On completion of this lesson you will understand
• • •


What is communication? How important it is in context of business organizations? How communication process works?

“Communication” is a process — an activity that serves to connect senders and receivers of messages through space and time. Although human beings tend to be interested primarily in the study of human communication, the process is present in all living things and, it can be argued, in all things. From this we may conclude that communication is a fundamental, universal process. How often have you heard statements such as these?
• If you want to be promoted, you’ll have to improve your

What do we mean by communicating effectively? The object of communication is to convey thoughts/ intentions/emotions/ facts/ideas of one person or group to the others. When the message sent is received and understood by the receiver in the same sense , as the sender wants to convey ,effective communication takes place. When the receiver misunderstands a message we consider it a distortion in communication. Throughout our study, we would try to improve our communication skills so that we can make ourselves better understood in our communications. The fact is that we spend so much of our time communicating; we tend to assume that we are experts. Surveys indicate that when business professionals are asked to rate their communication skills, virtually everyone overestimates his or her abilities as a communicator. There is a natural tendency to blame the other person for the problems in understanding or making ourselves understood. The better option is to improve one’s own communication. One has to be always on a look to identify his weak points as a communicator and strive to overcome them. This needs a thorough understanding of meaning and process of communication.


communication skills.
• One of the strengths of our relationship over the years has

been that we communicate so well - in fact, usually I know what she’s thinking before she tells me!
• The lightening storm knocked out our communication

systems, and since then we haven’t handled a single customer call. • He’s really smart, and he knows his stuff, but as a teacher he just doesn’t communicate it very well.
• They say they built the product to meet our specifications,

Meaning of Communication
Communication is derived from the Latin word communis, which means, “ to share” that is, sharing of ideas, concepts, feelings and emotions. The science of communication is almost as old as man himself. Form time immemorial; the need to share or to communicate had been felt. Different vehicles / channels were identified and subsequently improvised for the purpose of transmission of ideas and concepts. A study of these channels enables us to gain an insight into the process of communication. Before a definition of communication is arrived at, a few queries, which arise in the minds of the readers, have to be answered. What is the importance of communication? Why should it be studied? Why should the channel be analyzed and examined? The importance of communication can be gauged from the fact that we are communicating in some from or the other almost every moment of our lives. Whether we are walking,, talking ,playing, sitting, or even sleeping, a message is being formulated and transmitted. Man, who is a social animal, is constantly interacting with other individuals. For him it is necessary to understand the art of communication and apply or modify it in a suitable manner. Man possesses the ability to communicate, which is much more than a composition of certain symbolize or to understand concepts in terms of images or symbols. It is this ability that helps him to communicate. Communication then, it may be stated, is much more than an understanding of the spoken or written language. It is a composite of symbols,

but it’s not what we asked for - I think we have a communication problem here. The word “communicate” derives from the word “common” to share, exchange, send along, transmit, talk, gesture, write, put in use, relate. So an investigation of this subject might begin with the question: What do all studies of communication have in common? What are the shared concepts that make the study of “communication” different from the study of subjects such as “thought” or “literature” or “life?” When someone says, “this is a communication problem,” what does that mean? When a baby sees his mother’s face for the first time, communication happens. When someone steps out onto a beach in Goa and water touches his feet communication happens. When the Indian parliament passes a new bill to curb monopolies in the market and the President signs, communication happens. When a computer in Delhi calls up a computer in Tokyo and transmits a message, communication happens. Communication is a general phenomenon. It occurs in nature, wherever life exists. Whether we recognize it or not, we have no choice but to communicate. If we try to avoid communicating by not replying to messages, we are nevertheless sending a message, but it may not be the one we want or intend. When we don’t say yes, we may be saying no by default – and vice versa. The only choice we can make about communication is whether we are going to attempt to communicate effectively.

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gestures, and illustrations that accompany either the spoken or the written word.

A Study-tour of Communication
This tour presents a fundamental overview of the study of communication with emphasis on the study of human communication. The sections may be used in any order, though a comprehensive study would normally begin with section number one and consider each in the order listed below. 1. The Communication Process Communication is a process that serves to connect senders and receivers of messages in space and time. Although human beings tend to be interested primarily in the study of human communication, the process is present in all living things and, it can be argued, in all things. From this we may conclude that communication is a fundamental, universal process.


Basic Purpose of Communication
People in organizations typically spend over 75% of their time in an interpersonal situation; thus it is no surprise to find that at the root of a large number of organizational problems is poor communications. Effective communication is an essential component of organizational success whether it is at the interpersonal, intergroup, intragroup, organizational, or external levels. “What is the purpose of (formal) communication?” A response to a query of this nature would be more beneficial if attempts were made to understand the business situation where success or failure of issues is always measured in terms of man- hours spent in the completion of a task. Let us take an example. Suppose the boss issues instructions to his subordinate to complete a certain project in a particular manner within a stipulated timeframe. The subordinate does it to the best of his ability. However, the end result is a miserable failure because the manner of completion does not match with the expectations of the boss. A lot of time has been wasted as a result of miscommunication on the part of the two members of the same organization. In fact, more first instance. If the amount of time used in completion of this particular task is calculated, it would be seen that double the time necessary has been taken. The example cited above is one of the most common and prevailing examples of miscommunication resulting from a lack of feedback in organizations. This, however, is not the only criterion that qualifies for an in-depth study of communication. Let us take a look at the communicative competence required at three different levels in an organization. In the business situation of a manager, as he goes higher up in the hierarchy is to coordinate, issue instructions, collate information, and then present it. All these activities require effective communication skills the sooner these skills are honed, the easier it is for the manager to accomplish tasks. Similar is the case of the junior manager vying for a quick promotion. As work in the organization is always done in conjunction with other people, effective communication skills become a necessity. Let us compare the progression of two junior managers up the ladder of success possessing almost the same academic qualifications and almost similar personality traits. Only one of them would be able to make it to the managing Director’s chair. Without doubt it would be the candidate with excellent communication skills. Prior to entry in any organization, certain communicative abilities are also looked for in candidates. Ability to speak, conduct oneself properly in an interview, get along with others, listen carefully and accurately, make effective presentations, prepare good yet brief report, make proposals, sell ideas, convince and persuade others are some of the attributes looked for in a candidate. If an individual possesses these attributes looked for in a candidate. If an individual possesses these attributes or can train himself to excel in them, he himself would realize how much easier it is for him only to secure a comfortable position in an organization but also to achieve success.

2. Self Andsociety Messages are formed in the mind of one individual and interpreted in the mind of another. Yet the formation and interpretation of messages are affected by the groups to which the individuals belong. Thus, a complete understanding of human communication must take into account both human psychology and human social interaction.

3. Information To receive messages human beings must make use of their senses. However, the senses continually process large volumes of data, not all of which are the result of communication. It is the human ability to discern, recognize, and remember patterns in this constant flow of data that makes meaningful communication possible.

4. Signs And Language Some patterns of data bring to mind memories of previous patterns. These “signs,” as they are called, can be assembled into large, powerful patterns called “languages.” Much (though certainly not all) of human communication is carried on through the use of language.


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A “system” is typically described as a collection of parts which are interconnected, or related to, one another and which also relate to the environment which surrounds the system. In the picture below, the circles and rectangles represent the parts, the solid lines represent the relationships among the parts, and the arrows show the system’s interaction with its environment. 5. Interaction And Relationships In face-to-face situations human beings cannot avoid communicating with one another. This “interpersonal” communication, which involves processes such as “speech” and “body language,” plays an important role in the formation, development, and dissolution of human relationships.


6. Mass Communication Approximately five hundred years ago a new form of communication arose. This “mass” communication process, which makes use of permanent text that can be made available to millions of people at the same time, has quickly become an important factor in the lives of many human beings.

To say that the elements of a system are interconnected implies that if something happens to change one part, then at least one other part must change, too. Naturally, as soon as that second part changes, some other part must then change ... and so on. This is somewhat like the effect of touching a bowl of gelatin a single touch results in a long period of jiggling motion. Because systems interact with their environments, they are constantly being “touched” from the outside. This means that most systems are constantly changing, and, because these changes take time, a system cannot be described as having one particular shape. It is this property that makes systems useful for studying the kinds of situations that scholars usually refer to as events, or processes. The idea of a system is well illustrated by the device called a “mobile.” The parts of this system, or objects, as they are often called, are represented in the illustration below as “fishes.” The relationships are established by the bars, which maintain a horizontal spacing among the fish, and the pieces of string, which keep the fish at certain vertical depths.

7. The Communication Environment Human communication takes place within, and cannot be separated from, the complex social environments within which all communicators must live. Systems of belief, technological media, and the presence of cultural artifacts all affect the communication process and contribute to the development of the human social reality.

Notice that the strings and bars
• Connect every fish with every other fish, • Allow the fish to move around quite a bit, yet confine them

Communication: a system for sending and receiving messages. An investigation of this statement will lead first to the idea of a system, and then to the idea of messages.

to a certain area and keep them from falling apart. This is a fine example of how a system works. If any one fish moves, at least one other fish will react by moving, too. Thus, the smallest breeze will keep the mobile in constant motion.


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The following quotation by Stephen Littlejohn provides a more formal definition of the term “system” . From the simplest perspective, a system can be said to consist of four things.
• The first is objects. The objects are the parts, elements, or

Communication Connects
But communication is not merely passive connection. Rather, communication is the process of connecting. It is a collection of renewable actions that work throughout space and over time to form relationships among objects. Communication is not an object itself; it is not a thing, and this leads to a second insight into the nature of communication.


variables of the system. These objects may be physical or abstract or both, depending on the nature of the system.
• Second, a system consists of attributes, or the qualities or

Communication Happens
This is an important observation. It implies that communication can never fully be understand by looking only at “things.” To understand communication, we must also look at the relationships among the “things” and at the environments in which the “things” reside. For example, consider some common communication “things”:
• A paperback copy of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, • A video tape of the CNN 6:00 news broadcast on May 5th,

properties of the system and its objects.
• Third, a system must possess internal relationships among

its objects. This characteristic is a crucial defining quality of systems. A relationship among objects implies a mutual effect (interdependence) and constraint. • Fourth, systems also possess an environment. They do not exist in a vacuum but are affected by their surroundings. Clearly, the “fish” mobile meets these requirements.

• A written invitation to attend my sister’s wedding.

In each case the thing - the actual book, the actual video tape, the actual invitation - is not the communication.
• The communication is the process that connects the readers

of the book to the story told by the author.
• The communication is the process that connects the watchers

It is important to do the following exercise. Thinking about systems in this way is the most effective way to understand them. Consider each of the three systems named here and try to: • Name some of the objects that make up the system,
• Name some of the relationships among the objects, • Describe the environment of the system, and • Describe ways in which the system is constantly changing.

of the broadcast to the events of the day.
• The communication is the process that connects my sister

and I via the announcement of her wedding. True, the book, the tape and the invitation are a part of the communication process, but they are only a part. There are additional observations to be drawn from these examples.
• Communication always happens between or among - it takes

Three Systems
Your body’s nervous system, The legal system of the United States, The U. S. Interstate Highway system.

at least two to communicate.
• Communication involves an exchange - of electrical signals,

of sounds, words, pages of print, or whatever. For ease, these exchanges among communicators will be given the general name: messages. Notice, for example, that each of the previous set of examples contained sender and a receiver and a message. The book was written by its author to be read by its audience. The video tape was produced by one group of people to be watched by another. And the invitation is a message sent from my sister to me. The idea of “messages” is considered at length in these tutorials. At this point, however, it is appropriate to reiterate the two basic rules that have just been uncovered: 1. Communication is a process that happens among and acts to connect communicators through space and over time. 2. Communication involves the creation, transmission, and reception of messages.

The Role of Communication
Notice that these example systems have communication in common.
• The nervous system carries messages from the nerve endings

in our extremities to our brains and back.
• The legal system includes thousands of individuals talking

to one another, laws being read and interpreted, forms being filled out, and so on.
• The highway system requires constant communication

among drivers - turn signals, brake lights, and so on - and between drivers and their vehicles - as, for example, when you “tell” your car to turn left by pulling on the steering wheel. In fact, it might be said that communication is the “glue” that holds a system together. This gives insight into the nature of communication itself, to wit:


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These what interests them. This means most of the time only a part of our mind is paying attention. so much so that even simple messages could be understood differently. says Santosh BabuAll happy families resemble one another. it involves a sender passing on an idea to a receiver. Here are some of the traits of an active listener: • Does not finish the sentence of others. It decodes the sound heard into meaning. The cure: active listening. Read all the instructions below before doing anything. Our preconceived attitudes affect our ability to listen. This forces one to concentrate on what is being said. If you take more time. body language.234 . Normally we think communication is complete once we have conveyed the message: “I don’t know why it was not done. not while they are speaking. barriers are filters that we use to decide what is useful for us. experiences and goals. but does not interrupt incessantly. So when we communicate. A message hasn’t been communicated successfully unless the receiver understands it completely. Often. Perception: If we feel the person is talking too fast. What does a communication process involve? You have an idea that you need to communicate. uncertainty. and ego (we feel we are the center of the activity). this message: “You are very intelligent. you may lose a lot of valuable information. This requires the listener to hear various messages. • Takes brief notes. Some other factors that cause this are defensiveness (we feel someone is attacking us). It could be either spoken or written. hand gestures. expression in the sender’s eyes. is that communication is complete when the mind is happy and uninhibited. rather than the other person can lead to confusion and conflict. rather than focusing on what the other person is saying.. values. • Analyses by looking at all the relevant factors and asking open-ended questions.” Would this message carry the same meaning to the receiver every time you voice these words? The success of the transmission depends on two factors—content and context. No one can completely avoid these filters. superiority (we feel we know more than the other).” Chances are that the message was not perceived properly. see how the other person feels. perhaps. What he meant. Get a paper and pen.That’s Just What I Mean! Most problems arise because people cannot sustain effective communication.. Feedback This is done by restating the other person’s message in your own words. Context is the way the message is delivered-the tone. It may be to gain information. • Never daydreams or becomes preoccupied with one’s own thoughts when others talk. for example. If you start taking every information and message you get seriously. Cultivating the art of listening helps to build bridges and enhance relationships.not on Communication Barriers Ourselves Focusing on ourselves. we are thinking about our response. It helps to make sure that you understood the message correctly. You have two minutes to do this. 6 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. We all have them. solve problems. Hearing is involuntary and listening involves the reception and interpretation of what is heard. and distortion creeps in when the mood is sullen and sad. either verbally or non-verbally. How do you know it has been properly received? By two-way communication or feedback. Content is the actual words or symbols that constitutes a part of the message. confidence and so on). • Plans responses after the other persons have finished speaking. • Does not dominate the conversation. Haven’t you often said “You don’t understand what I say” or words to that effect? Communication is the exchange or flow of information and ideas between one person and another. understand the meaning and then verify the meaning by offering feedback. Effective communication occurs when the receiver comprehends the information or idea that the sender intends to convey. share interests. • Keeps the conversation on what the speaker says. How much better daily communication would be if listeners tried to understand before they tried to evaluate what someone is saying! Let’s do a test of your listening ability. obtain directions. not fluently or does not articulate clearly. • Is aware of biases. Let’s take. Technically.. I had asked him to do it. Most problems in an organization. each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. and a message is sent to the receiver. fear. But if you are not consciously aware of this filtering process.. we may dismiss the person. • Provides feedback. We all interpret words in our own ways. family or group are the result of people failing to communicate. As we believe what we see more than what we hear. We listen uncritically to persons of high status and dismiss those of low status. • Lets others talk. the other person notices two things: What we say and how we say it. it is easy for the attention to drift. understand others. Mental state: People don’t see things the same way when under stress. This involves listening with a purpose. known as language.” Thus begins Leo Tolstoy’s epic Anna Karenina. • Does not answer questions with questions. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Active Listening All of us can hear. knowledge. Hearing and listening are not the same thing. Does a knock on the door sound the same all the time? What if you are alone and you hear a knock at late night? What happens when you hear a knock while you are expecting someone whom you like? People generally speak at 100 to 175 words per minute but we can listen intelligently at 600 to 800 words per minute. The receiver then translates the words or nonverbal gestures into a concept or information. you need to improve your listening skills. we need to control them. What we see and believe at a given moment is influenced by our psychological frames of references-beliefs. you would be overloaded with information. and state of emotion (anger. A way to overcome these filters when you want is through active listening and feedback. This happens to all of us. even show support. we trust the accuracy of nonverbal behavior more than verbal behavior. This type of listening takes the same amount of or more energy than speaking. but all of us cannot listen.

do only the first instruction.• Write your name in the top right corner of the paper • Draw five small squares in the top left corner • Put a circle around each square • Put an X on the lower left-hand corner • Draw a triangle around the X you just made • Sign your name at the bottom of the page • On the back of your page multiply 70 x 30 • Write the answer to the above problem adjacent to your BUSINESS COMMUNICATION signature • Check whether you have done all the above correctly Now that you have finished reading carefully.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 7 . 11. The author is a Delhi-based personal growth trainer.

This is most obvious in cross-cultural situations where language is an issue. Sender/ Encoder/ Speaker The person who initiates the communication process is normally referred to as the sender. She sent a message but the message is more than the words.234 . She was upset because she perceived that her co-workers weren’t as sympathetic to her situation as they should be. the level of acceptance is going to be higher. the process of transmitting information from an individual (or group) to another is a very complex process with many sources of potential error. and the way she expressed herself. a good strategy to be adopted is to expand the purview of the proposal and make it company specific. For example. however. In any communication at least some of the “meaning” lost in simple transmission of a message from the sender to the receiver. It is critical to understand this process. lack of consideration. Was she just trying to convey that she would be late. It is also very important to understand that major of our communication is non-verbal. By the time a message gets from a sender to a receiver there are four basic places where transmission errors can take place and at each place. the boss goes through a complex communication process in “hearing” the message. Similarly. From his personal data bank he selects ideas. The entire burden of communication then rests upon the sender or encoder. If the message can be formulated in accordance with the expectations of the receiver. Communications is so difficult because at each step in the process there major potential for error. Why should he pay heed to the proposal of this consultant? In a situation such as this. but Terry refuses because she would have to take it without pay. The message that Terry sent had to be decoded and given meaning. Terry may not have meant this. The manager had been interacting with many consultants. complicated by her own complex feelings about pregnancy. In many situations a lot of the true message is lost and the message that is heard is often far different than the one intended. she is conveying a number of complex emotions. work. Thus it is no surprise that social psychologists estimate that there is usually a 40-60% loss of meaning in the transmission of messages from sender to receiver. Content • Key stages of communication cycle • Methods of Communication – Verbal and nonverbal The Communication Process Although all of us have been communicating with others since our infancy. encodes and finally transits them to the receiver. he has to ensure that their goals converge. This means that when we attribute meaning to what someone else is saying. If the consultant wishes the HRD manager to communicate with him. In this process a number of factors come into play. The result could be © Copy Right: Rai University 11. The non-verbal part includes such things as body language and tone. • Boss: Terry. Terry has what appears to be a simple message to convey-she won’t make it to work today because of nausia.way process in which there is an exchange and progression of ideas towards a mutually accepted direction or goal. indifference. But she had to translate the thoughts into words and this is the first potential source of error. There are many ways to decode the simple message that Terry gave and the way the message is heard will influence the response to Terry. and her future. The boss “heard” hostility from Terry. it is essential that the basic elements of communication be identified. Terry is communicating far more than that she would miss work. this is the third day you’ve missed and your appointments keep backing up. The objective is to secure consultancy projects on training of personnel. Consider the Simple Example • Terry: “I won’t make it to work again tomorrow. we have to cover for you and this is messing all of us up. it includes the tone. and her late calls. It turns out she was. were really being pressured by Terry’s continued absences. But it is also common among people of the same cuture. but this is what the boss heard. there are a multitude of potential sources of error. in reality. this pregnancy keeps me nausious and my doctor says I should probably be reduced to part time. primary among them being an understanding of the recipient and his needs. among other emotions. He has a tough task ahead of him. understand and be aware of the potential sources of errors and constantly counteract these tendencies by making a conscientious effort to make sure there is a minimal loss of meaning in your conversation. His choice of images and words the combination of the two is what goads the receiver to listen carefully. quite complex. Thus what appears to be a simple communication is. These elements are. Key Stages in Communication Cycle Communication is a two. a consultant wishes to communicate with the HRD manager of a company. Her co-workers. They wished she would just take a leave of absence. was she trying to convey anything else.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 8 LESSON 2: STAGES IN COMMUNICATION CYCLE In this case the boss heard far more than a simple message that Terry won’t be at work today. For this process to materialize. Look at the example. the verbal part of the message actually means less than the non-verbal part. the timing of the call.

• Defensiveness. The formulation of the message is very important. should be based on the requirements of the listener so that its significance is immediately grasped. this error can be minimized or even completely done away with. the medium / channel should be decided. Le us take a look at the typical responses of people involved in miscommunication: “ this is not what I meant” or “ This is not what I said”. Fallacious statements or erroneous conclusions are made because of lack of confirmation through feedback and discrepancy between the message transmitted and understood. The decoding of the message is done in almost entirely the same terms as were intended by the sender. Receiver/ Decoder/ Listener The listener receives an encoded message. or “this was not my intention”. as soon as the HRD manager realizes that the proposal of the consultant is going to result in tangible benefits. the Boss uses language (this is the third day you’ve missed) that is likely to convey far more than objective information. In the example cited above. in oral communication one can afford to be a little informal. the message too would increase in sales. In a work setting.234 © Copy Right: Rai University . ignoring non-verbal cues • Power struggles • Self-fulfilling assupmtions • Language-different levels of meaning • Managers hesitation to be candid 9 11. inconsistency) • Receiver distortion: selective hearing. To Terry it conveys indifference to her medical problems.verbal. he becomes more receptive and his interest in communication is reinforced. listens and responds. tone and other non-verbal forms of communication (see section below) • Noisy transmission (unreliable messages. Medium Another important element of communication is the medium or channel. If feedback is solicited on all occasions. but communication is complicated by the complex and often conflictual relationships that exist at work. Because language is a symbolic representation of a phenomenon. For example. Effective communication takes place only when there is feedback. In the above example. but when using the written mode. This process is carried on in relation to the work environment and the value perceived in terms of the work situation. which you have just told him. What is the order in which he would like to present his ideas? Suppose he has four points to make would he (a) move in the stereotyped manner of presenting them in a sequence or (b) would he like to be innovative and proceed in a creative way? Probability is high that in case (a) he might become monotonous and in case (b) he might touch a wrong spot. for a message. Ask your friend to tell the story. If sufficient preparation has been done. Note that the same words will be interpreted different by each different person. room for interpreation and distortion of the meaning exists. as stated earlier. This can occur when people now each other very well and should understand the sources of error. guilt. written or non. The minute the receiver finds his goals codified in the message. the listener becomes more receptive. Barriers to Effective Communication There are a wide number of sources of noise or interference that can enter into the communication process. Feedback This is the most important component of communication. all rules of communication need to be observed. At this stage the sender has to be extremely cautious. it is even more common since interactions involve people who not only don’t have years of experience with each other. distortions from the past • Misreading of body language. Try to understand the entire communication process through the above diagram. the message too would be formulated in a manner conducive to the interests of the HRD manager. The errors and flaws that abound in business situations are a result of lack of feedback. the following suggests a number of sources of noise: • Language: The choice of words or language in which a sender encodes a message will influence the quality of communication. Source SENDING Encoding Transmission Decoding Noise Receiver Feedback Loop Encoding Transmission Decoding Activity Try not to narrate a story of a film you recently saw to your friend.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION highlighted and spelt out in terms of increase in sales. Prior to the composition of the message. which is incorrectly structured. The message thus has made an impact. In a work setting. Each medium follows its own set of rules and regulations. which he attempts to decode. It must be remembered that anything in writing is a document that would be filed for records or circulated to all concerned. It could be oral. Meaning has to be given to words and many factors affect how an individual will attribute meaning to particular words. can turn the receiver hostile or make him lose interest. If sufficient preparation has been done. How then should the message be formulated and transmitted? The ordering. project. distorted perceptions. If the goal of the sender is envisioned as similar to his own. transference. he sits up. It is important to note that no two people will attribute the exact same meaning to the same words. Message Message is the encoded idea transmitted by the sender.

Given some dramatic differences across cultures in approaches to such areas as time. Invariably. 6. Lets us first take a look at the 7 C’s: 1. The next stage is the Makes comprehension easier transmission of the message in a manner which makes it simple for the receiver to comprehend. educational background and status of the decoder help the encoder in formulating his message. A situation in which the listener is forced to check the presented facts and figures should not arise. This is when we assume that the other person has certain characteristics based on the group to which they belong without validating that they in fact have these characteristics. should be used. and self-fulfilling prophecies.” The two statements convey totally different impressions. In the business world. the usage of terms should be nondiscriminatory. Concrete and specific expressions are to be preferred in favour of vague and abstract expressions. he should ensure that the shift is gradual and not hard for the receiver to comprehended. Concreteness. Once the credibility of the sender has been established. the second is more tactful and appreciative of the efforts put in by the receiver at an earlier 10 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. the attributes assigned should be the same. 4. Instead of stating: “There has been a tremendous escalation in the sales figure”. these shortcuts introduce some biases into communication. Consistency – The approach to communication should. If the sender can establish his credibility. miscommunication can arise. projection. Stereotyping is one of the most common. 5. there should be accuracy in stating the same. Correctness. In continuation of the point on correctness.” • Jane: “This is an interesting project. If it is being used as a corrective measure. it should be observed without there being situations in which the sender is left groping for the actual content or meaning. Do you think you would be able to do it. the opportunities for mis-communication while we are in cross-cultural situations are plentiful. • Courtesy. If the sender decides to back up his communication with facts and figures. The manner in which it is stated brings about a difference in approach. only the positive and pleasant “you-issues” should be considered. Abstractions or abstract statements can cloud the mind of the sender. Suppose we sat down and discussed it threadbare I’m sure your would be able to do wonders. Example: • Jane:” You can never do things right. For example. has same feelings as you • Distrusted source. Development of interest in the “you” will perforce make the other individual also see the point of view of the other. simple language and easy sentence constructions. and privacy. motives. the facts and figures presented should be specific. erroneous translation. The level of knowledge. but everyone makes mistakes. Percpetion is also affected by the organizational relationship two people have. I know last time something went wrong with the project.• Assumptions-eg. be consistent. Try working on this project. Finally.g. The first stage is clarity in the mind of the sender. There should not be too many ups and downs that might lead to confusion in the mind of the receiver. Some of these shortcuts include stereotyping. We each have shortcuts that we use to organize data. Absolute clarity of ideas adds much to the meaning of the message. At the time of emphasizing the “you-attitude”. be ignored. This. space. It is a long-drawn out process in which the receiver through constant interaction with the sender understands his credible nature and is willing to accept his statements as being truthful and honest. as far as possible. the sender should ensure that his knowledge of the receiver is comprehensive. For this it becomes essential that the “I” – attitude be discarded in favor of the “you”-attitude. the general concept is that women should be addressed for their physical appearance whereas men for their mental abilities. If the sender desires to bring about a change in his understanding of the situation. almost everything starts with and ends in courtesy. is a stereotype and at the time of addressing or praising members of both the sexes. As far as possible. Clarity. e. Addressing one individual for competence in his profession but neglecting the other on this score because of a so-called ‘inferior’ profession alienates the listener from the sender. If a certain stand has been taken. In case there is any discrepancy between the usage and comprehension of terms. communication from a superior may be perceived differently than that from a subordinate or peer Cultural Differences: Effective communication requires deciphering the basic values. In the business world almost all professions are treated with respect. state of mind of two people • Perceptual Biases: People attend to stimuli in the environment in very different ways. 2. aspirations. the receiver has no problems in accepting his statement. suppose the sender made the following statement: BUSINESS COMMUNICATION communication is affected by the past experience with the individual. While the first statement is more accusative. expressions that might hurt or cause mental pain to the receiver should.234 . then the results are not going to be very positive or encouraging. Much can be accomplished if tact. 7 C’S’ and 4 S’s 7 C’s In any business environment. Credibility. however. Similarly for occupational references. The crux of the message in both the statements is the same: You want an individual within an organization to undertake a project. adherence to the 7 C’s and the 4 S’s helps the sender in transmitting his message with ease and accuracy. and assumptions that operate across geographical lines. which are not difficult for the receiver to grasp. If you are lucky you may not have to redo it. At the time of encoding. value judgment. as far as possible. Further. diplomacy and appreciation of people are woven in the message. assuming others see situation same as you. attempts should be make at being courteous in expression. • Interpersonal Relationships: How we perceive stage. Establishing credibility is not the outcome of a one-shot statement.

customers. When we ask people how well they communicate. would not materialize. is the person who responds. one size fits all. employees. Shortness. and our professionalism by the way we write. even if going full swing. If the sender himself believes in a message that he is about to transmit.g. and often an impossibility. it’s often a cinch. Simplicity. e. if they carry on their expeditious travails. and managers. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 4 S’s S’s Shortness Simplicity Strength Sincerity Relevance Economises Impresses Convinces Appeals Keys to More Effective Communication Over 70% of our time is spent communicating with others. “How can one ever know how well they get their ideas across to another person? All I can tell you is I work more hours trying to communicate than I can count. act. Reveal clarity in the thinking process by using simple terminology and equally simple concepts. and it still doesn’t work some of the time. Sincerity. Everyone must communicate their needs and ideas. and that’s the one interaction every person must do. Conciseness. 1. and none of them involve words. business transactions. It’s a language in which ravel and unravel mean the same thing. Communication is just as important as what we say because people judge us. and most prevalent. Flooding messages with high sounding words does not create an impact. dress. “What do you mean ‘how well?’ I don’t think about communicating.” Another will react with surprise and ask me. Unfortunately. the statement is rather long and convoluted. Every organization must communicate its products and services. and verbosity done away with. the sound of the background music of a horror movie—all these move us to action or reaction. The strength of a message emanates from the credibility of the sender. As far as possible. Usually the policy date… In the first example. our companies. “I communicate perfectly. Simplicity both in the usage of words and ideas reveals a clarity in the thinking process. in its own way. Some just don’t have the professional impact they need to get ahead in today’s corporate world.” Each answer. 7 C’s C’s Credibility Courtesy Clarity Correctness Consistency Concreteness Conciseness Relevance Builds trust Improves relationships Makes comprehension easier Builds confidence Introduces stability Reinforces confidence Saves time 4 S. 7. Communication is both a science and a feeling. The same can be said about communication. 3. The smell of a woman’s perfume. Successful people know how to communicate for results. “Brevity is the soul of wit. A sincere approach to an issue is clearly evident to the receiver.” it is said. element of deceit involved in the interaction or on the part of the sender. The message to be communicated should be as brief and concise as possible. and manage our responsibilities. I just do it. neither too much nor too little . only simple and brief statements should be made. no chance at all mean the same thing. flammable and inflammable mean the same thing.“There has been an escalation in the sales figures by almost 50% as compared to last year. talk. Suppose there is a small 11.” The third type will reflect on the question thoughtfully before saying something like. fat chance. the second example gives it the appearance of being crisp. If the receiver is keen an observant. Our language is flexible. our products.” The receiver is more apt to listen and comprehend the factual details. it will be reflected in the manner in which he communicates. 2. Weighty language definitely sounds impressive but people would be suitably impressed into doing precisely nothing. many people have trouble in this area. Excessive information can also sway the receiver into either a wrong direction or into inaction. and you must have a good communication style.s An understanding of the 4 S’s is equally important. the sight of a blind person’s cane. If the sender is genuine. concise and to the point. outside groups. First. I spell everything out so there’s nothing left to doubt. Halfhearted statements or utterances that the sender himself does not believe in adds a touch of falsehood to the entire 4. the taste of semisweet chocolate. their answers usually fall into one of three categories. However. slim chance. In short.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 11 . Quantum of information should be just right. You deal daily with peers. Little do they realize how much they have lost as the receiver has spent a major chunk of his time in trying to decipher the actual meaning of the message. how well we communicate with others. Many people harbour a misconception that they can actually impress the receiver. Strength. It is normally a tendency that when an individual is himself confused that he tries to use equally confusing strategies to lead the receiver in a maze. is correct. Communicating today is both a discipline and a liberation. They know how to say what they mean and get what they want without hurting the people they deal with. our services. These are all examples of effective communication. If the message can be made brief. the feel of the feverish brow of a sick child. there is bound to be strength and conviction in whatever he tries to state. he would be able to sense the make-believe situation and. then transmission and comprehension of messages is going to be faster and more effective.

or disapprove the other person’s statements. ideas. it’s easier for us to communicate. For this reason. Communication climates also affect us. or when you need a record of the communication. stores. All of us are familiar with the content of communication. human transmitters and receivers have channels. no matter how hard you try. face-to-face dialogue. etc. Auditory. there must be a two-way interchange of feelings. evaluations. there’s a garbled message. and because we deal with it every day. Some people are visually oriented. the message will never be what you say—the message is always what they hear. The major barrier to communication is our natural tendency to judge. “I do too!” or you’ll say. Visually oriented people say things like: “Here’s what it looks like to me. A communication channel is the medium through which information passes from sender to receiver: lecture. We’ve all been in restaurants. The choice of a channel may affect the quality of the communication and.Communication is full of risks. When it’s cold. allows considerable two-way communication to take place. No communication ever travels from sender to receiver in the same shape intended by the sender. legal or financial data. First. And it’s not uncommon for weather conditions to affect our mood. it’s important to decide in advance whether a meeting will actually achieve the desired result. and we don’t usually know what kind of noise the other person is hearing. That 12 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. your first reaction will be to evaluate it from your point of view. and approve or disapprove what the other person said. Choose Your Channel Like a radio. uneasy. and homes where we felt comfortable and at ease. Suppose the person next to you at lunch today says. and shops where the climate has been negative. They say: “Here’s what it sounds like to me. and less open. Physical climate affects us in many ways. there is some sort of content to be covered—instructions. The phone also has more impact and sense of urgency than written communication. They store pictures.” What will you say? Your reply will probably be either approval or disapproval of the attitude expressed. such as engineering. It also has the advantage of speed.” In other words. since communication breakdowns often result when complex material is presented orally. People tend to broadcast how they process information. When the communication climate is positive. They remember and imagine things by what they look like. And. we can never really be sure of our success. Auditory people remember and imagine things by what they sound like. In those instances. you can at least reduce the risk and improve your chance of being effective. and group meetings. But if you have a system to go by. That’s not coming in clear to me. The problem is that each of us has different barriers. Some people are auditory—they store sounds. Face-to-face communication has more urgency than meetings. but not as much as a meeting. express thoughts and feelings. They can be either positive or negative. solve problems. it is very much heightened in those situations where feelings and emotions are involved.234 . ideas. To insure that messages are understood on the phone. “I think she’s terrible. Are you making the climate negative for those you work with? Eliminate Static Another helpful skill is elimination of communication “static” or barriers. because it’s the most obvious factor. How can you figure out a person’s processing system? By listening. In short. If there’s too much static. it makes working and dealing with other people more pleasant and productive. or taking disciplinary action. Meetings are appropriate when there is a need for verbal interaction among members of a group. It’s usually best to use face-to-face dialogue when the interaction is personal—when giving praise. and usually elicits a quick response. and conferences. Therefore. “I really like what Kay duPont has to say. You’ll either say. and a fine-tuning of skills. the degree to which the receiver will respond to it. evaluate. when transmitting large amounts of data. telephone conversations. approve. we wear protective clothes. This is known as the communication climate. you must decide which channel will be most effective in accomplishing your purpose. in turn. The telephone is appropriate when communicating simple facts to a few people. offices. clarification of signals. We usually don’t enjoy attempting to communicate or do business in a negative climate. counseling.” All visually oriented terms. Sometimes we guess. two factors are always present. written messages. discussions. Although the tendency to make evaluations is common in almost all conversation. For communication to occur. we were uncomfortable. reach decisions. Written communication should be used when communicating complex facts and figures or information. how they file their data. news. When it’s raining. and sometimes we guess wrong. Some people are kinesthetic— they store touch sensations. despite whatever precautions and plans we make. values. gossip. reports. offices. We’ve also been in homes. The second factor that is always present when people get together to communicate is the atmosphere or feeling that accompanies what you say. we wear warm clothes. Studies have revealed that supervisors spend more than half of their potential productive time in meetings. Written communication is also the best channel when communicating with large numbers of people. Tune in One of the best ways to “tune in” to the other person is to find out how they process and store the information they receive. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Adjust the Climate Whenever people get together to communicate with one another. or noise. Do you see what I mean? Do you get the picture? I need a clearer vision of that. and Kinesthetic. Studies of Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) have proved that there are three sensory process types: Visual. you may want to ask for feedback and check to make sure the communication link is complete. We usually want to go back to those places.

When this occurs. In fact. or kinesthetic. studies prove that 93% of your message is nonverbal and symbolic. If you want me to understand how you feel or see what you mean or get in tune with your ideas. and our symbols—like clothing and hairstyles—say still a third thing. This is a very sophisticated form of communicating. auditory. Is there any difference between the responses of the two students? If yes. and I hear in pastry. .all it takes is awareness and practice. “Power is with the person who can communicate well. That was a weighty issue. It is decided beforehand that the message transmitted in the first group is meaningful and in the second.rings a bell. Employees learn to cue on the boss’ moods. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Know Your Nonverbals Body movement. Studies have also taught us that sometimes our tongues say one thing. children instinctively watch for signs from their parents. Pick up any two students in your class.” People don’t always use the same sensory words. we can’t communicate. Exercise 1. . and clothing are also very important elements.someone who is willing to listen and solve problems? Or is it of someone who is unfriendly and uncaring? Do your clothes and posture reflect a person of high quality or one of sloppy habits? Over 2 centuries ago. Note down their verbal responses and body language. That was a heavy burden. and can be very effective. eye contact. posture. Ben Franklin said. We’re not in tune on this. Both the groups are numbered and further subdivided into senders and receivers. And the power exists within you. . a mere exchange of social pleasantries. not what they hear. At random give feedback to both of them – positive to one and negative to the other. of course.” It’s truer today than it has ever been. Is it one of assertive confidence. Do you hear what I mean? We need to have more harmony in this office. Divide the section into two groups with two observers.” Kinesthetic people remember and imagine things by the feel of them. what is it? What strategies can be used to even out the differences? 2. but we do tend to use one sensory process about 70% of the time. So you need to be constantly aware of the image you portray. our bodies say another thing. How do these cues affect the meaning of words? What is their impact on the receiver? 11. you need to talk to me in words I’ll relate to—either visual. Observe the non-verbal cues in a piece of communication. They say: “Here’s what it feels like to me.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 13 . spouses learn to react to each other’s movements. Do you grasp what I’m saying? That was a rough problem. Observers list down the criteria that help them to determine the significance of the message – whether it is meaningful or being used to while away the time. . the normal person will believe what they see. If you talk to me in flowers.

Thus the formal communication channels are needed for the very reason of activating information flow in the organiza-tion.. writing (memo) . Note the dimensions of communication even in the small office environment. annual reports to communicate the essential message. Restricts unwanted flow of information . However. when and where. Some of the merits of formal communication network are discussed below: 1. External We have by now gathered some knowledge on what communication is. like gestures . Otherwise they will be finding themselves in the midst of all relevant and irrelevant information. A third mode of communication is circumstantial communication. 3. Satisfy the information needs of the -organization . how is it important in business and key stages of communication as well.e.Formal communication channels work as linking wires in a big sized organization. it has to have some basis to substantiate it. towards its growth. The communication network in an organization is of two types: 1. Anil Enquires from his secretary . Coordination and control.g.all are downward communication. Sandeep was very angry and wanted to stop this practice. Another is by using the expressions other than words . They are constantly interacting with each other and with people outside the company. Today we shall learn the different methods of communication. He called those executives and and warned them. e. After a while she reported that two marketing executive came on Saturday evening to seek some information and since he was not there. he found that somebody had tempered with his personal computer and that it was plugged on. downward. executives reply to Sandeep –all are upward communication. 4. In such large setups. 6. They adopt a number of strategies. warns the executives and issues a memo .. It could be both formal and informal. newsletters. He called up his personal secretary and enquired as to who could have done that. Large organizations with hundreds of people working find it very difficult to have direct interaction with each and everyone. It is any time more reliable and accurate than the informally obtained information. i. horizontal and diagonal Internal Communication Formal Communication Interaction between members of the same organizations called internal communication.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 3: TYPES OF COMMUNICATION Communication Network An organization is a composite of many individuals working together. Secretary enquires about who came in the boss’s room – horizontal communication. Now we will see the various forms of communication and different channels and directions through which communication may pass. that itself has a restrictive implication that he need not disseminate this information anywhere else. Reliability and accuracy of information . that is the people communicating make no deliberate effort. the message is conveyed by the way the things are . the formal communication network entails some limitations also: Introduction When Anil entered in his office on a Monday morning.e. body language. they used his computer for that. Sorts the information for high-level executives . and thus integrate its functioning. Here Anil used speech (words spoken). body language (his expression when he talked to the marketing executives and paralanguage (stern tone of voice) to make his people aware of his sentiments. Internal 2. memo) and informal channels (discussion among employees) contributed to spread the news.234 .Formal communication channels facilitate the flow of selective information to the top executives. Contents • Methods of Communication – Verbal and nonverbal • Channels of communication – formal and informal • Dimensions of communication – upward. channels and dimensions of communication. We will divide our discussion into two categories. Secretary reports.When a person is supposed to formally communicate some information to some authority.When information moves through formal channel. Integrates the organization .By providing required information at right time to right places. Methods of Communication One of the ways of communicating is by words whether by way of speech or by way of writing. 14 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. it is neither possible nor necessary to transmit all information to every member. Both formal (i. etc. what kind of information is required and who is to provide it. 5. He issued a memo to this effect and distributed it in the office. 2. For example : the elaborate décor of one’s office room conveys that he is holding a high position in the organization.Formal channels of communication are designed to cater to the informational needs of the organization. the formal communication networks greatly facilitates coordination and control in the organization.

3. gossip. Managers may use the grapevine to distribute information through planned leaks or judiciously placed just between you and me” remarks. There appear to be four patterns to this form of communication. individuals are indifferent about Informal Communication Informal communication network is not a deliberately formed network.m. and social interchanges at work. in communication gaps within the formal channels. Speed .1. 2. and other facilities required for the communication network make it an expensive proposi-tion. Many a times they do not even recognize each other. and diagonal. Secretaries/administrative assistants . However.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 15 . Grapevine show admirable disregard for rank or authority and may link organization members in any combination of directions. This adversely affects superior subordi-nate relationship. Research evidence shows that the cluster is the most popular pattern that grapevine communications take. These in turn allow employees to fill. down hallways. Since grapevine is the most widespread and commonly used informal commu-nication network. 2. Which individuals are active on the grapevine often depends on the message. A message that sparks the interest of an employee may stimulate him to tell someone else. through lunchrooms. 11. and cliques develop. It works as a linking chain . under formal channels. a few people are active communica-tors on the grapevine. they tell people at random. generally line supervisor is the person who has to devote a good deal of time because in forwarding information. Also.00 p. An organization has to have a formal commu-nication structure. he tells that to person C. a study conducted by Keith Davis revealed that wife of a plant supervisor has a baby at 11. the need for a formal network of communica-tion cannot be done away with. 4. person A conveys the information to a few selected individuals.The informal communication (specially grapevine) is a very speedy network to spread the information. Creates gaps between top executives and lower subordinates . It arises to meet needs that aren’t satisfied by formal communication. Let’s take a look at how communication travels along the informal network-the well-known grape-vine. one person seeks out and tells everyone the information that he has obtained. Employees form friendships. they talk in gatherings. views and thoughts. It consists of rumors. Grapevine _.Since most of the reporting goes from down to up. • In the gossip chain. and those people in turn tell others at random. Informal communication satisfies this need very well. Better human relations . This chain is least accurate in passing the information.Man being a social creature needs to have social interaction. More-over. It is an expression of their natural motivation to communi-cate. Satisfies social needs of members .horizontal. • In the probability chain. person A tells something to person B. This leaves him with little time to perform other organizational functions properly. This chain is often used when the information is mildly interesting but insignificant. • In the cluster chain. it provides the workers an outlet to freely express their fears. In this.It is very common that the secre-taries or administrative assistants of the top bosses pass and receive much information informally. That is. As Kieth Devis puts it.Formal communication channels reduce the need of contact between the top executive and the subordinates at the lowest level. another message that’s perceived to be of lesser interest may never be transmitted further. This chain is often used when information of an interesting but non-job related nature is being conveyed.m. Whatever these limitations are. he tells that to another person down the line to Y and so on.There are dangers of messages being lost. It increases the workload of the line supervisor . showed that 46% of the management personnel knew of it through the grapevine. 4. paper work.00 p. and wherever people get together in groups. As a rule. the persons working at same place may talk just like that. personal. filtered or distorted as they pass through many points. the grapevine flows around water coolers. Of course one can strive to make it more economic and efficient by not being too rigid and too elaborate. Time consuming and expensive . only about 10 per cent of the people in an organization act as liaisons who pass on information to more than one other person. • The single strand is the way in which most people view the BUSINESS COMMUNICATION grapevine. For instance. Merits of informal Communication The informal communication has the following advantages: 1.Since formal communication channels involve lot many levels. we would discuss it in detail. The grapevine exists outside the formal channels and is used by people to transmit casual. involvement of executive’s time. information takes time to travel across. Patterns of Grapevine Communication The grapevine is active in almost every organization. Social gatherings . and truthful information. Its speed is very fast as compared formal communication.organizational gatherings give a chance to people of various ranks to meet and talk 3. Following are some of the’ sources of informal communication: 1.where a manager informally walks through the work area and casually talk to employees 4. vertical. and a plant survey the next day at 2. 3. and likewise. Information may get distorted . whom they offer information to. some of those individuals then inform a few selected others. channel mostly associated with gossip and rumors 2. Management by walking around .It links even those people who do not fall in the official chain of command.Informal communication is a very good way to promote good human relations in the organization.

Grapevine information is generally incomplete. As communication proceeds with external customers. Feedback/motivation . Establishing good relations.Informal communication is not authentic. Thus when we say downward communication. when you restock the shelves. they need to protect the image of the organization and create a positive impression that has long-lasting impact. Advertising 2. call the manager” is an instruction about the practice followed in the organization. with different personalities and different expectations. Not authentic . The image of the company is contingent upon the relationship that it maintains with people outside. The message may also be insufficient or unclear. It may lead to the leakage of confidential information. The same would not hold true if he is communicating at the external level. issuing tenders. no matter what form it takes. Incomplete information . The result may be confusion. Note that despite all these limitations. motivating them. we rotate the stock like that so that the customers won’t wind up with stale merchandise” is a statement explaining the purpose of the instruction given in the above example.Telling the subordinates about their performance and. Responsibility cannot be fixed . at worst. Mails 7. Job procedures/instructions. 3. 11. fall mainly within the domain of corporate communications. the informal communication system permits employees to satisfy their need for social interaction. It does not only take place with people within the organization but with people outside the organization as well.life you keep up the good work. Letters External communication could again be oral or written.234 External Communication Communication is an ongoing process. Public relations 4. Negotiations 6. and frequently faster and more efficient channels of communication. For example. 4. almost all skills needed for adept communication have to be brought to the fore to avoid any embarrassment or lapse in performance. horizontally. you will be assistant manager by the end of the year”. Very often. Job rationale. regulations. put the new merchan-dise behind the old stock” is an instruction. Since the person giving the message has different level of understanding than that of the receiver.directions about what to do or how to do the things. 16 © Copy Right: Rai University . BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Dimensions of Communication Within an organization. an individual can. sending letters are all part of external communication. There may be several types of downward commu-nications. the recipient not having the ability to understand the communication may hinder communication.5. in practice. this is a different task as interaction takes place and varies between a host of people belonging to different disciplines. it has to adopt the latter form of communication also. negotiating or conducting a deal. upward.Information about rules. External communication can take on a number of forms. be slightly relaxed. media interaction. Different per-sons may distort the message because of different interpretations. or. 2. II don’t try to argue with the unhappy customers. Policies and practices . 3. and works parallel to the formal network. and public relations. The message could be too big to be fully understood in the time available. Limitations of Informal Communication The limitations of informal communication are as follows: 1. It serves to fill the possible gaps in the formal communication. there are chances that it gets distorted by the time it reaches to the targeted person. Much is at stake at the time of external communication as individuals are representatives of the companies. communication may flow downward. 2. An example would be a communication quoting the location of a meeting without any instruction on how to find that location.Informal channels may not always be active therefore is not dependable. For example.Informal communication is oral in nature and it is very difficult to fix the responsibility of the communicator for the message transmitted. and practices to be followed. It can be used positively to improve an organization’s performance by creating alternative. While communicating at the internal level. or diagonally. Telegrams 8. Following discussion pertains to these dimensions of communication networks: Downward Communication Downward communication occurs when-ever messages flow from top of the organization through various levels to the bottom of the organization. it may also happen that the way receiver interprets the message is not what the sender wants to convey. like. For example. namely-: 1. interacting with clients. This communication helps the subordinates to know what is expected of them and brings in greater job satisfaction and improves morale of the employees. The mangers can do this if they pay due attention to informal communication networks. The main problem with the downward communication is that when the information passes through various hierarchical channels. on a few occasions.Explanation of purpose of doing a task in a certain way. The first three forms of communication mentioned above. Presentations 5. If a company has to survive in the competitive environment. we mean that communication is flowing from upper rung of the ladder of the organization to the lower one. Not dependable . It may lead to generation of rumors in the organiza-tion. An example would be a manager attempting to explain too much of a complex task at a time. policies. advertising. 5. Media interaction 3. exasperation. If you can’t handle them. soliciting proposals. 4. viz. 1.

especially when the news is not what the boss wants to hear. 11. suggestions.” -subordinate informing unsolved work problem to the superior.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 17 . behaviour. When a supervisor in the credit department communicates directly with a regional marketing manager. these may be overcome. money. bypassing vertical and horizontal channels expedites action and prevents others from being used merely as conduits between senders and receivers. The Strengths and weaknesses of each communication method are not just a factor of the media elements they can employ. Despite the importance of upward communication. Subordinates get an outlet for their grievances. However. On the basis of such knowledge and information. the management may improve its behaviour. The management may use an open door policy. Although communication along every dimension entails its own merits and problems. who look the things from their own angles. They may feel that they are contributing towards the goals of the organization. horizontal. Horizontal communication helps in coordinating the activities of different departments at the same level. Communication is required at every level from every direction depending upon the situational need.Diagonal communication cuts across functions and levels in an organization. but also the broad categories that they fall into.Messages flowing from subordinates to superiors are termed as upward communication. If the efforts are made to make direct and clear communica-tions. Also. The departmental heads may sit together and thrash out problems/wastage of time. labor and-materials. activities and feelings of the’ workers on the job. who’s not only in a different department but also at a higher level in the organization. They can begin the process by announcing their willingness to hear from. grievance procedures. and opinions. The main problem is the difference in approach and vision of different functionaries. etc. group meetings and the suggestions book. A major problem with this form of communication is that it departs from the normal chain of command. Upward Communication .. hospital admission call intensive care to reserve a bed and so on. the increased use of electronic mail systems in organizations has made diagonal communication much easier. we cannot do without any of them.is a reply to an equity from the boss. “The problem with the machine is continuing. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Department A Department B Diagonal or crosswise Communication . it may get delayed. The main object of this type of communication is to coordinate the efforts of different but related activities. upward. introduce motivational plans and improve its controlling function. subordinates. Most of the responsibility for improving upward communication rests with managers. Some of the examples are given below: “We will have the job done by tomorrow” . The most obvious type of horizontal communication goes on between members of the same division of an organization. Given the potential for problems.they’re engaged in diagonal communication. and diagonal. To minimize communication gaps. At times the message may get lost in between. these problems do not undermine the importance of downward communication. co-workers on a construction project. most diagonal communications also encompass a vertical communication to superiors or subordinates who may have been bypassed. employees find it difficult to participate in it. In some situations. opinions. etc. There are four independent dimensions that help considerably in categorizing the methods: • Recorded v live • Passive v interactive • Local v remote • Push v pull Upward Communication Downward Communication Horizontal and Lateral Communication . Busy superiors may also be too occupied to pay attention to employees. why would individuals resort to diagonal communication? The answer again is efficiency and speed. Being frank with superiors can be risky.This is a communication between persons of same hierarchical level.When the message passes through many channels. periodic inter-views. For example – accounts department calls mainte-nance to get a machine repaired. Formal network channels facilitate the flow of information in every direction-downward. It stops working after every hour and has to be restarted. office workers in the same department. Upward communication is important because It helps the top management in knowing about the attitudes.

