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Functions of Business Communication

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  1. Functions of Business Communication 1. To inform 2. To persuade 3. To Promote goodwill Internal Communication with Superiors Coworkers Subordinates External Communication with Customers Suppliers Government agencies the public Leena Sen

  2. When Is Written Communication Really Complete? • Reach • Read • Understood • Appreciated • Acted Upon Leena Sen

  3. Written Communication-The Most Troublesome • Formal Communication • Received cold (without communicator’s tone of voice or gesture to help) • Rigid (Cannot be adjusted to the recipient’s reactions) • It stays on record • The subject is crucial • Handling “No!” is not an easy task Leena Sen

  4. The Reader’s Priorities • Written Communication-Highly valued asset for a top executive • The reader has limited time • S /he is deluged with paperwork • S / he hates to read a long letter • Is in a hurry to stop reading a letter as soon as the s / he has all the information • Please do not waste the reader’s time! Leena Sen

  5. Mind Your Grammar for Style in Business Letters-1 • Subject + Verb + Object order (English is a word order language) • Strong Verbs • Active voice (Use Passive to minimize the source of action / unknown) • Use Adjectives / Adverbs sparingly • Use strong Nouns • Correct tense • Dangling Modifiers Leena Sen

  6. What is Readability Index? Low Fog Index • Business English must be simple, clear, concise, sincere and courteous • Not wordy and full of jargon • Correct choice of words / Not pretentious language • Not unnecessarily long sentences • Subject –verb –object order must not be violated /Sentences must have coherence, not awkward • Paragraph must begin with a topic sentence • Not too many ideas in a single paragraph) • Must have logical progression of ideas Leena Sen

  7. The Composition Process Good communicators realize that the composition process often occurs out of order as they jump back and forth from one stage to another. Leena Sen

  8. Rules for Writing Effective Business Letters / Memos / Emails • Choosing the Correct Format • Choosing Correct Language / Use of words / Grammar • Using Modern Terminology • Using Research for Effective Business Writing • Avoiding Discriminatory Expressions • Organizing & Writing for Goodwill / Building Relationships & Understanding Leena Sen

  9. Parts of A Business Letter / Memo Leena Sen

  10. What does the Reader Do? • S / He tries to hold the text together Finds reading easier when the text comes as a pyramid, beginning at the top and working downward Main Idea Related ideas Concluding ideas Leena Sen

  11. Pitfalls of Business Writing • Too Many Words • Cliches • Too Many Big Words • Jargon • Vague Expressions • Condescending Statements • Sexist Language • Negative Expressions • Inattention to Detail • Inattention to the Reader • Lack of Commitment • Passive Construction Leena Sen

  12. Orientation towards the Receiver • The recipient’s mind should be kept in mind while writing. • Practise YOU attitude—look at a message from the receiver’s point of view—what benefits / advantages for goodwill and lasting relationship. Leena Sen

  13. Short and Simple Vocabulary Leena Sen

  14. Use specific words to bring vitality and exactness. Leena Sen

  15. Use Active voice in preference to Passive voice. Leena Sen

  16. Use of Action Verbs conveys the force of your personality and your sense of purpose. Leena Sen

  17. Be brief • An example of a verbose sentence is:-- • ‘May I have your blessings to apply for a day’s leave?’ • An example of a brief sentence is given below:-- • ‘May I have a day’s leave?’ Leena Sen

  18. Prefer short sentences to long, compound and complex sentences. • “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 the hoary traditions, on which the edifice of our organization, has been developed.” Leena Sen

  19. Principle – 8Gender biased words.Do not use masculine / feminine gender for both sexes. You could avoid this by using plural or the word ‘or’ the symbol / • “In case a student fails in the English language test, he will not be eligible for placement assistance.” Non –gender biased words • “In case a student fails in the English language test, he/she will not be eligible for placement assistance. (Use also the plural form of the subject noun) Leena Sen

  20. Keep Sentences Short Write in sentences of various lengths, but keep the average sentence relatively short. If you’re not persuaded that average sentence length is important, read this chart published in communication briefings: Leena Sen

