Business Communication Toolkit - Business Writing - Day 01


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This is the presentation of my program Business Communication Toolkit - Day 2.

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Business Communication Toolkit - Business Writing - Day 01

  2. 2. Important Stuff <ul><li>Setting Standards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What setting you want today? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Formal or Informal? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What learning environment would you prefer? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lecture-based or interactive? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Would you like others to talk on the phone during the program? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Would you like to receive rewards for good performance? </li></ul></ul>01/23/12
  3. 3. Important Stuff <ul><li>Setting Standards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not a training program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This is an EXPERIENCE – Learning Experience for ALL of us </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be ready to give and receive constructive criticism </li></ul></ul>01/23/12
  4. 4. Learning Contract <ul><li>A contract between YOU and YOURSELF </li></ul><ul><li>Write ONLY what you want to remember later </li></ul><ul><li>Not more than 10 points </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Only Barrier to Learning the Truth is to Assume You Already Know It” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Confucius </li></ul></ul>01/23/12
  5. 5. <ul><li>Business Communication Toolkit </li></ul>Cost of Miscommunication 01/23/12
  6. 6. Miscommunication 01/23/12
  7. 7. Miscommunication 01/23/12
  8. 8. Miscommunication 01/23/12
  9. 9. Miscommunication 01/23/12
  10. 10. Miscommunication 01/23/12
  11. 11. <ul><li>Business Communication Toolkit </li></ul>Communications in the 21 st Century 01/23/12
  12. 12. 5 Things That’ve Changed in the 21 st Century <ul><li>Grabbing Start </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you don’t excite my interest in the first 5 seconds, I will ‘tag’ it for later </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Writing is More ‘Active’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Replace ‘is’ and ‘are’ with action words </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ We are planning to” to “We plan to” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less the use of passive sentences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ This project has been spearheaded by Atif” to “Atif lead this project </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Less Formal than Before </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ok to start a sentence with ‘And’, ‘But’, ‘Because’ etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write to make it easy to read </li></ul></ul>01/23/12
  13. 13. 5 Things That’ve Changed in the 21 st Century <ul><li>Quick, Short, To-the-point </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You have less time to ‘do’ more – so does your reader </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write so it can be speed-read </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Highlighting the important words, ideas, numbers etc </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Last Sentence is More than a Goodbye </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It often asks a question </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Suggests an action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demands a response </li></ul></ul>01/23/12
  14. 14. <ul><li>Understanding the Expectation Game </li></ul>Communicating through E-mail 01/23/12
  15. 15. Basics of Format <ul><li>Using bullets and lists </li></ul><ul><li>Font </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional and ‘serious’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not funky </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Or difficult to read </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Responding time? </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail size? </li></ul><ul><li>Attachments – describe them </li></ul><ul><li>Read receipt? </li></ul><ul><li>Priority Flag? </li></ul><ul><li>For example, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Place the paper in drawer A. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Click the green “start” button. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Another example, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve customer satisfaction. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Empower employees. </li></ul></ul>01/23/12
  16. 16. Choosing the Subject <ul><li>Attention grabber </li></ul><ul><li>Better specific than generic </li></ul><ul><li>Remember some will receive the e-mail on their phones </li></ul><ul><li>Delete “Fwd:” even if you ‘forward’ </li></ul><ul><li>Which is a better subject? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Road Rage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can’t Drive 55 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Road Rage: Curing Our Highway Epidemic </li></ul></ul>01/23/12
  17. 17. Signature Block <ul><li>Give several ways to connect with you </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example : my signature block </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use different for ‘first message’ and different for ‘replies’ </li></ul><ul><li>Favorite quote? Only if it isn’t offensive </li></ul><ul><li>Wishing you well, _________________ Hassan B. Rizwan  |  Tel: +9221-7659067  |  Mobile: +923003043094  |  Web:   |  Skype: hbrizwan  |  YouTube: hbrizwan  |  Twitter: hassanrizwan &quot;Dream like you'll live forever .. work like you don't need the money .. love like you've never been hurt and dance like no one's watchin&quot; - Satchel Paige </li></ul>01/23/12
  18. 18. Writing Long E-mails <ul><li>Avoid them </li></ul><ul><li>But if you must, then </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide the ‘ELEVATOR PITCH’ in the first para </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your ‘action close’ must be at the TOP </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Example </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Our profit margin for the last quarter went down 5%. As a result I am proposing budget adjustment for the following areas…” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ This email contains </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Budget projections for the last quarter </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Actual performance for the last quarter </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Adjustment proposal </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Projected profitability” </li></ul></ul></ul>01/23/12