Live Live communication is delivered as it happens. manuals. The receiver is not able to respond directly to the communication. letters. manuals. Examples are letters. phone calls and videoconferencing calls. radio and TV broadcasts. the intranet. Remote Remote communication is delivered at a distance. radio and TV broadcasts. in real-time. CDROMs. Push Push communications are sent to specific recipients. meetings. phone calls and video conferencing calls. videotapes. the greater degree of confidence it provides that the message has been understood. transmitted. intranet pages and some radio and TV broadcasts. Examples are audio tapes and CDs. Local Local communication is stand-alone and off-line. such as intranet pages. CD-ROMs. on-line. the message can be a considered one and the recipient can access the communication at a time that suits them. it is quicker. printed materials. Passive Passive communication is one-way. Examples are CD-ROMs (assuming they do not contain purely linear material). one-to-ones. Communication methods compared IT IS NOW POSSIBLE to look at the applicability of each method by identifying where it sits against each of the four dimensions and the media elements it is capable of employing. Examples are e-mails. Faxes are local even though the process by which they are transmitted is not. one-to-ones.The advantages of interactive communication are the opportunities it provides for feedback. 18 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. memos and reports. Examples are audio tapes and CDs. printed materials. Interactive Interactive communication is two-way. An advantage of remote.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Recorded Recorded communication is prepared in advance of its delivery.234 . The advantages of passive communication are that it requires less effort from the recipient and that. manuals. faxes. videotapes. phone calls and videoconferencing calls. Pull Pull communications are made available to be accessed at the recipient’s discretion. the intranet (to the extent that interactive facilities are provided). videotapes. faxes. letters. memos and e-mails (to the extent that they are exchanged). Examples are live radio and TV broadcasts. even though it might have been originated at a distance. printed materials. memos and reports. recorded media. meetings. wherever they are and that communication can take place over large distances. is that they can be easily updated centrally. It occurs where you are. meetings.The advantage of push communication is the greater certainty that it provides that a message will reach its target within an appropriate timeframe.The advantages of local communication are that no sacrifice has to be made to quality because of bandwidth limitations and that there are fewer restrictions on where the media can be used or the communication can take place. Examples are audio tapes and CDs. letters. Each party in the process is able to send and receive communication. Examples are audio tape and CDs. one-to-ones and meetings.The advantages of pull communication are that it is less stressful for the recipient and that very large quantities of information can be made available at any one time. faxes and e-mails. the intranet. manuals. one-to-ones. phone calls and videoconferencing calls. videotapes. radio and TV broadcasts. e-mails. printed materials. The advantages of remote communication are that there is no delay in getting the message to the recipient. It is networked. because there are no opportunities for interaction. the recipient can to some extent control the pace of the communication and the message can be tailored to better meet the recipient’s needs. The advantage of live communication is that it is immediate. The process by which faxes are transmitted is also remote. CDROMs. The advantages of recorded communication are that it delivers a consistent message each time. memos and reports.

good for large quantities of info CD-Rrom Recorded. so requires less effort from recipient. so potential for high quality. quicker Local. when the size of the audience makes it cost-effective. when e-mail is not available.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 19 . so potential for high quality. so opportunities for feedback. self-paced Through the spoken word can be specific. so consistent. considered. when recipients have access to players. when an intranet is not available. including body languageThrough non-verbal sounds can create emotional response. message can be tailored Local. convey tone of voice Through still images can be direct and memorable. when interaction is not required. so potential for high quality. portable Pull. show motion. so less stressful. so requires less effort from recipient. so less stressful. so less stressful. memos / accessible when suits user reports Interactive. when the message needs to be tailored to the recipient. so message will reach target on time Manuals Recorded. quicker Local. when you need to create a memorable impression. when no other medium is suitable. good for large quantities of info Letters / Recorded. so less stressful. realism Through the written word can be specific. when the message needs to be tailored to the recipient. considered. when interaction is required. when it is important that you know the recipient will see the message. so potential for high quality. realism Characteristics by dimension When the message can be conveyed using sound alone. attract attention. when portability is needed or when hard copy is essential Typical applications: everyday business communications where no on-line alternative Through the written word can be specific. good for large quantities of info Videotape Recorded. considered. so consistent. considered. so potential for high quality. accessible when suits user Passive. so consistent. so requires less effort from recipient. self-paced When the message can be conveyed using text and still images. when recipients have access to players Typical applications: corporate communications When the message requires a wide range of media types. can check message has been understood. portable Pull. convey tone of voice Through moving images can be direct and memorable.g. quicker Local. selfpacedThrough moving images can be direct and memorable. self-paced When the message requires high quality moving images. portability is needed or hard copy is essential Typical applications: reference. convey tone of voice Through non-verbal sounds can create emotional response. when the size of the audience makes it cost-effective. so consistent. self-paced Through still images can be direct and memorable. attract attention. message can be tailored Local. where no on-line alternative 11. portable Pull. accessible when suits user Passive. so consistent. recipient can control pace. portable Push. when recipients have access to players Typical applications: training and point-of-sale programmes When the message can be conveyed using text and still images. considered. realism Through the written word can be specific. accessible when suits user Passive. good for large quantities of info Characteristics by dimension Through the spoken word can be specific. show motion. self-paced Through still images can be direct and memorable. recipient can control pace. including body language Through non-verbal sounds can create emotional response. accessible when suits user Interactive. when interaction is not required. e. can check message has been understood. portable Pull.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Characteristics by dimension Audio tape/CD Recorded. so opportunities for feedback. when travelling Typical applications: education and training on the move Through the spoken word can be specific.

portability is needed or hard copy is essential Typical applications: corporate communications. so consistent. when it is important that you know the recipient will see the message. self-paced When the message can be conveyed using sound alone. so message will reach target on time Characteristics by dimension Through the written word can be specific. accessible when suits user Passive. so less stressful. when an intranet is not available. considered. so requires less effort from recipient. when the size of the audience makes it costeffective. when an intranet is not available. recipient can control pace. so less stressful. can check message has been understood. considered. considered. so no delays. when the recipient has a radio receiver Typical applications: none Radio Passive. self-paced Characteristics by dimension When the message can be conveyed using text and still images. when quality is important. good for large quantities of info Through the written word can be specific. so consistent. so no delays. quicker Remote. portable Pull. so message will reach target on time Through the written word can be specific. when email is not available. self-paced Through still images can be direct and memorable. quicker Push. good for large quantities of info Fax Recorded. self-paced When the message can be conveyed using text alone. can check message has been understood. Printed materials accessible when suits user Passive. self-paced Through still images can be direct and memorable. marketing materials Through the written word can be specific. accessible when suits user Interactive. when it is important that you know the recipient will see the message. so opportunities for feedback. Typical applications: business messages if no on-line alternative E-mail Recorded.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Characteristics by dimension Recorded. when the message needs to be tailored to the recipient. when both parties have e-mail access Typical applications: everyday business communications Intranet Recorded. so consistent.234 . (if live) when communication needs to be immediate. regardless of distance Push. so potential for high quality. so requires less effort from recipient. when the recipient is at a distance. so less stressful. portability is needed or hard copy is essential Typical applications: reference. when the recipient has a fax machine. considered. so requires less effort from recipient. self-paced When the message can be conveyed using text and still images. regardless of distance Pull. realism When the message can be conveyed using text and still images. quicker Local. convey tone of voice Through non-verbal sounds can create emotional response. self-paced Through still images can be direct and memorable. where no on-line alternative 20 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. when the recipient is at a distance. so no delays. message can be tailored Remote. so consistent. message can be tailored Remote. recipient can control pace. so opportunities for feedback. when the recipient is at a distance. regardless of distance Pull. good for large quantities of info Through the spoken word can be specific. accessible when suits user Interactive.

message can be tailored Local. regardless of distancePull. (if live) when communication needs to be immediate. when communication needs to be immediate. show motion. group decision-making Phone Live. reviews. can check message has been understood. when the message needs to be tailored to the recipient. including body languageThrough non-verbal sounds can create emotional response. convey tone of voice Through moving images can be direct and memorable. recipient can control pace. so no delays. recipient can control pace. show motion. seminars. so immediate Interactive. so opportunities for feedback. when communication needs to be immediate. briefing sessions. can check message has been understood. quicker Remote. when the message needs to be tailored to the recipient Typical applications: interviews. when the recipient has a TV receiver Typical applications: corporate communications using satellite One to Ones Live. regardless of distance Push. convey tone of voice Through moving images can be direct and memorable. convey tone of voice Through moving images (in this case normal sight) can be direct and memorable. when communication needs to be immediate. so can take place anywhere Push. so requires less effort from recipient. including body language When the message requires the parties to see each other. so opportunities for feedback. so opportunities for feedback. so less stressful. can check message has been understood. when the message needs to be tailored to the recipient. good for large quantities of info Characteristics by dimension Through the spoken word can be specific. when the recipient is at a distance.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 21 . show motion. recipient can control pace. so immediate Interactive. when interaction is required. message can be tailored Remote. recipient can control pace. so message will reach target on time Through the spoken word can be specific. when the recipient is at a distance. attract attention. realism Characteristics by dimension When the message requires high quality moving images. message can be tailored Local. everyday business communications Meetings Live. when both parties have access to a phone Typical applications: everyday business communications Video conferencing Live. when interaction is required. show motion.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Characteristics by dimension TV Passive. including body language When the message requires the parties to see each other. when interaction is required. so immediate Interactive. convey tone of voice When the message can be conveyed using sound alone. attract attention. so no delays. convey tone of voice Through moving images (in this case normal sight) can be direct and memorable. so message will reach target on time Through the spoken word can be specific. attract attention. when the recipient is at a distance. message can be tailored Remote. when interaction is required. attract attention. so message will reach target on time Through the spoken word can be specific. so immediate Interactive. when both parties have access to video conferencing facilities Typical applications: important meetings held at a distance 11. including body language When the message requires the parties to see each other. so can take place anywhere Push. so message will reach target on time Through the spoken word can be specific. regardless of distance Push. so no delays. so opportunities for feedback. when communication needs to be immediate. when the message needs to be tailored to the recipient Typical applications: presentations. can check message has been understood.

BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 22 Importance of Communication • Communication is important because it is about how information is sent and received within firms • The way information is communicated is often governed by how firms are structured Illustrating Structures 1 The Pyramid Decisions pass down formal channels from managers to staff Traditional view of organisations Information flows up formal channels from staff to management Forms of Business Structure • Entrepreneurial . individuals have responsibility • Independent . shared decision making. specialisation is possible • Matrix .234 .staff have a role.seen in professions where organisation provides support systems and little else Illustrating Structures 2 Entrepreneurial Key worker Quick to act but pressure on decision makers Decision maker Great reliance on key workers supporting decision makers Key worker One or two people make decisions Most small businesses have this structure Key worker Key worker © Copy Right: Rai University 11.staff with specific skills join project teams.decisions made centrally • Pyramid .

234 © Copy Right: Rai University 23 .BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Illustrating Structures 3 Matrix Marketing Project A Project B Production Finance Channels of Communication • Communication in organisations follows paths or channels • Communication between managers and subordinates is known as vertical communication • This is because the information flows up or down the hierarchy Project teams created Staff with specialist skills More on Business Structure Centralisation • Managers keep control • Decisions are made in the interests of the whole business • Costs can be cut by standardising purchasing and so on • Strong leadership Decentralisation • Empowering and motivating • Freeing up senior managers’ time • Better knowledge of those closer to customers • Good staff development Channels of Communication • Communication in organisations follows paths or channels • Communication between managers and subordinates is known as vertical communication • This is because the information flows up or down the hierarchy 11.

234 . information also passes through an organisation informally • Communication is not complete until feedback has been received © Copy Right: Rai University 11.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 24 Channels of Communication • Channels between departments or functions involve lateral communication • As well as formal channels of communication.

Be Believable : Evaluate everything you say from the pulpit with this question: Is it believable? If you can’t believe yourself when you say something. and by considering carefully the following vital factors: • What is the objective of communication? Is it intended to believe it either. not explaining the vision in clear. 6. 4. which betrays insecurity on your part. Everyday we communicate with each other but lets think for a while. Poor communication. serious. gestures should represent what is happening in the mind. Use gestures well : The effective use of gestures reinforces what a pastor says. Overdramatization. Your eyes are almost as important as your voice. selfcentered anecdotes. When your audience doesn’t believe you. Gesturing also includes looking at people as you talk. but not distracting. speakers get into trouble when they extrapolate a principle into a situation they don’t understand. Choose your words the same way you choose your clothes. The more often we repeat jargon the less clear the meaning becomes. 3. or anything. appropriate for the context. but know nothing about business. Not taking the time to explain the vision. conviction. If you’re speaking about how a certain principle would work in a business setting. not just those in front of you. to request. As with the voice. Honestly communicate what you know. not theirs. on the other hand. We will do this by 11. we have targeted existing service lines and delivery models for transition to more efficient and effective service delivery options. run-on sentences filled with jargon and buzz words create confusion. Language is often an imprecise tool. emotive or informative? • How will the recipient react to the communication ? How will the message affect the recipient? Is it important? Will the recipient be offended or angered? Will it achieve the desired aims? Accomplishing any task with excellence is always a function of mastering the basics. Always keep in mind that someone in your audience may know more than you do about your topic. The six communication basics all of us have to follow are 1. Avoid beginning with a negative tone. Speak with your own voice : Listeners will disengage from a speaker who uses big words to impress his audience or who appears to choose words for the sake of sounding good. give information. are we communicating effectively? Communication. is all about understanding. The seven principles below will help you to avoid mistakes. and yelling focus listeners upon your performance instead of content. it is a distraction. dangerous. your audience won’t Keep it simple Unfocused. whether oral or written. is the best way to demotivate your employees and stall any progress. in this lesson we will understand the importance of effective communication. 5.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 25 . to persuade. Effective communication can be achieved by having a through knowledge of the communication cycle. Consider this example: • Version #1: Our goal is to improve our victim assistance service delivery options so that they are perceptually better than any other service provider within the confines of the country. Your nonverbal signals are also important because they communicate your general demeanor. understandable language. it will show. or not “walking the talk” are some common ways that organizations fail to achieve their goals. A conversational approach works better. Often. without any misunderstanding. but actually disconnect them from listeners. Make sure your eyes sweep across and make contact with people in every part of the audience. which exist. Speaking with authority is dependent upon speaking truth. These focus the audience’s attention on your needs. and accurately reflect what’s happening in your mind. Remember that your knowledge is limited : You may be tempted to appear to know more than you do. Actively engage people’s interest : Many of us use techniques to engage congregations that they believe are effective. If your listener is conscious of your voice. your credibility—and their motivation to keep listening — evaporates. to inform? • Who will receive the communication? What is the relationship between the sender and the recipient? What is the recipient’s background knowledge and experience? • Under what circumstances is the communication taking place? Why is the communication happening? Is it urgent. being aware of the barriers. Our aim should be to communicate a message successfully so that it is received as we intended.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 4: PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION AND IMPACT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY By The End of This Lesson You Should Be Able To • Understand the principles of Effective communication • Discuss the impact information technology • Explain Email etiquettes Students. In a similar vein. excessive emotion. Establish a warm atmosphere : The atmosphere you create with your words and gestures determines the effectiveness of your sermon. Your voice should contain fire. Smiling at people demonstrates openness and invites them to listen. Effective communication is the key to mobilizing your employees behind a new vision. 2. • Version #2: We are going to be the best victim services program of any police force in Canada.

if spending some money up-front can save more in the long-run. Don’t forget. the basic presentational conventions should not be allowed to suffer. The fundamental skills of structure. In other words. Repeat Key Messages For the message to be repeated as often as possible. discussions.” The language is imaginative. Key messages are the ideas that you want your audiences (in your case. bosses. divisional newsletters Quarterly Business Magazines. computer experts are trying to make the task of creating documents much easier.234 . However. then listen to the feedback. No matter how technology develops in the future. so management should guarantee to listen to employees concerns and respond to their own employees within a specified period. When the same message comes at people from six different directions. but it is the essence of what we want our listeners to take away and to repeat. but they have to believe in it first. government officials. and listen with an 26 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. assuming those ideas are well thought out. it’s going to be heard. the originator does not decide on the layout. When responding to a question. client-focused vision. Lead by Example If you do the opposite of what you say. Programs are available that will produce standard layouts for most business documents when inputs or variables are keyed in.having a look at what services we provide and how we provide them. we must put it into action. or just plain colorful language helps communicate complex ideas simply and effectively. Tell me how many of you still write letters to your friends. explain yourself. One example of a key message is: “The employees of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are committed to our communities. Some of these standard layouts leave much to be desired. while technological developments are making your role more interesting and challenging.EMAIL The rapid growth of email has been the most exciting business communication devel-opment in recent years. The transformation from elephant to T-rex described exactly the direction the firm wished to take: still big. plan ongoing communication opportunities including developing your key messages. money and effort. Some may believe that management shouldn’t have to explain itself to its employees. The implications of such information technology on communication methods cannot be ignored. Therefore lets now discuss about Emails. but are also consistently and attractively presented. and in communication it is the input of the operator that will ensure effective communication (or otherwise). Similarly in business emails are used more as an internal communication tool which saves time. Those managers shouldn’t be surprised if their employees lose faith and interest. As an originator of printed communications. high standards must be set and maintained in order to ensure that all your communications are not only appropriately worded and logically structured. Impact of Information Technology In recent years there has been an information technology revolution. If there isn’t a legitimate reason for inconsistent behaviour. While paper-based manual systems for processing information and communicating are still very much evident. but more effective. smaller companies: “We need to be less like an elephant and more like a customer-friendly Tyrannosaurus rex. Here’s a colorful vision statement from a large corporation that was facing fierce competition from a host of new. • If we are encouraging empowerment and trust on paper. the computer program does. change the behaviour — quickly. In just a short Use Many Different Forums to Spread The Word Spread the word in big meetings. Encourage your employees to read national broadcasts. answer the question honestly. more and more office functions and procedures are now being undertaken by computer-based technology. tone and composition will always be of vital importance in ensuring effective communication. Information Technology has revolutionized business communication with Emails. relatives? I guess very few of you and that is because you would love to chat with your friends or send an email rather than taking the pain in writing letters getting it posted and worrying whether your friend will receive your letter? By when? So on and so forth. and give employees the support to run with ideas. • We are promoting a new. but also accurate. a great many people at all levels of the organization have to actually implement the vision to make it real. In the area of text creation. Explain the vision. Sadly. open mind to their suggestions. However the technology will always require people. Which version do you think people will better understand — and respond to? Use Metaphors and Analogy Metaphors. computer experts who may not be so expert in the modern display of business documents write many computer programs. informal one-on-one or group talks and formal presentations. Explicitly Address Inconsistencies If there’s a legitimate reason for inconsistent behaviour.” This would probably never be said as a single statement without example of how we demonstrate this commitment. examples. etc. • If we espouse community policing. and so on. but also use it as a chance to repeat a key message if appropriate. in times of belt-tightening. or think about later on. leaders must demonstrate this to deliver service to all their “communities” which could include employees. your employees) to take home with them. You have to “walk the talk”. you have control over these factors. no one will listen to you. For example. explain that openly and honestly to your employees. Key messages should become a natural part of meetings. to see if we can do it better. Communicating the vision effectively sets the stage for the next phase: getting people to act. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Listen and Be Listened to A final rule: communication should be two-way. analogy.

Many writers routinely follow this practice. is far from standardized. The following stand out: • Email is not confidential. and formal. The remaining information follows in descending order of importance. The. the writ-ing receives the greater emphasis. writing the message. As you will see in the later lesson on internal communication. The informal messages often resemble face-to-face oral communication. the telephone. It includes slang and colloquialisms. those messages that are likely to be received positively or neutrally are written in a direct pattern. some’ even sound like chit that occurs between acquaintances’ and friends. business reports can be communicated by email just as business letters can. • Email may be ignored or delayed. and such are not a part of the message. Among the reasons. body movements. They include the following parts:. Dear Ms. Your title and position also may be helpful. A “friendly generic greeting such as Greeting’s” is appropriate for a group of people with whom you communicate. speed up the process of making business full name also is acceptable.and act on all of their messages. In general. • Attachments In this area you can enter a file that you desire to send along with the message. it is appropriate to identify yourself early in the message. It permits unlimited use at no more than the cost of an Internet connection. facial expressions. email messages begin the recipient’s name. discussing the formality of email writing is difficult. The longer. If not. informative messages. Although the following review covers both. you would do well to organize them carefully. especially the mechanical parts pertaining to structure. They are spared the interruptions of telephone calls. But the second part of your effort. With these messages. and formal email messages frequently follow more involved and strategic organization patterns. especially over its principal competitor. the or she will not know who else is receiving a copy of the message. As you will see. Including the Prefatory Elements Much of what you. You should use your knowledge of report presentation in writing them. Those messages that are likely to be received negatively are appropriately written in an indirect pattern. the specific situation may determine the first words. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Organizing the Contents Even though email messages often are written under time pressure. For most short. because it permits rapid exchanges from an involved in the decisions. • Email is cheap. volume of email often makes it difficult for some respondents to read . these patterns vary depending on how the reader will likely perceive the writer’s objective.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 27 . Use of the recipient’s 11. Its sentences are short-sometimes incomplete. The salutations commonly used in letters ( Dear Sir. Email massages are often written in a fast. How to write it is the subject of much of the following discussion. in. Because of this diversity. decisions. One approach is to view the language used from three general” classifications. That is. the elements are standardized. • Subject This line describes the message as precisely as the situation permits. the following are most significant: Conversely. The recipient’s Writing the Message : Formality Considerations A review of email writing is uncomplicated by the fact that email messages are extremely diverse. some memorandums are communicated by email. They are in telephone and face-to-face communication. This plan. Evaluating Email’s Pros and Cons The reasons for this rapid growth are the advantages email has over other communication forms.. When writing to someone or a group you do not know. It is here that you are likely to need the most help. This identification may include your propose and your company. Beginning The Message Typically. Dear Mr. Gentlemen. In fact. that is. more complex. involves presenting the most important material first. • Email can. . Some long email messages may resemble business reports.time. It uses contractions and personal pronouns freely. first name only is the rule. email has emerged as a mainstream form of business communication. used in newspaper writing. The variety of email messages covers the entire spectrum of written business communication. casual. Email also has its disadvantages. • The message The information you are sending goes here. ) are rarely used in email. his or her address goes here. • Bcc This line stands for blind courtesy copy. “It’s just about as private as a postcard you drop in the mail box. Casual By casual language we mean the language we use in talking with close friends in everyday situations. Although in actual practice it may be subject to message will not show this information. The reader should get from it a clear idea of what the message is about. • To Here is placed the email address of the recipients. do in constructing email messages is standardized. they get to the goal right away and then present their contents systematically and quickly..paced environment with little time for deliberation. you well may follow the organization and writing instructions for business reports. Their negative content is preceded by conditioning and explanation words that prepare the reader for it. It uses mechanical emphasis devices and initializes (to be discussed later). and the reader accessing email on a Web phone or other small screen to get the essential facts more easily. Such an arrangement permits a busy reader to get the essential facts first. Voice intonations. . You should make certain that what you attach is really needed. If writer and reader are acquainted.formal.email saves the time of these busy people. Although the various email systems differ somewhat.” • Email doesn’t communicate the sender’s emotions well. a “top-down” order is appropriate. • Cc If someone other than the prime recipient is to receive a courtesy copy. they run the range “from highly informal to formal.

Clarity Especially important in email writing is clarity of wording. Each of these im-portant qualities for email writing is briefly reviewed in the following paragraphs. It is the language that appears in the text of this book. 3. the current literature has much to say about anger among email participants. As they want it as soon as possible. You should select words that quickly create clear meanings.grammatical incorrectness. is to tell your mailer to include the entire message. High-five me! Just back from confab with pinheads. and so should your paragraphs. The skillful use of positive language and your viewpoint also can be effective in email. Its sentences are relatively short. But as you crystal balled it. We all want to receive courteous and fair treatment. Smita The management team has heartily approved our marketing plan. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Conciseness As we have mentioned. ASAP. my cell. All quoted material should be distinguished from your own words by the sign > at the beginning and the sign < at the end of the quoted part. vigor. Informal: informal language retains some of the qualities. In general. Another technique is to place three of these signs (>>>) at the beginning of all parts you write and three of these signs (<<<) at the beginning of all parts you are quoting from previous messages. It avoids personal references and contractions. but it is proper conversation-not chitchat. it is the writing that you will find in most of the illustrations in Chapters 6-9. 28 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. this is the way we human beings prefer to act. this practice adds length. It is better either to paraphrase the essentials from the original or to quote the selected parts that cover the essentials.234 . It . Also in the interest of good business etiquette. and eti-quette. They’re high on our marketing plan. It makes some use of personal pronouns and contractions. Probably some of the email you will write in business also will fall. Although there is a tendency to create-longer sentences in formal writing. in messages to people of higher status.M. They were most complimentary. But as you pre-dieted. A fourth. in this category.. as we stress elsewhere this practice is not helpful’ to the communication and should be avoided. Much of it will be with your fellow employees and friends in business. Following is an ex-ample of casual language: Hi Cupcake. They have varied patterns that produce an interesting literary style. In the best interests of all concerned. You would be wise to use casual language only when you know your readers well-when you know they expect and prefer casual communication. Nondiscriminatory language also helps. but they are well structured and organized.” as the practice of sending abusive or offensive language is called. Let’s meet. Typically. they said. Unfortunately.” Writing the Message : General Considerations Instructions for writing email messages are much the same as those given in Chapters 2. Your sentences should be short. Even so. Good business etiquette should prevail. email messages should be as short as com-plete coverage of the subject matter will permit. You should strive for concreteness. familiar ones.? TTFN Bugger Most of your personal email (messages to friends) are likely to be casually written. let’s get together to work on it . initializes. You should use its most of your business email messages. especially when writing to people you know only on a business basis. and to people not known to the writer. Correctness One would think that the need for correctness in email writing would be universally accepted. So can the use of conversational language. It means also that the information remaining should be worded concisely. even – especially – the important ones” Frequently in email communication. a need exists to refer to previous email messages. these are the short. “You should not add stylistics and grammatical refinements to your email messages because they’ll slow you down. In the view of one in this group. such is not the case. correctness is equally vital. or such that are not cer-tain to communicate clearly and quickly. Unless the entire message is needed. Eqiquette It goes without saying that good business etiquette should be practiced in all business relations. clarity. Wed. virtually all the instructions given on goodwill building apply here. Its sentences are short. they want a special for the jumbos. Because of the fast pace of email communication. But here some words of caution should be expressed. In act. and precision. they want a special plan for the large accounts. Can we meet Wednesday. This means cutting the information available and using only that which is essential. 10 A. email often is written by busy people for busy people. and 4 for other types of messages. however. has no place in business. Casual lan-guage is best limited to your communications with close friends. emphasis devices. some practitioners argue that “getting the message out there is the important goal – that style need not be a matter of concern. occasionally may use colloquialisms. but more selectively than in casual writing. Never should you use words. of course. this tendency should be resisted Formal style is well illustrated in the examples of formal reports in lesson 22/23 and it is appropriate to use email messages resembling formal reports. This is the way friends talk and their email should be no different. Its sentences are’ well structured and organized. “Short messages are better. In the words of one email authority. of casual writing. In fact. we may group the more important of these instructions under three heads: conciseness. It has the effect of conversation. The easiest way. “Flaming. as can emphasis on sincerity. An example of an email message in informal language is the following: For the purpose of email writing. you will want to let your reader know when no response is required to your email message. 10 am my office Brandon’ Formal A formal style of writing maintains a-greater distance between writer and reader than informal style.

They use asterisks (*) before and after words to show boldface. People will think you’re shouting. and none attached at all: Writers sometimes set up a . you may find that certain elements of style are miss-ing either on your system or on your readers’ systems. Before pressing the Send button. they use the sign at the beginning of the words needing underscoring. although some critics believe this practice is greatly overused. initializm are appropriate primarily in casual messages. Using proper email etiquette is as easy as applying a bit of empathy to your messages: send only what you would want to receive. or sexual? • Are attached files a size that your recipient's system can handle? • Are the files you are attaching virus free? Using Initialisms Cautiously Probably as a result of the early informal development of email. In casual messages. But in some messages. illogical punctuation. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Using Emphasis Devices When you write email messages. The following additional etiquette guides will help you consider a variety of issues when using email: • Is your message really needed by the recipient(s)? • Is your message for routine rather than sensitive messages ? • Are you sure your message is not spam (an annoying message sent repeatedly) or a chain letter? • Have you carefully checked that your message is going where you want it to go? • Has your wording avoided defamatory or libelous language? • Have you complied with copyright laws and attributed sources accurately? • Have you avoided humor and sarcasm your reader may not understand as intended? • Have you proofread your message carefully? • Is this a message you would not mind having • distributed widely? • Does your signature avoid offensive Quotes or • illustrations. a somewhat standardized system of initialisms has developed. Email writers have attempted to overcome the lim-itations of these older systems by developing alternative means of showing emphasis. How one communicates is very much a part of the message. it is important that you include your company and position. Most programs even allow the writer to set up an alterna-tive signature. “People still judge you on how well you communicate… Commercial email represents your company and your brand.formal full signature in one file and an informal-signature in another. In messages to other businesses. If one knows correctness. Solid capital letters are another means of emphasis. The techniques of email writing also are likely to change over time. To show underscoring. font variations. In spite of these apparent advantages. Using Good Email Etiquette Helps Writers Convey Intended Message formal business relationships. Even so. Their purpose has been to cut message length and to save the writer’s time. giving” users the flexibility to’ choose between a stm1dard. acronyms such as THX (thanks) and TTFN ( ta-ta for now) are often used. many writers of email use substitute characters. In the words of one critic “Don’t use solid capital letters. especially those that are religious. • political. Another is the dash (—) followed by a tab space. an error-field message strongly suggests the writer’s ignorance. Computers and their use are changing almost daily. proofread your mes-sage careful1y. One is the asterisk (*) followed by a tab space. ASAP BTW FAQ as soon as possible by the way frequently asked question FWIW for what it’s worth As noted previously. it is easy enough to get it right the first time. Since there is no standardized bullet character that will display on all computers.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 29 . but they are appropriate in message that involves 11. and even graphics. bold. While most of the current ver-sions of Windows and Macintosh email programs support mechanical devices such as underscoring. Such errors reflect on the writer. Today most email software has a signature feature that will automatically attach a signature file to a message. some older or mainframe-based systems do not. italics. cordially) are not widely used. The conventional complimentary closes used in traditional letters (sincerely. constructing sentences. color. and such stand out like sore thumbs. To avoid any such suggestion of ignorance. There’s no room for excuses. and designing paragraphs. It is important to keep in mind that these practices and some of the other pointers given in this review apply only to current usage.” Bad spelling. Closing The Message Most email messages end with just the writer’s name – the first name alone if the recipient knows the writer well. The important point to remember is to close with a signature that gives the reader the information he or she needs to know.We cannot accept this view. You are likely to find others created by your email correspondents. They have meaning only if readers know them. And they can reflect on the credibility of the message. you should be acquainted with the more widely used ones. As expressed by one authority. awkward wording. especially the more formal ones. such as those below. a closing statement may be appropriate. you should follow the grammatical and punctuation instructions presented in lesson 5 and 6. one alternate. And you should follow the basic instructions for using words. Probably these devices are used best in the email messages written in casual languages. What is the logic of doing something wrong when you know better? Clearly. you would be wise to use them cautiously. “Thanks” and “Regards” are popular.” A sign they use to emphasize items in a list is the bullet.

so it is crucial that you follow the basic rules of etiquette to construct an appropriate tone. Without immediate feedback your document can easily be misinterpreted by your reader. The elements of email etiquette l l l l General Format: Character Spacing l l l General format Writing long messages Attachments The curse of surprises l l l l Flaming Delivering information Delivering bad news Electronic Mailing Lists Try to keep your line length at 80 characters or less.234 . keep it to 60 characters or less. © Copy Right: Rai University 11. and grammatical errors l l l Use caps when appropriate. spelling. Try to keep the email brief (one screen length). If your message is likely to be forwarded. Set your email preferences to automatically wrap outgoing plain text messages. Use a font that has a professional or neutral look.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 30 Why is email etiquette important? l General Format: The Basics l l l l We all interact with the printed word as though it has a personality and that personality makes positive and negative impressions upon us. Check for punctuation. Return emails within the same time you would a phone call. l Write a salutation for each new subject email. Format your email for plain text rather than HTML.

undecided). (don’t. ex” or that end with “less” (useless. To: maillist4@cs. • • Use smiles J. l When you are sending an attachment tell your respondent what the name of the file is. Use contractions to add a friendly tone. won’t.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 31 .” instead of “If you complete the report.com l General Format: Tone • Attachments l • Write in a positive tone “When you complete the report. General Format: Addresses Avoid sending emails to more than four addresses at once. l Instead. can’t).” Avoid negative words that begin with “un. number your directions or bullet your main points.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION General Format: Lists and Bullets When you are writing directions or want to emphasize important points. • Empower employees. winks . ex-employee. nonexistent. “This file is in MSWord 2000 under the name “LabFile. For example. create a mailing list so that readers do not have to scroll too much before getting to the actual message.” 11.). 1) Place the paper in drawer A. 2) Click the green “start” button. • Improve customer satisfaction. Another example. and the version of the program. what program it is saved in. non. and other graphical symbols only when appropriate.

regarding your question” Change the subject heading to match the content of your message. It is okay to address someone directly on the list. Budget projections for the last quarter B. Provide a table of contents on the first screen of your email. Create headings for each major section. Projected profitability” l When your message is long l l l Delivering Information About Meetings.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 32 General Tips for Electronic Mailing Lists l l l l Elevator Summary and Table of Contents An elevator summary should have all the main components of the email. As a result I am proposing budget adjustment for the following areas…” l Avoid discussing private concerns and issues. Processes l l Create an “elevator” summary. “Our profit margin for the last quarter went down 5%. © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Provide as much information as possible. “Hi Leslie. Orientations. Actual performance for the last quarter C. Table of contents “This email contains A. Offer the reader an opportunity to receive the information via mail if the email is too confusing. When conflict arises on the list speak in person with the one with whom you are in conflict. Adjustment proposal D.234 . l l Include an elevator summary and table of contents with headings. Ex. If you require a response from the reader then be sure to request that response in the first paragraph of your email.

but what can I do to help?” Avoid using “weasel words” or hedging: “Our pricing structure is outdated. • • • Do not wait until the end of the day to introduce a problem or concern via memo or email.” More examples of hedging are: Intents and purposes Possibly.” Avoid blaming: “I think it will be hard to recover from this. I am willing to meet with the department head and the executive board to seek out a solution that is fair to the members and is good for the business of the organization. ” Writing a complaint • Do not take your reader by surprise or press them to the wall Show why it is critical for the problem to be resolved by your reader. Offer suggestions on ways you think it can be resolved or how you are willing to help in the matter. • • You should briefly state the history of the problem to provide context for your reader.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 33 .BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Delivering Bad News Deliver the news up front: “We are unable to order new computers this quarter due to budget cuts. most likely Perhaps. maybe Writing a complaint Ask for help and offer a resolution: “Please let me know what other options I may have overlooked. Explain the attempts you made previously to resolve the problem. 11. Avoid writing a litany of concerns that you have been harboring for a long period of time.

l l There are times when you may need to blow off some steam.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 34 When you need to flame Flaming in emails • • Flaming is a virtual term for venting or sending inflammatory messages in email. “would I say this to this person’s face?” Calm down before responding to a message that offends you. What you say cannot be taken back. it is in black and white. Once you send the message it is gone. Avoid flaming because it tends to create a great deal of conflict that spirals out of control.234 . Remember your audience and your situation before sending the email. l Read your message twice before you send it and assume that you may be misinterpreted when proofreading. ask yourself. • • Flame fights are the equivalent of food fights and tend to affect observers in a very negative way. Here’s a way to flame: Flame On Your message Flame Off Keep flaming under control • Responding to a flame l • Before you send an email message. thank them for bringing the matter to your attention Explain what led to the problem in question l l l Avoid getting bogged down by details and minor arguments If you are aware that the situation is in the process of being resolved let the reader know at the top of the response Apologize if necessary © Copy Right: Rai University 11. l l Empathize with the sender’s frustration and tell them they are right if that is true If you feel you are right.

BUSINESS COMMUNICATION When Email Won’t Work l l There are times when you need to take your discussion out of the virtual world and make a phone call. a lot of misunderstanding occurs. or when you are delivering very delicate news then the best way is still faceto face. If things become very heated.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 35 . 11.

You don’t need experience as a soldier to be a general. He was trained to be an administrator . a department head wrote this message to subordinates: It is apparent that many of you are not giving the company a full day’s work. and co-editor of The Dark Side of Close Relationships (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. • Learn more on importance of communication in business • Explain the communication model. The change is one that has proven superior wherever it has been tried. Critical Thinking Exercises 1. prosperity. Although she is a good worker . we greatly value clarity. a college . I’ve been here 40 years. Yet. 1998). You may have to give a presentation once you are through with your answers/ solutions. with Nikita the obvious leader. marketing – the whole business field . Dr. He started as a machinist and worked to the top.P (the company founder) was president. “We’ve thought it over” she said. • You will terminate work activities no earlier than 10 minutes • prior to the end of the work period. and honesty. two workers had the following discussion . New York. I know. Further Reading Myths of Effective Communication by Brian H. Analyse the dialogue using the model of communication as the base. Today you directed your subordinates to change a certain work procedure. democracy. One worker is Himanshu.” So. analyse the message and explain g the probable causes of the difficulties. Too young! Too bright ! That fancy Harvard degree won’t help him here. You will uses he 10 minutes to put up equipment. CA. He appears young. Akash: Don’t tell me what this company needs. misunderstanding and confusion. you will understand the role of communication in business. Nikita is one of the 12 workers in Department X . NJ. 3.age man who is holding a full time job while going to school . you noticed the workers talking in a group.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 5: PRACTICE CLASS Upon completion of this lesson. Handbook of Interpersonal Competence Research (Springer-Verlag. Such a mismatch between 11. as a society. You will wait until your designated break times. Thousand Oaks. an old-timer – a self made man and master craftsman. Akash: He’s young all right. A candidate who really tells it like it is would likely alienate too many factions of the voting public.D. Himanshu: Now that’s not fair. Himanshu: But that doesn’t happen today. freedom. • You will not take a coffee break or consume coffee on the job at eh beginning of the work period. You will not queue up at the exit prior to the end of the work period. In a few minutes she appeared in your office . I was here when old J. analyze and solve the cases given below. The message was not well received by the workers. Soon after giving the directive. and resounding phrases such as a “thousand points of light” and “bridge into the 21st century. • You will not participate in social gatherings at any time during the workday except during designated break periods. The other is Akash. we only elect leaders who are equivocal and distinctly reluctant to discuss specifics. 1989).part time. Administrators have to be trained for admiistration. She dominates conversations with them and expresses strong viewpoints on most matters. To achieve this goal you should be able to • Study. We loved the man . Could Harry S. Akash: All you kids think that knowledge only comes from books. Spitzberg. son I know. In fact it led to considerable anger . They have to know administration. her dominating personality has caused problems for you . energetic and bright. Himanshu: I like the candidate. 1984). due June.” • Explain what is happening. specificity. You don’t get that in the shop. contemporary candidates employ vague symbols such as peace. She has strong leadership qualities and all her co-workers look up to her. Spitzberg is professor in the School of Communication at San Diego State University. Thus the following procedures are implemented immediately: • After you clock in . Why I’ll bet he hasn’t spent one day in a working man’s shoes. 36 © Copy Right: Rai University . and check the work area. Instead. He knew the business and he knew the business and he knew the work we do. Truman be elected in the today’s political context? Probably not.234 Students in this lesson we will solve some cases for which lets form groups and analyze the case. The dialogue continued to accelerate and soon led to harsh words. • How will you handle the situation? 2. Mahwah. finance. After being introduced to a candidate for the presidency of their company. “ Your production change won’t work. Neither Himanshu nor Akash changed positions. Ph. the new manager of department X. and he has had experience as an administrator – high level experience . Using the model of communication as a base . I’ve spent 40 years here. After noticing that some workers were starting work late and finishing early . Best presidident any company could have. you will proceed to your work stations and will be ready to begin work promptly at the start of the work period. He is co-author of Interpersonal Communication Competence (Sage. You can’t substitute book knowledge for experience and common sense .

and conflict situations. a diminished performance because a person has left his or her domain of expertise. and being “clear” are “good terms” in most people’s minds. Even a best selling self-help book admonishes us that we “just don’t understand. consider the possibilities when we communicate about issues with larger strategic interests. Yet. proficiency is often based more on performance consistency than flexibility. Several examples should illustrate. the traditional. organizations. unpleasant. but you may be exploited if you are completely honest in the early stages of negotiation. for example. either not observed or not understood. This is itself somewhat unnerving. But it’s conformity that permits society. If we are this duplicitous in casual conversation. Here’s a fruitful example. People agree to these things in their leaders. disabled by the shifting pattern of their social context. However. by contrast. The Myth of Assertiveness For the decades of the 1970s and 1980s. So thousands of us were being trained “how to lose friends and influence people. unforeseen solutions to problems. may ask “How did I do?” How do you respond? You may say something like: “Probably better than I would have done. Without basic politeness. A manager lays off well-liked employees and creates a climate of uncertainty and dissatisfaction. and relationships. This dark side exposes a number of common myths that a leader needs to appreciate. With a son and daughter fighting over the only orange in the house. can produce so many ideas that the best tree of an idea can get lost in the forest of alternatives. You do what everyone else does in this situation. but they assist you in managing a difficult situation and preserving the peace of work relations. the dark side refers to things we cannot see. the dark side draws attention to encounters that strike us intuitively as unethical. Third. For example. Politeness is considered a universal goal. recipients of assertive behavior tend to see it as effective. and culture. we rapidly reveal them to be problematic. But creativity as an end in itself can result in a host of potential problems. The Myth of Adaptability Adaptability. or numerous solutions. governments. Or is it? In the world of athletics. and often. has the stigma of the old. A team member who just gave a fairly bad but somewhat inconsequential presentation. but almost everyone can agree on the values of freedom. Persistence and consistency may be hobgoblins of little minds. Certainly. but they can accomplish great things when applied in a focused manner. the efficiencies gained may produce a working climate that is more productive and desirable. many therapists and experiential group facilitators got wealthy hyping the key to interpersonal effectiveness: assertiveness training. even passive. there’s a singularly obvious solution. and perhaps to avoid appearing less than competent in a competitive environment. and how she pursues the goal to its end with dogged determination. it concerns actions we presume to be positive and valuable.” as if this is one of the worst sins of human relations. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION The Myth of Clarity The ideology of clarity.public ideology and actual leadership practice is a good example of the “dark side” of human behavior. behavior.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 37 . people become chameleons in a paisley room. A funny thing happened on the way to this self-actualization. and apprehensive about her husband’s suspected affair. and new perspectives toward the world at large. and assertiveness skills were going to make us powerful. conformity is probably dysfunctional in the extreme. and charismatic. But she says “fine” as a pleasantry. the ability to change one’s actions as the situation requires. Creativity thrives on horizontal thinking. We often use ambiguity to cope with predicaments. things lurking in the shadows of ignorance. without having any real idea of what these ideas mean in terms of policy. Research found that when you observed someone else being assertive. and things work. Change brings unpredictability. which actually can function in negative and destructive ways. we thrive on ambiguity and strategic misunderstanding. Conformity.” Appropriate. Leaders often must rely on equivocal and ambiguous messages if they are to bring diverse groups together. and the boring. The boy wants it for a snack and the girl wants it for a recipe that calls for orange peel. uncertainty. We were all wimps. society begins to fall apart. What is the dark side of human interaction? It is many things. but in this case. The Myth of Creativity The gurus of creativity tout advantages in innovation. “Hi Jennifer. But if everyone is adapting to everyone else’s adaptations. to exist at all. in often surprising ways.” or “I’ve never seen a presentation like it. divergent. how are ya?” “Fine. Adaptable people can come across like a chameleon as they change their “face” for each person with whom they interact. is essential to interpersonal skills. as it serves to balance power disparities and 11. but it hardly seems as dark as it’s often depicted. and so forth.” Jennifer may be feeling ill. Through the use of such equivocal symbols. as humans. But in the long run. Second. accuracy. Conformity is highly efficient because people don’t have to expend mental and behavioral energy figuring out what you’re going to do. but occasionally a vertical solution is best for vertical problems. avoiding communication breakdowns. or dysfunctional. successful. Yet. the best solutions are known well in advance. much of what passes for politeness is deceptive. In many realms we define excellence by how “single-minded” and focused a person is. For many routine tasks. Brainstorming groups. has its place in social and task interaction. that person appeared to be competent. First. but that are in fact productive. prosperity.” Such messages may not satisfy the other person. difficult situations. as no source of growth and evolution will exist. people come together and make progress toward goals. Yet. concerned about not getting the recent promotion. honesty is highly valued. The mother could get creative and try to think of alternative. but also rather inappropriate and unlikable. Getting the message across. the mother asks them what they want it for. even if they don’t all have the same image of those goals. People find it difficult to agree on much of anything specific. and understanding runs deep in the ethos (and mythos) of our businesses. if we carefully consider these concepts.

The point of this analysis of interpersonal communication myth-making isn’t to recommend incompetent forms of communication. Business textbooks tend to treat clarity as an inherent “good. Does this mean you should be more ambiguous. and less than optimal communication. consistent. After all. creativity. A person dislikes a particular task relative to other jobs that he is not currently assigned. Finally. By fouling up on his own task. and everyone was making the best decision they could at the time. And the bright side doesn’t look so bright anymore. slapped in the face on a regular basis. A student who wants to shine. traditional. They are myths because you already engage in equivocal. A study of the fatal spacecraft Challenger disaster is a case in point. everyone was competent. the outcomes are deeply flawed. persistent. or treated like a social pariah. But consider the concept of passive aggressiveness. First. to understand such falseness requires that people stop getting their interpersonal wisdom from talk shows. this may seem an absurd proposition. unassertive. but to draw attention to two conclusions. we all know that clarity. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION The Myth of Competence Can a person be competent by behaving incompetently? At first blush.smooth tensions among people who. the ideologies we profess about interpersonal communication are false when taken to the extreme. normative. can shine more in a normal class than an advanced class. And most of the people made the wrong decision. There’s a logical reverse of this concept called “skilled incompetence. and may choose this alternative by performing less than optimally on selection tests. motivational speakers. adaptability. assertiveness. everyone was doing what they were supposed to. perceive that they have the right to be right as well.” rather than exploring the functional uses of non-clarity. Right? 38 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. that is. eventually he may get reassigned to a task he likes more. Yet. it’s sometimes preferable to lose a battle so as to win the war. when all the dust clears. Everyone was an expert. and incompetent? Of course not. and yet.234 . after all.” A person or group may do everything in a skilled way. and people illequipped to either conduct original research or interpret other scholars’ scientific work. and competence are intrinsically good. rigid. How Dark is the Dark Side? So the dark side isn’t so dark after all. passive. Second. in a normal way that has always worked in the past and seems to fit all the requirements of effective behavior. you are probably not banished from meetings. The myths above are not myths because their opposites are always true.

NEITHER. If a student parks a car on campus. Nouns What is a noun? A noun is a person. Toronto is a city. Examples: the player's equipment the woman's job Canada's government Forms of Nouns • Plural Nouns • Possessive Forms Using Pronouns Clearly Because a pronoun REFERS BACK to a noun or TAKES THE PLACE OF that noun. (NOT: their umbrellas) NOTE: Many people find the construction “his or her” wordy. Brown Sally Common Nouns A common noun is any noun that is not a proper noun. you have to use the correct pronoun so that your reader clearly understands which noun your pronoun is referring to. two countries Nouns that end in a vowel followed by a y are made plural by adding s. it may be wise to do © Copy Right: Rai University Proper Nouns A proper noun is the name of a person. ANYBODY. Everybody ought to do his or her best. Examples: Toronto Mr. two boxes 11. SOMEONE.234 39 . ANYONE. NOBODY. many houses One box. place. Example: one leaf. Proper nouns should always be capitalized. verbs and Nouns that end in a consonant followed by a y are made plural by dropping the y and adding ies. check the Gage Canadian Dictionary. Examples: the city a leader this woman Plural Forms The plural form of a noun indicates more than one. two toys BUSINESS COMMUNICATION adverbs • Learn to make subjects and verbs agree. Examples: Types of Nouns • Proper Nouns • Common Nouns The bear sleeps. (NOT: If a student parks a car on campus. Therefore. place or thing. he or she has to buy a parking sticker. you have to use a singular pronoun. two feet a mouse. Examples: One week. pronouns. Example: one country. or idea. Common nouns are not capitalized. Students. gerunds and infinitives. The possessive form is usually formed by adding ‘s to the end of a noun. Every sentence must have a noun as its subject Examples: one foot. EACH. (NOT: their best) Neither of the girls brought her umbrella. this lesson will make you go back to your primary classes where you were taught about basic grammar. so if it is possible to use a plural noun as your antecedent so that you can use “they” as your pronoun. they have to buy a parking sticker. Agree In Number If the pronoun takes the place of a singular noun. It is important to ensure that your language in all business communication is grammatically correct. Possessive Forms The possessive form of a noun indicates ownership or modifies another noun.UNIT 1 CHAPTER 2: USE OF ENGLISH LESSON 6: AID TO CORRECT WRITING After Completing This Lesson You Will • Brush up your basic grammar • Study more about nouns. many mice To find the plural form of a noun that you are unsure of. A PERSON. thing. two weeks a house. etc. are singular and take singular pronouns. • Brush up your understanding in phrases and clauses. The plural form is usually formed by adding an s or es.) Remember The words EVERYBODY. Example: one toy. Therefore let’s start by the basics: Nouns that end in f or fe drop the f or fe and add ves. two leaves Certain irregular nouns have special plural forms. pronouns should 1.

