Best practices in business writing and communication


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Best practices in business writing and communication

  2. 2. EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION    Communication greatly impacts business success. How we interpret communication from others can base how effective the message will be. Communication chart (Anderson, 2013). Effective communication can improve teamwork, decision making, and problem solving by using certain skills (Robinson, Segal, & Segal, 2013). Required skills for effective communication: • • • • Listening Nonverbal Managing stress Emotional awareness Communication Tone of voice 37% Words said 8% Facial & body language 55%
  3. 3. COMMUNICATION CHANNELS     Businesses engage in communication between different parties; internally and externally. Internal communication is between managers and employees, and peers. External communication is between the business and the outside world (Francis, n.d.). All forms of communication should (James, 2011):      Be memorable Be clear Be brief Be focused Be committed
  4. 4. COMMUNICATION CHANNELS: ORAL      Face-to-face Phone call Meeting Interview Oral communication can easily gain attention from the audience and the speaker can gauge their nonverbal expressions.
  5. 5. COMMUNICATION CHANNELS: WRITTEN       E-mail Reports & proposals Policies & procedures Website Text message Written communication is commonly used in business today because of the speed and messages can be tracked and logged.
  6. 6. ETHICS IN COMMUNICATION   Right and wrong- the obligation to do the right thing in fairness, loyalty, and concern for others. To avoid doing anything that will harm or cause disrespect to others. Goals for long-term ethical behavior:        Abide by the law Telling the truth Labeling others Being objective Communicating clearly Using inclusive language Giving credit (Guffey & Loewy, 2011)
  7. 7. PROFESSIONALISM IN COMMUNICATION     Send messages in a clear and concise manner; free of bias, prejudice, and assumptions. Inform, motivate, and persuade the listener. To effectively train employees of policies and procedures. Effective and thorough communication motivates employees to work harder, be efficient, and to uphold the company’s mission statement. (Papa, n.d.)
  8. 8. INTERCULTURAL BUSINESS COMMUNICATION     Doing business with markets outside of the United States. Having the ability to communicate, negotiate, and work with other cultures. Intercultural communication includes the process of receiving, interpreting, and responding to messages. Be prepared and have knowledge of the culture communicating with. Avoid stereotyping and use credible sources when doing research. (Griffith, 2011)
  9. 9. WRITING TIPS FOR BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS   Know your audience-visualize you are them and what they want to hear. Analyze the purpose of the communication and select the proper communication channel, answer the following:  Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? (Khan, 2007)
  10. 10. ELECTRONIC MESSAGES   Businesses can communicate externally to prospective and current customers, suppliers and vendors, and potential employees. Used internally to communicate with employees to inform, make requests, make announcements, share documents, and much more. (Austin, n.d.)
  11. 11. FROMS OF ELECTRONIC MESSAGING    E-mail- allows the sender to select one receiver or multiple recipients. Appropriate for short messages that are to the point. Should not be lengthy or used for sensitive or confidential information. Instant Messaging (IM)- the exchange of messages in realtime. Allows the user to chat privately in an open-space setting. Text messaging- used to send very short messages person-toperson. Avoid jargon, slang, and abbreviations; messages may be confusing and unprofessional. (Guffey & Loewy, 2011)
  12. 12. DIGITAL MEDIA    Websites, blogs, social networking sites Platforms to network and connect with people geographically and to promote business products and services. Digital media is about interacting with the audience. Take time to respond to comments and questions, give feedback, and have natural conversations. (Kayode, 2014)
  13. 13. POSITIVE MESSAGES     Maintaining positive business communication portrays a positive company image, employee retention, and a growing customer base. Can be communicated via e-mail, memos, letters, phone calls and exchanged internally and externally. Positive messages are uplifting and constructive, and empower the individual or group. Used to provide solutions and directions, motivate and inspire, and create a positive company culture. (Papa, n.d.)
  14. 14. NEGATIVE MESSAGES   Negative news can impact the company, employees, and customers. If conveyed effectively ill feelings and anger can be reduced. Effective ways to deliver negative news:      Explaining clearly and completely Projecting a professional image Conveying empathy and sympathy Being fair Maintaining friendly relations (Guffey & Loewy, 2011)
  15. 15. NEGATIVE MESSAGES     Two strategies for delivering negative news: direct and indirect. Direct- the audience is aware there is bad news, the reader prefers short and simple messages, the news is not serious, gains attentions with firmness. Indirect- bad news is unexpected, the reader is emotionally invested, must maintain a healthy working relationship. Provide news for each strategy in the following manner (Vargas, 2011). Direct Indirect Bad news Buffer Reasons Reasons Positive closing Bad news Positive closing
  16. 16. BUSINESS PRESENTATIONS   Inform and educate employees, intrigue potential customers, and share and encourage the company’s strategy. Five foundations of a professional appearance:  Preparation  Organization  Audience rapport  Visual aids  Delivery (Guffey & Loewy, 2011)
  17. 17. TYPES OF BUSINESS PRESENTATIONS     Three purposes for a presentations:  To inform  To persuade  To build goodwill Informational presentations include talks, seminars, proposals, workshops, and conferences. The presenter shares their knowledge and skills on a specific topic. Persuasive presentations are to convince the audience to purchase a product or service. Managers may use persuasive presentations to increase motivation, goals, and to change. Goodwill presentations include the community and encourage involvement. To build goodwill among each other and to build respect for the organization, peers, colleagues, and superiors. (, n.d.)