  21. Big Impact with Little Words Short words can often make a bigger impact. Leena Sen

  22. along these lines as per our agreement at the present time due to the fact that enclosed please find for the purpose of in response to your memo of in view of the face per Pursuant to regarding the matter of we are returning some herewith as per your request at an early date despite the fact that enclosed herewith for the amount of in response to your letter of pending receipt of please be advised thank you for your cooperation we will file your letter for future reference with reference to your letter of subsequent to Recognizing Cliches Leena Sen

  23. Written Communication: The Power of Seven Cs • Courtesy—’would you mind, I am really sorry’ • Clarity—’submit the invoice first /production line is kept clear’ • Conciseness—’I’ll definitely try to submit by Wednesday / Thank you for your hospitality in Hong Kong’ • Concreteness—’15% gain’ • Correctness--“You waited for two days for my call?” • Consideration—’As soon as you submit the required documents to us, we will promptly deliver the goods to you.’ • Completeness– ‘Please refer to our letter dated 2 June, about additional information of the shirt samples that you had sent for approval’ Leena Sen

  24. Weak Words You can make your writing clearer by deleting words that don’t add meaning. For example, pay close attention to the following words: actually kind of basically particular certain practically definitely really different various generally very given virtually individual These words are not bad, but people tend to use them unnecessarily. Example: Actually, I generally kind of enjoy typing practically and specific type of communication. These words weaken the sentence because they add nothing to it but length. Leena Sen

  25. Use Gender Neutral Words Leena Sen

  26. Write Economically by Reducing Redundancy-3 Leena Sen

  27. “As soon as you submit the required documents to us, we will promptly deliver the goods to you.” “So that you will be able to shop freely, we have extended the shopping time by two hours.” We will not deliver the goods until you have submitted all the documents to us. We are delighted to inform that we have extended shopping time by 2 hours Documents that are Considerate in tone are well received Leena Sen

  28. Too Many Words: • Limit your sentences to fewer than 17 words. In business communication time is precious! Do not waste the reader’s time • Edit ruthlessly NO : In this letter we have tried to answer all the questions that you had asked, and we hope that in case you have any additional questions whatsoever, you will not hesitate to contact us. YES: If you have additional questions, please call us. Leena Sen

  29. Cliches : Avoid fad / dead phrases / words and trite phrases like “input,” “parameters,” “utilize,” “hopefully,” and “enclosed please find” NO: Enclosed please find herewith the information as per your request. Hopefully, you will be able to utilize our product to benefit your company within the parameters of your computer’s invoice processing. We’ll appreciate your input. YES: We have enclosed the information you requested. Our product will speed up your computer’s invoice processing. Leena Sen

  30. Jargon: Avoid using overly technical terms like “facilitator” “JIT” “TQM”/“interface” etc NO: After analyzing the organizational climate, we found that it lacks a TQM approach to work and quality maintenance YES: After analyzing the organizational climate, we found that people need to believe in a structured and quality approach to work. Leena Sen

  31. Vague Expressions: • If the “profits were affected” did they increase or decrease ? Be concise and specific NO: The company’s negative cash flow position forced it to resize its operations to the level of profitable market opportunities. YES: The company lost money and had to lay off workers. Leena Sen

  32. 5 Condescending Statements: • Write with warmth, as one human to another • “Of course” can be interpreted “as any idiot knows.” NO: We are certain you are concerned with saving money. Of course, you will mail the enclosed card. We thank you in advance. YES: If saving money is important to you, please mail the enclosed card today. Leena Sen

  33. 7 Negative Expressions: • Stress the positive • Instead of telling what you can’t do or don’t have, provide good news. NO: We’re sorry to tell you that we don’t supply XYZ software any more. YES: Since we no longer supply XYZ software, we are sending you a list of distributors who could help you. Leena Sen

  34. Lack of Commitment: • Take a stand • Omit qualifiers – “sort of,” “rather,” “quite,” “somewhat” NOT : We are quite pleased about our rather exciting work processor. BUT: We are pleased about out exciting line of word processors. Leena Sen