“us like the coach”?) 2. Comparisons usually follow than or as: He is taller than I (am tall). don’t confuse your reader by switching to the “second person” ( you) or “third person” (he. participles.” don’t switch to “first” or “third. it us them whom Pronouns that show POSSESSION my (mine) your (yours) his. Refer Clearly To A Specific Noun. and Infinitives There are three types of verbals : gerunds. since they can both function as nouns in a sentence despite their different forms. NOT: He is taller than me. where there are two pronouns or a noun and a pronoun. Some problems of case: 1. Gerund as subject: • Traveling might satisfy your desire for new experiences. the sheet or your notebook?) NOT: He gave the flowers to Jane and I. “me travel”?) 40 Gerund as subject complement: • My cat’s favorite activity is sleeping. The pronouns THIS. since a gerund functions as a noun. (Would you say. (Would you say. it.). 2. (Would you say. it was not damaged. • The study abroad program might satisfy your desire for new Pronoun Case Pronoun Case is really a very simple matter. they. This helps you as much as (it helps) me. FORMAL: It is I. subject complement. Gerund as object of preposition: • The police arrested him for speeding. THOSE. if you are using the “second person. If you do use a singular noun and the context makes the gender clear. (What word does “this” refer to?) NOT: If you put this sheet in your notebook. She is as noisy as I (am).) 3. • They do not appreciate my assistance. and object of preposition. THAT. for example: subject. drop the other noun for a moment. Finally. Objective case: pronouns used as objects of verbs or prepositions. In compound structures. and infinitives. she. (Is “it” the motorcycle or the tree?) NOT: I don’t think they should show violence on TV. Participles. you can choose the correct case for the pronoun. it occupies some positions in a sentence that a noun ordinarily would. the vacation or the fact that it is coming soon?) NOT: George worked in a national forest last summer. Gerunds A gerund is a verbal that ends in -ing and functions as a noun. In comparisons. it We They Who Pronouns as OBJECTS me you him. Gerund as direct object: • They do not appreciate my singing. Don’t be vague or ambiguous. (What is nice. Subjective case: pronouns used as subject. gerunds and infinitives are compared and contrasted in the last section below. such as those in the parentheses in the sentences above. This may be his life’s work. Use whom in the objective case. (Would you say. There are three cases. 3. 2. THESE. However. you can refer to it. her (hers). NOT: Although the motorcycle hit the tree. © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Pronouns as SUBJECTS I You he. If you complete the comparison in your head. FORMAL: To whom am I talking? INFORMAL: Who am I talking to? BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Verbals: Gerunds. In formal and semiformal writing: Use the subjective form after a form of the verb to be.234 . direct object. Possessive case: pronouns which express ownership. he or she should have his or her homework ready. etc. like the other two kinds of verbals. “than me am tall”?) 3. (Who are “they”?) NOT: Vacation is coming soon. Then you can see which case you want. Agree in Person If you are writing in the “first person” ( I). it (its) our (ours) their (theirs) whose experiences. which is nice. NOT: Bob and me travel a good deal. The term verbal indicates that a gerund.” When a person comes to class. you should have your homework ready. Comparisons are really shorthand sentences which usually omit words.” See our handout on Non-sexist Language for more information. 1.so. INFORMAL: It is me. and WHICH do not change form. is based on a verb and therefore expresses action or a state of being. (What does “it” refer to. Similarly. • My cat’s favorite food is salmon. Gerunds and participles are also compared and contrasted in a separate section of this handout because they can both end in ing but have different functions in a sentence. “he gave the flowers to I”?) NOT: Us men like the coach. then it is permissible to use just “his” or “her” rather than “his or her. her. she. (NOT: When a person comes to class.

Gerunds and gerund phrases virtually never require punctuation. 1. Telling your father was a mistake. Punctuation A gerund virtually never requires any punctuation with it. • The crying baby had a wet diaper.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 41 . via state of being expressed in gerund) Newt's favorite tactic has been lying to his constituents. A gerund phrase consists of a gerund plus modifier(s). • Smiling. 5. I hope that you appreciate my offering you this opportunity. 3. indirect object(s). or complement(s) of the action or state expressed in the gerund. lying to (gerund) his constituents (direct object of action expressed in gerund) The gerund phrase functions as the object of the preposition for. Present participles end in -ing. I hope that you appreciate my offering you this opportunity. object of preposition). A gerund is a verbal ending in -ing that is used as a noun. Finding (gerund) a needle (direct object of action expressed in gerund) in a haystack (prepositional phrase as adverb) The gerund phrase functions as the direct object of the verb appreciate. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION A Gerund Phrase is a group of words consisting of a gerund and the modifier(s) and/or (pro)noun(s) or noun phrase(s) that function as the direct object(s). 2. or complement(s) of the action or state expressed in the participle. -d. A participial phrase is a group of words consisting of a participle and the modifier(s) and/or (pro)noun(s) or noun phrase(s) that function as the direct object(s). • Shaken. lying to (gerund) his constituents (direct object of action expressed in gerund) The gerund phrase functions as the object of the preposition for. Exercise on Gerunds Underline the gerunds or gerund phrases in the following sentences and label how they function in the sentence (subject. subject complement. Swimming keeps me in shape. object(s). modifying the gerund) offering (gerund) you (indirect object of action expressed in gerund) this opportunity (direct object of action expressed in gerund) The gerund phrase functions as the subject complement. participles modify nouns or pronouns. eaten. You might get in trouble for faking an illness to avoid work. such as: The gerund phrase functions as the subject of the sentence. Being (gerund) the boss (subject complement for Jeff. He won the game by scoring during the overtime period. Finding a needle in a haystack would be easier than what we're trying to do. Being the boss made Jeff feel uneasy. You might get in trouble for faking an illness to avoid work. via state of being expressed in gerund) Participles A participle is a verbal that is used as an adjective and most often ends in -ing or -ed. such as : Finding a needle in a haystack would be easier than what we're trying to do. faking (gerund) an illness (direct object of action expressed in gerund) to avoid work (infinitive phrase as adverb) The gerund phrase functions as the subject of the sentence. Past participles end in -ed. since they function as adjectives. However. and seen. The gerund phrase functions as the subject of the sentence. dealt. she hugged the panting dog. direct object. my (possessive pronoun adjective form. 4. The college recommends sending applications early. my (possessive pronoun adjective form.• The police arrested him for criminal activity. or -n. The term verbal indicates that a participle. Points to Remember 1. modifying the gerund) offering (gerund) you (indirect object of action expressed in gerund) this opportunity (direct object of action expressed in gerund) The gerund phrase functions as the subject complement. 3. he walked away from the wrecked car. There are two types of participles: present participles and past participles. • The burning log fell off the fire. -t. Swimming in your pool is always fun. Being the boss made Jeff feel uneasy. and/or complement(s). -en. Finding (gerund) a needle (direct object of action expressed in gerund) in a haystack (prepositional phrase as adverb) The gerund phrase functions as the direct object of the verb appreciate. 2. 11. is based on a verb and therefore expresses action or a state of being. indirect object(s). Being (gerund) the boss (subject complement for Jeff. saved. as in the words asked. faking (gerund) an illness (direct object of action expressed in gerund) to avoid work (infinitive phrase as adverb) The gerund phrase functions as the subject of the sentence. like the other two kinds of verbals. Newt's favorite tactic has been lying to his constituents.

(direct object) • His ambition is to fly. I found that it was closed. Punctuation: When a participial phrase begins a sentence. he caught his foot on a step. Frank developed sore Infinitives An infinitive is a verbal consisting of the word to plus a verb (in its simplest “stem” form) and functioning as a noun. Although an infinitive is easy to locate because of the to + verb form. The overloaded car gathered speed slowly. If the participle or participial phrase comes in the middle of a sentence. muscles. or -n (past) that functions as an adjective. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION In the first sentence there is no clear indication of who or what is performing the action expressed in the participle carrying. 4. indirect object(s). and draw a line to the noun or pronoun modified. I asked for a temporary loan. • Washing and polishing the car. (The phrase modifies Ken. or adverb. alarmed by her silence. • The church. 5. no commas should be used: • The student earning the highest grade point average will receive a special award. the infinitive may function as a subject. (subject complement) • He lacked the strength to resist. -d. the students realized that they hadn’t worked hard enough in high school. and the noun must be clearly stated. If a participial phrase comes at the end of a sentence. or adverb in a sentence. modifying a noun or pronoun. was never rebuilt. • The local residents often saw Ken wandering through the Be sure not to confuse an infinitive—a verbal consisting of to plus a verb—with a prepositional phrase beginning with to. Infinitives: to fly. (adverb) Note that if the participial phrase is essential to the meaning of the sentence. like the other two kinds of verbals. object(s). direct object(s). • Sid. 42 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. (The phrase modifies Tom. -t. to the mountains. However. and those nouns or pronouns must be clearly stated. drifted in and out of sleep. his foot caught on a step. to my house. 2. such as: streets. we got an early start. Certainly foot can’t be logically understood to function in this way. Statistics reported by the National Education Association revealed that seventy percent of American colleges offer remedial English classes emphasizing composition. to us. • The guy wearing the chicken costume is my cousin. b) interrupts a sentence as a nonessential element. to the committee. • Carrying a heavy pile of books. subject complement. A participle is a verbal ending in -ing (present) or -ed. A participial phrase consists of a participle plus modifier(s).” Since a person must be doing the carrying for the sentence to make sense. deciding what function it has in a sentence can sometimes be confusing. Participles and participial phrases must be placed as close to the nouns or pronouns they modify as possible.Placement : In order to prevent confusion. to catch. or c) comes at the end of a sentence and is separated from the word it modifies. adjective. to belong Prepositional Phrases: to him. This situation is an example of a dangling modifier error since the modifier (the participial phrase) is not modifying any specific noun in the sentence and is thus left “dangling. or complement(s) of the action or state expressed in the infinitive. 1. Facing college standards. destroyed by a fire. watching an old movie. to stand. A participial phrase is set off with commas when it: a) comes at the beginning of a sentence. (subject) • Everyone wanted to go. • To wait seemed foolish when decisive action was required. not woman. (adjective) • We must study to learn. a comma usually precedes the phrase if it modifies an earlier word in the sentence but not if the phrase directly follows the word it modifies. to become. Getting up at five. to this address An Infinitive Phrase is a group of words consisting of an infinitive and the modifier(s) and/or (pro)noun(s) or noun phrase(s) that function as the actor(s). • Arriving at the store. it should be set off with commas only if the information is not essential to the meaning of the sentence. Exercise on Participles Underline the participial phrase(s) in each of the following sentences. 4. 3. and/or complement(s). The term verbal indicates that an infinitive. a comma should be placed after the phrase. Gathering my courage. adjective. to enter.234 . to draw. -en. a participial phrase must be placed as close to the noun it modifies as possible. 2. as in the second sentence. 3. a noun or pronoun that refers to a person must be in the place immediately after the participial phrase. which consists of to plus a noun or pronoun and any modifiers. is based on a verb and therefore expresses action or a state of being.) • ·Tom nervously watched the woman.) Points to Remember 1. not residents. direct object. * • Carrying a heavy pile of books.

adding any punctuation as needed. others can’t have an actor. In all of these examples no actor can come between the italicized main (finite) verb and the infinitive direct-object phrase. It is somewhat misleading to use the word subject.) Jack forgets taking out the cat. (He regularly forgets. (He did it. (He did it. 11. (He never did it. use a singular verb. require an actor for the infinitive phrase. 2.) Jack forgot to take out the cat. but he doesn’t remember now. We want to see the play. In all of these examples the italicized main verb can take an infinitive object with or without an actor. begin hesitate neglect pretend start Continue Hope Offer Promise Try decide intend plan refuse Forget and Remember These two verbs change meaning depending on whether a gerund or infinitive is used as the object. 4.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 43 . however. Certain verbs. not I. Also notice that when it is a pronoun. They neglected to pay. We began to learn. Actors: In these last two examples the actor of the infinitive phrase could be roughly characterized as the “subject” of the action or state expressed in the infinitive. I want to go. but he didn’t remember sometime later.) Jack forgot taking out the cat. In all of these examples an actor is required after the italicized main (finite) verb and before the infinitive direct-object phrase. 2.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION advise encourage instruct implore allow force invite incite Convince Hire Permit Appoint remind teach tell order Examples He reminded me to buy milk. since an infinitive phrase is not a full clause with a subject and a finite verb. Their fathers advise them to study. as the charts below illustrate. When the subject of a sentence is composed of two or more nouns or pronouns connected by and. When two or more singular nouns or pronouns are connected by or or nor. Trent expected his group to win. use a plural verb. Verbs that use either pattern ask expect (would) like want Examples I asked to see the records. To see a shooting star is good luck. Examples Jack forgets to take out the cat. I asked him to show me the records. in the fourth example). I want you to go home. She forced the defendant to admit the truth. 1. To fight against those odds would be ridiculous. She promised to return.) Making Subjects and Verbs Agree 1. 3. They offered to pay. the actor appears in the objective case (me. Still other verbs can go either way. 5. Exercise on Infinitives Verbs That Take Infinitive Objects Without Actors agree fail learn prefer remember Examples Most students plan to study. when they take an infinitive direct object. Underline the infinitive phrase and label the way it is used in the sentence.

ON + TO = onto: signifies movement toward a surface IN + TO = into: signifies movement toward the interior of a volume (“To” is part of the directional preposition toward. 50 3. The preposition of location determines the meaning of the preposition of direction. The preposition may occur alone or in the phrase in order. Prepositions Showing Location above below over under among between beside in front of behind next to with in the middle of on in at Time at on by before from since for during to until after Action and Movement at by from into on onto off out of When the goal is not a physical place. The two uses can also occur together in a single sentence: 2. showing that it is somewhat optional with the compound © Copy Right: Rai University 11. First. “to” marks a verb. into. Students this lesson is a continuation of lesson 6 and will help you recall and brush up your understanding about prepositions. (1) Sa'id returned to his apartment. and the two mean about the same thing. “to” implies movement in the direction of the goal. an action. With many verbs of motion. prepositions are used to show where something is located or when something happened.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 7: PREPOSITIONS. The other two prepositions of direction are compounds formed by adding “to” to the corresponding prepositions of location. and on.” TO : signifies orientation toward a goal When the goal is physical. for instance. The basic preposition of a direction is “to. in. it is attached as an infinitive and expresses purpose. In (to) Prepositions that express movement toward something: to.) This is why “to” is inside parentheses in the title of the handout. Sudeep washed her dog (in order) to rid it of fleas.) Prepositions of Direction: To. the prepositions will be introduced as a group. “on” and “in” have a directional meaning and can be used along with “onto” and “into”. Then. conjunctions and punctuation. such as a destination. and into. CONJUNCTION AND PUNCTUATION By the end of this lesson you will learn more about : • Prepositions • Conjunction • Punctuation Introduction 1. onto.234 . Usually. the special uses of each one will be discussed. 2. Prepositions What are prepositions? Prepositions are used before nouns to give additional information in a sentence. (See the sections below for some exceptions to this rule. To. On (to). and onto correspond respectively to the prepositions of location at.

(It was headed in the direction of a mountain. request. • Willingness: be willing.’ not ‘be attractive’) • Werbs of movement: move.) Uses of “onto” 1. To the extent that these pairs do differ. turnoff may be before arriving there. desire. while the simple preposition points to the position of the subject as a result of that action. wish. This distinction helps us understand how directional and locational prepositions are related: they stand in the relationship of cause and effect.) (6) The crab washed up on/onto the shore. Thus. (12) Henry had to pay his tuition at the Bursar’s office. However. (13) Drive toward the city limits and turn n orth. go. (I actually want to arrive at the airport. Uses of “to” To occurs with several classes of verbs.234 51 . or obligation. without necessarily arriving at a destination: (5) Reena fell on/onto the floor. Some verbs of motion express the idea that the subject causes itself or some physical object to be situated in a certain place (compare #15-17 above). prepare • Obligation: be obligated. (19) The plane landed on the runway. want. please. with the latter being preferred by some speakers. have. all the verbs in (2b) can take toward as well as to. (10) I’d like to ask her how long she’s been skiing. plan. the compound preposition conveys the completion of an action. consent. “Onto” can generally be replaced by “on” with verbs of motion. • Desire: desire. appeal (in the sense of ‘plead. need Examples: (9) I refuse to allow you to intimidate me with your threats. the following sentences are roughly synonymous: 2. 1. Of these verbs. (not onto the tree) (21) He placed the package on the table. transfer. 2.) (15) Take me to the airport. Position of Subject Jean is on the floor. (not onto the table) © Copy Right: Rai University 11. some take only “on”. walk/run/swim/ ride/drive/ fly. prefer • Intention: intend. Neeta is in the water. In other cases “to” is used as an ordinary preposition. travel (4) Anil jumped in/into the pool. speak (but not tell). “to” suggests movement toward a specific destination. Except for transfer. while “toward” suggests movement in a general direction. like. (Drive in the direction of the city limits. Others take both on and onto. (16) John jumped on(to) the mat. (8) Neeta dived in(to) the water. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION • Verbs of communication: listen. Completion of an Action (7) Jean fell on(to) the floor. intention. verb + to + infinitive Verbs in this group express willingness. (11) I plan to graduate this summer. relate. it may not have reached or hit the mountain. (not onto the runway) (20) Sam hung the decoration on the Christmas tree. refuse (18) Athena climbed on(to) the back of the truck.prepositions. (14) The plane was headed toward a mountain. ask. (17) Manish fell on(to) the floor.

pour. Other verbs taking both prepositions are raise.word: (34) Now what kind of trouble has she gotten herself into? (35) Now what sort of trouble is she in? 2. (26) The farmer scattered seed on(to) the fertile ground. (27) We’re adding on a wing at the back of the building. The meanings of these combinations. 3. The use of “onto” in (28) is like its use in (24) and (25) above. the word “on” has its ordinary meaning of a position on a surface. This contrast points to a fairly important and general rule: Simple prepositions can combine with verbs. (Not all of them have the force of a command. (not onto the rug) (23) Samir moved the chair on(to) the deck. With verbs of motion. pour. The meanings of these combinations. Of course. but compound prepositions cannot. In (27). BUSINESS COMMUNICATION • • • • Hang on(to the rope)! (‘continue to grasp tightly’) Carry on (‘resume what you were doing’) Sail on (‘resume or continue sailing’) Dream on (‘continue dreaming’. they all occur only with on. Some verbs of motion express the idea that the subject causes itself or some physical object to be situated in a certain place (compare #15-17 above). • • • • Hang on(to the rope)! (‘continue to grasp tightly’) carry on (‘resume what you were doing’) sail on (‘resume or continue sailing’) dream on (‘continue dreaming’. (not into) (31) Our new neighbors moved into the house next door yesterday. scatter (when it takes a direct object). (not onto the rug) (23) Samir moved the chair on(to) the deck.234 . so the object of the preposition in (32) can be omitted. (24) The crane lowered the roof on(to) the house. and so perhaps is put. Verbs expressing stationary position take only “on” or “in” with the ordinary meanings of those prepositions. which takes both on and onto. This contrast points to a fairly important and general rule: Simple prepositions can combine with verbs. Note also that in (27). There are a number of verb-preposition combinations which are formally like “add on” but have the meaning “of continuing or resuming an action” when used in the imperative mood. are given in parentheses.(22) Joanna spilled her Coke on the rug. (not onto the runway) (20) Sam hung the decoration on the Christmas tree. but compound prepositions cannot. but in this case the surface is vertical rather than horizontal— the side of a building. The use of “onto” in (28) is like its use in (24) and (25) above.) Except for hang. some take only “on”. a humorous way of saying ‘that is an unattainable goal’) • Lead on (‘resume or continue leading us’) • Rock on (‘continue playing rock music’) Uses of “into” 1. they all occur only with on. Others take both on and onto. a humorous way of saying ‘that is an unattainable goal’) 2. “into” also can be last word except for an adverbial when its object is questioned by a wh. In this case only in (or inside) can be used. There are a number of verb-preposition combinations which are formally like “add on” but have the meaning “of continuing or resuming an action” when used in the imperative mood. with the latter being preferred by some speakers. the last word is the time adverbial yesterday. (27) We’re adding on a wing at the back of the building. scatter (when it takes a direct object). while in (28) onto is a simple preposition. (19) The plane landed on the runway. are given in parentheses. (24) The crane lowered the roof on(to) the house. and so perhaps is put.) Except for hang. (29) The patient went into the doctor’s office. (26) The farmer scattered seed on(to) the fertile ground. the construction may have an idiomatic meaning. (25) The baby threw the pot on(to) the floor. (30) The patient went in. (not onto the table) (22) Joanna spilled her Coke on the rug. 52 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. “into” and “in” are interchangeable except when the preposition is the last word or occurs directly before an adverbial of time. In (32). 3. while in (28) onto is a simple preposition. Verbs taking only “on” are rare: set may be another one. some of which are idiomatic. If a verb allows the object of the preposition to be omitted. (28) We’re adding a porch onto the house. or frequency. (not onto the tree) (21) He placed the package on the table. (‘to take up residence in a new home’) (32) Our new neighbors moved in yesterday. Verbs taking only “on” are rare: set may be another one. on is really part of the verb. Of these verbs. (Not all of them have the force of a command. which takes both on and onto. on is really part of the verb. and add. In (27). the word “on” has its ordinary meaning of a position on a surface. Note also that in (27). manner. Other verbs taking both prepositions are raise. (25) The baby threw the pot on(to) the floor. (28) We’re adding a porch onto the house. but in this case the surface is vertical rather than horizontal— the side of a building. and add. in an information question. some of which are idiomatic.

When “into” is used with move. on.” 4.. Prepositions of location appear with verbs describing states or conditions.. in . at. Dimensions and Prepositions Prepositions differ according to the number of dimensions they refer to. on . Both kinds may be either positive or negative. in grammar area and volume go together because the same prepositions are used for both... Prepositions in this group indicate that the noun that follows them is treated as a point in relation to which another object is positioned. surface at . surface.. especially be. it has the sense of “approach”.. area/volume This use of “into” is like the use of onto illustrated in (24)-(27) and (29).Prepositions of Location: at.. it functions as an ordinary preposition to convey the idea of moving something from one place to another. • Surface Prepositions in this group indicate that the position of an object is defined with respect to a surface on which it rests. and in can be classified as follows: In(to) has two special uses with move.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 53 . in. The meanings of the three prepositions can be illustrated with some sample sentences: 11. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION (36) The cat sat on the mat. • Area/Volume (38) The doctor is in. In light of these descriptions.. prepositions of direction appear with verbs of motion. Notice that although in geometry surface and area go together because both are two-dimensional.. so “into” cannot be used. We cannot say: “The lion moved into for the kill.. It deals with positive prepositions of location that sometimes cause difficulty: at. on. In (39) and (40) “in” is part of the verb. (40) The police moved in to rescue the hostages inside the building.. and area or volume.. • Point (37) The doctor is in his office... When “move in” is followed by a purpose clause. and in. on Prepositions expressing spatial relations are of two kinds: prepositions of location and prepositions of direction..... 3. (39) The lion moved in for the kill. We can group them into three classes using concepts from geometry: point. point (41) We'll move your brother's old bed into your room. ('available for consultation') Prepositions in this group indicate that an object lies within the boundaries of an area or within the confines of a volume.

1) locates a car in relation to a house. (surface) 4) There are five rooms in the house. Direction 7a) The policeman leaped at the assailant. (not enclosed by a fence ) Three players are on the basketball court. such as a field or a window. Three cows are grazing in the field.” in is used: © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Nouns denoting enclosed spaces. (area) All of these sentences answer a question of the form. Here are some of them Notice that in implies that the field is enclosed. the fireplace. namely. The frost made patterns on the window. (area) Using “at” At calls for further comment. 2. “Where is _______?” but each gives different information. rooms. The prepositions have their normal meanings with these nouns: on is used when the space is considered as a surface. (surface) A face appeared in the window. When the area has metaphorical instead of actual boundaries. understood as a fixed point. 2) treats the house as a surface upon which another object. it has a great variety of uses. the roof. 5b) Sue spent the whole afternoon at the fair. (not enclosed) Two boxers are in the ring. 4) treats the house as a three-dimensional structure that can be divided into smaller volumes. which has a lovely fireplace in the living room. Before going on. is placed. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 54 2) There is a new roof on the house. Three players are practicin g on the field. Because it is the least specific of the prepositions in its spatial orientation. (enclosed by a fence) The cattle are grazing on the open range. take both on and in. 7b) The dog jumped at my face and really scared me.“in” and “on” 1) My car is at the house. 3) locates the house within a geographical area. such as when field means “academic discipline.234 . inside one of which is an object. The sheep are grazing in the pasture. explain to yourself the spatial relations shown in each sentence. 1. in when the space is presented as an area: 3) The house is i n Tippecanoe county. 6b) The waiter was at our table immediately. whereas on implies only that the following noun denotes a surface and not necessarily an enclosed area: Location 5a) Tom is waiting for his sister at the bank. (not enclosed) Three players are on the soccer field. (enclosed by ropes) Destination 6a) We arrived at the house.

Close to a Point To express notions of an object being close to a point.) • I watch TV during the evening. Here on locates the house on either side of Third Street: it doesn’t mean that the street is a surface on which the house sits.m. and to Introduce Objects One point in time On is used with days: I will see you on Monday. and now he's out on the street.) August and ending in October. Prepositions of Time. of Place. on functions much like at in its normal use: it locates the house in relation to the street but does not specify the exact address. • There is a wasp in the room. (I will spend two weeks there. • She was waiting at the corner. between. by. with months. Higher than a Point To express notions of an object being higher than a point.(with)in b) Our house is on Third Street. • The valley is below sea-level. with seasons: He likes to read in the afternoon. For that purpose. Compare b) with the discussion of sentence 3) in the first section. the evening.” In c) out on the street is an idiom meaning “poor” or “destitute. The first two follow the general pattern of in and on usage. by. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION a) The children are playing in the street. night. below. at. to talk about a general vicinity. (Beginning in (This is an idiom meaning that he's poor. The book was published in 1999. English uses the following prepositions: to talk about the point itself: in. In and on are also used with means of transportation: in is used with a car. English uses the following prepositions: under. Lower than a Point To express notions of an object being lower than a point. beneath. Because the street is understood as a line next to which the house is situated. • I left your keys on the table. on with public or commercial means of transportation: in the car on the bus on the plane on the train on the ship Some speakers of English make a further distinction for public modes of transportation.” 4. using in when the carrier is stationary and on when it is in motion. 55 © Copy Right: Rai University . The flowers will bloom in spring. opposite.) • The decorations were up from spring until fall. underneath. For more detail. next to. • The movie showed from August to October. (For some period of time in In a) the street is understood as an area enclosed by the sidewalks on either side. (No longer than a year. Compare: “Our house is at 323 Third Street. from—to.) Place To express notions of place. see our handouts on Prepositions of Location and Prepositions of Direction. My wife stayed in/on the bus while I got out at the rest stop. • The rabbit burrowed under the ground. Several common uses of in and on occur with street. The passengers sat in/on the plane awaiting takeoff. 3.) c) He declared bankruptcy last week. and with the time of day: My plane leaves at noon. during. • Put the present inside the box. 11. • Hang that picture above the couch. at is used because the address is like a particular point on the line. English uses the following prepositions: over. to express something contained: inside.She is a leading researcher in the bioengineering field.) I’m going to Paris for two weeks. English uses the following prepositions: since. (She left yesterday and has • not returned.234 • The child hid underneath the blanket. The third is an idiom that must be learned as a unit. English uses the following prepositions: near. The movie starts at 6 p.7 The week begins on Sunday. for. • She has been gone since yesterday. (Beginning in spring and ending in fall. among. Extended Time To express extended time. At is used with noon. from-until. • We relaxed in the shade beneath the branches. to talk about the surface: on.) • We must finish the project within a year. above • He threw the ball over the roof. with years. In is used with other parts of the day. midnight. The days are long in August. • She lives near the school.

apostrophes. and university administrators-English departments are primarily places where advanced literacy is taught. An oak tree grows next to my house The house is between Elm Street and Maple Street. For : Call. Members of the band include Harold Rostein. quotation marks. or they will lose their impact. or ideas that are subordinate or tangential to the rest of the sentence are set apart in parentheses. for an appositive phrase that already includes commas. we use the following marks of punctuation to emphasize and clarify what we mean. We rejoiced at his safe rescue. Hope. You go buy the tickets and I’ll watch for the train. dates. Watch. Winstead: BUSINESS COMMUNICATION To Introduce Objects of Verbs English uses the following prepositions to introduce objects of the following verbs. we can pause. • Can you think of a number between one and ten? • I am thinking about this problem. entertainment. Dash. stare • She took a quick glance at her reflection. Of (or about) : Dream. I found my pen lying among the books. In speaking. or in a handwritten document by a pair of hyphens with no spaces) . • I don’t approve of his speech. Colon : Use a colon in the following situations: after a complete statement in order to introduce one or more directly related ideas. for example: The daily newspaper contains four sections: news. Think Parentheses () Parentheses are occasionally and sparingly used for extra. in a business letter greeting. parents. time notation. and Lee Jefferson. I’m looking at the computer monitor. donors. If you wish for an “A” in this class. The boys--Jim. (exception with mirror: She took a quick glance in the mirror. As you can see. my proposals may seem radical-even revolutionary. • • • • • • Did someone call for a taxi? He hopes for a raise in salary next year. sources. Stop staring at me. such as a series of directions. sports. • He came home smelling of alcohol. At: glance.• • • • • There is an ice cream shop by the store. laugh. the old train (someone said it was a relic of frontier days) caught fire.m. Wait. or a quotation or other comment illustrating or explaining the statement. We’ll wait for her here. For example. Semicolon In addition to using a semicolon to join related independent clauses in compound sentences. in terms of garnering support from state legislators. between chapter and verse in Genesis 1:18 biblical references. in the following situations: to emphasize a point or to set off an explanatory comment. Look. you can use a semicolon to separate items in a series if the elements of the series already include commas. Punctuation marks discussed in other OWL documents include commas. look. for example: To some of you. . and hyphens. clarinetist. or change our tone of voice. and classified ads. Brief Overview of Punctuation: Semicolon. John. trumpeter. nonessential material included in a sentence. Colon.) • • • • • You didn’t laugh at his joke. Parentheses always appear in pairs. Before arriving at the station. a computer with no dashes in the type font. Of : Approve. tuba player. Parenthesis. Smell between the hour and minutes in 5:30 p. • I dream of finishing college in four years. I’m looking for my keys. stop. The strategies of corporatist industrial unionism have proven ineffective: compromises and concessions have left labor in a weakened position in the new "flexible" economy. rejoice. Quotation Marks and Italics Punctuation marks are signals to your readers. . but don't overuse dashes. you must work hard. That pretty girl smiled at you. • My contribution to the article consists of many pages. In terms of public legitimation--that is. The bathroom is opposite that room. Dear Ms. smile. Consist. In writing. and Jeff--left the party early. Tony Aluppo. dashes function in some ways like parentheses (used in pairs to set off a comment within a larger sentence) and in some ways like colons (used to introduce material 56 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. a list. Wish Dash Use a dash (represented on a typewriter.234 .

many instructors prefer underlining over italics for course papers.illustrating or emphasizing the immediately preceding statement). To form possessives of nouns 2. or in some unusual way. with reservations. e. place an apostrophe where the omitted letter(s) would go. for example: He asked. or a piece of furniture. “three ps” versus “three p’s. "I'll look for you in the foyer. writers would underline certain terms in handwritten or manually typed pages. "Will you be there?" "Yes.. long poems. the children’s game the geese’s honking • Add ‘ to the end of plural nouns that end in -s: houses’ roofs three friends’ letters • Add ‘s to the end of compound words: my brother-in-law’s money • Add ‘s to the last noun to show joint possession of an object • Todd and Anne’s apartment Showing Omission of Letters Apostrophes are used in contractions. plays of three or more acts foreign words that are not commonly used in English for example: Faulkner's last novel was The Reivers . it is generally recommended that you choose either underlining or italics and use it consistently throughout a given document as needed. or they will lose their impact. turn the phrase around and make it an “of the. then no apostrophe is needed! • Room of the hotel = hotel room • Door of the car = car door • Leg of the table = table leg History is stained with blood spilled in the name of "civilization. books. • add ‘s to the singular form of the word (even if it ends in -s): the owner’s car James’s hat • Add ‘s to the plural forms that do not end in -s: Underlining and Italics Underlining and italics are not really punctuation. The Simpsons offers hilarious parodies of American culture and family life. To use an apostrophe to create a contraction. For example: • The boy’s hat = the hat of the boy • Three days’ journey = journey of three days If the noun after “of” is a building. A contraction is a word (or set of numbers) in which one or more letters (or numbers) have been omitted. in the following situations: to enclose direct quotations.” phrase. . Contractions are common in speaking and in informal writing. Since word processing today allows many options for font faces and textual effects. colons and semicolons go outside. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Quotation Marks “ “ Use quotation marks . But comments set off with a pair of dashes appear less subordinate to the main sentence than do comments in parentheses.. an object." I answered. Apostrophes are NOT used for possessive pronouns or for noun plurals. in the following situations: to indicate titles of complete or major works such as magazines. Here are Some Examples don’t = do not I’m = I am he’ll = he will who’s = who is shouldn’t = should not didn’t = did not could’ve= could have (NOT “could of”!) ’60 = 1960 . but they are significant textual effects used conventionally in a variety of situations." Forming possessives of nouns To see if you need to make a possessive. here the rule appears to be more typographical than grammatical. but don't overuse quotation marks in this sense. words used as words themselves words or phrases that you wish to emphasize Wearing blue jeans is de rigueur for most college students. Because academic papers are manuscripts and not final publications and because italics are not always easily recognized with some fonts. follow these rules to create one." The very founding principles of our nation are at stake! Forming Plurals of Lowercase Letters Apostrophes are used to form plurals of letters that appear in lowercase. italics or underlining should be used . and the underlining would be replaced by italics in the published version. television programs. newspapers.” To form the © Copy Right: Rai University 57 The Apostrophe The apostrophe has three uses 11. To indicate certain plurals of lowercase letters. . And material introduced after a single dash may be more emphatic and may serve a greater variety of rhetorical purposes than material introduced with a colon.234 . including acronyms. Note that commas and periods go inside the closing quotation mark in conventional American usage. The apostrophe shows this omission. Before computerized word-processing was widely available. films. and placement of question and exclamation marks depends on the situation (see our quotation marks document). Whichever you choose. The English word nuance comes from a Middle French word meaning "shades of color." Once you’ve determined whether you need to make a possessive. . 1. academic journals.g. To show the omission of letters 3. to indicate words used ironically.

its. yours. and professors still prefer them). so don’t do it with its!) wrong: a friend of yours’ correct: a friend of yours wrong: She waited for three hours’ to get her ticket. correct: The group made its decision. numbers. ours are all possessive pronouns.plural of a lowercase letter. A simple way to remember this rule is the fact that you don’t use an apostrophe for the possessives his or hers. It’s is a contraction for “it is” and its is a possessive pronoun meaning “belonging to it. her. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Don’t use Apostrophes for Possessive Pronouns or for Noun Plurals Apostrophes should not be used with possessive pronouns because possessive pronouns already show possession — they don’t need an apostrophe.234 . His.” It’s raining out= it is raining out. teachers. and symbols (though keep in mind that some editors. correct: She waited for three hours to get her ticket. my. 58 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. There is no need for apostrophes indicating a plural on capitalized letters. Here are some examples: wrong: his’ book correct: his book wrong: The group made it’s decision. place ‘s after the letter. (Note: Its and it’s are not the same thing.

Will you wait for me _____ the bus stop? 2. onto. 3. To reach this you should be able to: • Punctuate message correctly. The girls didn’t want to spend a long time _____ the carnival. Lee and Sarah took the bus that was heading ______ the university. On (to). but turned north before we reached it. Glenn almost fell ______ the river.” 1. Allan left your keys ______ the table. We drove _____ the river for an hour. ·• Write complete grammatically correct sentence . Some sentences may have more than one possible correct answer. or on. 6. I let the cat sit _____ my lap. 20. Karper apologized for interrupting us. in. 9. Pat drove Mike ______ the airport. 5. The baby spilled his cereal ______ the floor. 18. 13. • This beer tastes too(bitter)_________ for my liking. Daria’s books are lying _____ the floor. 17. 1. • She (haste)_________ ran down the stairs. but then suddenly it jumped _____ my face! that I looked (good) _______in my chequered shirt. The kids climbed ______ the monkey bars.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 59 . 10. Anna has returned ______ her home town. Matthew and Michelle moved the table ______ the dining room.(picked)_________ picked up her coat and umbrella and disappeared in the (unusual)____________ mysterious night. 16. 4. • She looked at me (tender)________ and said (soft)______ Prepositions of Direction: To. or into. We cried to the man on the ladder. 8. Dr. 2. I’d like ______ ask you a question. 19. Joanna got ______ Fred’s car. Jane is _____ her bedroom. “Hang ______!” 11. In (to): Exercise Complete the following sentences with the correct preposition: to. and told us to carry ______ with our discussion.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 8 : PRACTICE CLASS Upon completion of this lesson. I didn’t know you were going to take everything so (serious)________. The waitress noticed that there was no more Diet Pepsi ______ Marty’s glass. Practice Class Adverb or adjective? • I feel (bad)_______ about what happened yesterday. The dog jumped ______ the lake. The plane landed ______ the runway. I just called ______ say I love you. • Have you ever been (wrong)_______________ accused of something? • “My brother is an (incredible)___________ successful businessman”. Are the boys still swimming ______ the pool? 4. 11. • He turned the car(cautious)__________ as not to drive into the (nice) ___________ laid-out border of the neighbours. Mary Sue jumped ______ the stage and danced. toward. 14. Thomas fell ______ the floor. • The number of visitors to the exhibition dropped (considerable)_________ in the second week. Exercise 2 Complete the following sentences with the correct preposition: at. 3. in. Remember that a few verbs of motion take only “on” rather than “onto. on. 12. 7. you will be able to use the accepted standard of English grammar ad punctuation in written business communication. 5. he said (cynical)____________ “he’s just gone bankrupt for the fifth time!” • (Unfortunately)__________all the milk has gone (sour)_________ overnight. 15. • I could (easy) _______ convince him not to become too excited with all the media attention.

____ 8. Making up his mind quickly. 11. I reached for the pot handle. As Christmas grows near. 17. From afar. Heathcliff could see a light _____ the window. A junior high that was a bad experience. Such as the sun sending its brilliant rays to the earth and the leaves of various shades of red. ____ 4. Didnt he say when he would arrive at Arnies house? 12. ____11. Do you live _____ the city or _____ the country? 7. I found myself constantly putting two cs in the word process. She said the watch Jack found was hers. 10. and Tims phone number has four 2s. 8. and brown moving slowly in the wind. 1. but never while I’m _____ the car. 4. He talked for fifty minutes without taking his eyes off his notes. though the choice is not theirs. 9. Tilting the pot way too much caused the boiling water to spill. My old rowboat with its three-horsepower motor seemed like a high-speed job to me. ____ 7. those guys _____ the ring are just pretending. The scene was filled with beauty. After this meal. Audrey lives _____ Third Street. Act as their editor. The fox had its right foreleg caught securely in the traps jaws. Trent arrived _____ the school building just in time. 9. but she couldnt identify the manufacturers name on it. ____ 2. and the mens department is on the second. The audience threw tomatoes _____ the terrible comedian. but the Smiths children looked so disappointed that we found another spot. They were all having a good time. he did not encourage students’ questions. 19. If William doesn’t make any money on his book. 13. he’ll be out _____ the street. Jim ordered two dozen red roses for his wife. marking a C if the sentences in the group are all complete and an F if any of the sentences in the group is a fragment. Little girls clothing is on the first floor. a wide range of features to choose from. The dogs bark was far worse than its bite. She did not hear her childrens cries. yellow. ____ 5. 11. Whenever I think of the stories I read as a child. 16. ____13. 15. To prove to himself and his parents that he is a man. 60 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. 18. 20. Like other teachers in that department. 20. Within each group. The moons rays shone feebly on the path. In three weeks time well have to begin school again. 5. Its such a beautiful day that Ive decided to take a sun bath. To think about this makes me happy. I remember Cinderellas glass slipper and Snow Whites wicked stepmother. prestigious. 16. We claimed the picnic table was ours. The rancher built a fence to keep his cows _____ the pasture. Could you tell these writers why the fragments are incomplete sentences? ____ 1. 15. and elite group of readers. Although it only attained a speed of about twelve miles an hour. My address has three 7s. ____ 3. you feel that you should be in control. Although that is a value judgment and in circumstances not a true premise. Our neighbors car is an old Chrysler. Until one of Joe’s oldest and best friends had a little too much to drink. 18. ____ 9. Not realizing at the time that we would never enter that door in her home again. 7. and its just about to fall apart. 10. 3. It was difficult to distinguish between them. 12. The car stalled and got stuck _____ the street. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Sentence Fragment Exercises—#1 The sentences below appeared in papers written by students. I find myself looking back into my childhood days at fun-filled times of snowball fights. Then I attended Morris Junior High. With my brother standing by my side. Passengers are not allowed to use electronic devices _____ airplanes during takeoff and landing. The magazine has a reputation for a sophisticated. ____12. It can be really embarrassing to be so emotional.6. 14. The old house had so much grime _____ the windows that Bradley could hardly see inside. The shepherd boy grazed his flock _____ the grassy hillside. 13. 8. ____ 6. while Marty works _____ web design. Hoping she would accept his apology. 14.234 . Johns 69 Ford is his proudest possession. I’ll use my cellular phone when I’m _____ the bus. ____10. She opened the door and let us into her home. they were ready for anything. Especially when you are on your first date. Its important that the kitten learns to find its way home. David works _____ the field of network administration. Theyre not afraid to go ahead with the plans. Wrestling isn’t real. 17. Apostrophes: Exercise Punctuate the following sentences with apostrophes according to the rules for using the apostrophe. Didnt you hear that theyre leaving tomorrow? 6. The man whose face was tan said that he had spent his two weeks vacation in the mountains. Whos the partys candidate for vice president this year? 2. A few of the less serious fellows would go into a bar for a steak dinner and a few glasses of beer. and I heard the insects chirpings and whistlings. Kevin and Mack are out practicing _____ the football field. ____14. 19. In the seventh grade every young boy goes out for football.

please respond to her that your job description. • When you receive my (boss / bosses / boss’s / boss’ / bosses’) memo requesting your participation. Together we learned a lot. • According the Department of Energy. This section explains the function of each technique and describes (its / it’s / its’) advantages and disadvantages. these cells could supply our entire (nations / nation’s / nations’) electrical needs.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 61 . Being a friend of mine like he was when we first joined the soccer team.25 the area currently covered by our roads. will not allow you to perform that type of work. 11. one-story houses are all the same size and style. • With a rear-facing child seat. With no difference except the color.____15. if we were to set up an area of solar cells equal to 0. the top of the seat and the (infants / infant’s / infants’) head will be in the deployment zone of the air bag. ____16. The small. as written. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Possessive Tick on the correct possessive form in the sentences below.

the ones that confer real success. The primary tool of influence is communication. The rules that allow us to get by and survive are fairly simple (don’t run red lights. There may be a host of ideas passing through the mind of the sender. Our vast civilizations exist and function only because each of us has learned to control our behavior in very intricate ways. But do you have the feeling that the negative factors occur too persistently in your life? Do you feel that some 62 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Ask yourself if any of these basic emotions and conditions is a persistent part of your social and business life: Disrespect rejection frustration anger being misunderstood being misinterpreted depression giving offense being insulted disappointment Embarrassment exhaustion failure fear humiliation loneliness powerlessness weakness being overlooked impatience Good conversation skills. lead to success. Both are closely intertwined an overall impact is created if both these skills are used effectively. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Conversation is so basic to human existence that any study of it inevitably leads to some of life’s most important rules—rules that lead to trouble if ignored. Human beings are social animals. speaking and listening.UNIT I CHAPTER 3 : ORAL COMMUNICATION LESSON 9: ORAL COMMUNICATION By the end of this lesson you should be able to • Explain the importance of oral communication • Outline the steps needed to structure effective oral communication • Barriers to communication • Understand what Noise is • Tips for Presentations of these harmful conditions are crippling your family life and your social and career progress? Do you wonder how you can increase the good elements and decrease the bad? Well. it is because you have an imperfect comprehension of those shadowy rules that allow you to focus social power to your advantage. But other rules. No one in our world succeeds strictly on his or her own. People with these advantages go through life feeling the emotions and talents listed below. The initial impact is made by speaking abilities of the sender. when you have difficulty making yourself heard. Let us use the word ‘ IMPRESS’ as an acronym to understand the basic features of communication or concept. I – Idea The first step in the process of communication is to decide on the idea which needs to be communicated. This is a book of rules. as stated above.234 . and like society itself. some of us have a better grasp than others of the complex systems in which we live. on the other hand. if once understood. stimulated energized passionate motivated excited challenged determined flexible contributing effective comfortable confident resourceful empowered vital centered respected well-liked included focused fortunate rewarded in control satisfied lucky Introduction Communication is a composite of speaking and listening. Honing skills in both these areas is absolutely essential if the communicator wishes to impress the receiver. when you have a hard time making friends. influence. It would e seen that he ability to listen rather than to speak fluently impress more. rules many people live and die without ever fully comprehending. and when people take advantage of you. Consider the following list of consequences of poor conversation skills. We all feel the above emotions and conditions. The two activities viz. communication has rules that few fully understand. Good verbal abilities usually promote good relations with others. don’t make bank robbery a career). If the overall effectiveness of these two components is considered. and success leads to more success. When your career progress bogs down. True accomplishment requires that you efficiently influence those around you in positive ways. from time to time. most of life’s successes and problems are founded in the quality of your communication skills. when your relationships are weak or troubled. which. Those who have the deepest awareness and understanding of the core rules are the ones who succeed and prosper. Society’s rules aren’t always obvious. not mere survival. Depending upon the situation and the receiver. and a reputation for leadership and effectiveness. can sometimes be as difficult to detect as black holes in deep space. good and bad. cannot be segregated. the speaker selects the idea suited to the occasion. would define helps us to impress the other person. Still. respect. Equally important is the ability to listen carefully.

it is imperative that there be an extra plus that would retain his interest and make him attentive to the ensuing communication. He initiates the interaction and comes up with ideas and concepts that he wishes to share with the receiver. use this device suitably.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 63 . as if urging him to resume the presentation. What is it that needs to be stated? What is the language that is going to be understood y the receiver? Does the idea necessarily pertain to the interest of the receiver? What is it that the receiver actually needs to know? Framing of the message . the sender does a thorough security check to ascertain that all points have been dealt with in a desired order. The message is then transmitted to the receiver with the required voice articulations and pauses so as to heighten the impact. In written communication pauses get translated into paragraphs. R . word.Sender The communication process hinges on the sender. have an idea encoded in the form of a message. with awareness along these areas. if formulated. Empathy S . Such a difference could be a result of discrepancy in interpretation of words. in spite of efforts being made to make the interaction informative and meaningful. To sum up. The right use of pauses actually stimulates the audience. in order to impress the receiver should. lasts for barely a few seconds. His role is the most crucial. However. however. the sender. Sufficient time and effort should be put in formulating the message.M – Message Once the idea has been selected. which is different in connotation. then written communication becomes meaningful and creates a positive impression. what we refer to as. would definitely make an impact on the receiver. perception of reality.Empathy In communication empathy should be used to help us understand the other individual. opinions and emotions. all communication links fall apart and the process ends in a E . S . the response of the receiver should be viewed empathetic ally. in the course of the interaction. Suppose the sender wishes to communicate five points. The same individual in two different situations might use the same words but his intention might be totally different. The encoding of the message has to be done keeping a number of factors inmind. also prove to be the most difficult. as a sender has. Formulating the statements according to a mutually accepted goal is a good way of proceeding and drawing his attention. If the decision to use a certain number of paragraphs is right and the division of points in these paragraphs is also correct. The impact is often so great and forceful that the receiver actually leans forward in their chairs when the presenter pauses. To satisfy this criterion the sender should address himself to the needs and expectations of the receiver. Gauging the exact meaning of an utterance can only”be done when we literally put ourselves in the shoes of the other person and try to understand the situation from the perspective of the sender. is sure to bring success to the sender. A cautious sender would understand that there is a difference between the mental frames of the participants. and attitudes. In order to draw his attention. Sympathy is placing the sender on a higher pedestal and viewing the other in a sympathetic light. The presenter should. be moments when. it proves easy to prevail upon the receiver. he adopts and the responses that he gives at a particular moment. it needs to be clothed in a language that is comprehensible to the receiver. This would build confidence in the message and eliminate possibility of errors in the statements. at the start. Message. namely. Once all these factors have been understood. The same holds true for the receiver or the listener. if done(keeping answers to these question in mind). the higher the level of understanding and more the receptivity to messages 11. This device. The use of pauses would be best understood in the context of a presentation. the strategies that. The greater the empathy between them. at the time of making a presentation. The receiver is the most important person in the process of communication who could. “sympathy”. the impact is long and meaningful. The sequencing and necessary substantiation of points with facts and figures should be done prior to the actual beginning of the communication process. He is the one who is generally led into the interaction.Pause/ Paragraphs The significance of pauses cannot be underestimated. It would be worthwhile to note that all communication is situation bound. The primary rule is: never be in -a rush to commence communication. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION P . Pauses should be juxtaposed at just the right minute so that the receiver can assimilate the impact of the message. if he so desires. The success or failure of interaction depends on him and on the strategies he adopts to get his message across by securing the attention of the receiver. Excessive usage of this device can lead the presentation into being one that is pretty boring and monotonous. Each individual. At the time of encoding. There could.Security Check Effective communication necessitates that the receiver listens carefully to the utterances of the sender so that the end results are positive.Receiver. a ‘logic bubble’ that enables him to formulate his message in a particular fashion. Finally.

anxiety. ego hang-ups. These are mostly involuntary and no cause can be assigned to them. is hampered and responses are not well formulated. Identification of these barriers is extremely important. According to this definition. What is important is awareness about these factors. Badly Expressed Message. Some of the barriers that are sender-oriented are as follows: 1. to a great extent. tiredness. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Types Physical Causative Factors Disturbances and distractions in the environment Mental turbulence. anxiety. as he should ensure that all channels are free of noise before commencing communication. The receiver should not feel that the interaction is a waste of time. 64 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. one of the important criteria at the time of initializing a piece of communication is that ideas should be concrete and the message should be well structured. at the time of communicating. However. ego hang-ups. tiredness. Psychological. The moment this feeling crops up. For example. Whenever there is psychological noise. At any cost. pre-conceived ideas and notions. It can be done away with at the time of communication by ensuring that all channels are in proper functioning order. As the sender is the originator of communication. Both these devices would. This is a very minor issue but one that gains in magnitude when it leads to inability in transmitting the actual message. there might be a queer squeaking sound. looking in other directions.meaningless rumble of words and sounds. it can be voluntary or involuntary. disturbances might hinder the smooth transmission of message or just at the time when the sender wishes to transmit an important point. the responsibility lies with the sender. which are of more relevance than the’ ensuing communication to either of the participants. Outward manifestations of this disturbance would be in the form of restless tapping on the table. preoccupation. Some of the common forms of noise are mental turbulence. Listening.234 . Sender-oriented Barriers Sender-oriented barriers could be voluntary or involuntary. he should be extremely careful not to erect barriers. Physical noise is not all that difficult to manage. changing positions. What he wishes to say and what he finally imparts may not be the same. He can do this by entering into a question answer session or asking for advice. On the other hand. This disturbing or distracting factor is what we refer to as Noise. often. if the choice of the channel or medium is not right. the communication comes to a grinding halt. The sender at a particular moment might be disturbed by psychological noise. shifting restlessly. The discrepancy emerges as soon as the words are uttered. e. The sender may not be able to structure his ideas accurately and efficiently. They are referred to as barriers because they create impediments in the progress of the interaction.g. In fact. Securing advice Noise Noise can be defined as a physical sound or a mental disturbance that disrupts the flow of communication as the sender or the receiver perforce gets distracted by it. While care may be taken to eliminate possibilities of physical noise. preoccupation. companies have a soundproof room for discussions. noise can be classified into two categories: 1. Not being well versed in the topic under discussion can create problems of this nature. preconceived ideas and notions Remedies Ensuring that all channels are clear and free of noise Entering into Question/ Answer sessions. To make more meaningful and successful communication. carry a piece of paper and a pen or pencil to jot down points or comments of the receiver. Psychological Barriers To Communication An activity as complex as communication is bound to suffer from setbacks if conditions contrary to the smooth functioning of the process emerge. while speaking on the telephone. etc. the receiver might also be distracted by psychological noise. the sender should try through certain strategies to draw the attention of the receiver. This may be on the part of the sender or the receiver. This is mostly a physical noise. remove the element of psychological noise. let us categorize the barriers as: • Sender-oriented • Receiver-oriented. 2. If he is aware of the mental turmoil and knows that it would disturb his listening process he should. efforts should be made on the part of the sender to identify and remove them. as a result. Physical 2. Loss In Transmission. it results in (un)welcome ideas or thoughts crowding the mind. According to the role observed by the two participants. If his interaction gives rise to or indicates that there are barriers. the impact of the message is lost. Once again. Physical noise is that sound which emanates from the surroundings and hampers’ the listening process. the listener totally switches off and thus ceases the process of effective communication. These are just some of the means through which the sender can gauge the presence of psychological noise in the mind of the receiver. problems arise at the time when psychological noise plagues either the sender or the receiver.

