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Business Communications
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  1. Business Communications Writing Effectively

  2. Business Writing is: • Purposeful:it solves problems and conveysinformation • Economical: it is concise • Reader-oriented:it focuses on thereceiver,not the sender

  3. 3-x-3 Writing Process • Phase 1:analyzing, anticipating, adapting • Phase 2:researching, organizing, composing • Phase 3:revising, proofreading, evaluating

  4. Phase 1 • Analyze: • Define your purpose • Select the most appropriate channel • Visualize the audience • Anticipate: • Put yourself in the reader’s position and predict his/her reactions to the message • Adapt: • Shape message to benefit reader

  5. Phase 2 • Research: • Collect data formally and informally • Organize: • Group ideas into a list or outline; choose a strategy • Compose: • Write a first draft; consider using a word processor

  6. Phase 3 • Revise:for clarity, tone, and vigor; improve readability • Proofread:for spelling, grammar, punctuation and format; check overall appearance • Evaluate:Will the final product achieve its purpose?

  7. Analyzing and Anticipating • Analyze the task by identifying the purpose and selecting the best channel • Anticipate the audience by visualizing primary and secondary readers

  8. Develop: • Reader Benefits: Receiver-Focused Vs. Sender-Focused • You Attitude: “You” View Vs. “I” and/or “We” View

  9. Reader Benefits: Receiver Focused E.g. Sender-focused:“We are requiring all staffers to complete these forms in compliance with company policy.” Receiver-focused: “Please complete these forms so that you will be eligible for health and dental benefits.”

  10. Reader Benefits: Receiver Focused E.g. Sender-focused: “Because we need more space for our new inventory, we’re staging a two-for-one sale.” Receiver-focused: “This two-for-one sale makes it possible for you to buy a year’s supply of paper and pay for only six months’ worth.”

  11. You Attitude “I”/“We”:“We take pleasure in announcing an agreement we made with HP to allow us to offer discounted printers in the student store.” “You”:“An agreement with HP allows you and other students to buy discounted printers at your convenient student store.”

  12. You Attitude “I”/ “We”: “We are issuing a refund.” “You”: “You will receive a refund.”

  13. Adapting to Task and Audience • Use reader benefits:the warranty starts working immediately • Cultivate “you” attitude:you will receive your order • Use sensitive language avoiding gender, race, ageand disability biases:office workers • Express thoughts positively:you will be happy to • Use precise, vigorous words:fax me, e-mail me • Use familiar words:salary not remuneration

  14. Career Woman Man and Wife The Little Woman Common Man Best Man for the Job Mothers should watch… Professional Husband and Wife Wife Average Person Best Person for the Job Parents should watch… Eliminating Sexist Language

  15. Avoid Negative Expressions • Writers are sometimes unaware of the hidden messages that they send: • You overlooked…you are careless • You state that…but I don’t believe you • You failed to…you are careless • You claim that…it’s probably untrue • I am right…you do not understand • Your delay…you are at fault

  16. Creating Forceful Sentences • Recognize Phrases and Clauses • Clauses have subjects and verbs; phrases don’t • Independent clauses are complete; dependent clauses are not • Phrases and dependent clauses cannot function as sentences • Independent Clause:They eat cold pizza. • Dependent Clause:that they want to return for a refund • Phrase:to return for a refund

  17. Creating Forceful Sentences • Use the Active voice in most sentences: We lost money. • Use the passive voice to de-emphasize the performer and/or to be tactful: Money was lost by us. • Avoid dangling phrases: An autopsy revealed that the cause of death was strangulation by the coroner. • Emphasize important points • Put main ideas first, using them as subjects • Put them in short sentences

  18. Drafting Effective Paragraphs • Discuss only one topic • Group similar ideas together • Start a new paragraph for each new topic • Arrange sentences in one of three strategic formats • Direct Plan: main sentence followed by supporting sentences • Pivoting Plan: limiting sentences, main sentence, supporting sentences • Indirect Plan: supporting sentences, main sentence

  19. Drafting Effective Paragraphs • Link ideas to build coherence • Repeat idea or rephrase it • Use a pronoun: these, this etc. • Dovetail sentences • Use transitional expressions: additionally, however, as a result, also, for example etc. • Compose short paragraphs: fewer than eight lines

  20. Revising for Clarity • Keep it simple • Keep it conversational • Remove opening fillers • Eliminate redundancies • Reduce compound prepositions • Purge empty words • Kick the noun habit • Dump trite business phrases • Develop parallelism • Apply graphics • Measure readability

  21. Revision Techniques • Keep it simple:avoid indirect pompous language E.g. It would not be inadvisable for you to affix your signature at this point in time. I.e. You may sign now.

  22. Revision Techniques • Keep it conversational: Formal:Our Accounting Department takes this opportunity to inform you that we have credited your account with the aforementioned amount. Conversational: We’re pleased to credit your account for $100.

  23. Revision Techniques • Remove Opening Fillers • Wordy:There are four new menu items that we must promote. • Improved:We must promote four new menu items. • Eliminate Redundancies: collect together, contributing factor, personal opinion etc. • Reduce Compound Prepositions • at such time, at which time…when • due to the fact that, inasmuch as…because

  24. Revision Techniques • Purge Empty Words • As for the field of athletic shoes, the degree of profits sagged. • This is to inform you that we have a toll-free service line.

  25. Revision Techniques • Kick the Noun Habit Wordy:We must conduct an investigation of all parking violations before we can give consideration to your fine. Improved: We must investigate all parking violations before we can consider your fine.

  26. Revision Techniques • Dump Trite Business Phrases Wordy: Pursuant to your request, enclosed please find a job application. Improved: As requested, we have enclosed a job application. • Develop Parallelism: balanced construction Not parallel: We can collect information, store it, and later it can be updated. Parallel: We can collect, store and update information.

  27. Revision Techniques • Apply Graphic Highlighting • Letters, such as (a) and (b) within the text • Numerals, like 1, 2 and 3 listed vertically • Bullets • Headings using Print options • CAPITAL LETTERS • Underscores • Boldface • Italics • Font size

  28. Revision Techniques • Bloopers…from church http://www.lotsofjokes.com/cat_348.htm

  29. Proofreading – What to look for • Spelling • Grammar • Punctuation • Names and numbers • Format

  30. How to Proofread • Print a copy…preferably double-spaced • Set it aside for a breather • Allow adequate time for careful proofreading • Congratulate yourself when finding errors • Read the message at least twice…for meaning and grammar/mechanics • Reduce reading speed…focus on each word

  31. Evaluating the Outcome • How successful will this communication be? • Does the message say what you want it to? • Will it achieve its purpose? • Did you obtain the intended feedback?

  32. 3-x-3 Writing Process • Phase 1:analyzing, anticipating, adapting • Phase 2:researching, organizing, composing • Phase 3:revising, proofreading, evaluating