Principles of business writing final


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Principles of business writing final

  1. 1. The problem with communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished George Bernard Shaw
  3. 3. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION SOME HOME TRUTHS  Most of us are poor communicators and very poor listeners/readers  Few of us try very hard to get our message across  Few of us take advantage of various media available to us  We could all improve our writing skills  We assume others pay attention; we are often wrong
  4. 4. FACTOID The average employee receives about 190 communications a day by paper, voicemail, email, phone, etc. Pitney-Bowes survey
  5. 5. ADVANTAGES OF WRITTEN COMMUNICATION  Creates a permanent record  Allows you to store information for future reference  Easily distributed  All recipients receive the same information  Necessary for legal and binding documentation
  7. 7. In written communication most confusion & frustration is caused by failing to be specific ….. Make it clear, brief and concise…..
  8. 8. PRINCIPLES OF BUSINESS WRITING PRINCIPLE-1  Orientation towards the receiver Problem: Our proficient IT specialists in DTP could facilitate the production of data transference onto hard copy to generate improvements in mail shots. Revision: You will write better letters with the help of our experts in Desk Top publishing.
  9. 9. PRINCIPLE-1 Problem: 1) To A.Verma We are running a training workshop in customer oriented written communication skills for all new employees. Register below for inclusion herewith. 2) Dear Sir/Madam Our company trading terms now stipulate a 5% deposit must be transmitted for all orders to be expedited in a maximum seven days.
  10. 10. PRINCIPLE-1 Revision: 1) Aditya, You are warmly invited to improve your skills in writing to your customers. Please sign your name below. We look forward to seeing you. 2)Dear Mrs.Khanna, Your 5% deposit will ensure that, complying with our new terms, you will receive your orders within a week.
  11. 11. PRINCIPLE-2 Use short, simple vocabulary Problem: 1.The ambiguous nature of prediction of weather patterns makes it difficult for forecasts to be congruent. 2.The unanimity of current forecasts is not incontrovertible evidence of an impending business acceleration.
  12. 12. Revision: Because of the ambiguous nature of weather data all weather forecasts are vague. Agreement on the forecasts are not proof that business will get better.
  13. 13. PRINCIPLE-3 Use concrete rather than abstract words I require this report as soon as possible Is „soon‟ minutes, hours, days? This is the tallest building in the city Is „high‟ inches, feet, miles? I drive very fast Is „fast‟ time or speed? I have been waiting for my friend for a long time Is „long‟ time or distance? The company has suffered major losses in the previous FY
  14. 14. PRINCIPLE-3 Use concrete rather than abstract words I require this report by 5p.m. today. This 75 metres tall building is the tallest building in the city I drive at 80kms per hour. I have been waiting for my friend for an hour. The company has suffered 30% loss in the previous FY
  15. 15.  Please check on the offer wall to make sure our offer partner has credited you with completing the offer. In some cases it may take a few hours or even a few days to confirm. How can we be more specific?
  16. 16. PRINCIPLE-4  Use active voice rather than passive  The goods were ordered by the customer  The customer ordered the goods  The sessions of the faculty will be attended and reviewed by the Dean  The dean will attend and review the sessions of the faculty
  17. 17. PRINCIPLE-5 Use action verbs Achieved Assisted Established Executed Founded Generated Guided Doubled Administered Conceived Created Designed Financed Analysed Developed
  18. 18. PRINCIPLE-6 Avoid pompous, inflated, legal-sounding phrasing. Be brief. The capital improvement project (hereafter to be designated as CIP) for the fiscal year 2007-2008 stipulated budget allocations in the amount not exceeding Rs.40,000 to be decimated for utilisation by a program under the nomination of the 23rd street Renaissance Market.‟ The duly accepted forms should be submitted to the undersigned upon completion.
  19. 19. Revision The Capital Improvement Project (CIP) in 2007-2008 included the amount of Rs.40,000 for the 23rd Street Renaissance Market. Please return the signed forms when you have completed them.