3.. Ideas should be carefully formulated/thought out before beginning any kind of communication.. 3. the sender has to put in extra effort through which he is able to win the trust and confidence of the recipient. Ineffective grasp of message 3. he had already lost the attention of the receiver. If the sender starts every sentence with “I”. His understanding of the message is going to be warped. The look on the face of the listener should be sufficient to warn the sender that he has overstepped his limits or he has been misunderstood. Ideas. as such. It is said that two minds are always better than one. This is what we normally refer to as establishing sender credibility..as far as possible try to get the profile of the receiver so that at the time of communication he knows how much material is needed and how much can be done away with. the latter might lose interestas it is merely repetition of what he already knows . If the receiver is convinced that the sender has his best interests at heart. Primary among them is to test thinking by communicating with peers and colleagues. Groping for the right message 5. How tedious it is going to be for the listener to sit through the entire piece of interaction.” can totally warp the formulation of the message. he would be willing to pay attention to all that is being said and try to grasp the import of the message in the manner in which it is intended.234 © Copy Right: Rai University . it gradually leads to what is referred to as the I-syndrome. Mind. get sorted out. and the mind should be free of bias. If the respondent starts with prejudices in mind. This problem could arise in the interpretation of the words or overall meaning of the message It is also related to the understanding of the intention behind a particular statement. Lack of collaborative effort 6. Thoughts like “Last time he said this. Different occasions and different hours necessitate a change in the encoding of the message.. a statement made at an 65 11. The messages are going to be understood in relation to the prejudices that a receiver harbors against the sender.Oriented Barriers. Care and constant practice on the part of the sender can remove these barriers. when communication commences. Neither should there be excess information nor should it be too scanty. Plan and clarify ideas. when discussed aloud with another person. These barriers are not insurmountable. or if they sound ‘Greek’ or ‘Latin’ to him. 4. Imagine a piece of communication that begins and ends with the pronoun “I”. In order to win the trust and confidence of the receiver. Create a climate of trust and confidence. if suggested by the receiver.3 Sender-oriented Barriers Causative factors Badly expressed message Loss in transmiSSion Semantic problem Over/Under communication BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Participant Sender/Encoder/ Speaker Barrier 1. This barrier can also be extended to the receiver. This can be done by following few steps.The sender should . he will not spend extra hours in planning the message and clarifying it by facilitating discussions with other members in the organization. still.g. As all communication is situation bound. the entire exercise proves futile. necessarily take on a shape and form. the sanctity associated with the word “white” might be violated when the receiver uses it in a careless fashion. Time your message carefully. all sorts of prejudices should be done away with.. Biased communication Remedies Think prior to speaking Remove physical noise Use simple language Make the quantum of communication just right Minimise usage of "I" Formulate messages with an open mind "I-attitude" Prejudices Rules for Overcoming Sender . Misunderstood statements 4. In this process the concepts of others can also be collated and incorporated to make the communication richer and more fruitful. Errors of logic. the sender should be highly motivated. Unless he is sufficiently motivated. free of keeping only the receiver and his needs in mind. For the receiver. he too would be unable to listen to the intent of the message. So b the time he arrives at the core of he matter . Over/ Under Communication The quantum of communication should be just right. But if the receiver is not able to comprehend the impact of these words. Though it is easier said than done. Semantic Problem High and big sounding words definitely look and sound impressive. 6. This would enable the sender to formulate his message. The sender has to be careful of the time and the place he makes his statements. 2. if any.” or “He belongs to this group. Suppose he starts with some information that the receiver already possesses. Some of the rules for overcoming sender-oriented barriers are as follows: 1.” or “Last time he did this. changes would go against his personal formulation of certain views.. ‘I’ -Attitude. e. Starting any piece of communication with a bias or know-itall attitude can prove to be quite detrimental to the growth of communication process. As these steps require preplanning and extra time. Exhibit 11. 5.. Prejudices. He would not be receptive to changes. The idiosyncrasies of the receiver should be well understood by the sender if he does not wish these barriers to crop up at the time of communication. Loss in Impact 2. and scanty information would make him grope for the actual intent of the message . Excess information may confuse the receiver as he has to figure out the exact import of the message.

The sender can only ascertain whether communication has been effective when he confirms with feedback. for his grasp is more accurate and thorough. the decoder is mentally at peace. Dichotomy in the information that the receiver possesses and that which is being transmitted can create confusion and result in miscommunication. He might counter statements instead of seeking clarifications that might lead to clamping on the part of the sender. 8. if rebuked. It cannot be done simultaneously with listening. Challenging newcomers to innovate. Once all barriers to communication have been overcome. The onus lies directly on the receiver who is unreceptive and unwilling to change. There would be no connection between what was said initially and what is being said now. Differing status and position. It is very difficult to exercise control over ones mind. The most prudent step is to measure the import of the message in relation to the situation and then impart it. It is not possible to be interested in all that is being said. sequel to the listening process. if the listener starts mentally pronouncing judgments concerning his style or content.Communication is a process in which the BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Receiver-Oriented Barriers Receiver can also have some barriers in the course of the interaction. Conflict between the existing information and fresh one results in elimination of the latter unless and until the receiver is cautious and verifies with the sender the reliability and validity of the message. Rejecting the proposal of a subordinate or harboring a misconception that a junior cannot come up with a “eureka” concept is not right. many companies have started encouraging youngsters to come up with ideas/ solutions to a particular problem. Whatever statements are made should be reinforced by action on the part of the sender. Communicate efficiently. 4. In fact. 6. Starting any piece of communication with this kind of indifference can thwart any attempts at communication. communication. or there is miscommunication. On the contrary. Novae concepts that require discussion before they can really materialize. one for transmittal and the other for action. Refutations and arguments. Conflicting information. The minute sender opens his mouth. Resistance to change. a judicious strategy for him would be to jot down points. Retention is extremely important during interaction. Trying to communicate with the sender on the premise that refutations and arguments can yield fruitful results would prove to be futile. People with dogmatic opinions and views prove to be very poor communicators and erect maximum number of barriers. hampers listening and results in miscommunication. If the receiver has poor retention capability. “I am not interested in what you are saying” or “My interest lies in other areas”. 3. He is equally to blame if the situation goes awry and communication comes to a stop.234 . 2. coupled with an unwillingness to change or discuss. it shows how conscientious he is to get the message right. one mind cannot perform two activities at the same time. Soliciting and receiving feedback is the simplest and the surest way of removing any barriers that might crop up in the course of communication as a result of either over communication or a semantic problem.incorrect moment. If an individual has been working in a particular company for some years. Inattentive listening. Fixed notions of this kind should be dispensed with. Remember. If there is harmony between the two. or has other things to concentrate on. The receiver on his part is also wary as he knows that he would be requested for feedback. Poor retention. fall flat. His responses naturally are then going to be incorrect or expose his misunderstanding. Listening is more of an exercise in controlling the mind and exercising it to assimilate messages. The receiver should not feel that there are two codes at play. he becomes active when he starts assimilating and absorbing the information. But to start any communication with this notion is hazardous. It does not portray him in a poor light. If the decoder feels that his retention capacities are not good. 5. listening cannot take place. Reinforce words with action. The mind has its own way of functioning. it is natural that his mind gets conditioned in a particular manner. These ideas are then discussed among the senior managers and their validity is ascertained keeping the workings and the constraints of the company in mind. The sender should convince the receiver that whatever is now being said is correct and relevant to further proceedings. Evaluation should always be a 66 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Fixed ideas. The art of listening is an exercise in concentration. Position in the organizational hierarchy is no criterion to determine the strength of ideas and issues. Refutations and arguments are negative in nature. 5.as a part of company policy takes care of ego problems that may arise if this is not a accepted norm. If it is evaluating. Some of the barriers emanating from the side of the receiver are as follows: 1. The basic purpose of this upward traversing of ideas is that fresh and innovative minds can come up with unique solutions. Although his role in the initial phase is passive. he has actually missed out on a major part of what has been said. he would probably get lost in the course of the proceedings. Interests and attitudes. it is said has been meaningful and purposeful. 4. 7. or a wrong place can stimulate an undesired response. Being judgmental and evaluative are both the starting points for miscommunication. The errors in listening arise primarily because the receiver is either not interested in what is being said. Tendency to evaluate.

In these organizations. raw materials and technology are inert until people do something with them. Dichotomy in reception and comprehension 2. up and down process. Those firms that can get the right people doing the right things at the right time with precious finite assets will be tomorrow’s winners. In case there are some contradictions that need to be resolved. It should do its job as effectively and efficiently as possible.4 Receiver-oriented Barriers Participant Receiver! Decoder! Listener Barrier 1. Distancing from the speaker 4. Everyone works to manage these three statements prospectively. 1.sender and the healthyreceiver are at the same level. Focusing communication primarily on frontline people at the exclusion of others could too often circumvent people who have valuable contributions to improving the organization’s financial health. Organizations that understand these factors and manage communications well have adopted or are adopting the following two best practices. often considered the model of communication management. Superior attitude 7. if a variance in material usage is projected on next month’s income statement. employees who can influence material usage work to avoid the variance. if an electric power company were deficient in a needed-to-win capability such as creating strategic partnerships. Everyone knows that a large part of the job is to move the numbers in the right direction. appreciating and. Lack of interest Causative factors Poor retention Remedies Jot down points Keep the mind open Delay evaluation Find an area of interest Check reliability and validity Listen to ideas Be open to changes Enter into healthy discussions Inattentive listening Tendency to evaluate Differences in nterests and attitudes Conflicting information Differing status/Position Self-experience Resistance to change Refutations and arguments 5. Increased competition has forced us to look for ways to do everything exponentially better. finally. discussion is the right way to approach. processes. This may or may not involve frontline employees but would address a major competitive issue. This might include merchandis67 BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Exhibit 11. increased global competition and the emerging partnership between an organization and its members. For instance. (For instance. 2. Self-direction. This effort may involve frontline employees. trying to understand or at least showing that there has been understanding. policies. Using a concept commonly called open book leadership. programs and structures. Its job is to focus people on what’s required to win and build an environment that gives them the information needed to improve performance. The income statement. there is a shift in balance between the two participants. If a retail store were deficient in a core driver such as increasing in-store traffic. cascading. 11. faster and at less cost. Mental block 8. it’s often strategically efficient to focus on these needed-to-win capabilities or success drivers. Communication in its broadest form is a critical enabler that can engage people and unlock the discretionary effort that’s needed to win. The minute refutations or discussions arguments begin. everyone knows how the enterprise makes money and how to track business performance. posing questions or suggesting new product ideas to any individual. regardless of their location or status. In a world of finite resources. Three factors have reinvented the way we must manage communication: technology. It’s caused us to challenge all the rules.234 © Copy Right: Rai University . The strategy adopted should not make the sender feel small or slighted. more focused ways to get relevant information into the hands of those who can most influence business performance. positing own views should be the sequence to be followed. it should direct its attention at eliminating this deficiency. Partial grasp of topic 3. Mental turbulence 6. Technology now allows anyone with E-mail to move information throughout the organization. they’re creating businesses of business people where everyone thinks and acts like a business owner. A new partnership has evolved from a recognition that assets such as capital. cash flow statement and balance sheet are the primary communication media. it may involve others. Listening to the views of the other. virtual offices. it would want to fucus on this activities that would increase in-store traffic. after which the receiver moves to a conceived higher position and the sender remains at the same level.Technology has replaced layers of management that frequently blocked communication back in the days when the communication process was thought to be a hierarchic. These businesses understand that some organization capabilities or processes drive the business more than others. Lack of provision of correct feedback Article A Strategic Focus on Face-to-face Communication By Jim Shaffer Superior communication management should help improve organizational performance. They’re seeking faster. spiderweb organizational structures and telecommuting has forced many organizations to adopt more efficient and effective ways of moving information among people who need that it.

His new book The Leadership Solution has been hailed by CEOs as a “practical common sense look at how leaders use communication to solve business problems. Essentially. perceived product quality. In the new model. face-to-face may be ideal. retail skills. Part of this shift renders the historical frontline employee/ supervisor discussion obsolete. But. Businesses will continue to metamorphose as customers’ needs and members’ needs change. Doing this effectively will require a mind set change and a fresh view of the needs of the emerging organization. people retain • • • • • • 10% of what they READ 20% of what they HEAR 30% of what they SEE 50% of what they SEE and HEAR 70% of what they SAY 90% of what they SAY and DO Business Communication Goals • • • • Receiver Understanding Receiver Response Favorable Relationship Organizational Goodwill Sender is responsible for these goals. courier services. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Generally. Biography Jim Shaffer.however painful letting go might be. try telling someone at Hewlett-Packard in Palo Alto. Structures are fluid. Everyone is part of the business. California that she should communicate cash flow reports face-to-face to someone in the Asia-Pacific office and she’d be justified in giving us a quick lesson in business economics and the need for speed in today’s competitive environment.234 . Communication practitioners should be hard at work looking for new ways to help adapt to a new business environment. leadership skills and a host of other activities that could increase in-store traffic. Organizations are changing dramatically. is one of the world’s leading thought leaders and consultants in generating employee commitment to achieving improved organizational performance. This probably would involve frontline people. In these organizations. service. Work gets done differently. costs. Face-to-face may have significant advantages. ‘frontline’ isn’t part of the lexicon. This requires involving people who bring a mix of competencies from various places within the organization. the process for improving critical performance indicators such as quality. Sure. but not to the exclusion of others. Lionize face-to-face as an ideal. fax. but be prepared to seek better ways to move information among telecommuters who have child care obligations. best practice companies focus communication management where it has maximum strategic impact. They should be looking for better ways to engage everyone in achieving increasingly higher levels of performance through improving information sharing. It can capture the essence of human interaction better than E-mail. In this new model. He leads the JimShaffer 68 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. ‘Frontline’ is a hierarchic remnant.” Jim pioneered performance-based communication management.ing. This emerging model represents a fundamental shift in the way we think about our organizations and how we share information. atmosphere. the way we move information should be situational. innovation or productivity by improving the way businesses manage communication. speed. It will mean letting go of the past when it doesn’t serve today’s business needs . everyone is critical to the value chain. but perhaps not at the expense of dragging a world-wide sales force to London for a monthly sales meeting. advertising. Everyone is engaged in a partnership. video or teleconference.

connotes poorly made no standard give in 11. too technical. perhaps. the key supporting points • Say clearly what happens next • If appropriate. etc. • Connotations VS Denotations – – – – Examples sender denotes “Cheap” inexpensive “Flexible” offers choice “Compromise” adjust rec. etc. then say what you have just said.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 69 . “excellent value”. – overused words such as. say it.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Parts of a presentation • • • • Introduction Body Conclusion Questions Guidelines for Effective Closings • Always prepare a closing • Always restate the main point. and. “good”. Guidelines for Effective Introductions • • • • • • Always prepare your opening Tell people what the presentation is about Keep the opening short and simple Only use anecdotes that are relevant Use caution with personal experiences Stay away from inappropriate humor Communication Barriers/Noise • Word choice – too difficult. make a call to action • Thank the audience Say what you are going to say.

interests. have someone else hand them out – at end if possible What you should know about your audience • How large is the audience? • What are the audience members’ relevant characteristics? • Why are people attending? • What are the audience’s specific needs. VS Warranty is only for the first year. retain opportunity for company • Poor grammar. • #2 Neglecting to research the audience – take the time to find out who you are talking to Handouts • When to use and distribute handouts – @ beginning if audience needs them during presentation – during presentation.234 . three or six to a page © Copy Right: Rai University 11. spelling. • Appearance and performance of the presenter • Use of gender bias terms or stereotypical terms • Positive VS Negative terms – We have a full year warranty. and concerns? • How much do people already know? • How are people likely to respond to your message? • Running handouts two.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 70 Communication Barriers/Noise • Inferences • Pace of the delivery – Speaking too fast or too slow 10 common presentation mistakes (and suggestions for avoiding them) • #1 Accepting an inappropriate invitation – personally decline. etc.

10 common presentation mistakes (and suggestions for avoiding them) • #7 Backing up to the wrong media – Check your back-up media before leaving for your presentation. – Do not try to organize your talk and create your slides simultaneously.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 10 common presentation mistakes (and suggestions for avoiding them) • #3 Procrastinating. – Always plan to arrive early for your presentation. 10 common presentation mistakes (and suggestions for avoiding them) • #9 Relying on the World Wide Web live Web connection – Create a copy on your hard drive. • #6 Failing to heed Murphy’s Law – Always assume the equipment will NOT work. • #10 Having too little to say – Be prepared! 11. • #4 Getting a late start. then punting. 10 common presentation mistakes (and suggestions for avoiding them) • #5 Assuming all projectors are the same.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 71 . • #8 Telling tasteless or offensive jokes – A greater awareness of your audience can determine if they will find your sense of humor funny or offensive. – Be sure you know the equipment or bring your own.

your presentation can use a lot of fun art. • We are going to have to down size. • All of the rules apply to sound (even more so!). Tips on PowerPoint Presentations • Keep the presentation look simple. Use the rule of thirds. stick to the points. • Art should match a key word or phase in the slide. • Create high contrast between the background and the text. • The presentation should set the tone of the message. • Use art judiciously. audio and video. • Keep a consistent look from slide to slide. – If you are sharing good news. Put it up about five minutes before your presentation begins. keep the images balanced on the page. Sample Slide • Sales are down! Tips on PowerPoint Presentations • Clip art should match your audience. • When using art.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 72 Tips on PowerPoint Presentations • Always use a title slide. You don’t want to distract from the content of the slide/presentation. • Consider creating a company specific background for sales presentations. If you have bad news. © Copy Right: Rai University 11.234 .

and special phases on your slides. – Keep it simple and consistent.(cont) – Use complimentary colors together. Use it wisely and judiciously. Explain them quickly or you lose your audience. Tips on PowerPoint Presentations • Limit your bullet points to three or four items. acronyms. • Be consistent from slide to slide. Tips on PowerPoint Presentations • One of the significant advantages of using presentation software packages is that you have access to color. – Be careful with the use of red because the eye will naturally go there first. • Be careful when using abbreviations. 11. – Use no more than five colors for charts or graphs. • Don’t overdo the use of italics. • Try to have no more than 24 words on any one slide. just because you have a lot of them to choose from you don’t have to use them all! No more than two or three per slide. do NOT use all caps. Use it wisely and judiciously.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Tips on PowerPoint Presentations • One of the significant advantages of using presentation software packages is that you have access to color. bolding and shadows and like e-mail. – Choose no more than two colors for text. – Never use red and green together unless you want your audience to think of Christmas! Tips on PowerPoint Presentations • Fonts are like colors.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 73 .

Tips on PowerPoint Presentations • Have a final slide that lets the audience know that the presentation is over.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 74 Tips on PowerPoint Presentations • It is important to explain how to read your chart or graph as soon as you put it on the screen. People won’t be listening. • Do not say anything important within ten seconds of putting up a chart. they’re too busy figuring out the chart.234 . © Copy Right: Rai University 11.

for he begins his famous oration by saying. That means the considerable information is lost in the listening process. Because of listening mistakes.” He said he was listening. reading. Situations like this are disturbingly common in business. There is no system that will do the job in an easier manner. and they are better at understanding the needs of others. lend me your ears. but he’d obviously made up his mind before I started. Do you think you are a good listener? I do hear a loud Yes from you all!!! At the end of the lesson we have some exercise to evaluate your listening skills. then he’ll say. you take everything people tell you and refer it back to your own experience. Do you know that we devote about 40 to 45 per cent of our working hours to listening? And do you know that. What Listening is Johnson defines listening as “the ability to understand and respond effec-tively to”Oral communication. but your mind is going a mile a minute because you are thinking about what to say next. not all people are good listeners. has said: “By far the most effective method by which executives can tap ideas of subordinates is sympathetic listening in the many day-to-day informal contacts within and outside the work place. Identifying – When using this block.that listening is a skill that must be developed. You look interested. but that reminds you of your oral surgery for receding gums.” Consider the Following Examples “I told him we were meeting this Tuesday. A basic rule of listening is that judgments should only be made after you have heard and evaluated the content of the message. Prejudice against the speaker – At times we have conflict in our mind as to the speaker. Listening is a skill. if you have not taken steps to improve this skill.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 10: LISTENING SKILLS After reading this chapter. 3. Romans. Industrial firms have recognized the importance of the listening skill to manag-ers for some time. lets learn about the importance and listening . Note that in both the cases. we can state at the outset that hearing is not listening. You launch into your story before they can finish theirs. and in the second case.” As you will learn in the following pages. Common Faults of Listening Research studies shows that our listening efficiency is no better than 25 to 30 per cent. listening effectively is hard work. Davis states it this way: “Hearing is with the ears. letters have to be retyped. In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.” This remark was made by a department head in a manufacturing firm. Judging negatively – Labeling people can be extremely limiting. Nothing can equal an executive’s willingness to listen.” Thus. Whatever he speaks seems to be colored and we practically don’t listen what he says.” The benefits of applied listening skills are impressive. Some people rehearse whole chains of responses: I’ll say. Dr. Thus poor listening habits can keep an organization from functioning properly. It occurs far more frequently than speaking. and so on. not next Tuesday. Good listeners make a company a more effective organization. but practically. you listen at only 25 per cent efficiency? For a long time most persons assumed that listening was a natural trait. It involves far more than sitting passively and absorbing others’ words. Listening requires more than hearing. but listening is with the mind. Why? Some reasons follow1. 4. They want to tell you about a toothache. They have better rapport with others. today. but he has one big fault: he doesn’t know how to listen. 2. Earl Planty. or writing and is just as demanding and important. Different approaches to listening Students. you don’t pay much attention to what that person says. countrymen. In the first case. How important listening is in oral communication 2. If you prejudge somebody as incompetent or uninformed. Common faults we make while listening 3. in his role as executive counselor at Johnson and Johnson.” 11. He didn’t give me a minute to talk before he started interrupting. Marc Antony realizes that persons don’t listen readily. the listener has not listened to the actual message. Now we have to reschedule the meeting. Rehearsing – Your whole attention is on designing and preparing your next comment. it requires understanding of the communication received. appointments rescheduled. Introduction “It’s a pity that Raman didn’t receive the promotion he wanted. They show that listening failures can prove to be very costly. It will cost us a week’s time and we will not be able to meet the deadline. listener has taken the message without giving proper attention to understand it. the listener has a blocked mind to listen anything other than his own notions. How we can improve our listening skill 4. you should be able to understand: 1. “Friends. they get more out of meetings and are more effective in conferences. shipments rerouted.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 75 . Evidence indicates that many persons do not know how to listen . an art necessary for success in life and work. productivity is affected and profits suffer.

can appreciably increase the effectiveness of this communicative skill. 1. do it with a positive attitude. which. 9. Have positive attitude – If you have to do it. your main focus is on finding things to disagree with. Don’t allow your personal biases and attitudes to influence your listening to the message. call up past sins) to -avoid being wrong. In your daily communications. or need to resist messages that contradict his beliefs. Directly as a result of our rapid thinking speed.. Resist distractions – Tune out internal and external distractions by facing and maintaining contact with the speaker. there are only uninteresting people. Being Right – Being right means you will go to great lengths (twist the facts. we turn the channel to a more entertaining subject. 13. and people have capacity to think at the rate of 500 to 800 words per Minute.234 BUSINESS COMMUNICATION How to Improve Listening Skill The ability to listen more effectively may be acquired through discipline and practice. Construct a mental outline of where speaker is going. Prepare to listen – To receive the message clearly. make excuses or accusations. attention to the main ideas presented. note-taking (if the conditions are appropriate). Effective listening requires sustained concentration (regardless of the length of the message). distracting background music. However. What do you do with the excess thinking time while someone is speaking? The good listener uses thought-speed to advantage by applying spare thinking time to what is being said. and you can’t take suggestions to change. Advising – You are the great problem solver. So you agree with everything. 5. It is almost impossible to slow down our thinking speed. K Chesterton once said. There is no such-thing as an uninteresting subject. 7. not refute -Respect the viewpoint of those you disagree with. Absolutely. You want people to like you. you can’t be corrected. Listen for transition and progression of ideas. pleasant. attitudes. Delivery – A monotonous delivery by the speaker can put listeners to sleep or cause them to loose interest. 12. background. 10. Another way of derailing is by joking. ideas. supportive. Find an area of interest – Good listeners are interested and attentive. Among the negative factors are noisy fans. you can sometimes move to another loca-tion in the room. As a listener you must be physically 76 © Copy Right: Rai University . Listen to understand. . If you experience some negative environment factors. . While it is possible to use this time to explore the speaker’s ideas.from the unfinished business just mentioned to romantic fantasies. Premature evaluation – It often happens that we interrupt the speakers before they complete their thought. You can’t listen to criticism. We arrive at the concluding thought quickly although often that is quite different from what the speaker intended. In fact. 6. The difference leaves us with the great deal of mental spare time. You cannot listen passively and expect to retain the message. You derail the train of conversation when you get uncomfortable or bored with a topic. you may miss what is most important. 4. If need be. Really? You want to be nice. start shouting. Try to understand the points they emphasize and why they have such feelings (training. 6. they cause annoyance in the mind and effective listening is impaired. etc. . we pretend to listen but really tune the other person out while we drift about in our interior fantasies. 14. . Capitalize on thought – speed – Most of us think at about four times faster than the communicator speaks. Of course you are. or personal values. . Placating – Right. or state their conclusions. External distractions – The entire physical environment effects the listen-ing. When these words are repeated time and again. you must give the communicator of the message sufficient attention and make an effort to understand his viewpoint. while you are coming up with suggestions and convincing someone to just try it. Keep an open mind – A good listener doesn’t feel threatened or insulted. .). overheated or cold rooms. . 15. 7. the receiver must have the correct mental attitude.5. and no emotional blocks to the message by the listener. Try to identify and rationalize the words or phrases most upsetting to your means. Thinking speed – Most of us speak between 60 to 180 words per minute. Realize that listening is hard work – You must appreciate the art of listening. 2. Dreaming – When we dream. They find ways to make the message relevant to themselves and/ or their jobs. . you may reinforce the mental outline by physically taking down the notes. we most often let our mind wander to other matters . Instead of disciplining ourselves to truly concentrate on the input. so too do certain words. If you want to be an effective listener. poor or glaring lights. if followed. 8. You don’t have to hear more than a few sentences before you begin searching for the right advice. 11. and so on. or finish their sentence. Sparring – This block has you arguing and debating with people who never feel heard because you are so quick to disagree. 8.Incredible . 3. . we race ahead of what we feel is the conclusion. 9. Concentrate on the context – Search out main ideas. and make conscious effort to listen others. We anticipate. a conversation going on nearby. Here are some practical suggestions for effective listening. Derailing – This listening block involves suddenly changing the subject. establish a permissive environment for each communicator. Semantic stereotypes – As certain kind of people bother us.. Good listeners adjust quickly to any kind of abnormal. relaxed and mentally alert to receive and understand the message. Make your listening efficient by asking yourself ‘what is he saying that I can use? Does he have any worthwhile ideas? Is he conveying any workable approaches or solutions? G. I know. Your greatest handicap may be not capitalizing on 11.

You can add to your message after you’ve finished listening to the information. said “Don’t listen to the words_ just listen to what the voice tells you. “When did you inform your manager?”. Pick out the key words in any information. It’s easier to remember one or two important words than a whole sentence. If you’re taking a message for someone it’s easier to write down key words to help you remember the message than it is to try to write everything out. we create a climate that encourages others to communicate honestly and openly. Gesture can be very important and can often make the speaker’s meaning much clearer.234 3.Sincere questions are genuine request for information: “when did you find that fuel was leaking from the barrel?”. Mentally arguing with a communi-cator is one of the principal reasons so little listening takes place in some discussions. Unless there is someone who hears. and the response. © Copy Right: Rai University 77 . Ask questions about anything that you are unsure of. Pearls.. Questioning . by what the speaker says. judgment can be passed in an enlightened manner. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Approaches to Listening Just as a carpenter or a chef uses different tools to tackle a job. because you are part of a two-way process and you want to encourage the other person. 10. Through listening training. the principal points of the message. Therefore. author of Gestalt Theory Vibration. 13. “Let me make sure I understand what you are saying. Be sure you understand what the speaker means. “really”. The so called communica-tor. Listen carefully to what the speaker says. the person who emits the communication. Give each new stage in a set of instructions a number. Different approaches to listening are discussed below-: Passive listening . and so on. there is no. it will help you remember them later. “It is the recipient who communicates.Sometimes the best approach to listening is to stay out of the way and encourage the speaker to keep going: “Uh-huh”. Peter Drucker 11. 5. Paraphrasing is a practical technique that can highlight misunderstandings. We often think that we understand other person but we may be wrong at times. that is. Paraphrasing .thought-speed. Repeat the instructions or the information you’ve been given back to the person who gave them to you. 2. Don’t become over-stimulated. listeners can take advantage of several skills for listening and responding to messages at work. Ask questions and listen critically to the answers.. Non-verbal cues like eye contact. Go through the complete sequence in your mind so that it is clear. Points to ponder Here are some hints and tips to make you a better listener: 1. These questions may be used to gather facts and details. communication. “Tell me more”. “or “in other words you are saying. Look interested in what they are saying Maintain eye contact If the person is giving you directions. S. This is often preceded by phrases such as. Then. If we show some empathy. pay attention to the direction they are pointing. and appropriate facial expressions are an important part of the passive listening. 4. There is only noise”. what the movements tell you. Don’t interrupt. withhold your evaluation until your comprehension is complete. Hold your fire – Be patient. does not communi-cate.. Combine verbal delivery with nonverbal cues – F. Generally this approach is used when there is one to one conversation or the speaker is giving a formal presentation. or excited too soon. too excited. 6.” and the like. try to see the communicator’s point of view.Paraphrasing occurs when a listener restate the speaker’s ideas in his own words in order to ensure that he has understood them correctly. If you are with someone you need to do some extra things while you are listening. If you win. and the like.”. and encourage a speaker to elaborate. or replay the recorded message. 12. what the posture tells you what the image tells you”. at the appropriate time. you lose. attentive posture. Show some empathy – Empathy means placing yourself in the shoes of speaker and try understand his viewpoint from there. it can be converted into your greatest asset.. If you’re taking a message for someone else you might want to rewrite it using complete sentences so that it will make sense to the reader. clarify meanings. Listen critically and delay judgment – Good listeners delay making a judgment about the communicator’s personality. Don’t argue. He utters. 11. If you’ve got anything wrong the person will correct you and the repetition will help you to remember.

then they’ll know they really got through and don’t have to keep repeating. The difference in these two intentions transmits remarkably different messages when you are communicating. listens between the lines to tones of voice and evidence finds what's in it for me fights distractions. However. but to prove you understand.” You have to prove it by being willing to communicate with others at their level of understanding and attitude. Prepare a statement in which you list the arguments for and against. a lot of people throwing up their arms and saying. and more importantly.. ”I think one lesson I have learned is that there is no substitute for paying attention. takes true talent.tunes out listens for facts Effective Listener thinks and mentally summarizes. lack of attention and respectful listening can be costly . particularly when disagreements arise. you can’t manage unless you understand your employee’s motivation.Diane Sawyer BUSINESS COMMUNICATION The Secrets to Listening Well “Listening is as powerful a means of communication and influence as to talk well. which proves you. listening well takes plenty of practice. each person in the group must take a particular stance: • Comment on the positive elements of the proposal • Suggest problems with implementing the proposal • Suggest the people who will need to be involved 78 © Copy Right: Rai University 11.leading to mistakes.” . ”I like to listen.John Marshall There must be a lot of frustrated people out there. consider the following: Poor Listener tends to "wool-gather" with slow speakers subject is dry so tunes out speaker distracted easily takes intensive notes.234 . It seldom helps to tell people. but doing it well. listening is less important than how you listen. • Prove respect: Prove you take other views seriously. People need some sort of evidence or proof of understanding. rate of speech and choice of words to show that we are trying to imagine being where they are at the moment. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. know the main idea. To begin the discussion. prove it had an impact on you. and doesn't get hung up on them holds eye contact and helps speaker along by showing an active body state judges content.Ernest Hemingway Following are some keys to listening well: • Give 100% Attention: Prove you care by suspending all other Only about 25 percent of listeners grasp the central ideas in communications. poor service. In all of these cases. As with any skill. and that is the true foundation from which you can sell. has only one way to take notes is overstimulated. “You just don’t get it. you must listen to others. you cause rapport to develop. • Prove understanding: To say “I understand” is not enough. Speak at approximately the same energy level as the other person. • Respond: Responses can be both verbal and nonverbal (nods. After all.” . By listening in a way that demonstrates understanding and respect. The important point is not to repeat what they’ve said to prove you were listening. do you?” There seems to be a growing realization of the importance of listening and communication skills in business.. Most people never listen. but the more notes taken. knows how to concentrate has 2-3 ways to take notes and organize important information doesn't judge until comprehension is complete uses "heavier" materials to regularly exercise the mind interpret color words. skips over delivery errors listens for central ideas activities. wasted time and lack of teamwork. We do this naturally by adjusting our tone of vice. manage or influence others. To improve listening skills. weighs the evidence. the less value. expressing interest) but must prove you received the message. tends to seek and enter into arguments inexperienced in listening to difficult material. has usually sought light. misaligned goals. Listening to and acknowledging other people may seem deceptively simple. recreational materials lets deaf spots or blind words catch his or her attention shows no energy output judges delivery -. Prove your understanding by occasionally restating the gist of their idea or by asking a question. sees past bad communication habits. and you can’t gain team consensus unless you understand each team member’s feelings about the issue at hand. a lot of people who feel like they aren’t listened to.” . “I appreciate your position” or Exercise 1 Choose one of the following topics and discuss it in groups of 4. You can’t sell unless you understand your customer’s problem.“I know how you feel.

France. Aggressively disagree with the points being made (although this may be because the listener is appalled by the ideas being presented!) Listening to Others Reflect on the group discussion that you have been involved in while completing the above exercises. 2.g. Interrupt when another speaker is taking their turn. For example: What do you think?’ 4. Report on how each member participated. Did everyone speak for about the same length of time? How easily was consensus achieved? How often did the group stray from the topic (e. Picks up cues. Keep a personal record of the roles you play. The group should also come to a consensus on how to proceed with the proposal you are discussing. Keep notes of the main points raised 3. For example.g. Not focus on the speaker (e. by talking about personal matters). 3. including whether they contributed and whether they allowed or encouraged others to contribute. Using facial expressions (smiles or frowns. Italy. 2. It is different from a vote in which the majority rules. China. Really? Go On! You don’t say! Oh no! 8. Ask questions about something that has been said (to clarify or expand) I don’t understand the point about… Did you consider trying to… Does that mean it won’t work? or in informal conversation What did he say to that? What did you wear? What are you going to say to them? 5. Did anyone ask questions of other group members? Consider the characteristics of listeners. Ensure that the discussion sticks to the topic The Note Taker Should 1. Record the names of group members 2.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 79 . Germany) Scenario 3 You are concerned about the amount of litter in your school or local area. Use eye contact to show concentration on the person 6.Encourage others to take a turn. or before the person has finished 3. Maintain a blank face 5. Uses the person’s name when speaking to them 9. Report back to the class The Critical Friend Should 1. Work co-operatively and concentrate. Japan. Note that consensus means that you come to a group view. Nominate someone to lead the group. look around the room) 2. Show no interest in the topic or not understand the points being made (e.• Suggest practical/organizational issues which will need to be dealt with. so that you have an opportunity to take different roles throughout the semester. Use confirming words and phrases Yes. Discuss how your response might differ if the person putting the point of view is: • A friend • A member of your group in a discussion • Your employer • Your teacher • A politician invited as a guest speaker to your class • An aboriginal guest speaker invited to your class A Good Listener May 1. You would like to put in a tank to use rainwater for drinking purposes. and to respond when someone presents a different view during discussion BUSINESS COMMUNICATION The Leader of the Group Should 1. Encourage all people to contribute — make sure that everyone has a turn at speaking 2. Allow the speaker to make a point or tell a story without interruption 10. Not ask questions about what has been said 7. Indonesia. You would like to improve student attitudes towards recycling. Who are people whom you consider to be good or bad listeners? What is it about them that leads you to make this judgment? The Speaker’s Background The background or relationships of the speakers/listeners can also have an impact. concerned about their welfare) 11. A Poor Listener May 1.g. Talk about themselves only 4. Record the group’s point of view (arrived at by consensus) 4. lack background in the topic) 6. someone to take notes and someone to act as a ‘critical friend’. Scenario 1 You are concerned about water usage in your school.g.g. Scenario 2 You would like to organize an overseas tour of students to a country which speaks the language you are studying (e. which ask for a particular response. Be sympathetic to the speaker (e. suppose that you are listening to someone put a point a view about race relations in Australia. Observe the way the group functions (including body language). nods or shakes of the head) to show interest or concentration 7.

• Folding arms • Putting arms behind head • Frowning • Smiling • Nodding/shaking the head • Sneering • Fidgeting with hands or an object (e. In particular.234 . Use this table to record whether the actions are likely to help or hinder a discussion. Action ¨ Reflects Example: “You seem very upset. n n Reflecting n Purpose ¨ To show that you understand how the person feels. a pen) • Scribbling • Rocking on the chair • Leaning forward • Leaning back • Looking around the room • Staring at the speaker • Maintaining occasional eye contact with the speaker .g. In groups. the speaker’s basic feelings.Context The place where the conversation is taking place is also significant. Then draw a table like the one below. the level of formality can affect a listener’s response. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Body Language Our body language can send messages to others in a conversation or discussion. Nodding Suggests agreement with the speaker and encourages them to continue. Help Hinder Comment Active Listening Skills The Heart of Empathic Understanding Folding arms Suggests a ‘closed’ approach to the discussion.” 80 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. It may be useful to ask group members to act out these examples so that you can more easily assess their impact. Puts a barrier between speaker and listener. consider the impact of the following body language.

n n Action ¨ Restate n n Action ¨ basic ideas and facts. ¨ To pull together important ideas and facts. ¨ Use neutral words. ¨ Purpose ¨ ¨ ¨ To help you clarify what is said. “These seem to be the key ideas you’ve expressed…” Example ¨ “So Example ¨ you would like your friends to include you at recess. ¨ Purpose ¨ To show you are listening and understanding what is being said. Ask questions. ¨ Use varying voice intonations. including feelings. ¨ To help the speaker see other points of view. ¨ To establish a basis for further discussion. To get more information. Restate major ideas expressed. ¨ To encourage the other person to keep talking.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 81 . “When did this happen?” “Do I have this right? You think he told you to give him the pencil because he doesn’t like you?” n Action Don’t agree or disagree. is that right?” 11. Restate wrong interpretation to force the speaker to explain further. ¨ n Action ¨ ¨ n Example ¨ ¨ n Example ¨ “Can you tell me more…?” Summarizing n Restating n Purpose To review progress.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Encouraging n Clarifying n Purpose To convey interest. To help the speaker see other points of view.

Building the Human Side of Work Community (Cincinnati. © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Judge content. and listens between the lines Listens for central or overall ideas Listens for any useful information Assesses content by listening to entire message before making judgments Withholds judgment until comprehension is complete 2.” Selling Power. not delivery 5.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 82 Validating n n Purpose ¨ To acknowledge the worthiness of the other person. Capitalize on thought speed The Bad Listener Listener Tends to daydream The Good Listener Stays with the speaker. 1996). pp 32-34. and G Manning. “Communication Skills. Find an area of interest Tunes out dry speakers or subjects Tunes out dry monotone speakers 4. appreciation for their efforts and actions.234 . and S McMillen . July/August 1999. Action ¨ Acknowledge ¨ Show n Example ¨ “I truly appreciate your willingness to resolve this matter. pp 127-54. the value of their issues and feelings. Listen for ideas Listens for facts 3. mentally summarizes the speaker.” The Keys to Effective Listening Keys to Effective Listening Listening 1. Hold your fire Gets too emotional or worked up by something said by the speaker and enters into an argument Sources: Derived from N Skinner. weighs evidence. K Curtis. OH: Thomson Executive Press.

Challenge yourself Resists listening to presentations of difficult subject manner Treats complex presentations as exercises for the mind Takes notes as required and uses visual aids to enhance understanding of the presentation 10.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION The Keys to Effective Listening (continued) Keys to Effective Listening 6. Work at listening The Bad Listener Does not expend energy on listening The Good Listener Listener Gives the speaker full attention 7. Use handouts. Resist Distractions Is easily distracted Fights distractions and concentrates on the speaker 8. Hear what is said Shuts our or denies unfavorable information Listens to both favorable and unfavorable information 9. overheads. Does not take notes or pay attention to visual aids or other visual aids 11.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 83 .

it forms the bulk of our communication. Because of nonverbal communication. you cannot not communicate The very attempt to mask one's communication communicates something in and of itself. but who suddenly stops talking and goes "stone-faced. Categories of Non verbal communication Ways in interpreting the non verbal cues Steps to improve non verbal communication Students. If you are playing poker with someone who has been talking normally. but at the least the poker player has communicated a desire to hide what is there.UNIT 1 BUSINESS COMMUNICATION: AN INTRODUCTION Lesson 11 – Non Verbal Communication After completion of this lesson you will be able to: • • • • Understand the meaning and importance of non-verbal communication. but upon what another person does. lets proceed. Most of that communication is about emotional information. Ok. Why do we study nonverbal communication? Nonverbal messages communicate emotions As we know. or a very bad hand. The blank faces I see today is also a nonverbal communication wherein the class tells me how prepared they are for the lesson." that person has communicated something. We base our feelings and emotional responses not so much upon what another person says. It may be a very good hand. this is the last lesson of Unit one and here we shall learn about nonverbal communications. which in turn is a powerful motivator in human behavior. Long periods of silence at the supper table communicate as .

or regulate verbal messages. because it is not conscious and more "right-brained" it is difficult to put one's finger on exactly why one got a certain impression from someone. Problems of studying nonverbal communication Studying nonverbal communication presents a whole range of challenges that are unique to its nature. Most of us simply do not do so. nodding and leaning forward. This has both advantages and disadvantages. A random gesture may be assumed to have meaning when none at all was intended. and/or changing eye contact. And most certainly we regulate the flow of conversation nonverbally by raising an index finger. it can happen quickly and fairly accurately. emphasize..e. We may describe a fish we caught with a motion of our hands to emphasize the monster-like proportions. holistic fashion. However. someone who is feeling happy may not necessarily smile. spoken language has a structure that makes it easier to tell when a subject has changed. Everything is happening at once. raising eyebrows. Nonverbal cues are continuous This is practically related to the last point. It is possible to stop talking. Nonverbal communication is strongly related to verbal communication Nonverbal cues substitute for. They include: Nonverbal cues can be ambiguous No dictionary can accurately classify them. For instance. .clearly as any words that something may be wrong. i. contradict. Nonverbal cues are multichannel While watching someone's eyes. you may miss something significant in a hand gesture. Also. and therefore it may be confusing to try to keep up with everything. Nonverbal does not lend itself to this kind of analysis. or even to put it into "left-brained" wording.. people seldom talk out loud when they don't intend to). for instance. We may compliment someone's new haircut while our faces give away the real feeling of dismay we have. if someone asks us which way the restroom is.e. we may simply point down the hall. or to analyze its grammar. you may not be intending to communicate (in the absence of nerve disorders. i. Plus. Because we interpret nonverbal cues subconsciously and in a "right-brained". Their meaning varies not only by culture and context. but by degree of intention. at least not consciously. but it is generally not possible to stop nonverbal cues. some people who may feel emotion strongly nevertheless find that their bodies simply do not respond appropriately.

Position: The position one takes vis-a-vis the other(s). However. people on elevators or crowds can adjust their sense of personal space if they agree to limit eye contact.g. while persons of Northern European descent tend to prefer a relatively greater distance. However. People from certain countries. Gestures seen as positive in one culture (like the thumbs-up gesture in the USA) may be seen as obscene in another culture. such as parts of Latin America or the Middle East often feel comfortable standing closer to each other. restaurants.) Eye Contact: This rich dimension speaks volumes. most nonverbal symbols seem to be even further disconnected from any "essential meaning" than verbal symbols.Nonverbal cues are culture-bound Evidence suggests that humans of all cultures smile when happy and frown when unhappy. social relations (e. Modern American business culture values a fair degree of eye contact in interpersonal relations. The Spanish woman in the Nineteenth Century combined eye language with the aid of a fan to say what was not permissible to express explicitly. co-workers or salespeople). Categories of nonverbal communications The major categories of nonverbal communications include the following: personal space eye contact position posture paralanguage expression gesture touch locomotion pacing adornment context physiologic responses Personal Space: This category refers to the distance which people feel comfortable approaching others or having others approach them.. or in public places (e. or on the street. ordinary personal relationships (e. .g. lest one be perceived as arrogant or "uppity. Different distances are also intuitively assigned for situations involving intimate relations. For example. friends). some cultures raise children to minimize eye contact. Eye contact modifies the meaning of other nonverbal behaviors. in parks. especially with authority figures." When cultures interact. What happens if this convention isn't followed? This issue of eye contact is another important aspect of nonverbal communication.. along with the previous two categories of distance between people and angle of eye contact all are subsumed under a more general category of "proxemics" in the writings on nonverbal communications . and looking away is sensed as avoidance or even deviousness..g. A few other gestures seem to be universal. this inhibition of gaze may be misinterpreted as "passive aggressive" or worse.

disorganized.. changing.) Pitch (high. whining.. falling. growling. This category includes a number of sub-categories: Inflection (rising..) Pauses (meaningful. low. shy. wheedling. Some of these become quite habitual. The squint of people who live a lot in the sun is another example. hesitant.)] Facial Expression: The face is more highly developed as an organ of expression in humans than any other animal.. flat. ) Tone (nasal.. soft...) Pacing (rapid.. operatic. breathy.. the regional pattern of holding the jaw tight creates a slight bulge in the temples due to an overgrowth or "hypertrophy" of those jaw muscles that arise in that area.Posture: A person's bodily stance communicates a rich variety of messages. medium.. For instance. Here are just a few to warm you up: pensive warning startled amused pouting confused sad anxious sleepy barely tolerant sexually attracted intoxicated Gesture: There are many kinds of gestures: clenching fist shaking a finger biting fingernails rubbing chin raising eyebrows scratching head hands behind head sticking out tongue tugging at hair smoothing hair pursing lips looking away rubbing nose tugging earlobe pointing squirming folding arms narrowing eyes hands on hips rocking waving .) Intensity (loud. More transient expressions often reveal feelings that a person is not intending to communicate or even aware of. slow. in some parts of the South.. in its broadest sense.. changes.. as it can suggest many emotional nuances. This creates a characteristic appearance. Consider the following postures and the emotional effect they seem to suggest: slouching twisted (wary) crouching pelvis tilt kneeling stiff cringing angled torso shoulders forward angle of head slumped towering legs spread general tightness jaw thrust Paralanguage: "Non-lexical" vocal communications may be considered a type of nonverbal communication. almost fixed into the chronic muscular structure of the face. measured.

informal). interact in conversations.g. Is the gesture a push or a tug? Is the touch closer to a pat. formal vs. Locomotion: The style of physical movement in space also communicates a great deal. These offer signals relating to context (e. or are slower or faster "on the uptake" than others. Many adolescents are particularly sensitive to any touching that could be interpreted as patronizing or undue familiarity.) Context: While this category is not actually a mode of nonverbal communication. or glasses also suggests different semiotic meanings. and does one hold the other person on the back of the upper arm. or in the middle of the back. permission-giving approach . Even the angle of one's holding another's hand might suggest a hurrying or coercive implicit attitude. suspenders. jerky pressured graceful fatigued shaky deliberate nervous tense furtive gradual easy clumsy A related variable is the time it takes to react to a stimulus. such as clothes. and this refers not only to the sexual dimension. Where one sits in the group is often useful in diagnosing that person's attitude toward the situation. or on the other hand." Some people seem to react to questions.These. but also the dimension of self-control. Touch: How one person touches another communicates a great deal of information: Is a grip gentle or firm. and individuality. a rub. the setting up of a room or how one places oneself in that room is a powerfully suggestive action. Group leaders need to be especially alert to the way the group room is organized. canes. have many different meanings in different cultures. and what may be friendly in one country or region can be an insult in another . on the shoulder. too. Consider the following variables and imagine how they might affect the interaction: . as well as affecting the feelings of the person doing the moving slither crawl totter walk stroll shuffle hurry run jog spring tiptoe march jump hop skip climb swing acrobatics swim slink Pacing: This is the way an action is done. pipes. Adornment: Our communications are also affected by a variety of other variables. status.but of how things look. or a grabbing? People have different areas of personal intimacy. appearances– not words–that's "semantics"-. called "latency of response. (Semiotics is the science of the emotional or psychological impact of signs. and accessories. The ways people carry cigarettes. a respectful. gentle. or relate to their belts. makeup.

a podium. It often helps to comment on these observations. Generally.the numbers and ratios of high-status and low status people .environmental sounds.amount and source of light .color of the lighting . blackboard . etc. because it cannot be practiced voluntarily. the existence of that signal is made explicit in the group process. and touching. to more actively suppress it. it's useful for therapists and group members to become more aware of these subtle signs of emotion. at least mentally note their occurrence. we instinctively decide whether we like someone or not and then later find "reasons" to back up our feelings. who sits next to whom. or. smells. sometimes.seating arrangements . and temperature .. Some of the clues to physiological processes include: shaking sweating blushing blinking flaring of nostrils blanching moisture in eyes swallowing trembling chin cold clammy skin flushing breathing heavily While a few of these behaviors can be mimicked. who sits close. Still. touching. too. is an exceptional category. Cues that fall in this dimension include eye contact. We move toward persons and things we like and avoid or move away from those we dislike. floor. mutual eye contact. We can summarize the nonverbal behaviors then by saying that cues that move or lean or otherwise open up or go toward the other person communicate liking. who sits apart.number of people present . Physiological Responses: This. The only exercise is to watch for these reactions in oneself or others. as it implicitly gives permission to the person experiencing the emotion to more fully open to that feeling. for the most part these reactions happen involuntarily.the size of the room . leaning forward.colors of the walls. and consider what the meaning of that emotional reaction might be.the positioning of the various people in the space. Either way. . Interpreting nonverbal cues Immediacy Immediacy cues communicate liking and pleasure.obvious props. furniture .

when we are interested in communicating with someone else. animated facial expressions. High-status people tend to have more space around them. we tend to be more animated. Unless we know someone. position. As we've said in class. and location also tend to communicate in this dimension. Furniture. For one thing. For instance. Dominance These cues indicate something about the balance of power in a relationship. varied vocal cues. and importance. we notice changes in behavior more than the behavior itself. we . Consider past experience We can more accurately interpret the behavior of people we know. someone's arms being crossed may indicate nothing more than physical discomfort from a cold room. They communicate information about relative or perceived status. and gatekeepers such as secretaries. clothing. Improving nonverbal communication Check context Don't try to interpret cues isolated from other such cues. Look for clusters This is the nonverbal context itself. See if the arms being crossed are accompanied by a resistance to eye contact and a flat tone of voice. leaning forward. doors. A flat tone of voice and very little movement indicate a lack of interest. and more "barriers" such as more hallways. That is. movement in general.Arousal Arousal in this usage is similar to animation. or from the physical or emotional context. from the verbal communication. such as bigger offices. a person of high status tends to have a relaxed body posture when interacting with a person of lower status. Cues that fall in this dimension include eye contact.

