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Business Writing


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Business Writing

  1. 1. Business Writing Prof. Navodita Mishra
  2. 2. Why is business writing important?  We all interact with the written word as though it has a personality and that personality makes positive and negative impressions upon us.  Without immediate feedback your document can easily be misinterpreted by your reader, so it is crucial that you follow the basic rules of etiquette to construct an appropriate tone.
  3. 3. Pre-requisite of Business Letter  Why am I writing this letter?  What do I expect to get out of it?  What arguments I need to provide?  How can I achieve this?
  4. 4. Types of Business Letters  Enquiries / Requests and Replies  Orders and replies  Complaints and replies  Credit and status enquiries  Collection letters  Sales letters  Circulars
  5. 5. The elements of business letter  Letterhead or Heading  Reference  Date  Private & Confidential  Style of Address  Attention line  Salutation  Subject Heading  Body of the letter  Complimentary close  Signatory  Designation  Enclosures  Typist’s intials
  6. 6. Stages of business writing  Brainstorm what the communication must include.  Cluster your ideas into topics.  Outline your topics, including subtopics.  Write a rough draft.  Revise by editing your work.  Proofread carefully.  Produce the final draft.
  7. 7. Never ignore reader’s senstivity  Be positive.  Emphasize what readers can do instead of what they cannot do.  State facts instead of assigning blame.  Avoid leading with negative information.  Be polite.  Be fair.
  8. 8. Effective Communication Criteria - 7Cs  Clarity  Completeness  Conciseness  Correctness  Concreteness  Consideration  Courtesy
  9. 9. Few examples The decision was made by the manager at the last moment. The manager decided at the last moment. Please let us know when we can be of assistance to you. Please let us know when we can assist you You did not complete all the items on the form. All the items on the form were not completed. The construction company finished the building on Wednesday. The building was finished on Wednesday.
  10. 10. General Format: Tone • Write in a positive tone “When you complete the report.” instead of “If you complete the report.” • Avoid negative words that begin with “un, non, ex” or that end with “less” (useless, non- existent, ex-employee, undecided). • Use smiles , winks ;), and other graphical symbols only when appropriate. • Use contractions to add a friendly tone. (don’t, won’t, can’t).
  11. 11. Delivering Bad News  Deliver the news up front.  Avoid blaming statements.  Avoid hedging words or words that sound ambiguous.  Maintain a positive resolve.
  12. 12. Delivering Bad News Deliver the news up front: “We are unable to order new computers this quarter due to budget cuts.” Avoid blaming: “I think it will be hard to recover from this, but what can I do to help?” Avoid using “weasel words” or hedging: “Our pricing structure is outdated.” More examples of hedging are: Intents and purposes Possibly, most likely Perhaps, maybe
  13. 13. Writing a complaint • You should briefly state the history of the problem to provide context for your reader. • Explain the attempts you made previously to resolve the problem. • Show why it is critical for the problem to be resolved by your reader. • Offer suggestions on ways you think it can be resolved or how you are willing to help in the matter.
  14. 14. Writing a complaint Briefly state the history: “The current way we choose officers for our organization is not democratic. As a result, we have a popularity contest that does not always get us the best candidates.” Show attempts made by you thus far to resolve the issue: “I have offered two alternatives for officer selection that still involves the votes of the members but both have been rejected by the executive board.”
  15. 15. Writing a complaint Show why it is important for your reader to get involved: “This is a problem for two reasons. First, I am concerned that the executive board no longer protects the interests of the organization and that their actions are not in keeping with the constitution of the organization. Second, there have been a number of complaints from the members who feel that their concerns and preferences are not being addressed by the executive board, which decreases morale and productivity.”
  16. 16. Writing a complaint Ask for help and offer a resolution: “Please let me know what other options I may have overlooked. I am willing to meet with the department head and the executive board to seek out a solution that is fair to the members and is good for the business of the organization. ”