  20. 20. PRINCIPLE-7 Use short crisp sentences Problem Those who do not attend the meeting and prefer to stay away, by offering feeble and lame excuses, shall be dealt with in a serious manner, vide IAC 37, which deals with office discipline and punishments liable thereof, in order to maintain the sanctity of office and to uphold our honored traditions, on which the edifice of our organisation has been developed.
  21. 21. Revision Those who do not attend meeting without sufficient reasons will be dealt with seriously. Your attention is drawn to IAC 37 which deals with office discipline. this is being done in order to uphold our traditions and sanctity of the office.‟
  22. 22. PRINCIPLE -8 Use gender neutral words whenever possible. The Chairman of the Committee will address the meeting at 10a.m. The Policeman chased the thief Shah Rukh Khan is a great actor; so is Kajol a great actress. Shivani is a great authoress & poetess
  23. 23. PRINCIPLE-9 Use proper sentence structure and design. 1.This year the sales increased, however the cumulative losses also increased. 2.Even though the sales increased, the cumulative losses increased. 3.The cumulative losses increased, in spite of an increase in sales.
  24. 24. Use Proper Sentence Design The main point of our research was to try and find out who the soft drink customer was and why they drank the soft drink that they drank. High turn-over of skilled employees continued to be major problems for employers last year. Moreover, it has become very expensive to use monetary- related methods to retain employees. We will analyze the retention rate of workers, comparing to previous years and trends, as well as look over the effectiveness of workers.
  25. 25. PRINCIPLE -10 Coherence ,unity clarity and flow Sentences convey a single thought Paragraphs discuss a single idea
  26. 26. PRINCIPLE-11 Consistency and continuity Clear, complete and concise Avoid disjointed, choppy sentences
  27. 27. PRINCIPLE-12 Sentence and paragraph linkages must be coherent and seamless „The apprehensions faced by the students, during The MBA course, arise from the fact that they are not able to set realistic goals. Sometimes students coming from backgrounds where exposure to the outside world is minimal. This is one of the reasons for unrealistic goal setting. One of the results of unrealistic goal setting is frustration and stress at the end of the MBA course‟ „
  28. 28. PRINCIPLE-12 „At the end of the MBA course, students face lot of stress and frustration due to incorrect goal setting. One reason for this is the background of the student, parental pressure etc.‟ „The background of a student has a great effect on his/her goal setting process……..‟ „Incorrect goal setting results in lot of problems for the students. These include……‟
  29. 29. STYLE AND TONE  State the main business, purpose, or subject matter right away.  avoid round-about beginnings. Ex: "I am writing to apply for the position you currently have open...." "I am writing in response to your letter of July 24, 1997 in which you discuss problems you have had with an electronic spreadsheet purchased from our company."
  30. 30. STYLE AND TONE If you are responding to a letter, identify that letter by its subject and date in the first paragraph or sentence. Dear Mr. Stout: I am writing in response to your September 1, 19XX letter in which you describe problems that you've had with one of our chainsaws. I regret that you've suffered this inconvenience and expense and.... Dear Ms. Cohen: I have just received your August 4, 19XX letter in which you list names and other sources from which I can get additional information on the manufacture and use of plastic bottles in the soft-drink industry....
  31. 31. STYLE AND TONE  Keep the paragraphs of most business letters short, between three and eight lines long.  Paragraphs that are made up of only a single sentence are common and perfectly acceptable.
  32. 32. STYLE AND TONE  "Compartmentalize" the contents of your letter.  A complaint letter concerning problems with the system unit of a personal computer, can have these paragraphs:  A description of the problems  The ineffective repair jobs  The compensation you think you deserve and why  Provide topic indicators at the beginning of paragraphs.
  33. 33. STYLE AND TONE  List or itemize whenever possible in a business letter.  Place important information strategically.  Information in the first and last lines of paragraphs read and remembered better.  Information buried in the middle of long paragraphs overlooked or forgotten.