Your announcement is met with silence. we interpret patterns of behavior.can't know that something has changed. Nonverbal messages are an essential component of communication. SIX WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION It is not only what you say in the classroom that is important. you come home and announce to your significant other that you have received a great promotion that requires you to move to another state. and so you learn that this represent happiness in that particular situation. ask. but it's how you say it that can make the difference to students. and check out your observation. concern. Teachers who make eye contact open the flow of communication and convey interest. Rather than assume that s/he is upset. Your mother may always cry when you come home from school with an A. not reading a mind. warmth and credibility. helps regulate the flow of communication. Furthermore. For another thing. an important channel of interpersonal communication. Practice perception checking This is basically the art of asking questions. Facial expressions: Smiling is a powerful cue that transmits: • Happiness . eye contact with audiences increases the speaker's credibility. "Does your silence mean that you're opposed to the move?" You may find out that s/he is simply stunned at the opportunity. Some major areas of nonverbal behaviors to explore are: • • • • • • • Eye contact Facial expressions Gestures Posture and body orientation Proximity Para linguistics Humor Eye contact: Eye contact. Recognize that you are interpreting observed behavior. And it signals interest in others. For instance.

• • • • Friendliness Warmth Liking Affiliation Thus. it communicates disinterest to your class. Smiling is often contagious and students will react favorably and learn more. there is usually too much distance. Speaking with your back turned or looking at the floor or ceiling should be avoided. you may be perceived as boring. move around the classroom to increase interaction with your students. Gestures: If you fail to gesture while speaking. To counteract this. Increasing proximity enables you to make better eye contact and increases the opportunities for students to speak. friendly. You should look for signals of discomfort caused by invading students' space. Furthermore. facilitates learning and provides a bit of entertainment. stiff and unanimated. Posture and body orientation: You communicate numerous messages by the way you walk. A lively and animated teaching style captures students' attention. receptive and friendly. Head nods. makes the material more interesting. warm and approachable. but not rigid. Paralinguistics: This facet of nonverbal communication includes such vocal elements as: . and leaning slightly forward communicates to students that you are approachable. in large college classes space invasion is not a problem. stand and sit. a form of gestures. communicate positive reinforcement to students and indicate that you are listening. Proximity: Cultural norms dictate a comfortable distance for interaction with students. if you smile frequently you will be perceived as more likable. Some of these are: • • • • Rocking Leg swinging Tapping Gaze aversion Typically. In fact. interpersonal closeness results when you and your students face each other. Standing erect. talk.

not in words". You should develop the ability to laugh at yourself and encourage students to do the same. VALUES. learn to vary these six elements of your voice. BELIEFS. Students report that they learn less and lose interest more quickly when listening to teachers who have not learned to modulate their voices. Listeners perceive these instructors as boring and dull. and it is too often not encouraged in college classrooms. Obviously. very essential that we understand the meaning and impact of each one of them. adequate knowledge of the subject matter is crucial to your success. values. He is a social and an emotional being. It is people who understand messages and act on them. Humor: Humor is often overlooked as a teaching tool. They distinctly influence a person's role and response in communication as the sender and the receiver. In translating the messages. ATTITUDES. In order to ensure the effectiveness of communication. To improve your nonverbal skills. It is people who receive messages. norms and experiences. It is people who give out messages. Human behavior in any given context is the product of his or her perceptions. it's not the only crucial element. NORMS AND EXPERIENCES AND THEIR IMPACT ON COMMUNICATION Human beings constitute the integral part of any communication. record your speaking on video tape. Human beings interpret the words. Creating a climate that facilitates learning and retention demands good nonverbal and verbal skills. These factors bring in a new dimension to the entire process of communication. Laughter releases stress and tension for both instructor and student. in interpreting the words. They translate the messages they receive. attitudes. Then ask a colleague in communications to suggest refinements. it is. The literal and mechanical dimension apart. each individual brings into the process his or her total personality. Effective communication becomes more challenging. "meaning is in people. PERCEPTIONS.• • • • • • Tone Pitch Rhythm Timbre Loudness Inflection For maximum teaching effectiveness. Man is not just a physical being or a rational being. the behavioral dimension assumes significance. It is rightly observed. beliefs. It fosters a friendly environment that facilitates learning. however. One of the major criticisms is of instructors who speak in a monotone. Herein lies the significance of human behavior and its impact on communication. therefore. Human beings are extremely divergent and no two individuals are identical in all respects. Each one of them may bring in a bias or an .

Although the event or information base is the same. Salesman B: "No one wears shoes here. It is the attitude of the individuals that will influence their perception of the role-whether to continue in the defined role or go beyond it. Let us. It could also be used to indicate 'the combining of sensations into a . as indicating any condition of things or persons viewed as expressing some thought. He has to recognize the fact that others may not necessarily perceive his intentions as he himself does. feeling etc. .expectation that will affect communication. the commonly used word is "role perception". Attitude The dictionary provides several meanings to the word attitude. MAKING SENSE OUT OF EVENTS Perception is the process of making sense out of events. It is such positive perceptions that help people become more creative and make human endeavour much more meaningful. perception is a process of making sense out of events. Great leaders and achievers bring their own perceptions to the legally or organizationally defmed roles. recognition of an object' or ' reception of a stimulus' or 'action by which the mind refers its sensation3 to external object as cause' and so on. Attitude means a >posture or position or affected posture. the inferences are quite different. A good communicator has to have a good understanding of the perceptions of the persons with whom he is communicating. therefore. Perception The word perception has many shades of meaning as per the dictionary. In other words. The definition mayor may not be adequate. There is tremendous scope". In the organisational context. . A classic example is that of two salesmen of a shoe making company who visit a remote village and make the following observations: Salesman A: "There is absolutely no scope. Perception is the action by which the mind refers its sensations to these external stimuli and the individual draws his own interpretations. Perception implies discernment. reception of a stimulus and an act by which the mind refers its sensations to an external object as cause. They have an element of judgment. It can mean "act or power of perceiving' or 'discernment' or 'appreciation of any modification of consciousness'. there is a perceived role. As against a defined role. settled behaviour. No one wears shoes here". It is we who perceive the meaning of any event. Good or Bad Beautiful or Ugly Sincere or Manipulative Fair or Unfair Precise or Exaggerated These are not absolutes. take a brief look at each of them.

It is possible. that quite often people spend much time. Positive attitudes contribute to the _. They can communicate better. the human character. with conscious efforts. people have their beliefs as well. Belief in God. intuition. So strong are such beliefs. Values are seen as standards or criteria that people develop for guiding their actions. expectations and c<5mparative standards. which must be recognised. Attitudes. to change the’ attitude of a person or group of persons. acceptance as true or existing of any fact or statement. Like perceptions and attitudes. group identification. Every country. . however. Values refer to a certain intrinsic quality or worth. persuasion of the truth of anything etc. Values and ethics often go together.Attitudes exercise a strong influence on human relationships . society. Negative attitudes hinder-or vitiate the process. They are so integral that often one can see the existence of a value system within a group or community. needs.. are not necessarily permanent in nature. Organisations generally exhibit a degree of tolerance to accommodate such beliefs as long as they do not affect their functioning. the attitudinal and behavioural aspects are recognised to be as important as imparting of knowledge and development of skills. Beliefs The word belief again has different shades of meaning: faith-. they can interact more meaningfully by developing the right attitude. Negative attitudes bring negative: feelings that undermine achievement of personal and organisational objectives. social values. every group has its share of beliefs developed over the years. conduct and moral values. judgement. Values exist at various levels. organisation or nation. While it is appropriate to recognise the existence of beliefs.effectiveness of any process. Values Values constitute yet another dimension of human behaviour. There are individual values. Organisations and businesses are all the time making efforts to change attitudes to make them more positive. The fact that one individual. in service organizations like banks can be attributed to attitudinal factors as well. Beliefs can cover different areas. organisational values. Ethics relates to the treatment of morality or duty. it is not always desirable to make a judgement on various beliefs. superstition. i. energy and efforts in pursuing those beliefs. fate. believes-in a particular father judgement does not mean that all others have to necessarily subscribe to it. every race. religion and belief in future. or a group of persons. Deficiencies in service by the staff at the counters and the front line staff. They are not easily changed. national values and one can even refer to global values.e. group. In the training programmes organised by various organisations. When we refer to values we are also referring to the ethical dimensions. upbringing. Ethics deals with that branch of philosophy which is concerned with human character and conduct. trust or confidence. Attitudes can be both positive and negative. Values are Cleve loped or adopted in terms of various influences.in any sphere" be it family.

persuasive. Similarly human beings face a variety of experiences in their lives and work situations. not very articulate. in trading. We often talk about prudential norms. These are values in relation to employees. compliances or prescriptions. Based on their past experience. People naturally tend to relate events and messages to their previous experience in dealing with them. It is also understood as the ordinary or most frequent value or state. These values cover various groups of people with whom interaction takes place. communication becomes more complex. and the like. . Every business or profession normally adopts and articulates such norms or standards. etc. others don't. in banking. While discussing the norms. entry norms. values in relation to community and so on. people may categories communicators and communications like boring speaker. a pattern or an authoritative standard. impatient listener. Various aspects of human behavior generally come into play in any human interaction and thereby make the communication process more complicated. If the values are highly divergent. It would be necessary to take note of the degree of congruence or divergence in values. priority sector norms (in banking). well informed. A norm relates to a rule. A good communicator is one who develops a clear insight into human behavior and uses that knowledge to his advantage. Some of them exercise a strong influence. in corporate governance etc. There are both positive and negative aspects. prone to exaggeration. insightful.. Norms and experiences Norms and experiences are also among the factors which influence the process of communication. Some of the negative factors may exist and will have to be removed so as to make communication effective. evasive. A good communicator makes it a point to be in the know of such perceptions and impressions. it is also appropriate to refer to the normal standards. communication is easy.profession has to have its set of values.It is widely accepted that any business or organisation can achieve sustainable success only when its activities are governed by a sound value system. When there is a high degree of congruence. They may be in the nature of expectations. values and value systems. Every. There are values in teaching. contradicts himself. He tries to overcome negative impressions through conscious efforts. values in relation to competitors. Norms may also relate to a set of do's and don'ts. values in relation to customers. People associated with the process of communication should necessarily take cognizance of this. The process of communication is influenced _Y.



Body language refers to the way you sit. It shows you respect the person. Without it. your tone of voice. These five nonverbal communication skills will help you add vitality to your conversations. But your nonverbal body language has a 55% impact on the message you're trying to communicate. facial expressions and gestures to make your conversation more interesting. EYE CONTACT Where you look is one of the most obvious aspects of behavior when talking to another person. move and look when talking to others. Looking directly at the person as you speak helps to communicate your sincerity and increases the directness of your message. your conversations would be boring and less effective. which helps create a more positive relationship. . stand. The words you use have only a 7% impact on your communication.Honing Your Nonverbal Communication Skills THE BOTTOM LINE: To improve your communication skills use body language such as eye contact. another 38%.

FACIAL EXPRESSION Have you ever seen someone trying to express anger while smiling? It just doesn't come across. If you have to say something negative. Some people feel comfortable with physical closeness. When not gesturing. don't cross your arms. your body language will naturally coincide with your verbal message. others may be offended. And don't play with your clothing. be careful not to stare. GESTURES Gesturing with your hands adds life and meaning to your message. bashful or frightened. . Many cultures also place limitations on such closeness. You'll be surprised how many people talk with their bodies turned away from those they're speaking to. If you sense someone feels uncom fortable. comfortable manner. which signals you're equals and decreases any feelings of intimidation. squint or blink your eyes rapidly. While using eye contact. guilty. Instead. BODY POSITION Observe how people stand or sit while talking to others. Effective assertions require an expression that agrees with the message. Standing side by side may disconnect you from your partner. The common expression “He couldn't look me in the eye” is often used to describe a person's guilt. and standing face to face may seem confrontational.Even more importantly. which is distracting. sit or stand at the same eye level as the other party. avoiding eye contact can make you seem sneaky. pencils.. stand or sit at an angle from the other person. others will believe your facial expression. sit down and have a meaningful discussion with the other person. jewelry. put a little more space between you. Rolling your eyes and other disapproving looks can have powerful negative effects on communication. Tension can be seen in your face with a wrinkling forehead or a pursed or tight-lipped moutb. Good posture reflects your confidence and helps ensure others will pay more attention to your message. that signals anger or a lack or openness. And. Posture also matters. etc. Practice in front of a mirror using your hands to emphasize important points. DISTANCE Pay attention to how close you are to another person. not your words. Instead. It's more natural to look away from time to time in a relaxed. whenever possible. For example: A forced smile makes you appear insincere. If you're sending mixed messages. relax your arms at your side.

By Harriet Meyerson. president of the Confidence Center in Dallas. and you'll communicate more persuasively. .PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT Try to use these five skills each day to improve your nonverbal communication. Others will find you more enjoyable to talk to. interestingly and effectively.

after work or during a break. body language. Don’t panic! Just concentrate on following the speaker’s train of thought. The practice will be more helpful if you talk about something you really care about. • Explain the listening problem and how to solve it. however. Form subgroups of three and practice using question asking as a listening skills. part of your job is to help your listener practice listening skills. Observe and count only as many behaviors (eye contact. You may find yourself in the midst of discussing something important when the allotted time runs out. Vary your responses between open and closed questions and vary the focus of your questions (i. even though this may seem a bit unnatural. although role-playing is possible. As the speaker in the practice session. reflecting. Summarization Directions Objective—The point of the practice session is to give each person the opportunity to learn how to use verbal and nonverbal minimal encouragers and become a better listener. If you give the complete details of your concern. the listener (who practices the skill of questioning). (And you might find it helpful to have someone carefully listen to your concern). The qualifier on being “real” in the practice sessions. however. Each member of your subgroup should take turns being the speaker. or a question. (To the speaker: Did you feel listened to? Was it helpful? Did the listener have any habits you found distracting?) The observer will then share observations. Have the listener become the speaker. Go through the five minutes of talking and listening and five 92 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Try to limit your responses to the skills discussed in this session. Try to share information that allows the speaker to practice the skill of the session—the art of questioning. There will be three roles in each subgroup: speaker. topic. Or. To the listener—Your task is to practice the skills of the session: eye contact. it may be difficult for the listener to find anything to ask questions about. will make this practice both interesting and useful. body posture. on speaker. Sharing a real part of your life. The listener will then discuss the listening experience with the two other members of the subgroup. the listener will not have a chance to practice listening skills. your family. as long as your primary responses are questions. a decision. summarizing even though this may seem difficult. By using both open and closed questions you will also see how your question and its focus can determine the course of the conversation. you could make an agreement with the person listening to carry on later. Reflections. To the speaker: In the speaker role. we are not asking that you share anything that is very private or that might be embarrassing. and observer. If you. minutes of exchanging remarks twice more so that each person takes each role once. Everyone will take each role once in this practice. the speaker the observer.e. you will be able to listen well and understand non verbal communication. and. Now everyone change places.234 . take all of the practice time in a monologue about yourself. so divide into your subgroup and decide who is going to take which role first. you have to • Participate in the following exercises and know your listening skills. verbal minimal encouragers. To the observer—Your task is to observe the listener’s verbal and non-verbal skills. This sharing process should take about three or four minutes. The entire practice session should take about 25 minutes. To the speaker—Your task is to talk about something that is important to you: your job. If this happens. and the observer. So. Listening Skills Questions. be sure to pause often to encourage the listener to respond. Practice Class Listening Skills The group should be divided into subgroups of three. listener. (To the listener: What was comfortable? Difficult? Did you stay with the speaker?) Then the speaker will share his or her feelings about the listener’s listening. Or. is that we are here to give the listener a chance to practice interactive skills.. we ask you to share something that is a real concern to you. Procedure The first speaker will talk with the listener for three or four minutes. When you are finished. To reach these goals . and verbal minimal encouragers. if your story is completely factual and does not include your personal feelings or opinions. as the speaker. You may use minimal encouragers occasionally. silences. Your facilitator will help you share your practice experiences. and the observer the listener. To the listener: In this session try to concentrate on asking questions. How are these skills relevant to your work? Where else would they be useful? Go around the group so that participants have a chance to share at least one thing they have learned about themselves in this practice session. or others).BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 12: PRACTICE CLASS Upon completion of the lesson . for example. form the large group. the listener may have difficulty asking questions with a speaker focus. you can tell of situations that occur in work—we all have a storehouse of work problems that give us difficulty. at the end. Obviously. topic jumps) as you can manage and still be relatively accurate.

the observer will share observations and comment on the conversation. finally. gently announcing “stop” when the time is up. take a few minutes: First. reflecting. 11. the speaker will comment on his/her experience during the conversation and the listener’s use of the skill. second.To the observer: Keep track of the listener’s responses. Feedback and suggestions from both speaker and observer are essential to the learning process. After the conversation.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 93 . please give the listener accurate feedback about how he or she used the skills. The observer can also time the conversation. Remember that the purpose of practice is for the listener to learn the listening skill. Include the number of open and closed questions used by the listener and the focus of each question. If the listener is having difficulty asking open questions. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Procedure The speaker and listener will have a conversation of three or four minutes duration. and the effectiveness of the listener’s summary. When exchanging observations about a conversation. Now change roles and repeat the practice. or summarizing. Each listener practice should take eight to ten minutes: • Three or four minutes for the initial conversation and three or • Four minutes to review it—to share the listener’s and the • Speaker’s impressions and the observer’s reactions (l/2 hour). the listener will share thoughts about how they used questions. note the use of feeling and factual reflection. say so and help him/her learn how to do so better.

(novice. Tell me how many of you have writing letters. Writing business letters is like any other document: First you must analyze your audience and determine your purpose. As a writer. economic status. and revise it. Consider the letters long-distance phone companies send to those not signed up for their services or the cover letter to your resume. For example. you should anticipate the needs or expectations of your audience in order to convey information or argue for a particular claim. You need to be equally good in writing as you are in your speaking skills. The key to writing business letters is to get to the point as quickly as possible and to present your information clearly. Then you gather information. specialist or expert). The typical audience is other professionals.UNIT 2 CHAPTER 4: BUSINESS LETTER LESSON 13: INTRODUCING THE BUSINESS LETTER After completion of this lesson you will be able to • Understand the meaning and importance business letters • Carry out an audience analysis • Know about the general format of a business letter determine your purpose.” The “lay” audience has no special or expert knowledge. lets us today hone our letter writing skills. • The Context in which they will be reading a piece of writing (in a newspaper. sex. the staff of a management company. but they need knowledge so they can make a decision about the issue. positive tone.234 . because you have to consider how to keep your readers’ attention. you might also write a business letter to persuade others to take action or to propose your ideas. You need to know your audience before you start writing. the “managerial” audience. Audience Definition An audience is a group of readers who reads a particular piece of writing. First you have to analyze your audience and 94 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Students. business letters even function as advertisements at times. education. However. I guess not for a simple reason that while writing letters we tend to forget that we are actually writing a letter and not an essay or writing notes. You should write a business letter whenever you need a permanent record that you sent the information enclosed. does your audience already know what the paper is about? What further information do they require? What do you require from them as a result? Because a business letter is a communication from one person to another. facts. The “managerial audience may or may have more knowledge than the lay audience about the subject. Therefore students. Determining your Audience Type Writers determine their audience types by considering: • Who they are (age. Business letters can be challenging to write. This is particularly the case if your readers receive large amounts of mail and have little time to read. popular magazine. create an outline. political/ social/religious beliefs). statistics needed to make a decision should be highlighted. they expect more definition and description. write a draft. Your audience might be your instructor. You’ll need to analyze your audience in order to write effectively. Because you generally send business letters to other professionals. However. As a student. It is estimated that close to 100 million Business Letters are written each workday. Is there anyone in the class who have written a letter to any company to enquire about its products and services? Did you get a reply to it ? with all the queries answered. we have talked much about the verbal skills. consider what this audience already knows about the subject. a letter must convey a courteous. Meaning to say we tend to write too long a letter or too short a letter which will wither confuse the receiver as to what do you want to know. the president of an organization. specialized journal. now in this lecture let us learn about writing skills particularly letter writing. These audiences generally require you provide a detailed background about your purpose. and so forth). I am not talking about personal letters. Audience Analysis Writing a business letter is like any other type of technical communication. always include a formal salutation and closing. When composing academic business letters. They connect with the human-interest aspect of articles. you might also write business letters to your co-workers. They usually need background information. • What Level of Information they have about the subject Purpose of a Business Letter You will write business letters to inform readers of specific information. on the Internet. and they may want attractive graphics or visuals. It is a document typically sent externally to those outside a company but is also sent internally to those within a company. classmates. Definition of a Business Letter The business letter is the basic means of communication between two companies. Any background information. Both of these serve to promote or advertise. textbook. you may have to write business letters to your instructor or classmates. or any other number of possibilities. and the “experts. general reader. Most business letters have a formal tone. Look at the situation from your reader’s point of view and adjust the content and tone to meet the audience’s needs. if you are writing a business letter to accompany a paper. Three Categories of Audience Three categories of audience are the “lay” audience.

and those requirements are not so much personal whims (Professor Jones hates it when I use first-person or “I”!) as they are the expectations of that particular academic discourse. That awareness may help you see that the requirements of that assignment are not just strange or quirky. Do you know. For instance. Teachers will often try to give students more experience with writing to different audiences by targeting particular readers for a given paper. In terms of their expectations about effective writing. They will gain information from your writing. For example. ask yourself who is the reader? The most important reader is probably the instructor. including the teacher as a secondary audience. in fact. A composition teacher may want an introduction that gradually leads into the topic. if this teacher always expects papers to be carefully argued? Has this teacher emphasized the importance of summarizing cases accurately before referring to them? Will this professor be looking for an “argument synthesis. a representative reader from a particular academic field or discourse community. Ask yourself what you know about your teacher and his or her approach to the discipline. The other audience. and so on). Experts are often “theorists” or “practitioners. • You’ll have to think about what is an appropriate format to use. and graphics or visuals. a business letter reflects your professionalism. So when you are writing an essay. By saying that. even if a grader will look at the paper first. (If you don’t have one already. and documentation is accurate.) • You’ll have to determine how your topic will fit the format. Not all-academic writing has the same requirements. only how they use the information varies. Information should stand out to readers as they scan the document. one professor might ask you to write mainly about your own experiences and your reactions to your experience. Audience Invoked Versus Audience Addressed An audience addressed versus an audience invoked is basically your real audience versus the reader you create through your text and introduction. source citations are reliable and up-to-date. • You’ll have to consider what is and is not an appropriate topic for your audience. in sociology. depending on the level (informal to formal) of the writing. “Okay there are things I think we all hold in common. a psychologist. But even within the same discipline. You probably know more about the teacher than you think. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Academic Audiences Assuming you are writing a paper for a class. your instructor or your company may have specific requirements that you must use. Another professor might want you to do library or field research about a social problem and never refer to your own experiences or attitudes toward that problem. a chemist may want to begin with a review of the research. but make some sense in the larger context of that particular academic discourse. I start off by assuming that we’re (the reader and myself) sharing some presumptions. is those who will be at the conference. a historian. take the time to brainstorm about what you’ve learned about the teacher to help you meet his or her expectations for this paper.” I think it’s useful for students to widen their sense of audience in order to realize that their specific teacher is. an English literature teacher. the teacher is the explicit audience. and historians may or may not want you to use your own personal experience.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 95 . there exists some reality. General Format When you write a business letter.” For the “expert” audience. Because a business letter is an effective way to communicate a message. “It’s my teacher. Then students address the target audience (class members. a chemist. I’m almost telling the reader who I want them to be. a company might have a particular way of presenting a salutation or may even use a specific type of letterhead. many students say. and those differences reflect the expectations of different academic areas. In a way. imagine writing not just for your teacher. I don’t say that in my text. (Some teachers assign papers specifically asking students to write for nonacademic audiences). Remember. document formats are often elaborate and technical. but my text invokes it. Their teacher may be a composition teacher. Who’s at the conference and who reads the journal are not always the same. Teacher as Audience For most academic papers. Consider the following: • You’ll have to determine who the audience is. and asking questions about how the teacher treats this material in class will help you remember those details to help you shape your paper. Nonacademic Audiences Nonacademic audiences read your writing for reasons other than to grade you. professors might expect quite different formats for papers.” showing how the cases all support one point or will this professor be more interested in seeing how the cases complicate one another? In other words. you will follow a general format. Think about writing a newsletter or a resume: an audience read these for information.The “experts” may be the most demanding audience in terms of knowledge. a journalist may want an article that begins immediately with the most startling fact or event. style and vocabulary may be specialized or technical. the real audience. However. I’m creating an audience position that “Yes. presentation. A nonacademic audience involves more than writing. each of these teachers “wants’ something slightly different. congressional representatives. members of a business community. • Heading or Return Address • Inside Address 11. for example.” But I’m also trying to create it for people who are going to approach this and say. literature professors. In a conference paper I’m writing. its format should allow readers to quickly grasp information. you tell the reader who you want them to be. or a biologist—and they want and expect writing that is appropriate for their field. but for your teacher as a representative of a larger group of readers who belong to that particular academic area. When asked who their audience is. Psychologists.

Ram Malhotra.put the salutation two lines below the inside address.234 . Department Chair Subject: Admission Requirements Letterhead or Return Address Readers should always be able to quickly locate your contact information. unless you know the reader prefers Miss or Mrs. These should also appear identically on the envelope. use your address (without your name) and date as the heading. When printing on blank paper. procedures. and the attention line immediately afterwards: 96 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. This includes the reader’s: • Name • Position • Organization (as the company calls itself) • Complete mailing address Body The body of a business letter is typically single-spaced and has three paragraphs: • Introductory paragraph • One or more body paragraphs • Concluding paragraph If your reader has a courtesy title. Anil Mehta. Print only the first page of any letter on letterhead stationary. Finally. always call an organization to find a contact. If unsure to whom you should address a letter. Otherwise use Mr. use one of the following salutations: Ladies and Gentlemen: Gentlemen: (if all the readers are male) Ladies: (if all the readers are female) The letterhead and the date the letter will be sent (usually printed two lines below the letterhead) make up the heading. then use it. New Horizon University ABC Lane. Mehta: Dear Sir or Madam: If you have no attention or subject line. fragments or even questions and answers. phases. consider writing phrases. Anil Mehta. 110004 Like essays written for college courses. 1999 Do not number the first page. a business letter introduces one main idea and then supports this idea. This includes: • Name • Address • Phone number • Company logo or letterhead Salutation A business letter should always include a salutation. your information is concise and more likely to engage your readers. with subsequent pages on blank paper. When creating a list.Banglaore Attention: Dr. Salutations add a personal touch to your letter. Lists are effective ways to present information because they break down large amounts of text and are visually pleasing. you might use lists to draw attention to specific information. you must complete the following: • Core Courses • Elective Courses Attention Line When you cannot address a business letter to a particular person.Banglaore Attention: Dr. If you have nothing but paragraph after paragraph of text. In this instance. and can be bulleted or numbered. You should also use a colon rather than a comma because a comma is less professional. This information is located at the top of the business letter in the return address or by using the company’s letterhead. or Ms. At the end of the letter. or decisions. Department Chair BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Subject Line Use a brief phrase or keywords to describe the content of the business letter: Department of Journalism. always include a way for your readers to contact you. Inside Address The inside address is your reader’s full address. For example: Dr. By avoiding full sentences in a list. The traditional salutation is Dear followed by the reader’s courtesy title and last name.. to receive a degree in engineering. Professor ICU Technical College New Delhi. consider how your letter looks. New Horizon University ABC Lane.• Attention Line • Subject Line • Salutation • Body • Complimentary Close and Signature • Reference and Enclosure Lines • Copy Line Department of Journalism. with the heading looking like this: Ms. Lists are especially useful when you have to convey steps. This is to whom the letter is addressed. put the name of the organization or division on the first line of the inside address. years.Lata Maheshwarit Page 2 May 23. For example. such as Professor. use an attention line: Attention: Human Resource Manager Use the attention line if you want an organization to respond even if the person you write to is unavailable. Dear Dr. When addressing a group of people.

• Best regards. and executives do not have to rely on memory. You should also remember to sign and type your name under the closing. but how you say it. Capitalize only the first word in the complimentary close. Use the following symbols: • c: for copy • pc: for photocopy • bc: blind copy reader and not yourself • Avoid extreme cases of humility. The writer’s initials come first. and they are capitalized. type bc on the copies only. and audience of the document. some basic guidelines will help you. A well-written business letter will convey the feeling that the writer does care about the reader and is genuinely interested in working together to solve a problem or discuss a concept. To write a good letter. By doing this. you are more likely to choose more appropriate words and use the correct tone. regardless of the form. which means two documents In determining the number of enclosures.• Senior Design Empathy Empathy means to care about someone’s feelings or ideas. Effective Writing Even though no one formula exists for a perfect business letter. It appears a few spaces below the signature line. flattery.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 97 . listed either alphabetically or according to organizational rank.the state of mind where you End Notations If someone else types your letters. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Complimentary Close and Signature Business letters should end with a closing. along the left margin. If the envelope contains any documents other than the letter itself. not the original. count only the separate items. Many executives still prefer a written document over other forms of communication. It is a good idea to always consider your tone so that you do not risk upsetting the reader. For example. the following principles of persuasion will help you compose and efficient and effective Business Letter: • Plan according to the reader’s reaction • Write with the “you” attitude. and modesty • Avoid condescension • Avoid preaching your ideas Follow the symbol with the names of the other recipients. not the number of pages. • Empathy • Persuasion • Tone • Service Perspective Facts about the business letter n n n n n One of the cheapest forms of comm. and follow all phrases with a comma. the reference line identifies this person. purpose. and the principles below will help you do so. Many times it is not what you say in a business letter. If you do not want your reader to know about the other copies. • Cordially. concepts that the reader is familiar with • Write positively and with confidence Tone Tone is the use of accent and inflection to express a mood or emotion in speaking or writing. such as: • Sincerely. it would appear like this: always emphasize the benefits to the reader and subordinate your interests. if Nina sharma wrote a letter that Ajay Singh typed. because the document can serve as a contract. put yourself in the reader’s shoes and try to anticipate the reader’s reaction to your comments. Permanent record Conveys a professional & business -like impression Allows you time before replying Can reach where no telephones or fax machines are available 11. because you are always requesting a response or course of action. You can avoid making mistakes with tone by using the following techniques: • Avoid the “I” attitude by having more emphasis on the Copy Line The copy line is used to let the reader know that other people are receiving a copy of the document. Persuasion Every business letter is in some degree a sales letter. the facts will be on record in writing. Therefore. usually by initials. • Yours very truly. identify the number of enclosures: Enclosure or Enclosure (1). thereby lessening the chances your requests and comments will be respected. This is why it is important to write a good business Letter. This can be accomplished by using empathy and the words “you” and “your” often • Adjust the language to the reader and use terms and NS/AS.

you want to express concerns and educate your reader about your child’s problems.g. decline a request. provide information or describe an event.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Applications of the business letter To persuade: e. sales letter To express an opinion: e.g.g.234 . When you write letters to the school. This © Copy Right: Rai University 98 11. briefly and clearly Write as you speak Check twice Create a favourable impression Be courteous and polite courteous and polite You write letters to request information. letter to the press n To get somehing done: e.g. letter of invitation / application n To obtain information: enquiry n information: enquiry n n n n Five ways to make a business ways to make a business letter more readable n n n n n A clear subject line clear subject line Short sentences Short paragraphs Simple vocabulary Enough spacing 12 Rules for Writing GREAT Letters Five secrets of effective effective business letters n n n n n Write simply.g. letter of n complaint n To supply somebody else with information: n somebody else with information: e. You want your letters to create a good first impression. and express appreciation. sales letter persuade: e. request action.

2. If you tell them what you plan to do. you are telling the other side what you plan to do. Never telegraph your punches! You’ll remember that in the first chapter of this Tactics section.immediately. Kathryn is hard of hearing. On the first sheet write “WHY? Why am I writing this letter?” On the second sheet write “WHAT? What are my goals in writing this letter?” On the third sheet write “Other Thoughts. she can hear at almost the same level as normal children. As a negotiator. giggling with her friends. the principles are the same. She leads the reader into agreeing that placing Kathryn in a class where children don’t speak or listen is not appropriate. You will write down your important thoughts in less than ten minutes. one of the most powerful forces you have on your side is the “Fear of the Unknown. You need to share the results of all evaluations and any other new information with the school. First Letters are Always Drafts You write letters to: 1. 3. singing. In the public school program. giggle with her friends. You can imagine what this was like. they’ll be rewarded with the help their child needs. 4. as soon as you receive it. 12 Rules is the companion article to The Art of Writing Letters. 4. . 12 Rules for Writing Great Letters.e. not sign language. We had a big chocolate birthday cake.” Brainstorm. 11. Let’s see how Kathryn’s mother used the story telling method to begin an important letter to the school: I’d like to share a story about Kathryn with you. 5. After you write the first draft. the letter shifts as the mother makes her case. and creating a huge ruckus. Sometimes. If you make threats (i. At that moment. listen.” Gradually. Do not allow yourself to obsess about details. Later. she wouldn’t be able to have a birthday party with friends who laugh. You are interested in the Big Picture. In their first letter. You never begin negotiations by telling the other side what your “bottom line” is. DO NOT SEND IT! Firing off a letter is one of the most common mistakes parents make. 3. With hearing aids. Write down your thoughts. and shout. She looked very grown-up in her pink dress. As we watched our daughter with her friends. Before you write a letter. You must give “cooling off” and revision time.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 99 . Write down any additional ideas and thoughts on the third sheet of paper.which is the wonderful. we had a birthday party for her. shouting. Don’t worry about writing in sentence or prioritizing. 5. However. .” Ninety-nine percent of letters from the school system DO NOT require you to respond immediately. Parents think they have to share everything with the school . put your letter away for a few days. Do you see how Kathryn’s mother begins her letter “I’d like to share a story with you . As you are learning. Never telegraph your punches – you will destroy their power and effectiveness. Why? Why am I writing? What am I trying to accomplish? What? What do I want? What are my goals? Get three blank sheets of paper. and sing. She was laughing. But if Kathryn had gone into the public school program with hearing impaired children.” When you threaten. The children were covered with icing. when Kathryn turned four. you do not need to share your wish list or your bottom line. More than a dozen friends from pre-school and dance class came to her party. parents say “But they said I had to respond right away . “we’re going to call our lawyer”). we felt so proud of her. If you send a letter without allowing for “cooling off” and revision time. you’ll probably damage your credibility and your position. shouting. Kathryn would not be able to speak. powerful Fear of the Unknown.article. This year. 1. you have told them how to protect themselves. answer these questions. They hope that by sharing everything. you negotiate with the school for special education services. This doesn’t happen. In negotiations with schools. . . they made no threats. Make a request Clarify an event Decline a request Express appreciation Create a paper trail Kathryn would have learned to communicate through sign language and lip reading. parents often make the mistake of being too open. A “cooling-off period” allows you to look at your letter more objectively. and told their story in a compelling way. this damage is impossible to repair.. Only we knew how hard she worked for this day. The children were laughing. Your goal is to dump your thoughts from your brain onto these sheets of paper. you may begin by telling a story to get the reader’s interest. 2. the parents wrote two letters. Because letters you write to schools are so important. you may experience temporary relief but you’ll pay a high price later. In their second letter. Allow for “cooling off” and revision time. If you anticipate resistance. Their classroom is very quiet. Never threaten. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Some letters have more than one purpose. You are always negotiating for services. Make lists. will help you accomplish your objectives. If you are negotiating with the school for special services or with a car dealer for a car. If we had allowed her to attend the public school program. All of Kathryn’s friends communicate by oral speech. they made several threats. you lose your advantage . you need to do it right. the children don’t learn how to sing or shout or speak.

So and So: We received a letter from you dated February 1. You want the person who reads your letter to see your problem as different. To see how this is done. we have nothing to worry about. He knows that life is often difficult and unfair. When you write business letters. you are really writing a “Letter to the Stranger. We ALWAYS will handle ABC situations this way. As your doctor. Because they’ll be in the “fear of the unknown. You are NOT writing letters to the school. These assumptions are one of the keys to successful letter writing. This person won’t care what “program” your child is enrolled in. I come in and tell you that: The results of your blood work are very concerning.e. Nine times out of ten. your child. This person will have no personal interest in you or your child. ventilate anger or frustration (your emotions). keep this Stranger in your mind’s eye. and open minded. a teacher’s refusal to follow an IEP). present your situation as unique. If you are writing a letter about a specific problem (i. This is not so important that we have to do it today. You can describe the problem and tell the Stranger what should be done to make things right. However. I’m behind schedule right now. Now. You want them to think “Wow! We’ve never had this problem before!” By presenting your problem as unique. it’s still important for us to rule out XYZ. You are at the doctor’s office to get the results of your physical. let me go back to the beginning . we can’t run the additional tests here. However. including your lab work. These are important assumptions. If you are writing an important letter to the school. He’s more sympathetic to people who have a plan to solve problems. threaten. A letter you write today may sit in your child’s file for months or years. Remember: bureaucracies are inflexible and rule-bound.” they’ll wonder what you’re going to do – and they’ll imagine a worst case scenario. let’s change the facts. go back and read the original “Letter to the Stranger” at the beginning of this section. polished. and were very perplexed by the content. we need to send you to the hospital where they have more sophisticated equipment. By presenting your situation as unique. If you don’t fill in answers – if you don’t telegraph your punches . you want it to be smooth. He doesn’t have much patience with complainers. and professional. It’s probably only ABC and if it is ABC. So. you can sometimes get people in the system to see things differently.and you will not be able to testify or tell your side of the story. or your situation. As your doctor. he sips a cup of tea and lights his pipe. To put my letter into the proper context. When you write letters. it won’t be listed in the Bureaucrat’s Big Book of Rules and Procedures. You ARE writing letters to a Stranger. Assume that success in securing services for your child depends on how well you describe the events that cause you to write to the school.” Why? You have to assume that someone outside your school system will decide this issue. . 7. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 100 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. What happens now? You’ll imagine the worst case scenario. The worst case scenario is that you have XYZ. He’s conservative. We ALWAYS have handled ABC situations this way. you are also trying to educate and inform this person.” If you present your situation as unique. Your letter gives you the chance to sell the Stranger on the justice of your cause.. We just aren’t equipped to do it. 8. Make your problem unique. Most judges aren’t knowledgeable about special education or children with disabilities. You do not demand. people have ABC. you’re trying to avoid “We ALWAYS handle ABC situations this way. When you write a letter to the school. I come in and tell you that: Some of your blood work is not clear. The letter began like this: Dear Mr. The Stranger doesn’t know you. Panic. You write business letters to the school. 6. is your fear as intense? No. . I don’t have time to discuss the results with you right now. We need to admit you to the hospital as soon as bed space is available probably tomorrow or the next day.234 . If they see things differently. Assume things will get worse. I’m behind schedule and have other patients waiting. Fear. Begin your letter chronologically and develop it chronologically. fair. Assume that you won’t be able to resolve your dispute. When he sits down to read your letter. If things blow up later. I’ll be in to talk with you after you are admitted. 9. He dresses casually. Bob’s letter at the beginning of this chapter shows how letters can work against you. they may be able to handle things differently. Can you feel the difference? When you know what you’re facing. Unfortunately.then the fear of the unknown will force the other side to attribute more power to you.EXAMPLE of Fear of the Unknown You went to the doctor to get the results of your annual physical. When you write letters. We can’t make exceptions for you. Judges are Strangers. you use tactics and strategy (your brain). XZY is inconvenient but it’s certainly not life threatening. We can schedule your admission tomorrow or the next day. Who is this Stranger? What does he look like? How does he think? The Stranger is an older person who has worked hard all his life. these letters can be the most compelling evidence in your favor. A special education due process hearing will be held .

make a request. clarify an event. For example: “On DATE. . As you tell the story. . using visual imagery. Use short words when possible. brevity. If you repeat yourself. you will need to spend time improving your writing skills in four areas: clarity. Remember: You’re writing to make a point. The Stranger won’t understand the background or history unless you provide this information. you’re planting seeds in the memories of Strangers who read your letter later. Refer back to the sheets of paper you used during the brainstorming stage. When she started school .Do not attack or express anger. jargon. Keep your message short and to the point. The Stranger may get angry at you if he can’t figure out your point. After your “Stranger” has read the draft of your letter. “What a jerk you were! You didn’t have enough guts to be straight-up with us!” NO! Never be judgmental. Think about the Stranger as a real person. You don’t want this to happen. Incorporate this into your letter. Never make judgments. Resist the urge to take cheap shots. ALWAYS have at least one outside person read your letters. You can move the clock earlier if this helps you tell the story. especially when you don’t make things clear or you need to tone the letter down. Your “reader” should be someone who will tell you the truth. If you jump from issue to issue. This is the person you are writing to.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 101 . Make It Alive Speak directly to the reader. This is especially true if you’re feeling upset or emotional. Make It Short Say what you have to say. If the reader cannot answer these questions clearly means you haven’t expressed yourself clearly. and write down the explanation.” Where should you begin? Begin wherever you want. stop. accuracy. Letters provide you with an opportunity to make your case while you create a positive impression. An important part of the impression you make will depend on how you express yourself. interest. Don’t broach the main issue in the first paragraph of your letter. 10. not anxious. your Stranger. Remember. you’re wasting the reader’s time and your letter will generate a negative response. Select your facts carefully and keep your opinions to a bare minimum. We don’t like to think that our writing skills need improving. You’re not firing a letter off to the person who chaired the IEP meeting and didn’t have the 11. You don’t want this to happen to you. Write letters that are clear and easy to understand. Remember: your letter is to the Stranger. Have you answered these three questions? • Why are you writing? • What is the point you want to make? • What do you want? Talk out loud. Write your letter chronologically.” This letter should tell story. he will quit reading – and he’ll blame you for this frustration. our son entered your program because . try substituting short words that mean the same thing.” Then. In your mind. 12. Your objective is to write a letter than is interesting. Provide information logically. Be succinct. You want your reader to tell you if answered the three questions we listed at the beginning of this chapter: • • • What am I trying to accomplish? What do I want? What are my goals? BUSINESS COMMUNICATION The answers to these questions must be clear. then let the Stranger draw conclusions. Ask your “reader” to pretend that he or she is a Stranger. ask the person to answer these questions. you know when things “began. You want the reader. Long rambling letters put people off because they are hard to read. Use the same words and figures of speech you use in your day-to-day speech. If the Stranger gets frustrated. the reader will get confused. If you find yourself explaining your real point to the reader. Unless you are a professional writer or editor. Most people don’t have the time to read long letters.” You are telling a story and you are using your facts. . . There is one exception to this rule. You can provide background information very naturally and easily by going back to the beginning and writing a chronological story. This is a valuable tip from professional editors. If you naturally use long words to express yourself. to enjoy reading your letter. and easy to follow. weaving in your facts. Letter Writing Tips Make It Clear It’s incredibly easy to get side-tracked when writing letters. when you write a letter to the school. Visualize the Stranger and imagine yourself talking with him about your problems. not the special ed supervisor or the building principal. Tell your story chronologically. . “We realized that our daughter’s problems were serious when she was unable to communicate with others by her third birthday. this is your chance to “present your case” and tell your story. You want the Stranger to be interested. continue to tell your story: “Then this happened . then frustrated. Avoid vague words. and create a paper trail. Readers have negative reactions to people who write letters that are hard to follow. If you are writing a letter to request a due process hearing. and long rambling sentences. ALWAYS read your letters aloud. . from the beginning. then the letter needs to be a comprehensive “Letter to the Stranger. Let these Strangers water the seeds using their own imaginations! There is another reason to write chronologically. You want your Stranger to conclude “What a jerk!” 11. You are telling a story.

Pam designed the Wrightslaw web site at http://www. Everyone who reads the letter will feel that the message is directed at them.” Letter writing is an art.” “our” to make your letter more personal. Your goal is to eliminate all spelling.” “we. Pete Wright represented Shannon Carter before the U. It’s also very hard work.wrightslaw.courage to tell you that the school had just suspended your child. If you send a letter that’s filled with mistakes. as you see in the example below. Buy a book about “How to Write Business Letters.com/ and publishes The Special Ed Advocate newsletter. and solutions.234 . and advocating for children with disabilities. Use words like “you. and families for more than 30 years. adults. If you prepare your letter on a computer. 102 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. grammatical. S. Try to locate more than one proof-reader. Shannon Carter where he received a unanimous decision in Shannon’s favor. A well written letter is a pleasure to read. problems. Readers get so distracted by misspelled words and poor grammar that they miss the point. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION About the Authors PamWright is a psychotherapist who has worked with children. educating. The Stranger will thank you for little touches like this. and formatting errors from your letters. Supreme Court in Florence County School District Four v. Make it RIGHT Letters filled with errors are distracting. Her training and experience in clinical psychology and clinical social work give her a unique perspective on parent-child-school dynamics. She has written many articles about raising.” “us. The problem? We don’t notice our own errors! The solution? Always have at least one other person proof-read your letters. it will be easier to read. your real message is that you are sloppy and careless.

The objective is to let the reader know you are in receipt of whatever it is was they sent. You can save and edit this list as you work. She also references a specific point to which she is sure to return in an as yet. Determine your scope.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 103 . Remember. Make a simple list of what you want to tell your reader. You have established your objective and determined the scope. Keep in mind that the purpose and audience of your business letter effects.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 14: TYPES ON BUSINESS LETTERS By the end of the lesson you will • Know the various types of business letters • Know the general format of a acknowledgement letter • Know the general format of a Inquiry letter Identify Your Reader The identity of the reader to whom you are sending an acknowledgement will be found in the complimentary close of a previous response letter. This establishes a line of communication that indicates her serious interest in exploring a further business relationship. It’s most important function is to say thank you. Types of Business Letters The following are the most common types of business letters. Consider each item on the list as having a logical place. Students. letting him know that further discussion will be expected in their upcoming meeting. Feel free to delete or add items. Establish your objective. When you address your reader by name. Establish Your Objective The objective of an acknowledgement letter is to let the reader know you are in receipt of whatever it is was that you requested. in business we need to write various types of business letters . Should it be useful. It should also be included on the top line of your envelope. A list will probably do the job. That person’s name should be placed in the salutation and the inside heading of your reply. Refer back to them. It can be viewed as a response to a response. businesses second. Here are the steps to follow when writing an acknowledgement letter. In the body of the sample acknowledgement letter. The actual scope of an acknowledgement letter need only include a small detail. You will be able to save and edit the contents of these boxes while working on your writing project. In this lesson we will focus on acknowledgment letter and inquiry letter. Briefly mention what you have received. which form you. You should be brief. On completion you will have determined your scope. On completion your objective will be clearly stated. Save and edit this list as you work. usually something requested in an inquiry letter. Remember that people do business with people first. Draft your letter Close Your Letter Review and Revise Your Letter Organize Your Letter Organizing an acknowledgement letter is a simple procedure designed to help you draft your request. With list in hand you can begin a rough draft. it’s the thought that counts. Each link provides tips and a blank editing box in which you can practice your writing skills. Can anyone tell me when do write an acknowledgement letter and when do we write a inquiry letter? The very word “acknowledgment” and “inquiry” says it all. • • • • • The Acknowledgement Letter The Inquiry letter Response to an inquiry letter Complaint letter Order letter Acknowledgement Letters A letter of acknowledgement is good public relations maneuver. either at the beginning. you are recognizing their individual importance. such as what day something arrived. unscheduled appointment. particularly if a continuing dialogue is desired. when you received it and that you appreciate the senders effort. Sentence fragments are fine for this exercise. In the body of the sample acknowledgement letter the writer provides the name of her assistant. the scope may be broadened to include new information. the middle or the end of your letter. Sentence fragments are fine for this exercise. In the sample acknowledgement letter the writer confirms receipt of information and appreciates the sender’s promptness. Organize your letter. the writer mentions a specific point. the objective of which is to notify that a request has been satisfied. and an expression of appreciation. a mark of professional courtesy. their value as a human being. Together they make up the main components in the body of your letter. they can go along way. choose. Put each item where it belongs. a second contact person with whom he can speak should she be unavailable to take his call. Though not always required. Determine Uour Scope The scope of an acknowledgement letter encompasses very little. clarifying for the reader that it is an important part of her overall objective. In the inside heading of the sample acknowledgement letter the reader is identified by both his name and the position he holds. Most of your 11. It provides the reader with a short line or two. A simple outline will get you organized. • • • • • • • Identify your reader.

Concentrate on communicating your objective to your reader. notification of attachments and copies sent to other individuals should be placed beneath your title line. clarity and a sense of completeness. You won’t be worried about forgetting something important. Spelling. Look for the obvious errors first. Once your last paragraph is written. And finally. On completion you will have a rough draft that can be saved and edited. sign off between a complimentary close such as “Sincerely” or “Thank you. Look for accuracy. Inc. tone and style are consistent throughout the text. consult the Formatting Business Letters page for acceptable options. You want your inquiry to be strong. I am looking for just such an arrangement. Remember to do this quickly. Hamilton: I received your price information packet today and appreciate its prompt delivery.” and your printed name. starting with the point that you are most confident about turning into a complete sentence. Ask yourself if the transitions between paragraphs are working and if your point of view. sentence structure and grammar mistakes. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Sample Acknowledgement Letter __________Better Widget Makers. Ida Mae Knott Purchasing Agent CC: Annie Getz At the beginning of the sample acknowledgement letter the writer mentions that she had received what she had requested and lets the reader know that she appreciated his promptness. For an overall sense of cohesion. Keep in mind that your reader is most likely a trained customer service professional and not the person responsible for the error or defect. Jargon and abstract terms may not be understood at all and affectations.234 . Close Your Letter An acknowledgement letter should close with a professional tone and style. Remember. as the recipient. making sure that your objective is clear and your scope is concise. someone with whom to speak in her absence. grammar. You will check your draft in this step. Do one at a time. Start with the point that you feel the strongest or most confident about and then do the others. if you have not written an opening or a conclusion now is the time. Refer back to your list and turn each fragmentary sentence into a full and complete sentence expressing a single thought or idea. You won’t be worried about in what order things should appear. place your title below the printed name as in the sample acknowledgement letter. Annie Getz. When you begin the rough draft your outline will become a checklist Draft Your Letter Working from an outline is the simplest way to draft a adjustment letter. Your list is already organized. advises a business that an error has been made or that a defect has been discovered. She keeps my calendar and will assist you in making an appointment. Rather than being angry. Be certain that you describe the scope of your solution with an appropriate amount of information. Russ Hamilton Vice President. Check for spelling. The introduction needs to lead into the body of your letter with a firm statement about the subject of your inquiry and enough supporting information to keep the reader reading. CO 80456 October 1. it is results you © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Remember that a passive voice is not as commanding as an active one. confusion. Keep in mind that you are writing a rough draft. The objective is to provide detailed information regarding the error or defect. so write with an active voice. 2003 Mr. Remember. be as quick as you can. You mentioned deeper discounts in consideration of an annual contract. Should I be unavailable when you call on Friday. Additional information such as dictation remarks. so remove all that is not helpful. Review and Revise Your Letter Reviewing and revising your acknowledgement letter is the final step in the writing process. clichés and trite language serve no real purpose and will obscure your objective. On completion you will have a rough draft that can be saved and edited. Examine your word choices carefully. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes as you examine the rough draft. It also serves as a legal document notifying the recipient that a correction or adjustment is being requested. It’s already on your list. You want to help your reader understand exactly what it is that you want. At the end of the sample acknowledgement letter the writer names a second contact person.thinking is done and you can concentrate on the writing task. Ambiguous words lead to 104 Complaint Letters A complaint letter. please speak with my assistant. It seems to have everything I need. it is best to do this quickly. Those details will be tuned up in the final step when you review and revise your work.__________ 5555 Widget Avenue Silver City. Then do the others. Sales and Marketing Golden Bread Company 123 Loaf Street Silver City. effectively widening the lines of communication. whether you are able to comprehend the request quickly and if enough information has been included to enable a timely response. If your acknowledgement letter is written in conjunction with an official duty. In situations where you are unsure of the proper close. Ask yourself. The important thing to keep in mind is the overall cohesiveness of the whole unit. Your closing remarks need to reiterate your objective with a question that calls for an action. also known as a claim. use a firm but courteous tone when stating your complaint. sentence and paragraph structure need not be perfect. Thanks again. CO 80451 Dear Mr.