  35. Five steps you can take to improve your writing immediately-1 1 Come straight to the point Avoid phrases like these as they add nothing to your message: I am writing to inform you Please be informed Please be advised Please note that I wish to bring to your attention that Leena Sen

  36. Use words you would use if you were speaking, and avoid old-fashioned, long-winded, boring standard clichés that have been around for decades. Instead ofSay We have received your letter Thank you for your letter dated of 12 November. 12 November. Please find enclosed I enclose … Enclosed is/are Please find attached I attach … Attached is/are Please be reminded Please remember the above-mentioned goods these goods the above-mentioned workshop this workshop Use modern terminology

  37. Use Active Voice & not Passive Voice-4 Use active not passive voice Active voice makes your writing more interesting, more personal, more proactive and much more natural. Instead ofSay The new system was Our staff developed the developed by our staff. new system. The cheque was presented to the The Prince of Wales charity by the Prince of Wales. presented the cheque to the charity. Leena Sen

  38. Remember the KISS Principle-3 KISS means Keep It Short and Simple – that means simple words and short sentences, for example: Instead ofSay endeavour try despatch send terminate end I should be obliged if you would Please In view of the fact that As, Since In the event that If Leena Sen

  39. Mistakes Your Computer Won’t Catch-1 • Revert back. “Revert” means to go back or to return. Eliminate “back” • I could care less. That’s wrong, because it means you care a lot. It should be “I couldn’t care less.” • New innovation. An innovation is something new, so drop the adjective. Leena Sen

  40. Mistakes Your Computer Won’t Catch-2 • The principal reason. The adjective should be “principal,” meaning the most important. • 8 P.M. tonight. Because “p.m.” means after noon and “a.m.” means before noon, we don’t need to use qualifiers such as “tonight” or “in the morning” when we’re using those Latin abbreviations. • This will effect my job status. The verb should be “affect,” which means to influence or to produce an effect upon. The verb “effect” means to bring about. Leena Sen

  41. Write Economically by Reducing Redundancy-1 • Consensus ofopinion/general consensusA consensus by definition is a general solidarity of opinion.Contained hereinsubmitted a resignation (say Resigned)basic fundamentals close proximity provide with information (say inform)cooperate togethercompletely full Leena Sen

  42. Write Economically by Reducing Redundancy-2 • end result/final outcometake under consideration (consider)many in numberfuture prospectssufficient enoughother alternativenew innovationpastexperiencepostpone until later Leena Sen

  43. The Push Skill of Feedback for positive image-Feedback is not the same as criticism • Meant to improve performance in a positive way • Calm • Tough on the issues • Look for solutions • Looks for underlying causes • Two way • Person giving the feedback owns the opinion, says “I think” Leena Sen

  44. Influencing / Persuasive skills for positive impression-The Pull skills for Creating Rapport (NLP) • Positive Body Language & Communication • Managing your body language • Avoid mismatches • Match, don’t copy • Genuine Listening • Asking Questions Leena Sen

  45. Phrases to Avoid-2 • For your perusal, review, and consideration • We deem it advisable • It has come to my attention • The undersigned • Pursuant to your request • Transparent to the user • Under separate cover Leena Sen

  46. The 2 Golden Rules • For all pleasant messages practise BIF formula • For all unpleasant messages practise BILL formula Leena Sen

  47. E-mail Etiquette (Netiquette) Leena Sen

  48. Minding Your E Mail / Memo Manners Leena Sen

  49. Ten Techniques for Effective Communication • Keep your writing clear, concise, and simple. • Choose your words carefully. • Be natural. • Avoid fad words, jargon, and cliches. • Use active verbs, avoid passive construction. • Take a stand, make a commitment, avoid qualifiers. • Use familiar words—plain English. • Be specific: avoid vagueness. • Eliminate redundant expressions. • Keep your audience in mind. Leena Sen

  50. Summary Language, Values, Attitudes, and other cultural traits change very slowly. Therefore, communicating inter-culturally calls for recognition of the cultural elements that cause people to view things differently and thus create barriers to communication.