14Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation Reconsider broad issues: Your approach Point of view Organization Persuasive strategy Concentrate on what you are saying and how you are saying it. Revisit underlying questions relating to purpose, audience, and subject. Check for surface issues – word choice, clarity, word structure, spelling, and grammar. Stage 3 – Revise
    15. 15. ©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 15Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation Now concentrate on accuracy Typical problems: Misspelled words Omitted numbers in enumerated lists Cut and paste text landed in the wrong location Proofread by making multiple passes: Pass 1 – Does it look right? Pass 2 – Is it effective and complete? Pass 3 – Does it sound right? Pass 4 – Is it correct? Stage 4 – Proofreading: Make It Presentable
    16. 16. ©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 16Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation E-mail is the medium of the millennium, so it is an important business skill to be able to write good e-mails. What are the pros and of using e-mail for project communication? Class Discussion – E-Mail Pros and Cons
    17. 17. ©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 17Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation Cons Gets rid of phone tag Removes distance and time barriers with a keystroke Reduces isolation Is conveniently quick Can transmit routine administrative details for wide distribution If not misused, can increase productivity Pros Often resembles unedited speech more than polished writing Speed of response often gets preference over correctness Tone is hard to discern Can also eat up a lot of time Pros and Cons of E-mail
    18. 18. ©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 18Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation Don’t just state the broad topic area but get your readers attention and move their mind in the direction you are thinking. Provide your reader the outcome Play the Journalist: turn your subject line into the headline Think of yourself as selling your business correspondence to the reader. E-mail Subject Lines: Headlining Bland Better Business Climate Freeze Prices Need Approval Surefire way to cut costs Task Force Report Uncovered Issue Needs Attention Examples
    19. 19. ©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 19Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation Current Subject Line: System XYZ Due to a recent performance issue, the IT team will be upgrading System XYZ at 11pm EDT tonight. This upgrade will require a three minute download by each user, before you can use the system. Please sign in to System XYZ first thing tomorrow morning, and download this upgrade. If you have an issue with the download or usage of the system after the upgrade, e-mail the issue to xyzadministrator@systemupgrade. Does this subject line give any indication as to the importance of the intended action? How could it be improved? For Example:
    20. 20. ©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 20Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation Do’s Don’ts Write an attention getting subject line Hide behind your screen Bottom-line your message Send an e-mail you wouldn’t want others to read Be brief Leave your subject line blank Use short words, phrases and appropriate abbreviations – not Text speak Flame at your reader – meaning don’t use all capital letters Make it easy for readers to reply Forward messages without a comment Make it easy to read – good combination of Upper and lower case, white space and legible font Overrun your e-mails with smiley faces or other emotions End well – with an appropriate next step Use offensive, sexist or inappropriate language. This can be career ending. Take Away – Do’s and Don’ts of Emails
    21. 21. ©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 21Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation Bottom Lining – summarizing your major points at the outset. Spend the rest of the time supporting them. Organization: Bottom Lining Journalism’s Inverted Pyramid Present most important information early Support information comes next
    22. 22. ©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 22Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation Chunking – If your correspondence has a lot of clutter, your reader will often scan it or skip it and this leads to communication breakdowns. To avoid this, divide your message into chunks. Organization: Chunking
    23. 23. ©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 23Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation Example: Before Chunking Subject Line: Field Report – Five Percent Growth Sales We are very happy to report that the efforts of our sales team on products XYZ produced a 5% growth in sales for the month. While products J and K remained flat, we are optimistic about the future growth of these sales. Overall, we are pleased with our financial attainment. Several of our customers are complaining about back-order problems. However, we were able to catch up all back-orders by month end but I have just received another complaint from Company 123 that their order this week has been put into back-order status. During this month, Karen King resigned from our sales team. She accepted a position with Alpha Labs. The reason she gave for leaving was compensation. We have already started the search to replace her. Major competition during this month remains Alpha Labs. Their sales compensation is said to be 10% higher than ours. Should I do more research on this issue? The marketing department is in the final stages of developing collateral materials to support the sales effort. They have missed two deadlines for these materials and are telling me that we will have them next month. This concludes the Field Report for February. Please let me know if questions or concerns.
    24. 24. ©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 24Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation Subject Line: Field Report – Five Percent Growth Sales – Strong growth for Products XYZ We are very happy to report that the efforts of our sales team on products XYZ produced a 5% growth in sales for the month. While products J and K remained flat, we are optimistic about the future growth of these sales. Overall, we are pleased with our financial attainment. Back-Orders – No solution in sight? Several of our customers are complaining about back-order problems. However, we were able to catch up all back-orders by month end but I have just received another complaint from Company 123 that their order this week has been put into back-order status. Staffing – Where competition is hurting us During this month, Karen King resigned from our sales team. She accepted a position with Alpha Labs. The reason she gave for leaving was compensation. We have already started the search to replace her. Major competition during this month remains Alpha Labs. Their sales compensation is said to be 10% higher than ours. Should I do more research on this issue? Marketing – Working with outdated collateral materials The marketing department is in the final stages of developing collateral materials to support the sales effort. They have missed two deadlines for these materials and are telling me that we will have them next month. This concludes the Field Report for February. Please let me know if questions or concerns. Example: After Chunking
    25. 25. ©2014 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. 25Intelligence, Integrity and Innovation We invite you to get a closer look at what IIL can do for you and your organization, by visiting www.iil.com or email learning@iil.com and let us know how we can meet your learning needs. Please connect with IIL Socially: Like us on: facebook.com/IIL.inc Follow us: twitter.com/IILGLOBAL Join our Discussions on LinkedIn At IIL, Our Greatest Accomplishments are Yours

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