Be specific. Be certain that you describe the scope of your solution with an appropriate amount of information. Stick to the facts and your reader will comprehend what went wrong and what action you expect to have implemented. Concentrate on communicating your objective to your reader. If your credit letter is written in conjunction with an official duty. Start with the point that you feel the strongest or most confident about and then do the others. Put each item where it belongs. Those details will be tuned up in the final step when you review and revise your work. Then do the others. a complaint letter should be addressed to the person who is most able to resolve an unsatisfactory situation. The scope of a complaint letter should include only the relevant facts validating your claim and a request that appropriate corrective steps be taken. the writer clearly states that he has received an incorrectly filled order. It should provide the reader with exact descriptions. Your list is already organized. the middle or the end of your letter.are after. In the body of the sample complaint letter the writer politely expresses dissatisfaction that a problem’s promised resolution is long overdue. 11. including dates. Spelling. In these cases. Organize your letter. Most of your thinking is done and you can concentrate on the writing task. Establish Your Objective The objective of a complaint letter is to prompt an action that resolves a conflict. In the sample complaint letter the writer explains that an incorrect shipment was received and that a promised correction has not materialized. Sentence fragments are fine for this exercise. Keep in mind that you are writing a rough draft. payment records and even dollar amounts when appropriate. In the first sentence of the sample complaint letter. grammar. You can save and edit this list as you work. sentence and paragraph structure need not be perfect. When you begin the rough draft your outline will become a checklist • • • • • • • Identify your reader. Together they make up the main components in the body of your letter. You should avoid threats and accusations when providing the details of your complaint. establishing legitimate grounds for both his complaint and request for corrective action. You won’t be worried about in what order things should appear. Draft Your Letter Working from an outline is the simplest way to draft a adjustment letter. In situations where you are unsure of the proper close. Draft your letter Close Your Letter Review and Revise Your Letter Identify Your Reader Although a clearly identified reader is not absolutely necessary. Determine your scope. For an overall sense of cohesion. He supports his claim with facts. He then proposes two equally satisfactory solutions. You won’t be worried about forgetting something important. it is best to do this quickly. times and places. Briefly list your complaints. Do one at a time. Make a simple list of your complaints. In a mid-size company a vice president or upper level management person solves problems. correct an error or repair a defect. A simple outline will get you organized. Establish your objective. Refer back to them. You have established your objective and determined the scope. On completion you will have a rough draft that can be saved and edited. be as quick as you can. consult the Formatting Business Letters page for acceptable options. Attention to detail is very important. Refer back to your list and turn each fragmentary sentence into a full and complete sentence expressing a single thought or idea. Large companies often have a Customer Service department to whose attention a complaint can be addressed. Close Your Letter A complaint letter should close with a professional tone and style. A list will probably do the job. Remember to do this quickly. either at the beginning. The scope may also detail the options that you are willing to accept in satisfaction of the claim. Once your last paragraph is written. invoice numbers. You have already started this task.” and your printed name. Doing so fulfills a primary business goal: keeping the customer satisfied. On completion your objective will be clearly stated. You can save and edit this list as you work. On completion you will have a rough draft that can be saved and edited. On completion you will have determined your scope. Consider each item on the list as having a logical place. Additional information such as dictation remarks. notification of enclosures and copies sent to other individuals should be placed beneath your title line. sign off between a complimentary close such as “Sincerely” or “Thank you. starting with the point that you are most confident about turning into a complete sentence. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Organize Your Letter Organizing a complaint letter is a simple procedure designed to help you draft your request. Feel free to delete or add items. the inside heading should contain just the name and address of the company. With list in hand you can begin a rough draft. Determine Your Scope The scope of a complaint letter should encompass the relevant information necessary to resolve a problem. Any company or business organization with a legitimate complaint lodged against them will act quickly to resolve the problem. It’s already on your list. In a very small business the owner is generally the contact person. It should reference purchase orders. place your title below your printed name as shown in sample complaint letter.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 105 . The salutation will then be replaced by a simple attention getting device such as that shown in the sample complaint letter. Remember.

2004 Better Widget Makers. February 10th. Ask yourself.00 for the unfulfilled portion of the order. It is especially important to check on procedures. You want to help your reader understand exactly what it is that you want. as it is not unusual for large companies to have specific protocols for contacting their employees and associates.234 . 34th Street Greeley. Determine your scope. It was promised that the correct items would be shipped out the very next day. paid for with check #250564 in the amount of $1. Jr. so remove all that is not helpful. In the inside heading of the sample inquiry letter the reader is identified by both his name and the title he holds. It announces that you have identified them as being the likely contact person to whom you can direct your request. In situations where you do not 106 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Thank you. please cancel the order and send a refund check in the amount of $1. Inc. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION General Manager Enclosure: Order Letter dated February 3. but often a quick phone call will do the job. # XT111) that I ordered. Jargon and abstract terms may not be understood at all and affectations. And finally. In it the writer asks for some information and some help.913. Keep in mind is the overall cohesiveness of the whole unit. as the recipient. I have enclosed a copy of the original order. This was a COD order. and be delivered freight free the following week. Most businesses and organizations will supply names and contact procedures over the phone. As shown in the sample complaint letter.50. tone and style are consistent throughout the text. Valuable time can be lost when an inquiry letter is sent to the wrong person or address. You want your inquiry to be strong. and to whom you can turn for help. which has already cleared through our bank. the shipment contained 300 Regular Yellow Widgets (Ref. Draft your letter Close Your Letter Review and Revise Your Letter Identify Your Reader An inquiry letter should be addressed to a specific person whenever possible. Identifying your reader is not always possible. As of this date we have not yet received our shipment of Deluxe Widgets. Here are the steps to follow when writing an inquiry letter: • • • • • • • Identify your reader. if you have not written an opening or a conclusion now is the time. the writer’ opening paragraph states the problem and the closing paragraph requests a specific solution. whether you are able to comprehend the request quickly and if enough information has been included to enable a timely response. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes as you examine the rough draft. As per the instructions we received on the telephone. Examine your word choices carefully. She also makes an offer to the reader that provides an incentive to act. and on the inside heading and envelope informs the reader that you have done your homework. Rather than the 300 Deluxe Yellow Widgets (Ref. Look for accuracy. clichés and trite language serve no real purpose and will obscure your objective. and sometimes both. # XT101). Remember that a passive voice is not as commanding as an active one. Your closing remarks need to reiterate your objective with a question that calls for an action. In the sample inquiry letter there is a benefit to both the writer and the reader.Review and Revise Your Letter Reviewing and revising your complaint letter is the final step in the writing process. Ask yourself if the transitions between paragraphs are working and if your point of view. You will check your draft in this step. The objective is to get the reader to respond with an action that satisfies the request. CO 80631 February 18. Establish your objective. Sample Complaint Letter __________Dandy Manufacturing. Check for spelling. Naming a person in your letter’s salutation. Ambiguous words lead to confusion. the unwanted Regular Widgets were shipped back the same day. Inc. Look for the obvious errors first. If these Widgets cannot be shipped February 20th. Jim Dandy. the scope of an inquiry letter must include enough information to help the reader determine how best to respond. Remember that people do business with people first. sentence structure and grammar mistakes. Organize your letter. so write with an active voice. CO 80456 Attention: Customer Service Department On February 9th I received an incorrect shipment of Widgets fulfilling the order I placed on February 3rd.368. The action taken can benefit either the writer or the reader. 2004 Inquiry Letters A letter of inquiry is a letter of request. Doing so improves your odds on receiving a reply.__________ 2525 E. The introduction needs to lead into the body of your letter with a firm statement about the subject of your inquiry and enough supporting information to keep the reader reading. businesses second. That being the case. You will be expected to follow them. clarity and a sense of completeness. 5555 Widget Avenue Silver City. making sure that your objective is clear and your scope is concise.

234 Draft Your Letter Drafting an inquiry letter is a process by which your outline notes become sentences and paragraphs. Information that is not related to your objective should be left out. What is their title or position? Are they the president of the company or the shipping clerk? Do they have what you want? Can they do what you ask? Give them the relevant background informationneeded in order to make an informed decision. Remember. be quick about it. It’s already on your list. Your list is already organized. This will help you determine whether you have supplied too much information. These things will be accounted for in the final step when you review and revise your work. If you are to receive some benefit. Your spelling can be imperfect. the middle or the end of your letter. On completion you will have a rough draft that can be saved and edited. Gather your thoughts into paragraphs and then give yourself a rest. Feel free to move things around. On completion you will have a simple outline that can be saved and edited. Consider each item on the list as having a logical place. You may safely assume that your reader is a busy person. or would you need a little more? While you are in their shoes you might also ask yourself how much persuasion you would you need in order to be moved to act. to be sloppy.K. starting with the point that you are most confident about turning into a complete sentence. Keep in mind. When you begin the rough draft your outline will become a checklist. Sentence fragments are fine for this exercise. The question(s) will either ask the reader to provide something beneficial to the writer. Make it your business to now something about that person. Best advice. She then outlines the scope of her needs in a bulleted list immediately following her request. your sentences can be grammatically incorrect and your paragraph structure can be less than impeccable. Close Your Letter An inquiry letter should close with a professional tone and style. it may help to offer an incentive to respond. You can save and edit this list as you work. Your only concern is getting the point of your objective across to the reader and providing the relevant scope of information that supports your request. or ask the reader to take advantage of a benefit that the writer has to offer. Enlarge each sentence fragment in your outline until it expresses a complete thought. You won’t be worried about in what order things should appear. On completion you will have determined your scope. Once your last paragraph is written. Establish Your Objective The objective in an inquiry letter is communicated by one or more questions to which the writer desires a response. Together they make up the main components in the body of your letter. sign off between a complimentary close such as “Sincerely” or “Thank you. Most of your thinking is done and you can concentrate on the writing task. it may help to explain for what purpose the benefit will be used. or not enough. In the body of the sample inquiry letter the writer supplies relevant logistical information that the reader will need in order to respond quickly and effectively. A list will probably do the job. That’s right-take a break. Answer the questions raised by the sample statements or build your own. If your inquiry letter is written in conjunction with an official duty. You can save and edit this list as you work. On completion you will have shaped your objective. With list in hand you can begin a rough draft. You will end up with a list of things you want the reader to do or provide. Refer back to them. Your goal is to have the reader make a decision quickly and respond in a timely manner. place your title below the printed name as in the sample inquiry letter. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes and ask yourself what and how much background information is needed in order to take the action you are requesting. you may have something out of order. A draft will get it all down on paper. Be specific and brief. Do one at a time. If you are asking for multiple pieces of information you might consider placing them into a bulleted list. Sentence fragments are fine for this exercise. notification of attachments and copies sent to other individuals 107 © Copy Right: Rai University . You have already started this task. Phrase your question(s) in a tone and style that is both courteous and straightforward.” and your printed name. You won’t be worried about forgetting something important. This tactic acts like a snapshot highlighting the components of your objective. Make a list of relevant information that explains the reason for your inquiry. Write without fear. it is best to do this quickly.have the name of a contact person to address. If it does not flow naturally. it’s O. Are they part of the beginning. you are writing a rough draft. the middle or the end? Organize the information point by point in an order that makes sense. You have established your objective and determined the scope of your inquiry. Consult the points you have established in your objective and scope and decide where they belong. If the reader is to receive some benefit. Think about what your reader will need to know 11. either at the beginning. Consider your targeted reader. before making a decision. so getting to the point is important. the writer states her objective by asking the reader for help in compiling information. Determine Your Scope The scope of an inquiry letter is contained in the information you provide for the specific purpose of helping the reader grasp your objective. It will also help you determine what information needs to be qualified or amplified for the reader’s benefit. Then do the others. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Organize Your Letter Organizing an inquiry letter is a simple procedure designed to help you draft your request. consult the Formatting Business Letters page for acceptable options. Would you already know everything you need to know. A simple outline will get you organized. Put each item where it belongs. Let the reader know who you are and something about your motive. Feel free to delete or add items. In the body of the sample inquiry letter. Additional information such as dictation remarks.

Writing. As the title indicates. or phone call to the person who helped you with your request 108 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. as the recipient. consult the Formatting Business Letters page for acceptable options. clarity and a sense of completeness. Ask yourself.should be placed beneath your title line. Your closing remarks need to reiterate your objective with a question that calls for an action. For example: Could you please send me the admission requirements for your program so I can apply for next fall semester? A secretary or school official in the college department receives many of these requests each month and would have no problem comprehending the meaning or necessary actions. You want your inquiry to be strong. Ask yourself if the transitions between paragraphs are working and if your point of view. (signature here) I. Look for accuracy. Look for the obvious errors first. Check for spelling. Professor. ME 04101 Dear Ms. making sure that your objective is clear and your scope is concise. Remember that a passive voice is not as commanding as an active one. You want to help your reader understand exactly what it is that you want. 1999 Ms. At the end of the sample inquiry letter the writer reiterates her request for help.B. so write with an active voice. It would be a great honor to have you in attendance. tone and style are consistent throughout the text. Thank you for your time. Examine your word choices carefully. The introduction needs to lead into the body of your letter with a firm statement about the subject of your inquiry and enough supporting information to keep the reader reading. Snyder: I am a professor in English at Colorado State University organizing a seminar on concept mapping for a colloquium coming up in December. whether you are able to comprehend the request quickly and if enough information has been included to enable a timely response. If the reader is expecting the letter. CSU IW/gt Enclosure(4) BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Review and Revise Your Letter Reviewing and revising your inquiry letter is the final step in the writing process. e-mail. Enclosed is an admissions form and more information on the colloquium. Ambiguous words lead to confusion. sentence structure and grammar mistakes. so remove all that is not helpful. the purpose of this form is to obtain information from the reader. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes as you examine the rough draft. The important thing to keep in mind is the overall cohesiveness of the whole unit. following these four guidelines will be helpful: • • • • State your purpose List your questions or requested action Offer something in return to encourage action Follow up with a thank you note. The deadline for admission is August 13. Jargon and abstract terms may not be understood at all and affectations. In situations where you are unsure of the proper close. If the reader is not expecting your letter. Based on your experience in this area. clichés and trite language serve no real purpose and will obscure your objective.234 . At the beginning of the sample inquiry letter the writer introduces a situation and announces a compelling opportunity from which the reader stands to gain. of English Colorado State University Fort Collins. Example Inquiry Letter Dept. your task is easy. Dawn Snyder. I was wondering if you would be interested in attending. establishes a timeline in which she would like the help to be offered. You will check your draft in this step. In this case. then it is more difficult. asks for a meeting and strongly reinforces the benefit to the reader. And finally. CO 80523 May 23. Professor ICU Technical College Portland. if you have not written an opening or a conclusion now is the time.

Good luck on organizing the event. Such information is unnecessary when placing an order. Colorado State University Fort Collins. Determine your scope. Keep in mind that in most cases the seller does not need to know why you are placing the order. In the sample order letter the writer purchases three specific widgets from an out of date vendor catalogue. It should be written with careful attention to detail. The scope of an order letter should include only the information needed to fulfill the order. Establish Your Objective The objective of an order letter is to clearly indicate to the recipient that you are making a purchase. (signature here) I. ME 04101 May 27. Example Response to an Inquiry Letter Dawn Snyder. complaint letter and sales letter. Writing. CSU DS/ls Enclosure(114) c: Scott McRae. • Get tips as to how do you draft a good business letter. At that time a specific contact person. It is also serves as a legal document recording the transaction. Students now that we have learnt about acknowledgement letter and inquiry letter we will today learn about responding to an inquiry letter. In situations where you do not have the name of a contact person to address. Establishing an account with a company will announce that your intention is to have an ongoing business relationship. If you cannot answer the questions. Your intentions need to be clear and concise. Draft your letter Close Your Letter Review and Revise Your Letter Identify Your Reader An order letter does not necessarily need a clearly identified reader. most first-time and one-time-only orders are just addressed to the attention of the Sales department within a company.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 15: TYPES ON BUSINESS LETTERS By the end of the lesson you will • Learn about how to write a response to an inquiry letter • Learn about the format of a complaint letter and order letter. Professor ICU Technical College Portland. answer the questions as clearly and as concisely as possible. It provides the reader with an exact description of what is expected. I am enclosing the admissions sheet sent to me. 1999 Professor I. He concludes his order with some specific instructions. In these cases. In the body of the sample order letter. will be assigned to handle your account. The objective is to provide detailed instructions to a vendor fulfilling an order. I think you know how strongly I feel about that paradigm and the role the great state of Maine has played in its development. Dean of Department of Journalism • • • • • • • Identify your reader. The reader can infer that either an infrequent customer or a new customer is placing the order. the inside heading of the letter will contain just the name and address of the company to whom the order is being sent. Writing. • Learn about the format of a complaint letter and order letter. also known as a PO (purchase order) begins the paper trail of a specific purchase. and the salutation will be replaced by a simple attention getting device such as that shown in the sample order letter. CO 80523 Dear Mr. explain the reasons and offer to assist with alternate methods. as well as the articles you requested that I have recently published on the subject. Order Letters An order letter. the writer begins by saying that he is placing an order.I cannot wait to be there! Sincerely. Response to an Inquiry Letter When you receive an inquiry letter. The reader will fill your order only according to your instructions and your satisfaction will depend largely upon their accuracy.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 109 . consult the Formatting Business Letters page for acceptable options. Professor. Establish your objective. Writing: I would be honored to attend your colloquium on concept mapping in December. In fact. You should be brief. the terms of the purchase and any specific shipping instructions. to whom all future orders can be directed. what it is going to be used for or for whom it is intended.B. Organize your letter. 11.B. Determine Your Scope The scope of an order letter should provide only that information relevant to accomplishing the objective of making a purchase: what the item is. In the body of the sample order letter the writer has formatted his list of purchases in a table and provided a brief instruction linking his payment instructions to his shipping instructions.

Put 110 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Remember. you may have something out of order. Together they make up the main components in the body of your letter. such as BUSINESS COMMUNICATION • • • • • • Quantity Model number Dimensions Capacity Material Price As shown in the sample order letter. Then do the others. and number of pages. When writing an order letter.” and your printed name. Be certain that you describe the scope of your solution with an appropriate amount of information. when appropriate. yourself in the reader’s shoes as you examine the rough draft. The introduction should lead into the letter with a firm statement about the details of your order. Ask yourself. Remember that a passive voice is not as commanding as an active one. Look for the obvious errors first. Start with the point that you feel the strongest or most confident about and then do the others. On completion you will have determined your scope. You want to help your reader understand exactly what it is that you want. Review and Revise Your Letter Reviewing and revising your order letter is the final step in the writing process. clarity and a sense of completeness. so remove all that is not helpful. of English Colorado State University Fort Collins. Keep in mind that you are writing a rough draft. Look for accuracy. Make a list of the things that your credit letter will include and put them in a sequential order that will best help your reader comprehend your response. Feel free to move things around. as the recipient. Snyder: Would you please send me the following articles via COD? According to your Web site. starting with the point that you are most confident about turning into a complete sentence. sentence and paragraph structure need not be perfect. 1999 Ms. Concentrate on communicating your objective to your reader.234 . tone and style are consistent throughout the text. or retailer. Check for spelling. wholesaler. so write with an active voice. be as quick as you can. sentence structure and grammar mistakes. it is best to do this quickly.He has also included a phone number at which he can be reached should there be any difficulties fulfilling the order. ME 04101 Dear Ms. Refer back to them. In situations where you are unsure of the proper close. On completion you will have a simple outline Draft Your Letter Working from an outline is the simplest way to draft a adjustment letter. Dawn Snyder. And finally. grammar. place your title below the printed name as in the sample order letter. For an overall sense of cohesion. include all the information the reader will need to identify the merchandise. The conclusion should reiterate your objective and. Attention to detail is very important. Do one at a time. Feel free to delete or add items. date. You want your order to be strong. the actual details are formatted into a table bracketed by very short opening and closing paragraphs. Make a simple list of what you want to purchase. Examine your word choices carefully. if you have not written an opening or a conclusion now is the time. You have already started this task by establishing your objective and determining the scope. contain any explicit instructions. Organize Your Letter Organizing a order letter is just a practical way to begin drafting a written notification of pending purchase. and it is written for a manufacturer. On completion you will have a rough draft that can be saved and edited. If the information does not flow naturally. sign off between a complimentary close such as “Sincerely” or “Thank you. consult the Formatting Business Letters page for acceptable options. Those details will be tuned up in the final step when you review and revise your work. Ambiguous words lead to confusion. You can save and edit this list as you work. Spelling. clichés and trite language serve no real purpose and will obscure your objective. Professor ICU Technical College Portland. Example Order Letter Dept. Additional information such as dictation remarks. Ask yourself if the transitions between paragraphs are working and if your point of view. The important thing to keep in mind is the overall cohesiveness of the whole unit. whether you are able to comprehend the request quickly and if enough information has been included to enable a timely response. Be specific. On completion you will have a rough draft that can be saved and edited. notification of attachments and copies sent to other individuals should be placed beneath your title line. You will check your draft in this step. Refer back to your list and turn each fragmentary sentence into a full and complete sentence expressing a single thought or idea. all articles are in your possession and all is needed is the article name. making sure that your objective is clear and your scope is concise. Remember to do this quickly. Once your last paragraph is written. Close Your Letter An order letter should close with a professional tone and style. A simple outline will get you organized. Jargon and abstract terms may not be understood at all and affectations. CO 80523 May 23. This is the most common form of business communication. If your order letter is written in conjunction with an official duty.

you need to provide clear. Therefore. you have trouble finding your favorite shirt when you really need it. Colorado State University Fort Collins. Professor. OR 97225 July 7.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Article "Role of Maine in the fishing strike of 1867" "Effect of Maine geography on the War of 1812" "World War II: From Androscoggin to York" Date 1987 1969 1997 Pages 47 121 4 Types of business letters n n n n n n Thank you very much. May we stop by and offer you a FREE estimate at how much it would cost you to rebuild your closet? If so. it is important to have a good attitude in order to sell your product or service.B. give us a call at 555-1212 and set up an appointment with one of your friendly operators. This is why it is important to have an organized closet system.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 111 . a Web site address. CSU IW/gt Sales Letter When writing a sales letter. (signature here) I. 1999 Professor I. Writing. because the reader will want to know why they should spend their valuable time reading the letter. At CLOSET CARE. CO 80523 Dear Mr. Sales letters usually have a four-part strategy • Catch the reader’s eye: it is very crucial in a sales letter to attract the reader’s attention or else you will probably fail to sell your product or service • Describe the product or service you are trying to sell • Convince your reader that your claims are accurate: back up your comments with research and facts • Give the reader opportunities to learn more about your product or service: provide the reader with a phone number. or some way for them to seek out information on their own Letter of enquiry Letter of complaint Letter of invitation Letter to the press Letter of acknowledgement Letters of goodwill or public relations Example Sales Letter Closet Care 1248 SE Lancaster Blvd Tigard. (signature here) Kent Lenoir President KL/jt Letter of enquiry n Introductory paragraph – Create goodwill with a friendly opening n Other paragraphs – Explain what information is required – List questions / information required n Closing paragraph – Promote goodwill 11. Writing: Are you having trouble organizing your clothes into your existing closets? If you are like most Americans. we have the skills and experience to come in and help you with your closet needs. specific information that will explain to the reader why they should be interested in buying your product or service.B. Sincerely. Writing.

provide all necessary problem. Every letter should be clear. helpful and as friendly as the topic allows. discover the Seven-Cs of letter writing. offer further assistance n Closing paragraph of goodwill Letter of complaint n Letter of invitation n Introductory paragraph – Create goodwill. place) – Info about audience (gender. positive note Create goodwill. The best letters have a conversational tone and read as if you were talking to your reader. human. expected number of people) people) n Closing paragraph – Promote goodwill.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 112 Reply to a letter of enquiry n Reply to a complaint n Introductory paragraph – Acknowledge receipt and express appreciation Introductory paragraph – Acknowledge receipt and thank the customer n Other paragraphs – Answer all questions in detail – Recommend someone to help if you are if you are not able to help n Other paragraphs – Explain the cause of the problem – Apologize if needed Apologize if needed – Explain how you plan to solve the problem n Closing paragraph – Promote goodwill. You should be • Clear © Copy Right: Rai University 11. explain why invited explain why invited n Other paragraphs – Explain problem. In brief then. time. willingness to help Promote goodwill. age. date. background.234 . provide all necessary information – Describe inconvenience or loss – Suggest a solution to the problem n Other paragraphs – Provide info about function (type. understanding your reader’s needs and then clearly writing what you need to say. interests. positive note Introductory paragraph – Create goodwill. willingness to help The Seven CS of Business Letter Writing Effective letter writing boils down to knowing why you are writing a letter.

such as a second printer tray. (One Sentence—45 words) Shorter Sentences I have not yet received your reply to my letter of 13th June. you face several problems. One or two passive verbs a page will not ruin your style. uses short sentences and simple words. Active: At the last meeting the Secretary reported. I shall have no alternative but to arrange property insurance on the bank's block policy. You have to learn to make every word count in technical documents. There is no one ‘right’ way to express an idea. Show you are interested in the reader’s circumstances. Active: The committee agreed. (Two sentences—13 words and 24 words) Writing Your Business Plan in Plain English Good writing is effortless reading that makes you want to read more. clearer and more precise. Use Active Verbs Rather Than Passive Verbs Using active verbs rather than passive verbs is the key to good writing. Complex words As we noted in the preceding section.. It is clear and concise. Plain English is clear English.. It keeps to the facts and is easy to read and to understand. By comparison. Edit Wordy Phrases Padding is the enemy of good writing. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes and write in a friendly and helpful tone. Instead of using everyday words they use complex or unfamiliar words. There’s plenty of room for your own style—but it will only blossom once you have got rid of the poor writing habits that are typical of most business writing Here are some of the key techniques to help you write in plain English: Use Simple Words Rather than Complex Ones Many writers have difficulty keeping their message simple and clear. initiate and proliferate for extra. 11.. impersonal and dull. Almost everything written by good writers has an average sentence length of between 15 and 20 words. If he or she has mentioned something personal in the letter. Often writers miss passive verbs or try to change verbs that are already active.. if you purchased additional printer options. Unnecessary words and phrases clutter up sentences and obscure meaning. indicate. • You need to measure your use of passive verbs. Why? Because passive verbs are longwinded. if you bought extra printer equipment. Simple.• • • • • • Concise Correct Courteous Conversational Convincing Complete • You need to know how to turn passive verbs to active verbs. everday words will help you get your message across. Keep Your Sentence Average Length Low Sentence length is crucial to good writing. You must edit ruthlessly. It is simple and direct but not simplistic or patronising. Here’s an example: Passive: It was agreed by the committee. Using plain English doesn’t mean everyone’s writing must sound the same. Good writers naturally vary the length and rhythm of their sentences—longer sentences balanced with shorter ones—but they keep their average sentence length well below 20 words. you must check you install it correctly. Simple words As we noted in the previous section. less formal. Too often we use words such as additional. Compare These Examples Long Sentence I refer to my letter of 13th June and am writing to advise you that if we do not receive your completed application form within the next fourteen days. such as a second printer tray. economy of words is the mark of good writing. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION When you write a letter. start and spread. show. Don’t represent your company as one that cannot make a mistake and must always be in the right. Active: You should sign the form and return it to me. I shall have to arrange property insurance on the bank's block policy. This doesn’t mean writing every sentence the same length. If we do not receive your completed application form within fourteen days.. This builds a bridge between you and the reader.. cutting any word. nine or ten will. refer to it in your reply. • You must accurately spot them. In switching your style from passive verbs to active verbs throughout your writing. it is a requirement you verify its correct installation. Set yourself a target of cutting 10 to 20 percent of the words in your document. Passive: This form should be signed and should be returned to me.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 113 . Try not to reply in the normal bland and defensive way of organizations—write a sincere and helpful letter. Read the original letter carefully and see if there is something you can put in your letter to show your interest.. Your reader will respond quickly only if your meaning is crystal clear. Passive: At the last meeting a report was made by the Secretary.. Active verbs make your writing simpler. you are trying to convince someone to act or react in a positive way. ambiguous.

How many do you know? Acronym Meaning CRA DPI DTP PMS SC UGD Camera-ready Artwork Dots Per Inch Desktop Publishing Pantone Matching System Spot Color User Guide Documentation How many did you get right? Two out of six? Probably DPI for dots per inch and DTP for desktop publishing as these are industry terms. Avoid Abbreviations The most common and irritating form of jargon is overuse of abbreviations. Many people would not recognize these two. what is a device. Don’t overestimate your readers’ understanding of terms because they may have a hazy idea of the true definition. also to about. Imagine a customer was sitting with you when you mentioned a technical term and asked ‘What’s that?’ You would explain in everyday language. It doesn’t insult the intelligence of your readers to explain terms clearly. For example. output or facility. to regularly Abstract words to avoid in technical writing Activities Amenities Amenity Aspects Concepts Devices Elements Facilities Factors Functions Inputs Operations Outputs Processes Resources Sectors Structures Systems Variables Avoid Jargon and Technical Terms It’s up to you to judge how much you need to explain your industry jargon and specialist terms by putting yourself in your readers’ shoes.Look for wordy phrases such as these in your writing and replace them with a single word or cut them out completely: Avoid Abstract Words and Phrases One habit you should avoid. is overusing abstract words.234 . SC for spot color is an unnecessary shortened form and UGD for User Guide Documentation is jargon for a manual. camera-ready artwork would be better. 114 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. as well as. Do the same when you write. As for CRA. such as output device and you have instant jargon for the word printer. in. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Wordy at a later date at the present time for the purpose of have no alternative but in addition to In order to in relation to on a regular basis Concise later now for must besides. Here’s a list of the most common ones to avoid in your writing. towards. Such words are so abstract they become meaningless to the reader. common to many writers. pure jargon for Council Recycling Site. Add them to acronyms and you can produce CAS Facility which in turn means Civic Amenity Site Facility. Here are some abbreviations. String them together. with.

The class will discuss writing a letter together (e. On the fifth day spent on friendly letters. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Practice Exercise on Personal Letter Writing Skills Overview : Students need to practice writing a friendly letter. Evalution : This letter will be put into the student letter portfolio. (Closing) 3 blank lines for your handwritten (Signature) (Your Name) Now students will discuss possible business letters that they may want or need to write in the future. Materials Poster of a letter and envelope Labels to identify the parts of the letter and envelope Piece of paper and a envelope for each student in the class Activities and Procedures 1. Better understand parts of a greeting letter and envelope. Please supply this information. Be able to address an envelope. Call on different students to point out different parts of a letter and envelope. and their directions to help us plan a fun and meaningful vacation. 2. Have students write a friendly letter and address an envelope to anyone they would like to write.g. 2. students will type the letter and spell check it on the computer. Practice Exercise on Business Letter Writing Skills Objective 1. Parts of that business letter will be discussed. Here is the form that will be used: 4 blank lines from top of page ( Heading ) skip line (Inside Address/address to recipient) _____________________________ _____________________________ 1 blank line Dear Sir or Madam: (Salutation or Greeting) 1 blank line(Body) Please send me any information that is available on the events in (City name) during the month of June. Envelopes will be prepared during this class. also. As you all know ‘practice makes a man perfect’ this lesson will help you remember what you studied in lesson 14 and 15 and try to put your learning into practice. just learning the tips and format of letters will not help you in the long run. Activity Time: 50 minutes Objectives: 1. Sometimes we camp if there is a nearby campground. brother. Students will become familiar with business letters and the difference between a business letter and friendly letter. accommodations. and I plan to visit the area and will also need a list of accommodations and restaurants. The chosen letter will be graded according to the teacher’s rubric for letter writing evaluation. I am sure at the end of the lesson you’ll have more confident in writing business letters. Directions to places and maps of the area would be helpful. If this letter is chosen.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 115 . 4. students will choose one of theirs to read aloud to the class. My mother. 1 blank line Do you have a web site where I might learn more about your city? 1 blank line I will appreciate any pamphlets or information sheets that you could send me along with the activities. Different formats of typed business letters will be discussed. Students will know how to address an envelope for sending business mail. the class could discuss writing to a person in the class or the principal of the school). father. As a result of this activity. also. 11.. Be able to write a letter to a friend. 3. 3. the students will 2. Students. So lets start the exercise UNIT 2 CHAPTER 4: BUSINESS LETTER Procedure : Students will work from a format and prepare a sample business letter. 1 blank line Very truly yours.LESSON 16: PRACTICE EXERCISES ON BUSINESS LETTER By the end of the lesson you should • Be perfect in writing letter particularly business letters.

style. and work their area and talk quietly. punctuation. It does not have proper grammar or punctuation for a friendly letter. and choice of words for the friendly letter Following Classroom Guidelines and Directions Grammar. inaccurate. elements.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 116 Evaluation Plan for Letters Rubric for the Friendly Letter Score 1 Letter is unattractive or inappropriate. style. 3 The letter is eyecatching and attractive. Suggested Point Scale Heading Inside Address Greeting Body Closing Signature 15 points 15 points 10 points 40 points 10 points 10 points © Copy Right: Rai University 11.234 . Excellent job on presentation. Accurate Parts of the Improper form is Friendly Letter used. Students are always on task. Students are often out of their area without permission and are disruptive to the class. is creatively written. and purpose all excellent for a friendly letter. and punctuation all fair and indicative of a friendly letter. tone Some information is Information is well provided. but is written and limited or interesting to read. 2 Letter appears busy or boring. grammar. Information is accurate and complete. Some friendly letter Letter is complete elements may be with all required missing. Information mislabled or missing. audience. directions and classroom directions. Text is difficult to read. Grammar. style. 4 The letter is creatively designed with easily read text. Punctuation. Style. and punctuation. Grammar. and is cleverly presented. Most friendly letter elements out of place or missing. or incomplete. purpose. Students quietly to their own followed project partner only. and punctuation is indicative of a friendly letter. Inaccurate punctuation or grammar. Information is poorly written. audience. Layout/ Design Information. Students occasionally leave area without permission. May have some grammar and or punctuation that indicates it is a friendly letter. style. Letter Grammar. and choice of words poor for a friendly letter. inaccurate. grammar. Text is easy to read. stay in their Students stay in own area. Text may be difficult to read.

Information is Information is poorly Some information is Information is well accurate and Information. written. and purpose all proper grammar or punctuation that punctuation is excellent for a punctuation for a indicates it is a indicative of a business letter. Excellent job on mislabled or missing. Layout/ Design read. Text may catching and The letter is creatively or inappropriate. be difficult to read.Rubric for the Business Letter BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Score 1 2 3 4 The letter is creatively designed with easily read text. business letter. and presentation. is creatively audience. style. and is cleverly presented. and work area and talk quietly Guidelines and without permission leave area without quietly. audience. Text may catching and or inappropriate. Grammar. business letter. Text is Text is difficult to May have some easy to read. and proper grammar or punctuation that punctuation is punctuation for a indicates it is a indicative of a business letter. read text. limited or inaccurate. interesting to read. Letter appears busy The letter is eyeLetter is unattractive or boring. Inaccurate and punctuation all choice of words for choice of words poor grammar. stay in their Students stay in their Following Classroom out of their area Students occasionally own area. 11. Layout/ Design Letter appears busy The letter is eyeLetter is unattractive or boring. attractive. style. style. or missing. written. elements. followed project only. tone incomplete. punctuation. but is written and complete. grammar. and punctuation. the class. Most business letter Some business letter Letter is complete Accurate Parts of the Improper form is elements out of place elements may be with all required Friendly Letter used. purpose. directions and classroom directions. and punctuation or fair and indicative of the friendly letter for a business letter. inaccurate. missing. It does not have grammar and or Grammar. grammar.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 117 . and purpose all excellent for a business letter. be difficult to read. a business letter. and style. Punctuation. Grammar. style. Students to their own partner Directions and are disruptive to permission. Grammar. read. Grammar. It does not have grammar and or Grammar. Information Style. or provided. business letter. business letter. attractive. Text is designed with easily Text is difficult to May have some easy to read. Students are always Students are often on task. style. business letter.

Finish the letter by adding a closing remark. there should be your address and the date. highlight what you specialize in. no more than one page in length. on the left hand side you should address it. • That you have answered the job requirements. then tell them that you have these. Following we discuss each paragraph and give you some guidelines. An easy way to start this paragraph is with the following statement: “ Please find enclosed my CV. We will focus on the job application letter.234 . Writing Job Application Letters The job application letter’s sole purpose is to get the recipient to read your CV. The letter should invite the recipient to read the resume. Analyze your career and summarize it in a few sentences.” . all of you after completion of your course will either go for higher studies or go for jobs.. If it is an advertised position. In one paragraph (two at the most) you need to summarize your experience and skills... If it is communication or perhaps leadership skills they value. there is a formula that works extremely well for preparing job application letters. either “yours sincerely”. A good way to start this paragraph is with a statement like this: “You will see from my enclosed CV. read it over again.” The Main Body of Job Application Letters The main body of the letter should be two to three paragraphs at the most. making sure that it is perfect. their title. Like most other things. “yours faithfully’ or whatever you feel comfortable with and obeying general letter writing etiquette. “well developed”. or how many years in the industry you might have. 118 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. there are many different styles of job applications and professional letters. which is also known as the cover letter. company name. Job Application Letters Closing Paragraph The closing paragraph should ask for some action from the recipient.” then go ahead and tell them something about your career which will immediately get their interest. “and strong”.. at the same time. • There are no grammar or spelling errors. the job advertisement again. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Students. this comes down to personal preference.. in turn the resume should raise enough interest for them to want to interview you. It gives a poor first impression. or even the level that you have reached. This is probably obvious. This paragraph should direct the reader to your CV and should sell you on some unique points that you might have.. It should be easy to read and flow through. nothing worse than receiving a letter incorrectly addressed or misspelled.. Here is where you tell them what you have to offer and why they should read your CV.. whether it is on the right or left hand sides. This lesson will make you familiar with the components of recruitment correspondence which includes job application letter . If they are asking for someone with good co-ordination skills. The next part of the body of the letter should be a brief description of your personal skills. and it should thank the recipient for giving you the opportunity to apply. However somewhere on the top. Addressing Job Application Letters The style you choose is not important. It should be clear. preparation of CV and interviews. but ensure that you spell their name correctly. The application letter should be brief.LESSON 17: RECRUITMENT AND EMPLOYMENT CORRESPONDENCE On completion of this lesson you will • Know the importance of recruitment correspondence UNIT 2 CHAPTER 5: RECRUITMENT AND EMPLOYMENT CORRESPONDENCE particularly job application letter.. you need to respond to the position requirements as per the advertisement. Ensure you include the name of the person. It should include only the absolute necessary information. Again read the advertisement and respond to their needs. If you are “cold calling” a company then you should specify that you are applying for any current or future employment opportunities. then ensure you mention something to that effect. It should also state where and how they can reach you. • Understand the tips on drafting an effective cover letter. address and any position reference number. You can include things like “should you require further information. The Introductory Paragraph The first paragraph should simply state why you are writing to them. Special attention should be placed to ensure the letter • It is not too long. • The application letter flows and is easy to read. Following this. Leave a few spaces for your signature and then place your full name. Here you are simply telling the employer that you are worth having a look at. Use adjectives like “demonstrated ability”. mention the position title and where it was advertised. but just remember that the job application letter is just as important as the CV itself.. This is a good time to read You might have to type and edit the letter many times before you are happy with it. Before you mail the application letter. This is where you ask for an interview.. concise and straight to the point. which I am forwarding to you as an application for the position of. The Interview is where you will demonstrate your skills and abilities.

If you have two or three areas that you think are strong. An effective letter can get you a phone call for an interview. For example. Some employers recommend a maximum of four paragraphs. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Individualizing Your Letter Give your readers some insight into you as an individual. courteous request to set up an interview. try to begin where your reader is and lead quickly to your purpose in writing. you’re welcome to suggest a range of dates and places convenient to you. names of equipment you’ve used. especially if you travel at your own expense or have a restricted schedule. has informed me that Aerosol Monitoring and apply for a line of work that may come under several titles. if your on-the-job experience is your strongest qualification. If special projects you’ve done apply directly to the job you are seeking. Make your letter strong enough to convince readers that your distinctive background qualifies you for the job but not so long that length will turn readers off. explain them in detail. The date and place for the interview should be convenient for the interviewer. Saul Wilder.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 119 . for example. P. name the position stated in the ad and identify the source.Cover Letters : How to Sell Yourself Your application letter is one of your most important jobsearch documents. Instead. 1998. The following are some tips to help you develop effective application letters. 11. However. organization. the last sentence of the first paragraph refers to specific work experience that is detailed in the following paragraph. you can develop additional paragraphs. but a poorly written application letter usually spells continued unemployment. Rennick: Dr.O. Use numbers. Sample Letter 311 Nestor Street West Lafayette. described so that the reader can picture you actively involved on the job. Be sure to refer to your enclosed Catching Your Reader’s Attention Your introduction should get your reader’s attention. Additionally. which you want to promote. Draft your letter to show how your individual qualities can contribute to the organization. in your first paragraph you should provide a preview of the rest of your letter. if the name is unavailable in these places. Whatever opening strategy you use.” • If you’re prospecting for a job. • Conclude with a clear.. In the example letter. which appeared in the Times of India. phone the organization and ask for the person’s name or at least the name of the personnel manager. • Be professional. in the discussion of your qualifications or in the closing paragraph. • Seek advice. strive to make your letter represent your individuality and your capabilities. MD 21038 Dear Ms. elaborate on the valuable experience you gained and how you can put it to work for them.. Highlighting Your Qualifications Organize the middle paragraphs in terms of the qualifications that best suit you for the job and the organization. The difference can be a matter of how you handle a few key points. Or you may want to open by referring to the company’s product. and suggest a procedure for doing so. style. resume at the most appropriate point in your letter. You can then refer your reader to your resume for a summary of your other qualifications. can be enough. give your phone number and the days and times of the week when you can be reached. Be specific. One strong qualification. • If a specific position title isn’t available or if you wish to format. a consultant to your firm and my Organizational Management professor. Such a reference makes your reason for contacting the company clear and indicates to them that their advertising has been effective. and be appropriate to the job you are seeking. This tells your reader what to look for and lets him or her know immediately how your qualifications fit the requirements of the job.. grammar. Maintain a courteous tone throughout the letter and eliminate all errors. Box 233 Gulltown. May 15. and mechanics. That is. Be specific about how your reader should contact you. you may decide to adapt the professional objective stated in your resume. 1998 Ms. Other Tips • Refer to your resume. or features of the project that may apply to the job you want. In the example below the writer chose to describe particular experiences and skills that could not be generalized to most other recent graduates. Addressing a Specific Person Preferably. This is your letter. Such a reference shows your knowledge of the company. If you ask for a phone call. Inc. try to identify the job title used by the organization. Remember that readers often “deselect” applicants because of the appearance of the letter. you may want to begin with a reference to an advertisement that prompted your application. discuss it in detail and show how you can apply it to the needs of the company. Make sure your letter is professional in First Paragraph Tips Make your goal clear. stimulate interest. Or if you were president of the Marketing Club and you are applying for a position in marketing or sales. Look for this person’s name in company publications found. the person you write to should be the individual doing the hiring for the position you’re seeking. It’s always good idea to prepare at least one draft to show to a critical reader for comments and suggestions before revising and sending the letter. for example: “your advertisement for a graphic artist. IN 47902 June 6. • If you’re answering an advertisement. Christine Rennick Engineer Aerosol Monitoring and Analysis. so avoid simply copying the form and style of other letters you’ve seen.

I’d like to mention how my work experience last summer makes me a particularly strong candidate for the position. Purdue University Writing Lab Purdue University Writing Lab 120 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss these and other qualifications with you. I also researched and wrote reports on new product development and compiled information on aircraft industry trends. or feel free to leave a message.m. If you are interested. The knowledge of the aircraft industry I gained from this position would help me analyze how Aerosol products can meet the needs of regular and prospective clients. I believe that my enclosed resume will demonstrate that I have the characteristics and experience you seek. I discussed Kentech’s products with marketers and sales personnel from around the world. What Is a Cover Letter? A cover letter expresses your interest in and qualifications for a position to a prospective employer. organizational experience. Purdue University Writing Lab First Lastname Enclosure: resume Cover Letters A presentation brought to you by the Purdue University Writing Lab What Should My Cover Letter Accomplish? l l Your cover letter should introduce the main points of your resume.. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss the ways my skills may best serve Aerosol Monitoring and Analysis. Sincerely yours. sales.234 . and marketing would help me use that information effectively. please contact me at (317) 555-0118 any morning before 11:00 a. In addition. It should also help you to “sell” your qualifications to the prospective employer. and the valuable experience I gained in promotion. As a promoter for Kentech Training at the 1997 Paris Air Show. and leadership background to train for a management position.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Analysis is looking for someone with excellent communications skills.

234 © Copy Right: Rai University 121 . Purdue University Writing Lab Purdue University Writing Lab Preliminary Research l Solicited Application Letters l Find out * General job information * Desired qualifications and skills * Key values and words l Check with * Placement office files * WWW * Trade journals. or phone the organization and ask for the person’s name or for the personnel manager. and newsletters * Directories * Professors * Company literature l Solicited application letters are letters written in response to an advertised job opening. l Preview the rest of your letter. Paulina Chicago. magazines. l Dear Ms. IL 60612 l Introductory Paragraph Address your letter to a specific person. ideally to the person who will interview you. I believe that my knowledge of public relations and my proven communication and leadership skills make me a strong candidate for the position of Media Relations Coordinator that was posted by the Delta Airlines Job Opportunities Program. Purdue University Writing Lab Purdue University Writing Lab 11. stimulate interest. Markley: Your first paragraph should: l Get the reader’s attention. l Make your goal clear to readers. It is appropriate to mention where you learned of the opening in the first paragraph. and be appropriate for the job you are seeking. Look for the person’s name in company publications. Luke's Medical Center 729 S.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Header Emma Markley Human Resources Director St. Highlight the qualifications you will discuss throughout the letter.

do you have an opening in your acquisitions department for a recent college graduate with a major in English and publishing and editing experience? Purdue University Writing Lab l l Highlight your strongest qualifications for the position for which you are applying. Purdue University Writing Lab Detailing Your Experience l Using Active Language— Don’ts l l l Show (don’t tell) As a banking employers your representative at Bank qualifications One.000 a day and Use numbers.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 122 Unsolicited Application Letters l Goals of the Body Paragraphs l l Unsolicited application letters are written to companies that have not posted a job opening. Demonstrate how these qualifications will benefit the employer. of $20. It is important to gain the reader’s attention and persuade them that you can contribute to the company’s goals. qualifications for the I also handled upwards position. As a member of one of the fastest growing publishing houses in the world. Weak: I attempted to attract customers. and attempted. balancing the bank’s or features of a project ATM machine.234 . tried. that may apply to the job you want. names of was responsible for equipment you've used. Don’t use weak verbs such as endeavored. © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Refer employers to your enclosed resume. Vague: I worked as a ramp agent at Comair . Purdue University Writing Lab l l Don’t be vague in your descriptions. hoped. credible promoting the sale of examples of your products to customers. I provided quality customer service while Include specific. Don’t use sexist language such as chairman and manpower.

cover letters should be no longer than one typed page. they both reveal different kinds of information about you. Only include the two or three strongest qualifications from your resume. W e a k : I attempted to attract customers. If you are interested.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Using Active Language— Do’s l l Concluding Your Letter I would welcome the opportunity to discuss these and other qualifications with you. Purdue University Writing Lab Organizing Your Letter l l Mailing Your Letter With Your Resume l l In general. Organize your body paragraphs to emphasize your strongest and most relevant qualifications.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 123 . l l Conclude by asking for a personal interview. please contact me at (317) 555 0118 any morning before 11:00 a. Be sure to send both to prospective employers. and stocked commissary items on the aircraft. list dollar amounts and figures when you can. V a g u e : I worked as a ramp agent for COMAIR. Be specific about how the interviewer should contact you.. which resulted in a 5% increase in sales for the month of June. l Coordinate the design of your letter with the design of your resume. Use present tense to discuss current activities and past tense for previous job duties or accomplishments. Be flexible regarding a date and time for the interview. Specific : As a ramp agent. Be as specific as possible in descriptions. Strong: I initiated a program to attract customers to Pizza Hut.m. l l l Use concrete words to describe your experience. Make it easy for readers to scan your letter by beginning each paragraph with a topic sentence. oversaw fueling the aircraft. or feel free to leave a message. Include a thank you. 11. I assisted in loading baggage.

