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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 When Is Written Communication Really Complete?

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Functions of Business Communication

1. To inform

2. To persuade

3. To Promote goodwill

Internal Communication with




External Communication with



Government agencies

the public

Leena Sen

when is written communication really complete
When Is Written Communication Really Complete?
  • Reach
  • Read
  • Understood
  • Appreciated
  • Acted Upon

Leena Sen

written communication the most troublesome
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

the reader s priorities
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

mind your grammar for style in business letters 1
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

what is readability index low fog index
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

the composition process

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

rules for writing effective business letters memos emails
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

what does the reader do
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

pitfalls of business writing
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

orientation towards the receiver
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

be brief
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

prefer short sentences to long compound and complex sentences
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


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

keep sentences short
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

big impact with little words
Big Impact with Little Words

Short words

can often

make a

bigger impact.

Leena Sen

recognizing cliches
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


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

written communication the power of seven cs
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

weak words

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


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

documents that are considerate in tone are well received
“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

too many words
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

Cliches :

Avoid fad / dead phrases / words and trite phrases like “input,” “parameters,” “utilize,” “hopefully,” and “enclosed please find”


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


Leena Sen


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

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


Leena Sen

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

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


Leena Sen

lack of commitment
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

five steps you can take to improve your writing immediately 1
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

use modern terminology

Use words you would use if you were speaking, and avoid old-fashioned,


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
use active voice not passive voice 4
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

remember the kiss principle 3
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

mistakes your computer won t catch 1
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

mistakes your computer won t catch 2
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

write economically by reducing redundancy 1
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

write economically by reducing redundancy 2
Write Economically by Reducing Redundancy-2
  • end result/final outcometake under consideration (consider)many in numberfuture prospectssufficient enoughother alternativenew innovationpastexperiencepostpone until later

Leena Sen

the push skill of feedback for positive image feedback is not the same as criticism
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

influencing persuasive skills for positive impression the pull skills for creating rapport nlp
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

phrases to avoid 2
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

the 2 golden rules
The 2 Golden Rules
  • For all pleasant messages practise BIF formula
  • For all unpleasant messages practise BILL formula

Leena Sen

ten techniques for effective communication
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


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.



Leena Sen