  19. 19. E-mails on Smart Phones <ul><li>Everything SHORTER and MORE PRECISE </li></ul><ul><li>No or less attachments </li></ul><ul><li>Additional space between paras </li></ul><ul><li>One topic per e-mail </li></ul><ul><li>Documenting SMS replies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fwd them to your e-mails </li></ul></ul>01/23/12
  20. 20. <ul><li>Setting Objective & Analyzing Situation </li></ul>Getting Ready to Write 01/23/12
  21. 21. The Columbus Disease 01/23/12
  22. 22. start with the end in mind! 01/23/12
  23. 23. Setting Objective Situation No 1 You have to write a quarterly progress report and send it to your boss Situation No 2 You are writing a financing/investment proposal to a BIG client Situation No 4 Complaining to a regular vendor about the recent bad service you received Situation No 3 Responding to a query from a customer about product info 01/23/12
  24. 24. The FOCUS Principle <ul><li>FOCUS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Addressing the issue, the whole issue and nothing but the issue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid opening a “pandora’s box” </li></ul></ul>01/23/12
  25. 25. The FOCUS Principle <ul><li>ORGANIZED </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Present your ideas systematically </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use logical arguments to add weight to your case </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use headings, paras and lists to organize </li></ul></ul>01/23/12
  26. 26. The FOCUS Principle <ul><li>CLARITY </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Proper language (grammar, spelling and sentence structure) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use ‘Active’ voice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create simple and short sentences </li></ul></ul>01/23/12
  27. 27. The FOCUS Principle <ul><li>UNDERSTANDING </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand the situation and the audience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adapt to the situation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ It is not the strongest of specie who survives, it is the one that is the most adaptive to the change” </li></ul></ul>01/23/12
  28. 28. The FOCUS Principle <ul><li>SUPPORTED </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Supported by logic and sound reason </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supported by stats if any </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supported by relevant examples if any </li></ul></ul>01/23/12
  29. 29. <ul><li>Positive Emphasis & YOU Attitude </li></ul>Setting the Tone 01/23/12
  30. 30. YOU Attitude Positive Emphasis <ul><li>In positive messages, use YOU more than I </li></ul><ul><li>In negative messages, avoid YOU </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on what can be done – not otherwise </li></ul><ul><li>Link negative info with audience benefit </li></ul>01/23/12
  31. 31. Examples <ul><li>We provide after-sales service to all our customers. </li></ul><ul><li>We have approved your credit extension request. </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t qualify for the Exclusive Membership unless you have been a member for 5 years. </li></ul>01/23/12
  32. 32. Examples <ul><li>You made no allowances for inflation in your proposal. </li></ul><ul><li>We can’t sell computer disks in lots of less than 10. </li></ul><ul><li>Your research on article lacks credible evidence. </li></ul>01/23/12
  33. 33. <ul><li>Convincing Your Readers </li></ul>Writing Persuasive Messages 01/23/12
  34. 34. Persuasion Pyramid <ul><li>Start with a grabber </li></ul><ul><li>Elevator Pitch </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stats </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relevant examples </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stories </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Action close </li></ul>01/23/12
  35. 35. Principles of Persuasion <ul><li>Reciprocation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Give ‘n Take </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consistency </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reference to moral, ethical, religious or spiritual belief consistency </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Authority </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reference to expertise and knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social Acceptance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reference to acceptance by aspired people </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Liking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reference to personal preferences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Scarcity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reference to shortage time and resources </li></ul></ul>01/23/12
  36. 36. <ul><li>Getting the Most Out of Bad News </li></ul>Writing Negative Messages 01/23/12
  37. 37. Negative Message <ul><li>Start with the Buffer </li></ul><ul><li>Deliver bad news </li></ul><ul><li>Give logical reasons </li></ul><ul><li>Provide alternatives </li></ul><ul><li>Goodwill ending </li></ul>01/23/12
  38. 38. Examples <ul><li>“ We at ABC Services truly wish to retain our reputation as being the most competitive and affordable in the industry. To offer you the best rates, we must cut down on after-sales service.” </li></ul><ul><li>I am sure your directory services are of great interest to all businesses in the industry. However, we simply don’t have the budget … </li></ul><ul><li>I agree with you that we all should do our best to support a cause that is worthy of our time and money. Our firm, however, …. </li></ul>01/23/12
  39. 39. <ul><li>Turning the Negative into Positive </li></ul>Writing Bouncing-Back Messages 01/23/12
  40. 40. Bouncing-back Messages <ul><li>Acknowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Empathize </li></ul><ul><li>Resolve </li></ul><ul><li>Thanks </li></ul>01/23/12