A personal- © Copy Right: Rai University 11. The letter should be error-free. Cover Letters can also be used effectively to make you stand out from the crowd and to show how you would be a valuable addition to the company..” Successful cover letters are personalized. By sending a cover letter with your resume you tell the reader you are serious about your job search. Inc. The cover letter is an excellent vehicle to brag about your special skills and accomplishments. Elaborate on the information in your resume. It should entice the reader to review your resume over the many others received for each open position. projects.D.1GreatResume. Cover Letters should be clear and to the point so that they can be quickly scanned by the reader. You can state that you are available to fill immediate or anticipated needs. They should include the specific job title you are applying for. email address or even a friend if you are traveling). appealing format. The letter should mention something specific about the company and should be address to a specific individual whenever possible. IJCTC. depending upon the duties and requirements of the position plus the overall benefit package offered” and “I am willing to relocate to the geographic areas of ———— and ——————.Key Points to Remember l l l l ized cover letter shows that you are serious about working for the company. They should provided a list of reasons why your experience makes you a good fit with the position. CPRW. Internet posting. career transition counseling. It also presents your qualifications and availability to prospective employers. Provide evidence of your qualifications.1GreatResume. Proofread carefully for grammatical and typographical errors. don’t forget to call. MBA. www.234 . attitudes. Ph. If so.. CPRW. One of the most effective tools of a cover letter is that it allows you to be proactive. Jerry Bills. pending litigation. and other professional services. You can even say “Please keep this resume and cover letter on your desk and I will call you Friday morning” (or other specific date or time). is President of the Resume Center. If the advertisement asks for salary history or willingness to relocate you can say something like “My salary requirements are in the range of $—— to$———. goals. you can provide a variety of ways to communicate with you (home number. never include such information. etc. Ph. it is your first opportunity to make an impression with the hiring authority or HR department. Purdue University Writing Lab How to Write a Winning Cover Letter by Dr. But the cover letter is no place for negative information – personality conflicts with previous managers. IJCTC.com A cover letter introduces your resume and spells out your reason for sending the resume. “Do I really need a cover letter?” We always answer – yes – because sending a resume through the mail is like showing up at your physician’s office without an appointment – you will probably get nowhere. a leading resume writing service providing resumes. or knocking your previous employer do not belong in either the resume or cover letter.com BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 124 Appeal to company values. cell phone number. www. You can also note that you will follow up by telephone to provide additional information if necessary.. Professional resume writers are regularly asked. If written in a succinct. Your resume should arrive on the decision-maker’s desk with a cover letter that introduces you and presents your qualifications in such a manner as to entice him/her to actually read your resume. cover letters.” If the advertisement is silent on salary requirement or relocation.D. Some resume writing firms and some Internet job search firms offer “Broadcast Cover Letters” where the cover letter is “canned. Jerry Bills. They should provide a brief summary of your career highlights. MBA.

By the end of this lesson you will: • Know what Curriculum vitae is. This will allow you to emphasize your transferable skills rather than your growth in a certain kind of industry or job 4. Combination Resume (Transition Resume) Combines the best features of both of the former (though that does not necessarily make it better) by allowing applicants to highlight their skills and accomplishments in one section and their Work History in another (minus descriptive details). The Functional Résumé’s key feature is the fact that it highlights your skills and achievements without referring those skills to any particular past position. You should use it if your Work History is composed of differing kinds of position types that do not form a cohesive whole What is Your Ideal Position? Think about the perfect job. chances are they’ll give up before they have a positive picture of your abilities. but if your job evens contains an atom of what you enjoy. What was it about that job that made you enjoy it so much? Could you find those things in another job? 11. You should have a stable Work History with few gaps and nothing to be ashamed about 3. They are: Chronological Resume The Chronological Resume is the most traditional method of summarizing your employment information and it is the one that this guide advocates. What Was It You Liked About It So Much? Was there a part-time job that you really enjoyed? Maybe the job only lasted a few months. Unlike a Chronological Resume. Everybody’s is different. Think about what you do at home in your sparetime that makes life worth living. you really need to ask yourself a number of key questions. Your Work History should demonstrate a logical progression toward your current objective Self-Preparation Before (Re) Writing a Resume Before you start thinking about the actual content of your resume. You might want to use it if you are dramatically changing careers. Can you do it and get paid for it somewhere or in some form? It might not be quite the same. • Learn different types of CV’s • Learn how to prepare a CV Students. and with a mass of resumes on their desk. you’ll find you like the job. it tends to abstract skills from experience which can call your expertise into question 3 Types of Resume There are three types of resume most commonly described. You should use it if your Work History is repetitive and your past positions lack variety 2. It can help you overcome some of the same difficulties a Functional resume can. You should use this type of resume if your skills have been learned through schooling rather than work experience. Its weakness is the fact that it can’t help you hide a recent position you’d rather forget you ever accepted.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 125 . now that you have learnt how to write a covering letter.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 18: CURRICULUM VITAE 3. as is the first hurdle in getting a job. It requires the employer to be a detective to some extent. which leaves you vulnerable to gaps in your work history. You should ideally relate your Work History to your current targeted position 2. Points to remember about using a Combination Resume are: 1. For this reason. 5. Functional Resume The Functional Resume differs from the Chronological Resume in the way it presents information. the Functional Resume can help you hide a past position that you’d rather forget. Its key feature is the fact that it arranges your work experience chronologically and usually elaborates on skills and accomplishments within the body copy of the Work Experience section. Think About Your Favorite Job in the Past. Having plenty of projects or do you prefer repetitive tasks which free you mind? What Kinds of Things Do You Like Doing? Think about your hobbies. Points to remember about a Functional Resume are: 1. This is a very good reason for not using the format if your past Work Experience is nothing to be ashamed of as recruiters/interviewers will be aware of the benefits of a Functional Resume as well. CV as it is most commonly known. My personal dislike for this form stems from the fact that it is harder to picture exactly how the person’s skills fit with their experience. However. Points to remember with a Chronological Resume are: 1. What is it about the job you like? Working with people or not working with anybody?. the Functional Resume is a favorite with people who have something to hide. but you really liked it. while maintaining the comfortable structure of a Chronological Resume. you also need to know about curriculum vitae. You should use this type of resume if you are switching career tracks or returning to the workforce after a hiatus.

The idea is to present your move in the best light possible. Most people make the error of just listing their experience and qualifications. This does not mean that the CV should be full of graphics. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Reasons For Leaving Each Position? Figure out the best way to explain why you left each position. later) • Put a photograph on your resume (even if you do have a scanner) • Use negative expressions or comments about previous employers • Include any health information • Include references (separate sheet please) • Include reasons for leaving a previous job (save your reasons for the interview) Preparing the CV Resume writing seems to be the part that gives people the most trouble.Are There Gaps In Your Employment? If there are. The problem is generally due to a lack in planning. capabilities and the type of person you are. Getting Started Let’s start at the beginning. • Write about yourself in a positive light • Strive to be concise and target your information to the employer Don’t • Try to fit too much on the page. Following are some helpful hints on getting started. The key to resume writing excellence is in presenting it the right way. Definition of a Resume and Types of CV’s. This goes beyond experience. if the position you are applying for is more a “hands-on” type of job. rather than as a loss. Graduates need to use a different approach. In other words your CV has to stand out from the others. For example if you are applying for a Project Manager position. If the job is more of a technical nature. your responsibilities and any achievements. professional look about it. race. but no matter which one. • Leave suspicious gaps in your Work History • Include salary requirements (leave that until an interview or Types of CV’s The type of CV you decide on will depend entirely on the type of position you are applying for. Are those gaps legitimate? What were you doing during that time? Can you turn your absence from the workplace into a positive virtue? For example. at some point your potential employer will contact your past employer to get their side of the story. not what you did incidentally • Emphasize those duties that are most relevant to your present application • Include any special recognition. it’s not the end of the world. It needs to be easy to read and should look balanced. On average an employer will only spend around 1-3 minutes on each CV. what did it teach you. It needs to be able to show your prospective employer that you are the person that they are looking for. The key is to analyze what the employer will be looking for and ensuring your CV will sell you in the best possible way. The CV needs to have a clean. The format or style you choose depends on the type of CV that you require. Resume Do’s & Don’ts Do • Keep to one or two pages depending on experience • Describe your main functions. but should also give the reader a good indication of the type of person you are. the resume should always be easy to follow and read. The sole purpose of a CV is to show the reader what you are capable of. then you probably don’t have anything to offer. Try to sell it as a gain. It needs to demonstrate your personal strengths. you will have many attempts at preparing your resume before you actually get anything decent together. then the projects that you have handled in the past will be important. type of industry. It also needs to be a concise document. Most employers will skim through all the CVs and put aside only 5-10 that might be worth reading. 126 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. A different approach would be used for someone seeking a career change. It should always be written with your current or most recent position first. this ends up being a rather boring document. Employers feel that if you have to use gimmicks to impress them. colours or printed on coloured paper. age. The style that you choose will depend on which one will serve you best. On the other hand. It is important to show the relevance of what you have done in the past as it relates to the position you are applying for. then you need to prepare a “technical style” resume. It needs to have personality. accomplishments or projects you were involved with • Describe your former/current employer. etc. The Chronological CV is the easiest to write. etc. Getting caught in a lie is far worse than having to admit that you didn’t like a particular job. what exactly is a CV and what is it’s purpose. It isn’t that hard if you follow some guidelines. including size of company. Showing your responsibilities and achievements that would be relevant to this position. Again highlighting the relevance to the position. training and skills. At some stage or another during your life. There are other types of resumes. If you are like most people. Above all. (Leave some space on the page) • List personal information such as marital status. you will need to prepare a CV. A good resume should not only demonstrate your skills and experience. and then your CV needs to demonstrate your “hands-on” experience in these areas.234 . The CV is your selling document. if you were travelling during a gap of three months or so. Remember. be honest. Your CV needs to list the type of projects.

Guide to Successful Job Interviews Handling job interviews is probably the most critical part of the whole job searching process. A copy of your CV. study further and adapt easily. neat and clean are more important than the latest fashion. When the job market becomes more competitive. as a graduate. “inventory control”. Don’t take a pile of paperwork that you have to sift through for ten minutes to find something. you need to show him your strengths and minimize your weaker points. The order in which you list your subjects is very important. Subjects that are relevant to the position you are applying for should be listed first. Remember you are the best person for the job. The CV should also mention any work experience (paid or not paid) that you have. Once you have this information. Mentioning things like “customer service”. This is what a prospective employer will be looking for. samples of your work (if applicable) and anything else that they may want to see. you can’t hide who you are. The way to do this successfully is to emphasize on your studies and the relevant experience you have. Do this right and you will breeze through it. You have to dress right for job interviews. ensure you have a good application letter. the fact that you held a responsible position and have some skills becomes relevant. It will only make you nervous and you will quickly lose confidence. what to discuss and what not to discuss. Work out what you need to take with you. your education is listed. Next thing to prepare is your physical appearance. is to demonstrate that you have the qualifications. the results of the test will show. written specifically for the position and highlighting your qualification and most importantly the right attitude. At this stage of your career. it might be best not to wear one. This section has been written to give you some practical advice on handling job interviews successfully. highlight any special marks or achievements in each subject. What they really want to see at the interview is who you are. the last thing you want is to be worried about your appearance during the interview. Employers like to know what you are capable of. Your attitude and personality are going to be the most important factors in the decision making process. Preparing for a job interview means getting your mind right and feeling confident. it is how you present the information that makes all the difference. “working under stressful conditions” or even “maintaining accurate records” can take on a new meaning when applied to the Engineering profession. If you have failed or not completed any subjects. unless the job will require you to dress this way. originals (and copies) of your qualification papers. that is why they want to meet you in person.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 127 . The CV should be formatted in a way so that straight after your personal details and the career statement.The Graduates CV To successfully sell yourself to a prospective employer. If you are not comfortable with a shirt and tie. What you want to achieve with this graduate CV style. what to take with you. Firstly do some research on the company and its products. You cannot sell yourself to them if you don’t know what it is you are selling. you need to demonstrate these skills and an enthusiastic attitude. Mention job interviews and most people will have a horror story to tell you about some experience they had. For example let’s say you worked at the local video store. Start by listing the most relevant work first and work your way through others. what to expect. Someone that is willing to learn. it is probable that your recent graduate studies are your biggest selling point and therefore they need to be at the forefront of the CV. The job interview is a time for them to get to know you better. You can’t cheat in these tests. don’t wear anything too flashy. Again make sure everything is well organised and neatly presented. We’ll discuss various 11. so do screening methods. preparation. When applying for a position. They have already decided that you have the experience and knowledge that they require. The key here is to try and turn your skills around and demonstrate how they are valuable to the new job. Don’t expect the employer to see the relevance here. if need be they can be mentioned at the interview. then make a list of what skills or knowledge you have that would be valuable to them. how to handle those tricky questions. Interviewing Methods As the job market becomes more competitive. copies of references. It is not uncommon these days to be put through a series of tests and interviews before a company makes the final decision. The same applies with the interview. There are numerous books on the subject and just about everyone has something to say on the matter. it is up to you to highlight them. Thesis and papers written should also be mentioned just as you would with any achievements. know who their customers are and what the company’s objective is. new interviewing methods are introduced. Throughout the CV you should be displaying an eagerness to learn and a high degree of motivation. Be honest here. It is important that you feel comfortable. go unprepared and you will fail miserably. that will give them the impression that your are disorganised. if you attempt to “formulate” your answers. not very relevant to Engineering right? Wrong. you just have to show them that. Employing a new person is an expensive exercise and companies want to ensure they do it right. do not mention these. that will get you the job! elements like interviewing methods. Some of the processes that you might experience include: Aptitude tests: These tests are designed to find your personality traits. The aim is to look professional without overdoing it. some relevant experience and most importantly the right attitude. and even if you were paying your way through College by cooking at the local diner. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Preparing For Job Interviews Preparing for job interviews is probably the most important aspect. They would be looking for a particular type of person and this test will show them if you fit their profile.

when and how. Why should we choose you? : Ask yourself why you applied. Saying something like “It took me ages to get here. Use a sample to demonstrate how you handle a difficult customer. how would you handle this job. most job interviews these days include a panel. and always add a positive. job interviews are a two way process. what can the company gain from hiring you. What are your weaknesses?: Don’t say ‘I don’t have any”. traffic was so bad. grammar. To some extent general knowledge would be useful.. If this is the place where you would be working.. Preparing to take some of these will include doing a revision of you school work. however I am looking forward to being more involved in dealing with customers directly and learning their needs”.234 . how you move from one to the other depends on what you have to say. less emphasis on the early past. professional and personal. they are generally more informal.”. What are your strengths?: Customize your answer to meet the position requirements. Handling job interview questions: There are various types of questions asked at a job interview. when). Offer your own information as needed without waiting to be asked. there is a reason why these questions are asked and that is to see how you handle a difficult situation. The best way to answer this job interview question is to give a brief summary of your life.IQ/Thinking tests: These have been prepared to work out your analytical and logical thinking patterns. but if you are like the rest of us that reaches out for the calculator. They might be historical questions regarding your previous employment or education. Most of these just require a “yes. Being prepared is always the best policy. then you should have no problem. smile and show professionalism. where. These are geared to finding out how you would handle a situation or to find out your personal views to certain areas. Watch your posture and try not to fidget too much. where. Both are just as important.” would not make a good impression. Again it is impossible to cheat on these tests. the professional and the personal level. they would automatically be worried that you will be late to work everyday. Above all. spelling and general knowledge. more emphasis on the present and the future. Talk about an incident at a previous job (where. so go ahead and tell them. Panel Job Interviews : These can be nerve wracking types of interviews. Most job interviews start with chit-chat type of questions. Don’t panic. use the “why. When answering a question make eye contact with one or two of the people. remember the things they asked for in the advertisement? Tell them your strengths but also demonstrate them and show them how they would apply to this job. There are times that you will be asked a hard question during a job interview. how you handled it. it will help in making you feel more relaxed. “did you find the place alright”. Whenever answering a job interview question. Do you send your resume in the body of an e-mail or as an attachment? If you are sending an attachment. Tell them why. then get some practice prior to attending. Job interviews are not that bad. Tell me about yourself: Split your answer into two. Say something relevant but not hugely important to the specific position. give as much information as you can. when. Everyone has weaknesses and it takes strength to recognize them. don’t hesitate too long before you give an answer. what format should it be in? Perhaps you want to take advantage of the web and demonstrate your online savvy by serving your resume straight off the Internet? 128 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. however. Forget the calculator and go back to pencil and paper. what have you got to offer. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION E-mailing Resumes Submitting a resume to an employer via e-mail requires a little thought if you are going to avoid some of the more common pitfalls. Something like “I haven’t had a lot of exposure to on-site maintenance. however ensure that you don’t provide information that will give them a bad impression. In other words use samples to prove what you are saying. then qualify it by giving a sample of a situation and how you handled it. you must appear to be confident. You should ask questions and exchange information as you would during a normal conversation. or they may be hypothetical questions “what if. however they are really geared towards finding out how you analyse data and find solutions to problems. Use samples of how your strengths were valuable. Maintain good eye contact and ensure that you have some questions to ask. To handle this interview well. and what the outcome was. I hate travelling to this side of town. no problem” type of response.. try and keep calm. a conversation where they want to get to know you better and you want to find out more about the position. don’t say that you have never had a difficult customer as anyone who has dealt with customers knows that is impossible. but a little preparation would go a long way. Following are some samples of questions and some advice on how to handle them efficiently. Make a statement. Find a friendly face and use that person for most of your eye contact. you can elaborate more if you wish. “were you able to find parking”. If you are a wiz at maths. There are lots out there in the bookshops. How would you handle a difficult customer?: Be careful here. One on one job interviews : These type of interviews are easier to handle. The best way to handle these type of interviews is to relate to them as a form of conversation. these are designed to break the ice and get the conversation flowing. Most questions will be geared towards finding out a bit more about you. what makes you prefect for this position. Questions like “did it take you long to get here”. The panel might just 2 people or it can be as many as 10. Prepare for this test by doing some logical thinking puzzles. so long as you are prepared. General knowledge : Tests in this section include mathematical. This is what they want to know. explain the situation. how” demonstrate and prove your strengths.

Now you send prospective employers an e-mail.txt or . Some advice on creating attachments might also be useful here. Ever wonder how many employers never got back to you because they couldn’t/wouldn’t open your resume? Scary thought. but when you send it in the body of an e-mail. Serving Your Resume off the Web You want to show employers you are web savvy so you take your resume and turn it into a website. “If you want to see my resume. the employer will probably not bother with your resume at all. they’ll also allow you to save your resume to plain text. It is. e-mail yourself a copy of your resume and proof-read it. This has the advantage of being almost as universal as a text or document file because most businesses have a browser on their workstations. Word is good for most businesses. WordPerfect). No matter what operating system or e-mail client application the employer is using. Wordstar). Many companies prohibit internal use of the web owing to productivity issues. Forget tab spaces. Align all the text to the left of the page. Does it make sense? Good. Try to avoid creating and attaching your resume as MS Works files or Wordstar. e-mails invariably look worse once they’ve gone through the wringer known as the Internet. “If you want to see my resume. your vaunted webpage will come back “Not Found” or your page may take forever to load.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 129 . Try to create your attachment in a format you know a large number of people will be able to access. they still like to see a nice looking resume. Forget bolding and italicizing. Other times. Opening an attachment can be time-consuming if you are an employer answering hundreds of applications a day. In most cases. dollar signs and *@*&**$. Perhaps your resume is linked to other pages on your site with less than savory material. iii. while WordPerfect is ideal only if you are sending your resume to a legal firm. Arial or Courier are common examples. Works. Somehow or other. start sending it out to companies.universal readability and presentability? First. should you resist sending your beautifully formatted Word document altogether? The answer is no.e. While including your resume in the body of an e-mail gives it near guaranteed accessibility. Include your resume in 11. isn’t it? All those missed opportunities. It’s the nature of employers. A perfectly justified e-mail message with bolding and italics becomes a series of jagged text edges and lost formatting. directing them to your site. What you are doing is the offline equivalent of mailing an employer a letter which says. which anyone should be able to view.” Big mistake. you are committing a gross breach of business etiquette (not to be confused with netiquette).E-mailing Your Resume in the body of an E-mail You may have spent hours on Word or WordPerfect nicely formatting your resume.” Not all employers have easy access to the web. acceptable to include a link to your online resume as long as you also send a text copy with the e-mail. Works. E-mailing Your Resume as an Attachment What about sending your resume as an attachment and avoiding the trouble of converting your resume to a text file? Here are some of the disadvantages associated with e-mailing your resume as an attachment: i. If you prefer to use your favorite Word Processor (Word. Attachments are sometimes created in formats the employer cannot open (i.doc files though. after that it may break awkwardly and create an odd pattern of sentences on down to the bottom of the resume. Use upper-case letters and line breaks to create headings rather than differing sizes of fonts. there is the problem of formatting. Finally. So. Even if the potential employer does visit your site. they’ll be able to read your resume if it’s in text form. HTML files are restricted in their formatting though and do not always copy nicely to other text based programs. Appearance is very important in a resume and although potential employers realize the nature of e-mail is disorganized when it comes to style. Choose a basic font that exists on everyone’s machine: Times Roman. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION How Do You Avoid This? Prepare a special copy of your resume for inclusion in the body of an e-mail. keep the resume simple. it’s every word for itself). Don’t make it more complicated than that. If you send an employer an e-mail directing them to your resume. especially those used as resume databases by companies. Indeed. however. You may use these programs to create basic . Some people attach their resumes as HTML files. copying your resume as HTML can be a pain (forget about formatting. Create your resume in a plain text (ASCII) format with an application like Windows’ WordPad or Notepad. Make sure no line exceeds 72 characters. click here. your web resume might well contain more information or samples of your work than it would be possible or desirable to include in a normal resume. guess what? All your hard work gets turned into crazy ampersands. How do you achieve both goals . send a stamped addressed envelope to such and such address and I’ll mail it back to you. What busy employer is going to take the time to connect to the Internet to download the resume of a person they know nearly nothing about? Do not expect an employer to do your hard work for you. ii Attachments are sometimes corrupted by the time an employer tries opening the file. etc. the body of your e-mail for easy reference but also attach a properly formatted version for later use if the employer wishes to pursue you as a potential employee.

use a spell-check program if you have access to a word processor. 6. commencement date. and always proofread what you’ve written. Document your work history accurately. to avoid confusion. don’t be shy. if you wish to be considered for a position at a bank. leave. Relevancy. Specify some of the more technical. followed by three paragraphs about your high school summer job as a lifeguard. Avoid writing in a style that’s either fragmented or long-winded. or for how long. Proportion. If you’ve had overlapping jobs. 8. it sends a signal to the reader that you can’t organize your thoughts. 9.) 2. Don’t leave the reader guessing where you were employed. 4. Confine your curriculum vitae to that which is jobrelated or clearly demonstrates a pattern of success. Intro – Create goodwill by congratulating on appointment n Other paragraphs – Provide complete info about position – Job title. don’t write one paragraph describing your current job as a loan officer. plus a detailed explanation of your daily activities and measurable results. Don’t assume the resume reader knows. Clarity of dates and place.. U. place. For example.S. or that you belong to an activist youth group. 3. Give appropriate attention to jobs or educational credentials according to their length. Create an error-free document that is representative of an educated person. or eliminate mentioning one. memberships. If you’re unsure about the correctness of your writing (or if English is your second language). If your content is strong. Have you performed tasks of any complexity. and punctuation. business analyst. At the very least. supplies the fast-food industry with order-taker headsets. your resume should tell the reader exactly what you’ve done. Leave nothing to the imagination. Since job titles are often misleading or their function may vary from one company to another. Concentrate on the subject matter that addresses the needs of the employer. Position title and job description. (Titles such as account manager. or that you weigh 137 pounds. salary conditions of service. working hours. grammar. more powerful resume. consult a professional writer or copy editor.234 . Detail.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 130 Ten Keys to a Dynamite Resume Letter of appointment n To help you construct a better. Provide your title. Spelling. Inc. for example. 7. Fill up only a page or two. salary scale. No resume ever won a Nobel Prize for © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Organize your thoughts in a clear. or that your current employer. find a way to pull them apart on paper. or you’re trying too hard to make a good impression.” is a Master of Music degree. Explicitness. Readability. or that an “M. or importance to the reader. concise manner. you won’t need more than two pages. contact person Letters of appointment – Indicate whether the applicant should reply telephonically or in writing and when contract should be returned n Closing – Express hope that the applicant will accept the offer and that you hope to spend many years working together 5. here are ten overall considerations in regard to your resume’s content and presentation: 1. nobody really cares that your hobby is spear fishing. or involved aspects of your past work or education. Length. fringe benefits. For example. give a one or two sentence description.M. and internal consultant are especially vague. If you write more than two pages. time. or significance? If so. that the University of Indiana you attended is in western Pennsylvania. Computer Systems. conditions of service.

BUSINESS COMMUNICATION literature. 11. If you deviate too much. listen to what he or she has to say. an unreadable resume will virtually assure you of starting at the back of the line. after all. Resume readers have become used to a customary and predictable format. type style. even if you have a terrific background. makes perfect. he said that he sharpened his skills by writing and rewriting his wife’s resume. Practice. If you have a professional associate whose opinion you trust. When I asked him about it. and stationery. Overall appearance and presentation. especially if you haven’t done it before. Select the proper visual format. and allow yourself the time to proofread for errors and ruminate over what you’ve written. however. 10. I worked with a candidate recently who had the most beautifully written resume I’ve ever seen. he worked on his own — and kept revising it on a monthly basis. by all means. A simple critique can save you a great deal of time and money. I suggest you write several drafts. or your resume takes too much effort to read.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 131 . After he got the hang of it. Resume writing can be tricky. it’ll probably end up in the trash.

Yours sincerely Ankita Sharma Human Relations Manager Encs Copy: Bhasker Pandey. Moonlit Holdings plc Job Description Job Title Location Responsible to Main purpose of job Telephone Executive (Marketing) Marketing Department. 4 To undertake training courses to make good use of telephone selling techniques. product literature. • Understand the role of Job descriptions in recruitment. Here we will deal with a simple offer letter enclosing a job description. 5 To undertake training on the company’s products and services and to promote associated products where appropriate. Lets start by job offer letter. On the basis of the CV you will be called for an interview and then finally selected or rejected.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 19: OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT I look forward to welcoming you to the staff of Moonlit Holdings plc. you need a very attractive CV and a job application letter. a separate contract of employment may be drawn up.234 . In this lesson we will learn about the format of a job offer letter and resignation letter. The terms and conditions of employment will be as laid down in our Contract of Employment which is also enclosed. fax messages reports.in Job Description A job description states the title of the post and to whom the person reports.co. Moonlit Holdings plc Temple Street. Two other telephone Executives will start work on the same day . 132 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Think Does companies issue a formal contract of employment? What issues are covered in this? Offer of Employment After all the interviews have been conducted a shortlist may be drawn up and second interviews held. The 2nd of August will be spent on an induction training course. which is also called as a cover letter. • Learn the structure of these letters. Once a decision has been made on the successful candidate. This may include sending letters. product availability etc as directed by your supervisor. Delhi ll Tel: +91(1)2542555 Fax: +91(1)2 555 4444 LD/ST 20 June 2000 Miss Anita Gupta 26 Gandhi Nagar Calcutta Dear Miss Gupta Telephone Executive (Marketing) Thank you for attending the recent interview. Miss Madhu Chopra. Marketing Manager By the end of this lesson you will • Understand the meaning of a job offer letter and resignation letter. Students can you tell me how do you apply for a job? Yes. I am pleased to offer you this post commencing on Monday 2 August 2000. a formal offer of employment will be sent to the successful applicant. Please let me have written confirmation of your acceptance of this post as soon as possible. 3 To carry out any administrative requirements generated by the telephone calls in an accurate and efficient manner. 2 To have a good telephone manner and be courteous to customers at all times. Depending on the size of the organization. If selected the company will give you an offer letter. which you need to sign and give a copy of it back to the company. Full details of the post are shown on the attached Job Description. 6 To carry out competitor market research by contacting their branches to gather information on pricing. etc. Two achiev e daily call rate targets and any target set for sale campaigns. Please report to out reception on at 09:00 and ask for my Secretary. Email: moonlit@cfb. Head Office Marketing Manager To telephone customers with the objective of identifying opportuni ties where business can be increased Main Duties and Responsibilities 1. as well as giving full details of the duties and responsibilities involved.

Unless you possess the judgment of an attorney and style of a professional writer. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Calcutta Technical College 16 Gandhi Nagar Calcutta Telephone: 5 876789 Fax: 5876889 HB/GB 28 June 2000 To Whom It May Concern Miss Anita Gupta has been part-time Administration Assistant in our General Office from 24 May 1999 to 28 June 2000. say when and what you’re resigning. It is usual to write a formal letter resigning from your post. dealing with general telephone and walk-in enquiries and entering data into out computer systems. I have gained a lot of experience in many areas which I am sure I shall find useful in future employment. and that’s it.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 133 . LD/ST 20 June 2000 Testimonial (letter of recommendation) It is useful to ask previous employers for testimonials. Helen Bradley (Mrs. sign it. it’s very hard to strike just the right tone in writing. If you write that you’re having family or health problems. It is writing a formal letter to the company accepting the post. Delhi ll Dear Mrs. however honorable your reasons may be. Miss Gupta set herself very high standards in her work. Yours sincerely Anita Gupta (Miss) Letter of Resignation When you have been in employment and want to leave for whatever reason. don’t write much more in your letter of resignation. We asked her to join us on a permanent part-time basis after she had been with us for several short periods of work experience during her Business Administration course. Miss Gupta carried out a wide range of general office duties including opening and distributing mail. I feel sure that Miss Gupta will be an asset of any organization. I am please to confirm my acceptance of this post as detailed in the job Description and Contract of Employment. you just documented that you might be a risky hire. hand it over. it’s really nobody’s business but your own. you just date your letter of resignation. Five minutes. 26 Gandhi Nagar Calcutta 25 June 2000 Ankita Sharma Human Relations Manager Moonlit Holding plc Temple Street Delhi Dear Mrs. My last day of work will be Friday 30 July. photocopying. Thank you for your help and guidance. She was a good timekeeper and had a good attendance record. Keep it simple. it implies that you’re bored with your current job. as there will be useful when applying for future posts. For one thing. For another. Yours sincerely Anita Gupta (Miss) Writing a Letter of Resignation Keep Your Letter of Resignation Simple Writing a letter of resignation may be an unpleasant task. if you write in your letter of resignation that you’ve found a more challenging career opportunity. Miss Gupta has a friendly. I shall look forward to joining the staff of Aurora Holdings plc. She had a pleasant telephone manner and was always courteous when dealing with her colleagues and external contacts. In its simplest form. a good sense of humor and she works well as part of a team. 8 To carry out any other tasks as requested by your supervisor. I have been very happy working here and found my work very varied and enjoyable. A conscientious. Ruby Bhatia Administration Manager Moonlit Holdings plc Temple Street. Sharma Telephone Executive (Marketing) Thank you for your letter of 20 June 2000. There’s really no need to explain your reasons for resigning anyway. is given to the company accepting the job offer as well as the terms and conditions. 11. but there’s really not that much to it.) Administration Manager Think Discuss the difference between a job description and a job specification Letter of acceptance Letter of acceptance as the word says it all. when a potential employer contacts your former employers as references. Bhatia Further to our discussion today I regret to inform you that I wish to give one month’s notice of my resignation from the company. if you wish to use your soon-to-be ex-employer as a reference. outgoing personality. For example. 25 June 2000 Mrs. and you’re done. hard-working and reliable employee. Your words may haunt you down the road.7 To communicate clearly and effectively with other employees in the company an necessary. filing.

inflation of the job requirements (for example. spirit and purpose of the job. in which case skills may be more important than a narrow definition of experience. try not to leave anything up to the interpretation (or rather. • Note that experience can sometimes be transferable from one post-holder’s accountability for results and resources Drawing Up The Person Specification The following notes give guidance on drawing up a person specification. The qualifications recognize the achievement of employment-led standards of competence. test and interview states.234 . (see below). • Candidates will increasingly come forward with National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs). stipulating length of experience required should be used cautiously because quality of experience is more important than length of experience. training.) • Purpose and frequency of contact with others • Signed agreement by postholder and date Qualifications/Training • There are a wide variety of educational.g. • Remember the possibility of adaptations or aids to enable a disabled person to fulfill a requirement. Where possible. for example education. time spent • Occasional duties with indication of % of time spent • Any special working conditions (e. call out arrangements. Where qualifications are deemed essential these should reflect the minimum basic educational requirements necessary to carry out the job to an acceptable standard.to whom the post holder reports and qualifications required) Criteria are categorized as essential or desirable • Essential criteria are those which a successful appointee must possess. The associated selection criteria pro forma may be used for the purpose of developing the person specification and recording how applicants measure up against the specification. periods when leave cannot be taken. however. • Desirable criteria are those that may enable the candidate to for whom the post holder is responsible • Brief summary of job function or main purpose of the job • Main duties and responsibilities with indication of % of perform better or require a short familiarization period. for example by setting unjustifiable age limits. requirements for specific employment competence should be expressed in terms of possession of the relevant NVQ at the required level. or experience Skills are practical abilities gained through study or practice Aptitude is the ability to attain knowledge or to develop a skill working. applicants should be assessed at the shortlisting. The criteria set out in it are the only criteria against which area of work to another. The criteria must: • Be specific • Be justifiable in relation to the job needs • Not be unnecessarily restrictive (for example. Items which should be considered for inclusion in job descriptions are: • Actively follow UCL policies including ‘Equal Opportunities’ • Attend staff meetings and training as required • Maintain an awareness and observation of Fire and Health & Safety Regulations • Carry out any other duties as are within the scope. etc. while for others no single qualification may be most appropriate and experience may be of just as much importance as a formal qualification. shift or weekend Elements of the Person Specification Knowledge can be derived in a number of ways. It should include: • The job title • The department • The grade • Work relationships . Care should be taken to avoid indirect discrimination in person specifications. © Copy Right: Rai University 134 11. vocational and 2. The Person Specification should be derived from and therefore drawn up after the job description and before advertisement. Previous Experience • The type of experience applicants are required to have should the employees concerned • Avoid ambiguity about responsibility and be clear about the be specified. for some jobs a particular qualification may be essential. the amount of previous work experience required) should be avoided. Other Requirements • It may be necessary to specify “availability to attend evening meetings” or “possession of a driving license’. As duties and responsibilities change and develop the job description will be reviewed and be subject to amendment in consultation with the postholder. the title of the post and its grading as requested by the line manager or Head of Department/ Division Note: This job description reflects the present requirements of the post.In other words. 3 The language used in job descriptions should: • Avoid jargon and unexplained acronyms and abbreviations • Be matched to the type of job and be readily understood by professional qualifications (together with their foreign equivalents). misinterpretation) of the reader when writing your letter of resignation. otherwise. in relation to BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Guidance on Writing Job Descriptions & Person Specifications Job Description 1 A job description should clearly and accurately set out the duties and responsibilities of the job. they will be unable to adequately perform the job. but you should distinguish between need and convenience and weigh up need against discriminatory effect.

234 © Copy Right: Rai University 135 .BUSINESS COMMUNICATION You Won the Race! You have the JOB of your dreams! Now it’s time to write the JOB ACCEPTANCE LETTER! Purpose n What to Include n Specifics Specifics n Format Format n Tone n What to Include: n n Appreciation for the Offer Statement of Acceptance Acceptance Brief Reaffirmation of Employment Conditions Any Instructions Based on Employment or Based on Employment or Notices n n n n n n The Purpose Accepts a job offer n Briefly reaffirms the offer to complete the legal contract between you and the firm you and the firm n May request clarification n • • What to Include: 1. Appreciation for the Offer Placement: First Paragraph • Be appreciative and sincere • • Reaffirm Offer: Clearly restate the job offer • you received.” 11. received. For Example: “Thank you for offering me a Sales Associate offering me a Sales Associate Position at Denmark Inc.

the applicant should have a complete understanding of the position and related details. should negotiable. Statement of Acceptance n n Can I still negotiate job conditions in my acceptance letter? n n Placement: Follows the “Appreciation for the Offer” in the First Paragraph Clearly state that you accept the position that was offered to you n n n n n n n n Any issues or job details that may be negotiable. prior to accepting a position. in the paragraphs following in the paragraphs following the first paragraph paragraph Restate the conditions of your employment: These should of your employment: be pre -determined and accepted by both parties.234 . The applicant should discuss any questions or concerns he/she may have with the employer before accepting a job employer before accepting a job offer. Placement: Place after the “Reaffirmation of “Reaffirmation Employment Conditions” and before closing before closing Possible information to request: u Starting date of employment employment u Where to go? u Who to contact? © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Reaffirmation of Employment Conditions n n 4. This is not the time to include critical items or concerns include critical concerns you have. Instructions Based on Employment or Notices n n n n n n n n Placement: Within the body of the letter. It is recommended to address any questions or is recommended address questions issues you may have. What to Include: What to Include: 3. not be addressed for the first time in a job acceptance letter. understanding It is not appropriate to address serious issues or concerns serious issues or concerns after accepting a position. When accepting a position.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 136 What to Include: 2. preboth parties. letter.

an over-confident attitude may affect the way a n However. For Example: Example: NOT: “I am a valuable addition to your team and will meet am a valuable addition and surpass your expectations.” 11. What kind of “tone” should I use? confidently Write confidently---but not too confidently n Be courteous and sincere n Use nondiscriminatory language language n Stress the “You” Attitude Attitude n Utilize an appropriate level of difficulty n Tone: Courteous & Sincerity n n When writing a job acceptance letter an applicant must show their appreciation for the offer in a way that is sincere For Example: Example: NOT “You are truly wonderful for offering me such a prestigious position.” INSTEAD: “I look forward to joining your team and striving striving to meet and surpass the job expectations.” n n n The tone is the writer’s attitude toward the reader and attitude toward the subject of the message.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 137 . subject The tone that the writer uses The tone that writer uses will affect the way the message of the letter is message of the letter is conveyed and how effectively the reader will understand and act upon this message. over .confident attitude message is perceived. n However. It may sound arrogant or presumptuous.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION A Winner’s Attitude: Tone n Tone: Writing with Confidence An employer will welcome a confident attitude and a selfselfassured personality.” INSTEAD “Thank you for offering me a Sales Representative INSTEAD “Thank position.

” Foods International.” INSTEAD “I look forward to learning about the manufacturing of a ircraft INSTEAD and engines and working with marketing divisions of various marketing divisions of various airlines. n It is unprofessional to exhibit prejudicial behavior or to stereotype individuals.” INSTEAD “As a Sales Representative.” Tone: Stress the “You” Attitude n A Winner’s Gameplan: Format n n n n Emphasize the employer and company interests rather than the interests of the writer For Example: Example: NOT “I hope to gain valuable experience as a Sales Representative at Forest Foods International.” NOT airplanes.234 .” relations. n Tone: Utilize an appropriate level of difficulty n The text and message in the letter should match the readability and knowledge level of the reader For Example: For Example: An acceptance letter for an internship position in Aviation Administration: An acceptance Administration: NOT “I look forward to learning about airplanes.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 138 Tone: Use Nondiscriminatory Language The applicant should never use language or convey a message that discriminates against any group or individual.” Block Form Components u Personal Address u Recipient Address Address u Salutation u Body Body u Closing u Signature u Notations Notations n n n n Size 12 12 Fonts Fonts u Times New Roman u Helvetica u Arial u Garamond Garamond © Copy Right: Rai University 11. my objective is to a Sales Representative. my objective is to maximize client relations.

It can only do you harm.. really want to tell your boss something else. It is possible 11. the person it is addressed to. they need more money. to quit your job.. This apparent philosophy will always ensure that we come second best to companies that concentrate on the fabric and foundations of their business first.it’s personal. formal and polite. not WHAT you know. We also receive letters where the advice ‘if you’ve nothing good to say. 10 th ed. by Brantley & Miller.234 © Copy Right: Rai University . Conversely. though not a particularly pleasant human being was a good manager. That last extract is relatively mild in its personal attack compared to others we have received. The resignation letter is a formality first and last . anecdotal. This second extract doesn’t reflect well on the writer . reluctantly.Resignation Letter Begin with main idea: confirming your resignation. maintaining good relations with friends who are also colleagues or keeping your good reputation intact. a notice of termination of employment. If things improve. We only hope that they’re beefed up versions of the letter they actually sent. This is the sort of thing we get sent all the time. Maintain goodwill by restating your appreciation for your work experience at the company. say your piece and leave your bridges intact behind you. 2005 © Your Resignation Letter: How To Have The Last Word By T. It’s becoming more common to hand in one’s notice by email (we recently heard from someone who had been sacked by 139 BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Chapter 9 – Slide 21 Effective Communication for Colleges.this employee has given his company’s predicament a lot of thought and seems to be leaving out of sheer frustration. the merest hint of bitterness in the following extract? It was bad enough that our 28 year old director has an ego the size of the corporate debt. It’s simple: keep your criticism constructive.a letter of revenge rather than resignation. can you detect a hint. which all other companies will use as yardstick within the industry and so I wish you all the success in the future. Your own reason for leaving can usually be expressed in a few sentences. date. What we’re going to deal with here is how to handle the urge to get something off your chest. The manager in question is probably glad to see this employee go. Sometimes an employee goes nuclear and disses everyone they have ever worked with one by one: Sally. However. to leave his job in the telecommunications industry: The very fact that we have let our infrastructure erode to such a level that many systems have become redundant or severely downgraded through lack of investment and or maintenance has always perplexed me. Note to self . It would have been possible to raise the same concerns with more diplomacy and tact. we recommend that you keep your letter of resignation concise. acknowledge it and then file it away with all the other quitters. your signature will suffice. but it was completely impossible to sit through any more of his lectures on “sacrificing for the company” as he sat there drawing in over 65k a year doing nothing but giving “wise” lectures to more experiences people. Fair enough . and so on. Your name. Yes. I hope the company is able to find a formula for success and move out of this cycle of melancholy and become the brand leader. keep quiet’ is abandoned with some style. personalities have clashed too often. ever advocate resorting to this in your own letter. Snaith In most cases. Compare these two extracts from a pair of letters sent to us in the last few months. if at all. they’re bored of their work. but bringing up his age is probably unnecessary. smacks of jealousy. there may be an occasion when you really. think about what you commit to paper. People leave jobs for a many different reasons: they decide to continue their career elsewhere. don’t get too personal and if you must express your criticism of an individual or department use only civil. businesslike language. when this is effective from and finally. thus ensuring that they have a solid platform to go forward into the market place. The message is lost amid the bile. We never.you can expect your boss to read it quickly. bad blood and illtemper. but then I supposed she had to take up the slack for that total dickhead Larry (did you know he’s been falsifying records?) And how those arseholes in human resources can sleep at night I’ll never know. It’s unfortunate that in these cases the final correspondence with an employer is used as an opportunity to issue personal abuse.it’s who you know. provide a brief explanation for your decision including resignation date and other details. How should your boss be made aware of a problem that he or she would otherwise fail to notice or refuse to face up to? We’ve seen hundreds of letters that set out with this intention but which get bogged down in unpleasantries. If you have any concerns about getting a good reference (your new job may depend on it). whinge and score points . If appropriate.. He can see how the company should be doing better. he might even be persuaded to return. the inexperience of the director and inequity of the pay structure would be fair game.J. The first is from someone who has decided.

Another writer thinks about what her letter says and. concludes: If this rings any bells with anyone in upper management. but of course we had to refuse. 3. You’ll want to say things that. which may come back some day to haunt you.and it’s not in a resignation letter.234 . Try to adhere to the I-resign.com maxim of remaining Magnanimous and Dignified throughout. On the contrary. There is a time and place for serious accusations . maybe the best place to do this would be in the Exit Interview rather than your resignation letter.you might even make the evening news! We published a letter of this type and received a terse missive from the company’s lawyers within three days. 2. If you have worked up yourself into a lather about quitting. emails are simply easier to retrieve at any moment and easier to duplicate.means of text message). This is doubly dangerous because there is a misperception that email is more disposable and therefore less meaningful than a paper letter. 4. in the cold light of the future. Don’t get personal. uncomfortable notice period or punch-ups. after making a number of recommendations about how the business is run. prepare for the possible consequences which could mean a bad reference. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 140 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Insults and accusations hammered out on a keyboard and then sent without due care and attention could bring your career and reputation crashing down . They’ll make you cringe when you look back at them. If you do. maybe some good will come of it. Finally. the chances are that you won’t be thinking as clearly as you would normally. Bell-ringing and whistle-blowing is an admirable purpose for your parting shots but think through what you plan to say and cover your back. So here are our four points for resignation letter writing: 1. Remember that by writing something down. if you do have some constructive criticism that you’d like to share with your boss before you leave. Other firms were begging us to send them a copy. won’t sound as reasonable as they do today. you’re giving it a permanence. and you’ll probably make some spelling errors.

To summarize your skills. Research the Organization: Use the Internet or literature in the FSU Career Center library.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 20: PRACTICE CLASS Learning Outcomes Hone your skills on preparing curriculum vitae. In an advertisement dated 14th May 2004 in Times of India. Exercise 1: Prepare you curriculum vitae and a job application letter Exercise 2: Write a fifteen-word career objective for a job in this company if the vacancy had been in the area of: a. job application letter. Write a letter applying for the job. Just learning about CVs . To write a resume that is targeted to a certain field or position. Research. c. To target the skills/experience listed in the position that is being advertised. job offer letter and resignation letter. offer letters in theory will not help you in anyway until and unless you put it into practice. abilities. Research the Position: Find out what the employer is looking for so you can tailor your resume to show them you can meet their needs. Research v v Research Yourself: Assess your skills. job application letters . Lets us do 3 small exercises in this lesson. and interests in a clear/concise manner. Operations Exercise 3: Prepare a job offer letter the company will provide you if selected. Success Industries has advertised for the post of a management trainee in the area of HR. v 11. interests. business communication is a subject which demands a lot of practice classes. Ø Resume Goals: To convince an employer to interview you in under 30 seconds. Students .234 © Copy Right: Rai University 141 . Marketing b. Finance. Ø Ø Ø The 3 R’s: Research. abilities.

E-mail Bob A.. or a combination of all three. Academic Honors & Awards. Address. Experience Highlights. Zip. and/or other work experience sections * Most appropriate for recent grads* A brief description of the position you wish to be considered for . chronological order -Good choice if you have solid work history * Format most widely accepted by employers* Career Objectives: Be Specific!!! v w Functional -Concentrates on functional skill areas related to your job objective -Usually focuses on three skill areas or more -Work history section may only contain job titles w Combination (Chronological/Functional) -Has skills. Volunteer Experience. Travel. v May be stated by the job title. Resume Styles w Chronological -Experiences are in reverse.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Headings w Most Common Headings - Personal Data Necessary Info: Name. in terms of skills you wish to develop. Organizational Memberships & Activities. DC 2000 (555) 776 -7890 : Objective Education Experience Skills Summary w Additional Headings ú ú ú ú : Relevant Coursework.. Phone. Computer/Technical Skills. by level or type of responsibility.edu Current: 100 Braddock Road Frostburg. Research. Professional Background.. Cat Email: bcat0@frostburg. Maryland 21532 (301) 687 -7000 Permanent: 100 Constitution Ave Washington.234 . relevant experience . v Avoid being overly restrictive or vague! v Examples of Career Objectives “Detail-oriented Business Administration/Finance grad with excellent team and interpersonal skills seeking analyst position in public or private sector. Significant Presentations. Publications Also include your personal web-site address if available.emphasize how you can help the company.” “Dynamic public speaker/presenter with advanced technical knowledge seeking to leverage these strengths as an award-winning computer instructor into an entry level software position where I can increase sales.. Languages… Internships.” 142 © Copy Right: Rai University 11.

creative.5 Experience…It All Counts!!! v Experience can include: . PA w Maintained daily attendance and evaluation records w w Skills Summary: -Able to utilize communicative abilities to coordinate efforts in a team environment. internships. Forestry Frostburg State University Frostburg. student teaching. Wildlife & Fisheries Minor. Frostburg. managerial. State.May 2001 Systems: DOS. Excel. Observed daily classroom activities for grades 8 and 9 Monitored study halls June 1999 . September 2001 . research or class projects. Windows. FoxPro. City. Human Cognition verbs Skills/Strengths…Highlights v Titles can be: Skills Summary. MD w Conducted nature tours for groups of over 50 campers w Implemented concept of “Leave No Trace” to park guests and employees to promote park maintenance 11. NT Software: Microsoft Suite.Jobs.May 2003 Examples: Computer Skills: - Designed practice exercises to help tutees problem solve January 2001.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Education & Coursework Examples EDUCATION Bachelor of Science. Child and Adolescent Disorders. . Health Psychology. MD RELEVANT COURSE WORK: Environmental Planning May 2003 GPA: 3.Job/Experience Title. MD GPA: 3. Skill sections that can be used: organizational. Dates v Emphasize Skills/Accomplishments in action Ecology Animal Physiology Forest Science Dendrology Herpetology Genetics Plant Diseases Hydrology _____________________________________OR _______________________________________ EDUCATION Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology May 2003 Frostburg State University. behavioral Approaches to Human Problems.5 v v Research: Female Eating Disorders and the Media. communication. and computer. v Sample Experiences Relevant Experience: Computer Science Tutor Student Support Services.August 2002 Summer Volunteer Deep Creek State Park. Attention Deficit Disorder in Elementary School Students Relevant Course Work: Research Methods I&II. Introduction to Counseling. leadership. Highlight of Qualifications. Oakland. . Frostburg State University w Organized and scheduled tutor sessions for 50 students w Strengths. Social Psychology. Meyersdale. Teaching Internship Meyersdale High School. fieldwork. Abilities. volunteering. Company. Netscape Database Management: Access. interpersonal. .Efficient in organizing and creating group activities to promote cohesiveness and productivity. Drugs and Human Behavior.It can be paid or unpaid v On your Resume include: . No Zip.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 143 .Act as leader to communicate delegation of group tasks in order to accomplish goals established by company. clinical work.

Balance of text and white space Use of bolds. present/past tense Lead w/ strengths/accomplishments 144 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. (i. different fonts (standard) Absolutely NO spelling/grammar errors v Content: (Dynamic. w Guidelines if it will be scanned or uploaded from * 3-5 references is an appropriate amount. easy to read.234 .e.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION - The Reference Page… References for Bob A. concise. underlines. underlines. Cat Name of Reference Job Title Name of Organization Address Work Phone Number E-mail Address Electronic Resumes w Employers now search a database.collegecentral. Remember to provide copies of your resume and send thank you notes! disk: - Choose keywords and place in order of importance Choose basic fonts Avoid italics. Persuasive) Action-oriented verbs. graphics. an employer will type in “business major” into the database and look at hits ) w Resister with www. bolds Light colored paper is best Resume Checklist v Length: (Depends on Industry) One page for recent graduates Two for experienced candidates v Layout/Appearance: (Professional) Neat. Remember to ask people whom you know will provide a good reflection of you and in a timely manner. emphasize skills Grammar.com/frostburg and view your resume. using keywords.