  18. 18. BUSINESS PRESENTATIONS: VISUAL AIDS AND MULTIMEDIA  A presenter can use visual aids to capture the audiences attention and understanding. • • • • • • Flip charts- inexpensive, easy to create and modify Transparencies- professional, easy to prepare, update, and maintain Handouts- encourage participation, serve as reference material Video- gives representation of the content Props- offers realistic reinforcement Powerpoint (multimedia slides)- professional, simplistic, easy to follow (Gufffey & Loewy, 2011)
  19. 19. BUSINESS REPORTS: INFORMAL     Informal- most commonly used internally to share information provide feedback on findings, report on progress, and summarize information form larger reports. Presented in the form of a memo or short essay that includes an introduction, findings, conclusion, and recommendations. Clear and concise Factual and objective (Richards-Gustafson, n.d.)
  20. 20. BUSINESS REPORTS: FORMAL    Formal reports are written to present findings of an experiment or research. The language should be simple and lucid so the reader understands the report. Format for a formal report:           Cover page Introductory Table of contents Abstract Outline Introduction to the report Body of the report Conclusion Recommendations Glossary (Alphonse, 2010)
  21. 21. BUSINESS PLANS   A roadmap for business success. A living document that is forward looking; projecting 3-5 years ahead. Includes an outline of the company’s intent to grow revenues. The elements of the business plan are: Executive Summary Company Description Market Analysis Organization & Management Service or Product Line Marketing & Sales Funding Report Financial Projections Appendix (, n.d.)
  22. 22. BUSINESS PROPOSALS: INFORMAL      Used internally to gain feedback and suggestions on projects; policy and procedures changes, new building sites, product implementation, and much more. Should include a summary and introduction and detailed information of the actions being proposed. Explain the necessary steps, costs, and effects. Identify who will be involved and the length of time the project may take. Attach relevant documents to support the proposal. (Stewart, n.d.)
  23. 23. BUSINESS PROPOSALS: FORMAL      Information gathered from thorough research to present to potential clients. Research is conducted to see if products and services will benefit the growth of the clients business. Know the competition in the industry and compare offerings. Determine a unique selling proposition and incorporate it into the proposal. Sell yourself; tell the client why you and your company are right for the job. Highlight experience and testimonials from past clients. Include a timeframe for when tasks will be completed and supply a pricing sheet or a fee schedule of the specific products or services. (Brookins, n.d.)
  24. 24. FORMAL PROPSAL LAYOUT    A formal proposal can contain 5- 200 or more pages. Each component offers the reader detailed information including goals, scheduling, staff qualifications and expertise, and project costs. Proposals win business for company’s and many company’s rely entirely on proposals to increase income. (Guffey & Loewy, 2011)  Components for a formal proposal: • • • • • • •  Introduction Background, problem, purpose Proposal, plan, schedule Staffing Budget Authorization Appendix May include: • • • • • • Copy of RFP (reason for proposal) Letters of transmittal Abstract or summary Title page Table of contents List of figures (Guffey & Loewy, 2011)
  25. 25. CONCLUSION     Effective communication will improve business success, teamwork, decision-making, problem solving, and morale. For any form of communication the delivery should be memorable, be clear, be brief, be focused, and be committed. When communicating internally or externally, the respect for others should be priority and done in fairness and loyalty. Maintaining professionalism in communication will help for the message to be effective, informative, and will uphold the company’s image.
  26. 26. REFERENCES Alphonse, M. (2010). Formal report writing. Retrieved from http:// Anderson, A.R. (2013). Successful business communication: It starts at the beginning. Retrieved from Austin, S.N. (n.d.). The role of electronic communications in business. Retrieved from Brookins, M. (n.d.). Tips on writing a business proposal. Retrieved from (n.d.). Small business presentations: Types of presentations. Retrieved from Francis, K.A. (n.d.). Importance of busienss communication channels. Retrieved from Griffith, S. (2011). What is intercultural business communication? Retrieved from
  27. 27. REFERENCES Guffey, M., & Loewy, D. (2011). Business communication: Process and product (7th ed.). Independence, KY: Cengage Learning James, G. (2011). The 5 inviolable rules for effective business communication. Retrieved from Kayode, D. (2014). Staying active online. Retrieved from Khan, S. (2007). Business writing tips for professionals. Retrieved from Papa, N. (n.d.). Professional business communication. Retrieved from Papa, N. (n.d.). Positive business communication. Retrieved from Rasey, M. (n.d.). What is successful intercultural business communication? Retrieved from Richards-Gustafson, F. (n.d.). How to write an informal business report. Retrieved from
  28. 28. REFERENCES Robinson, L., Segal, J., & Segal, R. (2013). Effective communication: Improving communication skills in business and relationships. Retrieved from (n.d.). Create your business plan. Retrieved from Stewart, D. (n.d.). How to write an informal proposal. Retrieved from Vargas, C. (2011). Workplace communication done right. Retrieved from Wax, D. (n.d.). 12 tips for better business writing. Retrieved from