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MGMT501 Business Writing


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MGMT501 Business Writing

  1. 1. Business Writing<br />MGMT 501<br />Dr. Ahmad Bassit<br />Rehab Wahsh<br />
  2. 2. Societieshave always been shaped<br />more by the natureof the media by which men communicate <br />than by the contentof the communication.<br />Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore<br />The Medium is the Message, Random House (1967)<br />
  3. 3. Define Blackberry<br />
  4. 4. Agenda<br />What Is Business Writing<br />The Writer In You<br />Audience Analysis & Readability<br />Documents & Organization<br />Principles of Business Writing <br />Common Errors<br />Writing Tips<br />Collaboration & Information Sharing Tools<br />Email Etiquette<br />Secrecy & Legal liabilities<br />
  5. 5. What IS Business Writing<br />"In your business writing, you must choose among boredom, shouting and seduction. Which do you choose?” <br />- The Wizard of Ads, Roy H. Williams<br />
  6. 6. Business Writing<br />IS Neither<br />Academic Nor Informal <br />It differs from technical writing, creative writing, and journalism.<br />
  7. 7. Business Writing at its best, <br />IS <br />conversational without being chatty<br />accessiblewithout being too familiar<br />clear without being overly simplistic<br />professional without being stuffy<br />
  8. 8. Business Writing minimizes & filters … <br />Dialogues<br />Social Cues<br />Perceptions<br />
  9. 9. Why Written Communication?<br />Permanent Record<br />Future Reference<br />Easily Distributed<br />Carbon Copies<br />Legal & Binding<br />
  10. 10. Unfortunately …<br />Organizations are not making optimal use of business writing<br />Few are trained to write about the complex issues that characterize business <br />spin doctoring and CorporateDoublespeak <br />Lacks Tone,<br />Organization, <br />Coherence,& Design<br />
  11. 11. Common Problems in Writing<br />Weak verbs <br />Superfluous words <br /> Long sentences<br /> Legal and financial terms<br /> Unreadable design and layout<br /> Numerous defined terms<br /> Abstract words<br />Unnecessary details<br />Passive voice<br />James O’Rourke<br />
  12. 12. Communication is really all anyone ever gets paid for ultimately...<br />and if you cannot effectively communicate...<br />you will PAY <br />... NOT get paid.<br />- Doug Firebaugh<br />
  13. 13. Words are the clothes that thoughts wear <br />– Samuel Butler<br />The writer IN You<br />
  14. 14. “The greatest problem in communication is the illusionthat it has been accomplished.”<br />George Bernard Shaw <br />
  15. 15. Communicating Effectively<br />"Effective" means getting people to read your material in the first place; <br />and in the second place, it means that they get the message you want them to get.<br />
  16. 16. What Type <br />of Writer<br />are You<br />
  17. 17. Message Minded?<br />
  18. 18. Language Minded?<br />
  19. 19. Audience Minded?<br />
  20. 20. You Should Be …<br />
  21. 21. "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” <br />Nelson Mandela <br />Audience analysis<br />
  22. 22. AUDIENCE<br />nalysis - Who is the audience?<br />nderstanding - What is their knowledge of the subject?<br />emographics - What is their age, gender, education background etc.?<br />nterest - Why are they reading your document?<br />nvironment - Where will this document be sent/viewed?<br />xpectations- What do they expect to learn from your document? They should walk away having their initial questions answered and explained<br />eeds - What are the audience's needs associated with your document topic?<br />ustomization- What specific needs/interests should you address?<br />
  23. 23. But it can <br />get complicated<br />Mixed Audience Types<br />Wide Variability Within Audience<br />Unknown Audiences<br />Issues of <br />Collaborative Writing<br />
  24. 24. Useful Methods & Factors<br />Focus Groups, Interviews, Surveys, Market Research<br />Behavioral /Personality Types Indications (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator)<br />Hostility: Friends, Foes, Indifferent<br />Needs & Wants - Maslow’s <br />Formality Level<br />Persuasion Matrix<br />
  25. 25. e.g. of Personality Types<br />Impatient, focused, ambitious, goal oriented, competitive, and intolerant of people’s foibles. Terrific problem-solvers. <br />They are doers and tend to work in jobs that allow them to work toward a clearly understood goal.<br />Independent, self-reliant, rational, curious, systematic, and self-contained. Loves research. <br />Fact oriented and tend to work in jobs that require attention to detail.<br />Sunny in spirit, impulsive, dramatic, fun, articulate, emotional, and sensitive. Optimists are party animals.<br />Creative and tend to work in jobs that allow them to interact with a lot of people and use their creative flair.<br />Likes people but prefers small groups<br />Kind, gentle, calm, methodical, and prudent.<br />Are caretakers and tend to work in jobs that allow them to be helpers<br />
  26. 26. Formality Index<br />1. Do you know your target reader(s) well & personally?<br />2. Are they below you in “rank”?<br />3. Is the subject of your communication good news?<br />Format – Email vs. Letter <br />Tone – Dear Mr. Jones vs. Dear Richard<br />Style – Chief Executive Officer vs. CEO<br />Maybe, sort of, sometimes, or kind of<br />4<br />5<br />6<br />7<br />1<br />10<br />absolutely not or never <br />absolutely yes or always<br />
  27. 27. Matrix of Persuasion<br />On Your Side <br />• benefits matter<br />• longer copy needed<br />• facts only <br />• short copy okay <br />No/Few <br />Constraints <br />Constraints<br />• rarely worthwhile<br />• Q&A <br />• longer copy needed<br />Not On Your Side<br />
  28. 28. If people would remember that they are writing to be read(and thus understood) we'd be able to spend more time getting things done, and less time lost in translation.<br />readability<br />