  34. 34. STYLE AND TONE Find positive ways to express bad news in your business mail. Avoid such words as "cannot," "forbid," "fail," "impossible," "refuse," "prohibit," "restrict," and "deny" as much as possible. Problem: ’Because of the amount of information you request in your letter, simply cannot help you without seriously disrupting my work schedule.‟ (cold and unfriendly)
  35. 35. STYLE AND TONE Revision: „In your mail you ask for a good amount of information which I would like to help you locate. However, I need further information in order to be able to solve the problem.... „(positive, cordial and tactful)
  36. 36. STYLE AND TONE We cannot supply before May 13 You can secure our services after May 12 A not inopportune moment A convenient time You have not yet responded Please reply You failed to enclose Please send If-when, but-however, could- can Whenever possible end with a thank you.
  37. 37. STYLE AND TONE Problem: While I am willing to discuss changes in specific aspects of this article or ideas on additional areas to cover, I am not prepared to change the basic theme of the article: the usability of the Victor microcomputer system.
  38. 38. STYLE AND TONE Revision: I am certainly open to suggestions and comments about specific aspects of this article, or any of your thoughts on additional areas that you think I should cover. I do want, however, to retain the basic theme of the article: the usability of the Victor microcomputer system.
  39. 39. STYLE AND TONE  Give your business letter an "action ending" whenever appropriate.  An "action-ending" makes clear what the writer of the letter expects the recipient to do and when. „As soon as you approve this plan, I'll begin contacting sales representatives at once to arrange for purchase and delivery of the microcomputers. May I expect to hear from you within the week?‟ „ I am free after 2:00 p.m. on most days. Can we set up an appointment to discuss my background and this position further? I'll look forward to hearing from you. „
  40. 40. 1. Proofread aloud everything going out. By reading aloud, your ear will catch mistakes your eye misses. 2. Make no assumptions. The ideas you are presenting must be explained in full to be understood. PEOPLE READ ONLY WHAT IS ON THE PAGE. 3. Do not lecture. Write only what must be understood to make the proper decision or choice. 4. Rough draft all important letters and reports. Check them for content, sequential development of ideas, and conciseness. 5. Always put yourself in the “other person‟s shoes” and ask yourself, “Would I want to read this letter or report? Why? Does it say something of value and real importance to me?” 6. Many people are too busy to read carefully. Be sure your ideas are clear and easy to follow. As a general rule, the most effective manner in which to develop an idea is: Concept è Benefit Example è Data This method leads your reader to the conclusion you want because the conclusion is already clearly stated as the concept (hypothesis). Your examples and data are support for the conclusion. 7. Define all “terms” and eliminate vague pronouns. These two traps cause more problems in writing than any other set of conditions. 8. Grammar, punctuation, and spelling should be perfect. Use a dictionary -- either a good unabridged volume or the “spelling checker” version on your computer. 9. Plan your time to allow for proofreading and correcting. When your success depends upon the quality of your letters and reports, there are no excuses for ineptitude. There is no substitute for EXCELLENCE!
  41. 41. RECAP Some of the most basic tips to remember when writing include:  Avoid slang words  Try not to use abbreviations (unless appropriately defined)  Steer away from the symbols (such as ampersands [&])  Clichés should be avoided, or at the very least, used with caution  Brackets are used to play down words or phrases  Dashes are generally used for emphasis
  42. 42. RECAP  Great care should ALWAYS be taken to spell the names of people and companies correctly Should you have any possible further questions, please write to us at  Numbers should be expressed as words when the number is less than 10 or is used to start a sentence (example: Ten years ago, my brother and I…). The number 10, or anything greater than 10, should be expressed as a figure (example: My brother has 13 Matchbox cars.)  Quotation marks should be placed around any directly quoted speech or text and around titles of publications  Keep sentences short
  43. 43. "But words are things, and a small drop of ink, Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think" --Lord Byron (1788-1824)
  44. 44. THANK YOU