  29. 29. Gunning-Fog Index<br />Measureswriting clarity<br />Calculates the number of years of schooling required to read and understand the written material.<br />The lower the score your material receives, the broader your potential audience reach.<br />
  30. 30. Gunning-Fog Index Process<br />NOTE: Don't over-use the Fog Index. Use it only occasionally to spot-check your writing.<br />
  31. 31. Typical Fog Index Scores<br />
  32. 32. Documents & Organization<br />
  33. 33. Legal Documents: Contracts, NDAs, SLAs, MOUs, LOI<br />Business Documents<br />Administrative: Policies & Regulations, Employee Contracts<br />White Papers <br />Proposals <br />Business Plans<br />Agendas, MoM<br />Promotional Materials: Company Profile, Brochures, Flyers,<br />Digital:E-mails, Blogs, μ-Blogs, Newsletters, Wikis, IM, SMS<br />Letters and Memos<br />Reports: Technical, Sales, Progress<br />
  34. 34. Document Commonalities: <br />Introduction<br />Main Body<br />Conclusion<br />
  35. 35. SOPPADA<br />ubject- What do you plan to accomplish<br />bjective - What do you hope to accomplish<br />resent - What are the current issues or problems<br />roposal – What would improve the present situation<br />dvantages– What advantages will result from the proposed<br />isadvantages - What disadvantages will result from the proposed needs associated with your document topic?<br />ction- What do you need to move forward<br />
  36. 36. George Orwell's Rules"Politics and the English Language"<br />Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.<br />Never use a long word where a short one will do.<br />If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.<br />Never use the passive where you can use the active.<br />Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.<br />Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.<br />
  37. 37. Clarity of writing indicates precision of mind<br />PRINCIPLES of Modern business Writing<br />
  38. 38. Courtesy<br />Correctness<br />Completeness<br />7Cs - Effective Communication Criteria<br />Conciseness<br />Concreteness<br />Consideration<br />Clarity<br />
  39. 39. Completeness<br />Answer all questions asked<br />Check for the MAGIC Ws and an H.<br />Give something extra, when desirable<br />
  40. 40. Conciseness<br />The most valuable of all talents is that of never using twowords when one will do. - Thomas Jefferson <br />Shorten or omit wordy expressions.<br />Include only relevant statements.<br />The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out. -  Voltaire<br />Avoid repetition, long sentences, relative pronouns, expletives, abstract subjects, and passive verbs.<br />"I never write metropolis … because I can get the same price for city. I never write policeman, because I can get the same money for cop." – Mark Twain.<br />
  41. 41. U.S. Declaration <br />of Independence<br />440 words<br />
  42. 42. 1,268 words of <br />on the box<br />
  43. 43. Consideration<br />Empathy Index<br />Focus on "you" instead of "I" and "we".<br />Count references to your readers (THEM) by: <br /><ul><li>Pronouns
  44. 44. Shared Interest
  45. 45. Use of their names
  46. 46. Inference</li></ul>Take an interest in the reader, show how the reader will benefit.<br />Count references to yourself/Company (US)<br />Apply integrity & ethics.<br />Emphasize positive, pleasant facts.<br />Exclude “We” from Counts.<br />US–THEM > 0<br />(The higher the more reader focused)<br />Avoid negative words.<br />
  47. 47. Concreteness<br />Use specific facts and figures.<br />Facts are interesting but insight is persuasive. – Anon.<br />Choose vivid, image-building words.<br />Words convey; illustrations convince. – Anon.<br />Avoid relative words, indefinite phrases, and abstract words.<br />"The adjective is the enemy of the noun." – Voltaire.<br />Precise Nouns instead of Adjectives. <br />"a large, impressive house" <br />we could say "a mansion"<br />Put action in your verbs.<br />UseTransitional words & phrases.<br />
  48. 48. Concreteness – use ACTION Words<br />
  49. 49. Concreteness – use Transitions<br />Addition:<br />also, again, as well as, besides, coupled with, in addition<br />Consequence:accordingly, as a result, consequently, for this reason<br />Generalizing:as a rule, as usual, for the most part, generally, ordinarily, usually<br />Exemplifying:chiefly, especially, for instance, in particular, markedly, namely<br />Illustration:for example, for instance, for one thing, as an illustration, in this case<br />
  50. 50. Clarity<br />Words, like glasses, obscure everything they do not make clear. – Joseph Joubert<br />Choose short, familiar, conversational words.<br />Construct effectivesentences and paragraphs.<br />When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing. <br /> - Enrique JardielPoncela<br />Achieve appropriate readability.<br />Avoid unfamiliar words, abbreviations, slangor jargon.<br />Don't try to overawe your audience with protracted, anomalous lexicon. – Chris Amorosino<br />
  51. 51. Less is more.<br />What you say is <br />more important than <br />how much you say. <br />Albert Einstein's maxim that "everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler."<br />Leonardo Da Vinci's "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication"<br />Antoine de Saint Exupéry's"It seems that perfection is reached not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away".<br />
  52. 52. Courtesy<br />Be sincerely tactful, thoughtful, and appreciative.<br />Omit expressions that irritate, hurt, or belittle.<br />Grant & apologize good-naturedly.<br />Use words and phrases that set a positive tone.<br />Make the reply easy.<br />Avoid gender specific language and always use proper titles.<br />
  53. 53. Correctness<br />Use the right level of language.<br />Include only accurate facts, words, and figures.<br />Maintain Acceptable writing mechanics.<br />Choose nondiscriminatory expressions.<br />Apply all other pertinent C qualities.<br />