A useful structure (subject. Memos are often used to help decision makers: understand the critical issues requiring their attention recognize what are available what a staff recommendation is and 4) what the basis or support for your recommendation is. If more than one issue is presented. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Preparing a Memo Memos standard form of communication in many public and are a nonprofit organizations. to variation and adaptation when appropriate) for these memo assignments: State the issue/problem as clearly as possible: Trying to state the issue or problem as a one-sentence statement is a useful habit to get into. Evaluate the alternatives: Be sure to critique the relative strengths and weaknesses of the options and make a balanced presentation to the decision maker (remember that he/she may prefer an alternative course of action). circulars and preparing notes.LESSON 21: INTERNAL COMMUNICATION UNIT 2 CHAPTER 6: INTERNAL COMMUNICATION By the end of this lesson you should be able to • Explain the purpose of memos. circulars and notes. Students . Lets start by memos: Why Memos? Affectionately called a ‘memo’ this is a written communication from one person to another (or a group of people) within the same organization. Recommend a specific course of action: Be sure to clearly state the recommended course of actions and the consequences you expect to flow from the selected course of action. you would use an attachment.Incorrect . It is also important that you are specific when analyzing issues and presenting your recommendations such that they are communicated effectively. of course. some of which will be implicit rather than explicit. Memos serve a variety of purposes: • To inform of decisions • To request decisions. today we will learn about the importance of memorandums. Instead.Correct . 20 June Letter of complaint Kodak Camera model X345 Main body of memo Introduction Background information . etc • To provide information of any kind • To remind someone of action required. For example. If extensive background is required. Subject heading Give a brief indication of the topic. circulars and notes. for eg: Confirmation of meeting Departmental meeting. Major issues that must be addressed or solved: Many times significant issues will be implicit rather than explicit and are linked to larger policy and management issues. circulars and notes • Understand the structure of memos. Identify relevant alternative courses of action: There are always at least two options (taking no action is always an alternative). and link them to broader management and/or policy issues. it is often useful to summarize the main issues and recommended course of action in the first paragraph rather than making the reader wait until the end of the memo (it isn't a mystery novel).234 © Copy Right: Rai University 145 . It does not mean that you simply rehash the facts of the case or summarize what has occurred.Correct 11. you are asked to analyze a situation and present your recommendation for a specific course of action. You should then use the facts and examples from the case or other readings to support your analysis and conclusions. and. Structure The four point plan for structuring all business documents should also be applied to memos. Along with this now a days organizations are more comfortable using emails as the primary tool of communication (refer to lesson 4 ). Limit the number of options but be sure to cover the full range of choices. It helps if you follow a fairly fixed pattern when preparing memos. Part of your task is to point out the significance of the larger issues. this can be followed by a brief explanation or clarification (no more than a paragraph or two). Remember that the point of analyzing cases is to draw out the pertinent issues. That will get you a poor grade on these assignments. use bullets to summarize and then explain in more detail in subsequent paragraphs. When necessary. actions.Incorrect . • Tips on preparation of memos.

but Mr Nunn will usually give instructions about this. Try to adopt a tone which reflects these factors. Tone As you most likely know your recipients fairly well. You should aim to put over your message as concisely as possible while still being courteous . eg 3. clear.234 . Here are some general guidelines on the format of correspondence preferred in this office: 1 LAYOUT OF DOCUMENTS All documents should be displayed in the fully blocked style with open punctuation. Executive Secretary MO/ST 12 July 2000 IN-HOUSE METHODS OF DISPLAY Congratulations on recently joining the staff in the Chief Executive’s office. The major consideration in composing memos should be the status of the sender and recipient in the organization. using numbered points and sub-headings if relevant 146 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. no salutation or complimentary close will be required.’) • Avoid unnecessary expressions (do not say ‘ Thank you’ or ‘Warm Regards’) Use these standard headings and align all the details neatly Don’t forgot reference and date Leave 3/4 line spaces before the heading (but don’t put Re!) MEMORANDUM To From Ref Date Tripta Kaur.2. NUMBERED ITEMS 3 No complimentary close is necessary Leave a space here for the sender to sign or initial the memo Don’t forget Encs Encs When items need to be numbered they should be typed alone with no full stop or bracket.1. concise and correct.each one dealing with a separate aspects of the main theme Response An action statement: + action you want the reader to take + action you will take + deadline ? Close A relevant one liner. Administration Assistant Maggie Ong. Separate the body into paragraphs. Subsequent enumeration should be decimal.politeness (do not say ‘I should be very grateful …. etc. 2 SIGNATURE BLOCK (LETTERS) On outgoing letters the Chief Executive prefers his name and title in lower case with initial capitals. 3. ie Peter Nunn Chief Executive On some personal letters.+ briefly give the reason for writing + refer to previous communication + who? What? Where? When? Details Facts and Figures + logical sequence + separate into paragraphs . Some specimen documents are attached which will guided you in these requirements.. memos are usually written in an information style. I hope that these guidelines will be useful but if you have any questions please speak to me.’) • Avoid over. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Tips • Avoid being abrupt or impolite (add ‘Please…. and of course the topic of the memo.

Circular letters may be sent for many reasons: • Introduce a new product /service • Open a new branch • Change of address • Seasonal discounts • Increase in price. the term you is used in the body of the letter. e. A circular may be sent to all customers of a company announcing something new. so only the month and year are shown in the date. i. When writing a circular letter remember these important guidelines: • Keep it brief. With modern technology . however . ‘you’ and not you MM/et Reference and date (month and year only) November 2000 Dear Student I thought you might like to keep this example showing the correct layout of a circular letter. etc BUSINESS COMMUNICATION The tone of the circular is always in the form of a request instead of a command. it is more likely that each letter could be personalized to look like an original . This is sometimes called an Open Letter. Use individual expressions in the body.g. Never use the wording all of you or all customers. eg 1. Yours sincerely may be used Yours sincerely Manish Malhotra Training Consultant Use singular expressions here (not students) 11. It needs to have a heading. Not that as many copies are required it may take a while to print out all the letters. otherwise it may not be read • Ensure the letter is informative and direct • Use individual terms. Remember that only one person will read each letter so it must be worded in a personal style. a move of premises 2. introduction of new goods/services 3.Circulars A circular letter is one which is sent out to many people at the same time. date. and circular no and signed by the authorized person. you NOT ‘all of you’ or ‘you all’ Although a circular letter will be sent to many people. I hope this example is useful to you.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 147 . The letter may be prepared once only and then duplicated . a forthcoming sale or special event Internally a senior executive may send out a circular letter to all employees.e.

5 Lac loan in the note. Now Sudhakar again wrote a note. The Board approved the note. Sandeep met Sudhakar and convinced him that his salary is going to increase in one month time. A note may consist of precis of all relevant papers (like Sudhakar’s note put up before the Board contain summary of Sandeep’s case). This is widely used in public sector enterprises.” And marked the file to legal department for completing other legal formalities. his income-tax returns for last three year. and recommended Rs. 5. This approval note became part of the file papers.000.Circular with Tear–off Slip Line of hyphens and scissors symbol separate main text from tear-off portion Include date for return and name/address details BUSINESS COMMUNICATION " -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Please return by 28 November 2000 to Mr Preeti Arora Sales Manager Arora Holdings (Asia) Pte Ltd Peak Towers 210 Peak Road Banglore OPENING OF NEW SHOWROOM – WEDNESDAY 18 DECEMBER 2000 Heading will probably be the same as the main document Keep it simple and precise I shall/shall not* be able to attend the Cocktail Evening to mark the opening of your new showroom at 1930 on Wednesday 18 December. 4 lac loan only”. Signature ………………………………………. 2.. He noted on the file that “intimate Sandeep that he is entitled to Rs. He put up this note in the Board meeting. suggestion. He intimated the same to Sandeep. 3. It should be deterministic. The reproduction of verbatim (copy) 148 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. conveying decision of the note maker clearly.. if any. or order (like Sudhakar ordered his assistant to send an intimation of the relevant decision to Sandeep). He deposited the relevant application form. He found that as per the Sandeep’s income scale he is entitled to the maximum of Rs. Characteristics of a Good Note 1. Office notes are written remarks recorded on a ‘paper under consideration’ to facilitate its disposal In fact ‘noting’ is the way by which the concerned officer gives his suggestion or decision on the given problem/project. “Rs. a statement or analysis of the question regarding the given case. Sudhakar. Date …………………………………… Name (in capitals) ………………………………………………………………………… Use double spacing for the section to be completed Use this footnote when appropriate Company ………………………………………………………………………………….00. It is to be assumed that the officer to whom the case is submitted will read the ‘paper under consideration’ and the previous notes. which would make him entitled to Rs. 4 lac loan. This note was an order of Sudhakar for his junior. 5 lac loan. and marked this note in the name of his junior for action.234 . A note should be concise and to the point. proof of his residence. the loan officer reviewed all these papers. Telephone ……………………………………… Fax ……………………………………. and estimated cost of the house. Sudhakar prepared a note detailing all the relevant matter about Sandeep’s case. * Please delete where appropriate Notes Writing Notes Sandeep applied to a housing finance company for a house loan of Rs. Sudhakar agreed in principle but he had no power to sanction this amount. 5 lac loan may be sanctioned as per Board’s approval via note…. which he was going to buy.

• Peers Organisation aids memory • Materials • Two pens • Ink easier to read • You have a reserve Organisation indicates gaps when they occur • Be accurate Listen carefully to what is being said Pay attention to qualifying words like sometimes. The note must be signed by its maker with his name and designation below it. and evaluate how well you were Note Taking is Difficult Because • Spoken language is more diffuse than written • Speaker’s organisation is not immediately apparent • Immediate feedback seldom occurs • Spoken language is quick. etc. It Should be written in a courteous language free from personal remarks. 5. not a passive. which involves effort • Be ready to understand and remember • Anticipate what is to come. window glare. it should be incorporated in a separate statement. If any information to be included in the note a very lengthy. illustrations. easy-eye paper Conference/Meeting date. Just give references. is important Effective Note Taking Note Taking is a Skill • This takes understanding of what you’re doing • It takes practice. Notice signals that a change of direction is coming but. etc. But remember that the speaker may serve as a model But don’t allow preconceived notions to distort what you are hearing Underscore or star major points part of the listener • Listener must condense and rephrase. and does not ‘exist’ for long • able to do this • We learn from failure Decide How Much You are Going to Do • Are notes necessary? • Don’t be lulled into a sense of security by an effective presentation This makes analysis difficult • Hearing a thing once is not enough. rarely.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 149 . not how. which aids understanding • Paraphrase • Integrate with other knowledge you already have Physical Factors • Seating • Near the front and centre • Vision is better • Hearing is better • • Use form to indicate relative importance of items • Leave plenty of white space for later additions • Note speaker’s organisation of material • • • • • • Avoid distractions • Doorways. and topic clearly labelled • May use dividers Plenty of blank paper in back • Be an aggressive. 4. jot questions in your notes Seek out meanings. on the other hand Ask questions and discuss if it’s permitted If not. etc. • Review your notes and other background material • Review your reading assignment • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Reading should be done BEFORE class • Think through what has happened in the class to date • Generate enthusiasm and interest • • • • Increased knowledge results in increased interest A clear sense of purpose on your part will make the course content more relevant Acting as if you are interested can help Don’t let the personality or mannerisms of a speaker put you off • What. which involves active effort on the and Understanding While Taking Notes • Don’t try for a verbatim transcript • • • • Get all of the main ideas Record some details. It must be clearly marked to another person or department for further action. Look for implications beyond what is being said • • • Wide-lined. listener • • • Before Taking Notes • Prepare yourself mentally • Be sure of your purpose and the speaker’s purpose • They may not be the same 11. Memory requires Review Four Purposes For Note Taking • Provides a written record for review • Forces the listener to pay attention • Requires organisation. however. 6. and can be referred to as appendix to the note.of extracts from the attached papers is not required. implications. usually.

• Develop a suitable system of mechanics • Jot down words or phrases.Here is a sentence with vowels left out!) • Leave out small service words • Use contractions and abbreviations • Use symbols +.00. two months later. 4 lac per annum. Thus he is eligible for a maximum loan amount of Rs. As per our rules. His present salary is Rs.g. It can be done. &. 5 lac house loan. • Sharpen your note taking technique by looking at your colleagues’ notes. and his annual salary would become Rs. etc. not entire sentences • Develop some system of shorthand and be consistent • Be selective. clarify points during or after the meeting/talk • • • • • • • Give the speaker a reasonable chance to make the point clear Avoid sidetracking the speaker. Hr s sntnc wth vwls lft t . etc. Illustration on board Reference to text Note especially new words and ideas in its use (e. case of Sandeep taken up by Sudhakar. • You may practice listening to the news on TV and • Note especially those ideas which conflict with your own taking notes picture of the world • • After Taking Notes • Review and reword them as soon as possible • “Odd” ideas are difficult to understand initially and require extra effort You remember things which support your existing concepts. All other credentials of Mr.25 lac. In my opinion. because the main reason of the said clause is to ensure the repayment capacity of the loanee. Sandeep Aggarwal has been checked. and forget those things which disagree You should consider this in scheduling your work load • Don’t just recopy or type without thought • “ Reminiscing “ may provide forgotten material later • Rewrite incomplete or skimpy parts in greater detail • Fill in gaps as you remember points heard but not Question • Nothing will generate interest so much as an appropriate question • Unusual or different ideas will be difficult to understand recorded • Arrange with another colleague to compare notes or debrief if appropriate • Find answers to any questions remaining unanswered • Write a brief summary of the event • initially and will require extra effort since you have a tendency to remember what you accept and forget what you disagree with.234 . Relearning is rapid if regular review is used Compare the information in your notes with your own experience Don’t swallow everything uncritically Don’t reject what seems strange or incorrect. 5. Mr. =. How are they better than your own? How are your notes superior? • Practice those skills you wish to develop TLQR Note Taking Technique Tune-in • Listening takes energy • Listening effectively requires you to get intellectually involved. most important. Review • Glance back over material from time to time to see if a We forget 50% of what we hear immediately. we may consider the case for sanction.000. • Be alert for speaker emphasis through • • • • • • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Tone or gesture Repetition Use of cue words such as remember. Check it out. From one month hence that order would be effective. A copy of his increment letter is attached as annexure I. Sandeep Aggarwal has applied for a house loan of Rs. The note put up by him before the Board is as follows: Note Mr. • If possible. • Try to focus your attention and forget about other work issues or distractions Look & Listen • Look at the speaker • • Mannerisms will give extra clues Looking helps focus attention • Listen to the speaker 150 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Be willing to hold some seeming inconsistencies in your mind over a period of time Make meaningful associations pattern is emerging. Sandeep Aggarwal met me and showed me his salary increment order. @ • Try to get the hang of listening and writing at the same time. You are the loser when this occurs Some Specimen Notes Consider the. 5. we can give him Rs. the maximum loan we can give to a person for housing is equal to his annual salary. another 25% is gone. and it will take us one month’s time to process the loan papers. Some things are more important than others. 4 lac as on today. if consistency is being maintained. Since we have a confirmed proof of increase in his annual income within one month. and they are found in accordance with our rules.

once symbols and shorthand systems have been internalised. Examples: Examples: + plus // parallel • Use standard abbreviations and leave out full stops. accounting. phrase. Directions for using abbreviations. are abstract representations of some word or idea. Examples: subj subject budg budget ind individual • To distinguish among various forms of the same word. Board bkgd background mvmt movement prblm problem • Form the plural of a symbol or abbreviated word by adding BUSINESS COMMUNICATION ‘s. With gleaning.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 151 . decrg decreasing ckg checking estblg establishing • Spell out. an apostrophe. mar marketing cus customer cli client • Use the entire first syllable and the first letter of the second Examples: @ at 2 to 4 for & and w/ with w/o without vs against • Create your own set of abbreviations and symbols. • Use standard maths. initials can be substituted whenever the term. You may syllable. Symbols. or name is used again. Examples: is was were • Leave out unnecessary articles. symbols. a an the • If a term. vowels are omitted. and shorthand when taking notes are summarised below. such as our alphabet. Examples: Hints of Creating Your Own Abbreviations and Symbols Abbreviation involves using shortened versions of words to represent the complete form of the word. rather than abbreviate short words. Examples: during the talk or meeting. Examples: tech’gy technology gen’ion generalisation del’y delivery • Use just enough of the beginning of a word to form a wish to develop separate sets of symbols and abbreviations for different courses or subjects. Examples: assoc associated ach achievement info information • Omit vowels from the middle of words. Example: January Advertising Campaign Budget JACB • Use symbols for common connective or transition words. The gleaning strategy involves representing the main ideas of a book (or meeting) in shorthand version. or name is initially written out in full Examples: eg example IT dept Information Technology department UK United Kingdom • Use only the first syllable of a word. retaining only enough consonants to provide a recognisable skeleton of the word. Other Symbols and Abbreviations • as a result of / consequences of <—> • resulting in —> • and / also + • equal to / same as = • following ff • most importantly * • less than < • greater than > • especially esp recognisable abbreviation. and symbols are used to represent the main ideas of the text. Examples: in but as key • Leave out unimportant verbs. These strategies are useful in note taking because they allow one to write more quickly. Shorthand makes use of both abbreviations and symbols. phrase. and science symbols.’ Examples: custs customers fs frequencies /s ratios • Use ‘g’ to represent ‘ing’ endings. words are shortened. use the first syllable of the word.Sd/-Sudhakar Sinha Finance officer 16-08-2002 Chairman. and the ending of the word. Examples: 11.

234 .a progress report .supporting information .the main information .a recommendation 152 © Copy Right: Rai University 11.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION WRITING MEMOS What is a memo? When Should I write a memo? How should I do it? HOW DO I WRITE A MEMO? Choose a template: fill in the heading information Organize the sections of your message into these parts: .a new project/ development .contact/follow – up requests WHEN SHOULD I WRITE A MEMO? When you need to communicate with someone you work with When you distribute specific information such as : .

not being a psychic. the basic memo message doesn’t get lost in a sea of details. and the upshot was the company settled out of court.” she says.” cautions Booher. or say yes or no. it’s a letter. but they give big headaches to everyone from secretaries to corporate officers. technical jargon. dates. you. Take This Memo” by Neil Chesanow The Washington Post 9/17/87 “I love being a writer. Be Conversational Write the way you talk.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 153 . and we.” If You’re Not Sure. One expert cautions that a reader can probably only absorb no more than six or seven reasons at once.’” Don’t Show Off Avoid scholarly words.” Loosely translated: “If you want to keep getting incentives. proceed to discuss why the problem exists. Experts suggest you pretend you’re having a face-toface discussion or a telephone conversation with the memo recipient. meet a deadline. but when the specialist described the incident on paper. If you can boil down even a two-page memo to two paragraphs that take up only a half page and still convey the same facts.” “ment. Make the Bottom Line the Top Line Memos often begin with a statement of a problem. and. They are hard to write quickly and clearly. “Or how about this: “R & D wants your input 11. he got the date wrong. A memo is also short. If you must cite more whys. it will probably be in names. if written in the wrong tone of voice. but don’t overdo it. and. A more sincere ending is.” “ance.” The action you want the reader to take should be spelled out in the first line (or at least the first paragraph). “If you need help.” Translation: “Our research people need your answer today. ”Nothing could be more insincere. Give me a call. write in the active.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 22: PRACTICE CLASS because temporal considerations are of primary importance. “You probably say ‘I’m happy’ more often than you say ‘I am happy. Get Personal Use words like I. I’m available. Don’t Give Too Many Whys It’s necessary to explain why you want something done. A specialist on the scene said that the company was to blame. can make the nicest people sound heartless. and just plain gibberish like “as per your request” when you simply mean “Here’s what you wanted. and such mistakes may cost you dearly. In the office as well as out. To keep getting raises and promotions.” ”Please don’t hesitate to call” is another phrase that gets no results and turns people off. are like “War and Peace” to read. Equally important. Yet the reader usually has to do something when receiving a memo. How to Write Memos! Excerpted from ”Quick. A memo is a written document that stays inside the company. an oil company. was sued by the families of two employees killed in an on-site accident. It’s a lot more human to say. suggest a course of action. a business consultant who trains Fortune 500 executives. and staple the sheets together. Mounting evidence shows that memos may be small.” which “just sends people up the wall. and conclude with something wishy-washy. “I would like you to do this. This way.” says Holly Church. Most experts say two pages should be tops — after which a memo starts to turn into a report. if it goes outside.” Visualize the Reader Memos are usually written from the writer’s point of view. most business people would agree. “What I can’t stand is the paper work. meet company goals. This cast doubt on his credibility regarding everything he said he had witnessed. not the passive. your personality is often judged by how you write. Don’t Be Trite One hackneyed expression Booher sees regularly is. “We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you. voice. “Use contractions.” For example: “The continuation of our issuance of incentives is dependent upon the prioritization by employees of company objectives.” When it comes to writing memos.” To get action. This practice class will give you tips on preparing a memo and will also help you practice you skills in preparing a circular with a tear off slip. Muddled memos can cost you dearly in career advancement. marketing and technical know-how. or numbers. experts like Van Skiver and Booher say you need to literally write your own ticket. he is often not sure what it is.” Avoid “Smothered” Words Van Skiver explains that these are simple root words with fancy endings tacked on to puff them up.” quipped novelist Peter Devries. One of Booher’s clients. like “I would like to hear from you soon. you get an A+ in business.” “ize” and “ility. Communication skills are a top priority for business leadership — often more important than financial. Favorites are “tion. put them on a separate sheet of paper. require Miss Marple to figure out. not the reader’s. constructively criticize.” “ent. memos are written to get someone to do or understand something—be it to spend money. Here’s how: What is a Memo? What it’s not is a school essay. Check “If there’s an error in the memo.

154 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. 15% Discount at all Green Cuisine cafés . Put each reason in a separate paragraph rather than bunching them up in a forbidding 20-line block of type. These readers can renew their subscription for the special annual subscription price for six bi-monthly issues of only Rs 300. a magazine which is published monthly . Close with a Call to Action Many memos don’t close with anything. If you want a response by Friday at 3 p. Compose any details which you feel are needed. leaving the reader hanging. 20% off allergy testing at Scanhealth Ltd (further details about this in next month’s issue) Design a circular. Write a circular letter which may be sent to all subscribers of the magazine informing that their subscription is due to expire . which includes a tear-off potion for readers to send back to you with their subscription.234 . say so BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Exercise You work for Healthy Life.Keep Paragraphs Short Limit each paragraph to five lines or less. State the last issue they will receive. If they renew now they will receive an exclusive discount card which entitles them to 10% off selected health farms and supplements available from Healthy Life Healthy Stores.m..

In a report such as this. a change is visible in the manner of approach in the report. Let us take a look at a project report to be prepared by a financial institution. • Understand the role of report planning. how would the report be written? What information is to be included and what is to be excluded Which graphs and charts would be used/ avoided? All these queries need to be satisfied before beginning a report.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 23: REPORT WRITING Upon completion of this lesson you will be able to: • Discuss the role and importance of reports in business environment.Who would read the report? Would it act as precedence for further similar loans to be sanctioned? Or would it remain just one of the usual reports written within a standard format? Answers to these queries would also bring about a change in the writing style. a few queries should be raised by the report-writer and satisfactorily answered. providing information on the various factors leading to the sanctioning of the loan? Where .Where would the report be read? The degree of formality or provision of details would vary in response to these queries. It is a logical and coherent structuring of information.234 © Copy Right: Rai University . when did the trouble start? In case it is an analytical report. its types and to understand the need of report planning. coupled with logical conjoining of the various parts. for instance. it would also account for that. Students. synchronizing details. and time of the problem before reaching any conclusion. Spend as much time as possible in collecting material.Why should project A be supported? What . It may be asked: When am I going to write the report? The time factor is very important. Who is involved in the situation? This could take into account both the reader(s) and the writer.and the purpose. You need to know what are reports. the organization. The problem and purpose had already been identified at the stage when the answers to the question what and why were 155 11. planning for a report is as important as the process of writing itself. Chalking out or revision of strategies should be done prior to the marketing season or entrance of new players in the market. Where would the reader be at the time when he receives the report? Would the reader read the report in a meeting so as to provide information on the causes for decrease in sales or read it within the confines of his room? There would definitely be a difference in the manner of approach. This enables the writer to produce a highly focused report. Further. would. ideas and concepts. persuasive language can be used to get the ideas and message across. and the self? The report would probably lead to a suggestion of various strategies that could be implemented. or is it merely an informative one. If the planning’ is done in a detailed manner. This would entail tracing in brief the downward curve of the sales graph. Understanding the important of these sections. What is the problem? What is it that needs to be ascertained? Clarity along these lines helps in eliminating any redundancies that might crop up. and ensuring that nothing has been left out. there are very few chances of missing out errors at the final stage. queries of the following nature could be raised: Why . Strategies need to be chalked out for redemption of the situation.When would the loan be sanctioned? Is the report being written close to the time of sanctioning of the loan. Why (purpose) should the problem be analyzed? What are the benefits that will accrue as a result of this particular report-to the department. In fact. All details should be provided and meticulous care should be taken to ensure that nothing unwarranted is included. • Implement the tips given the lesson while preparing reports. Who is going to be my reader? With a change in the reader. Finally. the report. for greater ease in comprehension. Five W’s and One H Prior to commencing work on a report. Identification of the genesis of the problem helps in streamlining the approach. In case there is a third party involved. This. be one that has to determine the cause for the decrease in sales. How-If the sanctioning of the loan is important.What is the justification of a loan for project A? Who . lead to increase in sales. The various steps involved in report planning are as follows: 1. and organization in general? The issue is important because a decrease in sales is a cause for concern to the entire organization. is segregated into various sections. The queries centre on the five W’s and the one H. reports are an integral part in a written communication. The problem could. They give the report a particular direction and help the writer to concentrate on the acceptability of the report by the audience to which it is aimed. one would also need to address oneself to the source Report Planning The planning stage is the most crucial one. results in a well written and presented report. in turn. as suggested in the report. The marketing and the production department people would probably be the readers in this particular case. As a neatly structured piece of work. Let’s start by knowing what does the term report mean? Introduction A report is a presentation and summation of facts and figures either collated or derived. Why is the issue important? What is its relevance and significance to the department in specific. When . Define the problem.

attempted. It is essential at this stage to understand the nature of the report whether it is informational or analytical. In an informational report the writer would stress factors contributing to collation of information at the time of stating the purpose. However, in an analytical report the writer would need to prepare a problem statement, the analysis of which becomes the thrust area of the report. With a variance in the type of the report, there is bound to be a difference in the definition of the problem and purpose. 2. Outline the issues for investigation. In a problem solving or analytical report, all issues pertaining to the problem need to be highlighted in the initial stage. None of the alternatives or variables should be ignored or sidetracked. Once the issues have been clarified, delineation of the points becomes easier. Further, if the report is of an informational nature, all issues to be exemplified need to be outlined. Even the methodology adopted for exemplification has to be understood. There should be a basic pattern that has to be observed and it should clearly emerge in the reading of the report. 3. Prepare a work-plan. What is the best procedure to collect the data? How should the writer proceed? What are the strategies that need to be observed? These are a few of the questions that need to be well answered before taking the final plunge into conducting research on the topic. 4. Conduct research, analyze and interpret. The modus operandi at the time of conducting research should be well examined. This should, however, be taken care of at the stage of preparing a work-plan. The manner in which research is conducted is contingent upon the problem defined in the initial phase of report writing. Once the research has been conducted, begins the process of analysis and the subsequent interpretation, which happen to be the toughest parts in report making. An attempt should be made to bring about accuracy in the analysis and make the interpretation objective and unbiased, as far as possible. 5. Draw conclusions. Subsequent to the stage of interpretation of data, certain conclusions need to be drawn and recommendations or suggestions made. This comprises the last stage of the report and the tone of it is determined by the position held by the report writer. For instance, if it is a report being written by a subordinate, he can only make suggestions. However, if it is one being written by superiors, it would definitely have in the terminal section a rather well developed part comprising recommendations.

1. Introduction 2. Text 3. Terminal section However, there is a major difference in the structuring of these three sections. This stems primarily from the nature of the task attempted in the two different types of reports.

Informational Report
An informational report, as the name suggests, entails provision of all details and facts pertaining to the problem. For instance, it could be a report that attempts to trace the growth of Company X in the automobile industry. In a report of this kind, the presentation of all details that led to the growth of Company X should be listed in a chronological order. The sequential arrangement of issues or topics in an informational report could observe anyone of the following ways of presentation. It could be, as stated earlier, by
• Chronology • Importance • Sequence/procedure • Category • Alphabetization • Familiarity

As the presentation of information is the basic purpose of the report, details are worked out in a systematic and coherent manner. The structural orientation in an informational report should be clearly evident to the reader and its significance also grasped. In a report of this kind, the various sections are simple and selfexplanatory. The introduction is followed by a presentation of information or facts and a summary thereafter where all the details are collated in brief for a recall or recap of earlier sections.

Hints and Tips on Business Report Writing
Questions to ask when designing your report
• Who is your audience? • What does your audience know? • What do you want them to know? • •

Facts Conclusions (recommendations)

Design Issues

• Each fact is in its logical place • Relationship of each fact to other facts and to overall report

Types of Reports
Basically there are two types of reports: 1. Informational 2. Analytical Broadly speaking, both types of reports contain similar components in terms of, structure or organisation. The three major sections in a report are:

is clear

• Inductive order - moving from known to unknown • • • •

Orientation (introduction) Facts (perhaps including their analysis) Summary or conclusion Recommendation

• Deductive Order - start with conclusions, then present

• Is the document free of typographical errors and

support facts and analysis. Often preferred for short reports.
• Chronological Order - combine with one of the above, but


list facts in chronological order
• Organization by Division • • • •

• Is the document ordered in a logical way? • Are the parts of the document logically separated from each

Division by time period (e.g., quarter) Division by place (e.g., sales region) Division by quantity (e.g., sales by categories of amounts) Division by conceptual factors (e.g., worker availability, transportation facilities, etc.)

other (good), or do the same issues appear unnecessarily in multiple parts of the document (bad)?
• Do the subparts logically fit under this major part? • Does each paragraph and section show unity of purpose? • Is the purpose of the document introduced appropriately?

• More than just “making it pretty,” good presentation makes

Content Issues
• Is the analysis covered sufficiently to allow the reader to

your document more understandable.
• It is highly related to the organization of the document.

follow your logic? • Are facts and opinions clearly distinguished?

A well-designed document • Creates an immediate positive impression for the reader,
• Highlights the major topics of the document • Helps the reader read effectively (faster and more efficiently).

• Is the style of writing appropriate to your audience and


• Has information been presented in a clearly understandable

Elements of Design
• Headings

manner, using tables and graphs as appropriate?
• Are headings and bullets used appropriately?

For helping the reader find a topic or component • Making transitions
• • • • •

establish order can use multiple levels of headings

Report Components
• Table of Contents
– Show beginning page number where each report heading appears – Connect page numbers with leaders (spaced dots)

• Fonts

Variations in fonts can be used to set off pieces of text (headings, quotes, etc.) Do not get carried away with use of fonts - too distracting

• Indentation and justification

As with headings and subheadings, can be used to show relationship/hierarchy of topics • Bullets
• • • •

Excellent for lists Excellent for emphasis Make sure they use parallel structure (i.e., text in each is worded similarly)

• Tables - Used to list values of at least two variables - excellent

for comparison
• Pie charts - how parts relate to the whole • Bar graphs - for comparing values, showing trends • Line graphs - for showing trends • Illustrations and photographs

Checklist for Business Reports
Grammar and Spelling
• Is the writing grammatically correct?


Report Components
• Executive Summary
– – – – One of most important parts of report Synopsis (overview) of report Concentrate on what management needs to know Summarizes
• • • • • • Purpose Scope Methodology Findings Conclusions Recommendations

Executive summaries should be the last pieces of reports to be written since they are the most important sections of the reports!

Report Components
• Executive Summary
– – – – – – – – Organized same as report Style and tone same as report Avoid unexplained jargon/abbreviations Do not refer to figures/tables presented later Should not contain exhibits or footnotes Include headings/make skimmable Use transitional words Length should be generally 1/10 of whole report

Report Components
• Introduction
– – – – – Explain problem motivating report Describe its background and significance Clarify scope and limitations of report Describe data sources, methods, key terms Close by previewing report’s organization

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Report Components
• Body
– Discuss, analyze, interpret research findings – Arrange findings in logical segments following outline – Use clear, descriptive headings/skimmable

Report Components
• Appendix
– All items must be referred to in the text and listed on the table of contents – Items of interest to some, but not all, readers
• For example, data questionnaires or computer printouts

Report Components
• Recommendations
– Make recommendations on suggested action to be taken

Report Components
• References
– List all references in section called “Works Cited” or “References” – Include all text, online, and live sources – Follow style manual for citing sources


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Other Specifics on Report Writing
• Single- or double-spaced • About 2500 words (not counting appendix) • Tables of Contents will help you organize and write report—write early! • Headings of same level must be consistent
– First, second, third levels

Visual Aids
1. Introduce 2. Label/Number/Informative Title 3. Discuss

Same-level headings must be written consistently! (For example)
Level 1: CENTERED UPPER-CASE Level 2: Centered Upper-case and Lower-case Level 3: Centered, Underlined, Upper-case and Lower-case Level 4: Flush left, Underlined, Upper-case and Lower-case Level 5: Indented, underlined, lower-case paragraph heading ending with a period.

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. while normally followed for organization based studies and experiments.. It could start with the terminal section in which conclusions and recommendations are stated at the start fo1lowed by an introduction and the text section... As it is not based on any universal truth.. 2. 3. keeping in mind the original problem stated. 11. the steps observed are as follows 1. Recommendations or suggestions are then incorporated in the report. An inductive ordering follows a simple. . Certain disciplines. which is always based on the number of experiments conducted.. Ram is a man and he is mortal Shyam is a man and he is mortal …………………………… …………………………………… Syllogism 1 Syllogism 2 Syllogism 3 Sy1logism n Analytical Report The analytical report comprises stages in which there is a proper identification of the problem.. let us take an example.... in which experiments have to be done and surveys conducted . a deductive ordering observes a reverse ordering where it proceeds from the unknown to the known.. It is by nature only relevant in the present and no universal claims to the same’ can be made. this is a continuation of lesson 23 wherein we will study about different types of reports and their structure... Merely a glance at the initial pages would enable the reader to assess the contents. all men are mortal Syllogism 1 Syllogism 2 Syllogism 3 Syllogism n..g. e.. logical arrangement in which you proceed from the known to the unknown. To take a look at the manner of approach in deductive methodology.... 4.... naturally follow this pattern. Such readership would only be concerned with the conclusions and recommendations/ suggestions or plan of action. analysis and subsequent interpretation. Therefore... Thus.. Conclusion While in an inductive method the pattern of the report would normally fo1low the sequence of introduction.. it holds valid only up to the point there is discovery of an issue that proves contrary to the findings in the report. evaluated and conclusions drawn.. suffers from a major drawback.... • Know the difference between an analytical report and an informational report. inductive patterning. The various alternatives are suggested........ On the other hand. One could formulate umpteen number of syllogisms to reach a final conclusion... depending upon what is required by the report writer....BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 24: TYPES OF REPORT However. Universal truths are taken as the formulation point for the problem.. • Learn about the usage of visual aids in reports Students .. Ram is a man and he is mortal.. Conclusion Analytical Terminal section Introduction Text Upon completion of this lesson you will • Learn about various types of reports and their structures.………………………………. This pattern would be observed if the report is of high importance and the receiver does not have the time to browse through the entire report.. . Here the progression is always in the nature of working on the known elements to arrive at an unknown conclusion.. .. in a problem solving method..234 © Copy Right: Rai University 161 . There are two premises or syllogisms that conjoin to yield a final conclusion.. Types of Reports and Their Structure Types Informational _ Structure Introduction Text Terminal section All men are mortal. text and terminal section... Shyam is a man and he is mortal. Draft Problem Statement Evolve criteria Suggest alternatives and evaluation Draw conclusion(s) and make recommendations The structure of an analytical report could follow any of the two patterns deductive or inductive. or factors observed. in deductive method the structure could also be of a slightly different pattern..

2. Install more capacity. What are the prospects of growth? The report attempts to analyze. 3. Developing An Outline It is extremely important to develop an outline of the report prior to commencing work on the report. Change the size of tins If the same were to be converted into a descriptive heading. Deductive Approach The automobile sector in India seems to have made tremendous headway in the last ten years. 2. Now comes the tedious task of assigning an order to the cues. are organized in the form of sections and subsections. In other words.Different Styles of Opening a Report Inductive Approach The automobile sector in India seems to have made tremendous headway in the last ten years. Correct Formulation 1. Installing more capacity. e. The study focuses attention on the following three questions: 1. at a later stage. 2.. Increasing promotional efforts. conceptual design of writing Once this is completed begins a three-stage process: 1.g. Change the size of tins. Point Formulation Parallel Ordering of Points Within an outline the headings should be expressed in a parallel form. Size of tins A descriptive heading report in an indirect order. the general or specific connotations should be the same. Questions revolving round the five W’s and one H should be answered or kept in mind at the time of preparing an outline. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Nature of Headings Headings can be of two types: informative and descriptive. There is also a slump in the market with excessive production and insufficient demand. Points. general description 2.. Promotional strategy 162 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. It is recommended that an additional f feature such as power steering be introduced as an extra facility or a reasonable reduction in price be carried out. depending on the nature of the report which is being written. A visual. Brainstorming would give rise to a host of ideas. 2. 3. The current study analyses the growth prospects of Company X vis-à-vis its competitors. Company X has produced three models of cars. The current study analyses the growth prospects of Company X vis-àvis its competitors. An organizational pattern Correction 1. Changing the size of tins. Inventory backup 2. 3. All group-related ideas are clubbed together. Incorrect Ordering 1. Main and sub-headings are created keeping in mind the fact that all follow a similar grammatical pattern. Correct Ordering 1. However. However. Changing the size of tins. 1. Will Company X be able to face stiff competition from other companies? 3. Increase promotional efforts. A schematic summary 3. Installing more capacity. it will not be able to corner a substantial market share. Company X is facing stiff competition. in a sequential order. It can easily be concluded that: 1. Increase promotional efforts. in discussing the various alternatives. An informative heading should present information in the direct order and be geared towards a more receptive audience. Who are the competitors? 2. Unless and until Company X brings down its price to match that of the competitors. it would take on the following shape: 2. All ideas that come to one’s mind should be written on small pieces of cue cards so that it is easier to arrange them. with the entry of new players in the market. There is also a slump in the market with excessive production and insufficient demand. In case the writer decides to follow the format of using the noun or verb or verb +ing.234 . 1. Company X is facing severe competition from Companies Y and Z. Company X has produced three models of cars. Five sample automobile com_anies were taken. Organize Group Related Ideas Together Together with putting all the headings in a grammatically similar pattern. This could be done in such a way that the following points are taken into account. Once these questions have been satisfactorily tackled should begin the process of brainstorming. The conclusions arrived at and recommendations made are based on the following study. 3. and the readers are less receptive in such instances. with the entry of new players in the market the company is facing stiff competition. some of which would form main points and others ancillary points. he should follow it consistently. there should be a consistent pattern of clubbing them together.. The expected progression is from the general to the specific or abstract to the concrete. 2. A logical. it is recommended that Company X target students pursuing professional courses with a lowered price and basic strip down model so that it appeals to their taste and fits their pocket.. a heading could be of the following nature. Further. 4. This patterning could be further corrected by using a similar verb +ing form in the fIrst point as has been used in the second and third points. The formatting of the report should be carried out only after completion of the outline.

Benefit strategy 1. Opening section 1. Similarly for B. Distribution networks The above formulation is incorrect. 1. DIVISIONS In order to carry on with divisions the writer needs at least two parts that he can divide. 2. Summary a Main topic b. Repetitions a. Institutional markets Shelf display Logical Sequencing of Points Finally. Sub-topics © Copy Right: Rai University 3. the second is a noun and the third is a quality that may be applicable or non-applicable according to the prevailing conditions. 2.2 and 3 are not of the same specificity. 2.3. Concluding section 1. Main topic b. Correction A. Introduction 2. The relationship between the main heading and its sub-sections should be the same. Anecdote narrations B. Closing section 1. Minimize cost to other Strategies The incorrect division on many occasions takes more than one category into account. Care should be exercised at the time of dividing the headings into sub-sections as the basis of division should be similar. 1. Digressions a. Cost strategy 1. Usefulness The problem with a formulation of this kind is that the example uses the alphabet A without a B. Minimize benefit to self Maximize benefit to other BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Incorrect Formulation 1. Incorrect Division A. Promotional Aspects • • • • Advertisements 3. Minimize cost to other Maximize cost to self 11. an ‘a’ without a ‘b’ and so on and so forth. Distribution Networks. Introduction Greeting Correction 1. Greeting Main topic and sub-topic repetitions Action-related exchange leading to digressions Summary of main topic and sub-topics Justification Repetitions in leave-taking and well-wishing Contact-termination Correct Arrangement A. 2. hoardings etc. Minimize cost to other Maximize benefit to other Minimize benefit to self Maximize cost to self B. Summary Justification Contact-termination Hoardings 2. 2. in the second a number of promotional strategies are hinted which could be in the nature of advertisements. as far as possible. In two headings we have a subdivision within a sub-section: Summary of main topics and sub-topics and repetition in leave-taking and well-wishing. for example. There cannot be a 1 without a 2. 3. While in the first the writer talks about the piling up of the inventory because of disuse. Distribution channel B. Correct Division A. Opening section 1. The first falls in the nature of issuing a directive. Sub-topics 4. as it does not place items of the same specificity in the same category. 3. Tact maxim 1. 3. the arrangement or the connection between the subsections and the main section should follow a logical sequence. 1. Action-related exchange b. 4. Action-related exchange B. Further. Tact maxim 1. 2. 2. main-topic and sub-topic repetitions. Greetings 3. The progression should.234 163 . Introduction 2. Concluding section B. Promotional aspects 3. The third category again presupposes a number of networks through which distribution is done. be from the abstract to the concrete and from the general to the specific. 4. Generosity maxim Incorrect Arrangement A. Correction A. Opening section 1. 2. Piling inventory 2.

1 1. Leave-taking b. Clarify which ideas would be best represented in visual form. can improve the quality of presentation. Visualize the presentation of the same points in graphic form. which should be adhered to before conceptualizing the use of visual aids. i. Bar Graphs a. etc. 1. 2. Roman Numeral and letters I A B 1. 1. e. comparison between the sales figures of two consecutive years.1.g. There is no stop or period at the end of the numeral. II A B 1. A. for instance. if one was to take up the comparison between the sales figures of two consecutive years. Vertical bar graphs Stacked vertical bar graphs Horizontal bar graphs Multiple bar graphs Visual Aids Translating words and ideas in a visual form requires a lot of ingenuity on the part of the writer.2. Visual aids by way of charts and graphs cannot be included at any juncture.1 2.g. Confirm reader’s needs and thought pattern. c..2 2. the same pattern is not followed in the decimal system.. There should be a systematic ordering by which the writer decides which part of the 164 © Copy Right: Rai University 11.1. one could use both the tabular form and the comparative bar diagram. there is always a period or a full-stop after indication of the letter or numeral. A badly presented visual can have a negative impact. It is difficult to present all ideas through graphics. Contact termination information he would like to incorporate in the form of words and what he would like to use in the form of charts and tables. However. Justifications 3. they keep getting indented. Thick line implies more power. Establish balance between the verbal and the visual.2 1.1 1.0 1. Some ideas would definitely have a greater impact if presented through charts or tables.0. 1. 1. While it may seem rather exciting entering the domain of visuals.1. 3. e.0 2. It is now for the report writer to decide what format he would like to incorporate in his report. e. Probably the following points. 4. 2.e.1. The reader may be looking for the entire report either as a visual presentation or a verbal one or maybe a combination of the two. There should be a happy balance between the two so that report-reading procedure is not tedious. Depending upon the requirement the report with its verbal and visual support can be balanced.g. One could make use of these strategies effectively at the time of indicating contrast or showing comparison. Further subdivisions may be done by different typography using the computer setting facility.1 2.2. 2. it is essential to note that in the Roman numerals and letters. d. if kept in mind. which of the charts or table would be most suitable at this juncture. 3. Too much of visual and too little of verbal or the other way round adds to the monotony of the text.2. This is the first stage. Bold color implies emphasis. Tables 2. Repetitions a. The raw material or data that the individual possesses has to be given a structured ordering.2. The steps that enable the writer to proceed at an easy pace are 1. 2. . care should be exercised from the point of view of presentation of the same. b. Once the sorting out of the points or ideas is done the next stage happens to be the imaginary conceptualizing of the same points.234 .2. Well-wishing 4. More mass indicates solidity. Further subdivisions may be done by capitalization and different typography (as computer setting facility is available today) Arabic Numeral and Decimal 1.2 It should be kept in mind that as various sub-sections are being exemplified.2 2. There are a number of ways through which graphic presentations can be done 1. It is a judicious discretion on the part of the report writer as to which points he would like to present visually. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Numbering The report can follow anyone of the numbering systems: the Roman numerals and letters system or the Arabic numerals and the decimal system. Further.

These tables are mostly numerical but word tables are also used.6 Three Dimensional Stacked Vertical Bar Diagram Bar Graphs These are the simplest to construct and make for easy comprehension by the reader. Presentations in this form are advantageous as they have a compelling impact and two or more variables can be stacked without leading to difficulties in grasping the details. there -could be a lack of precision in presentation of details as of bar graphs the variables may become too cluttered and the lettering too small. They could be of various types: Vertical with singular or multiple bars (Exhibit IV. stacked or comparative and horizontal (Exhibit IV. Pictograms/Pictorial graph 7. make it too detailed and complicated. two colors or designs are used so as to highlight the difference between two variables. However. diagrams and maps BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Tables These are the simplest of the visual presentations and require a form in which there are both horizontal rows as well as vertical columns. numeric and nonnumeric data can together be depicted. These graphs are comparative and if more than two variables in terms of the same time frame are used a stacked vertical or horizontal bar chart is used. A lot of figures can be depicted. for example. The greatest advantage of these bar diagrams is that they can also be used with a three-dimensional effect (see Exhibit IV. 11. Drawings. visually the details are not evident at a glance. A number of combinations are possible in this tabular form. Finally the visual appeal in these charts is missing. it also has certain disadvantages: While it is part of the visual depiction yet. Line Graphs 6. Flow Charts and organization charts 8. Occasionally the writer might. Within one chart itself segments can be highlighted. has both advantages and disadvantages.4).6).5). If these graphs depict more than one variable. The pie chart captures the attention of the reader at a much faster pace than probably any other presentation would. The other segments are demarcated by lines or differing colors in a circular form. The color and schematic designs added to the bars lend visual appeal to these charts. Pie-Charts 5. If there is a need to emphasize a particular segment it is detached from the pie and referred to as the floating wedge.4. while simple for the report writer. However. in the process of putting in too much data.3 Table: TV Viewing Habits Category Men Women Children Percentage of viewers 44 70 80 Percentage of nonviewers 56 30 20 The tabular form of presentation.234 Pie-Chart This is one of the most popular forms to depict the share of the various categories and their correlation to the whole as a percentage. In addition to the color pattern used the categorization of the segments can be © Copy Right: Rai University 165 . In a survey concerning TV viewing habits of men. women and children the following results can be presented as follows Exhibit IV. Exhibit IV.

g. Drawings. Maps are rather appropriate at the time when we wish to discuss or present statistical data through geographical indicators or so wish to express location relationships. occasionally on the y-axis there might be a small break immediately after the zero point. Both the scales begin at zero and proceed in equal increments.the mind of the reader. However. Several variables can be plotted indicating trends over time allowing easy comparisons.8 Line Graph Flow Charts and Organization Charts Flow charts present a sequence of activities from start to finish. if a chart were to be prepared indicating the population boom in the last five years. In this example a cluster of the figures or pictures would indicate an excessive number at that period.234 . procedures and relationships. Diagrams and Maps Sales of Nilgiris shopping complex A lot of trends over a specific period can be depicted by the line graph. However.within. Most of the communication channels in an organization are described with the usage of these kinds of charts. care should be exercised to indicate the points of omission. A little caution should however.9 Pictorial Graph Showing European Population From 1000 AD to 1990 AD Line Graph This graph is usually used to depict time and the variations in time over a period. outside or alongside the chart. e. 166 11. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Exhibit IV. a segment depicting 0. for example. it is not very useful for business reports as they are more concrete and not based on pictorial depiction of the problem. if the patterning of the segments has not been done imaginatively they might merge into one another and may become too small to notice. However. Exhibit IV.5% may become too small to notice. This chart is not used extensively for business reports. Further. This is normally done when there is a large difference between zero and the first quantity to indicate that some data has no bearing on the current study and has therefore been left out. However. This chart is self-explanatory.7 Pie-chart with a Floating Wedge Relative Customer Value of Facilities and Ambience Exhibit IV. Time is normally plotted on the x-axis or the horizontal axis and the variable on the y-axis. Much time and effort goes into the designing of this chart so as to make it truly representative of the problem that it seeks to address. However. Organization charts illustrate the various positions or functions of the organization. © Copy Right: Rai University Various drawings and diagrams can be used in business reports. Preferably if there are crisis-crossing lines only three variable should be plotted as more than these might lead to erroneous conclusions. though their usage is definitely limited. Pictograms/Pictorial Graph These are more in the nature of bar charts with figures or small pictures plotted instead of lines. there could be occasions when the difference is very minor and it might get blurred. However. The various elements in the chart can also be depicted either with figures or geometrical designs. they should be used sparingly so that the reader does not get swayed and lose track of the import of the message. be exercised if the lines cross each other at points as this might create confusion in. They are normally used when we wish to illustrate processes. problems could arise if too many variables are plotted preventing fine distinctions from being evidenced or noticed. The pictures are chosen in accordance with. Most of these are added to make the report colorful and decorative. the topic or the -subject matter. = 100 millions of Population The advantage of a chart of this kind is that large numbers can be presented by a single cluster of figures. human figures could be used thus exemplifying the point being made by the report writer.

Exhibit IV.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 167 .10 Flow Chart of Patients in a Hospital BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 11.

how. Findings should be discussed in relation to a theoretical framework and opinions presented based on reasoning and critical thinking. The context of the report and its purpose.quantitative data . Preparing a Report is a Skilful Process Involving • Research skills • Skills in analysing and evaluating information • Writing skills 168 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Appendices These should be placed at the end of the report. Bibliography This should detail all: books. Title Page This shows the title or subject of the report. 9. However. 1. Each section and sub-section should have a title/heading. 2. What were the components in your project report? Reports have a standardized format.how the information presented in the report will be obtained and what procedures will be used. Each appendix should contain different information. In this lesson we will understand what constitutes a report and and what role does each element play in a report. • Discussion . the name of the writer and date of submission. Recommendations These should provide practical and viable proposal(s)and may offer solutions to problems investigated in the report. The structure will be based on the following model: Not all reports include all elements shown and you should always check exact requirements with your Department or Course Organiser. (You will not always be asked to include recommendations). websites. for example: interviews or postal questionnaires. Sometimes an explanation is included explaining why a particular investigative approach / methodology was chosen. which is too lengthy or detailed to include in the body of the report. explanations provided and questions answered. • The Methodology . and any other sources consulted when writing the report. These should referred to within the Report (Appendix 1) and so on. 6. which clearly relate to the objective(s) of the report. You must have made atleast two reports during the last two semesters. Case studies and any qualitative information. outcome of questionnaires and results of experiments.what you did and why you did it. and be numbered. 5. 8. we have already learnt about reports its types and structure in the previoue lessons. Conclusion The conclusion sums up the main points raised in the report and arrives at conclusions.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 25: ELEMENTS OF REPORT WRITING On completion of this lesson you will understand the different elements of a report and its role in effective report writing.giving a broad outline of content and scope and indicating any limitations of the project. • Title Page • Table of Contents • Executive Summary • Introduction • Body • Conclusion • Recommendations • Bibliography • Appendices · The topics covered . what was observed.what has been deduced from the findings and how these relate to previous research or other studies. This is the place to draw together key points made in the report . An Introduction This includes the scope and background to the work including: • The aims and objectives and the terms of reference. 7. Executive Summary or Abstract This summarizes the main points and findings. All sources should be referenced. 3.outcomes. Include in The Body of the Report • A literature review • Method . articles. (This is not always required. journals. Sometimes included are details of the organization requesting the report and the question(s) they are hoping will be answered. 4. Table of Contents This details all sections and sub-sections of the report with page numbers. Body of the Report This is where information is presented. Each recommendation should be listed and discussed separately. It deals with what.234 . nothing new should appear here. particularly if it is a short report). • What you found . They detail relevant information. Students. who the report is for. where and why? The findings of the report are broken down into discrete sections and sub-sections.

Data needs to be analysed and then the report constructed. While this may be true you can only make such statements if supported with evidence. They will also be used in the Table of Contents to direct the reader to the information they are seeking. format and layout are of great importance. • Try not to use pompous language.5 line spacing is often recommended but particular specifications may be given).this can be in a smaller font 9 or 10.. Heading i.” should read ”It was decided to interview the Tourism Planning Officer. logical and non-repetitive manner.V.The report should be written in the third person singular. punctuation and The use of acronyms is allowed provided that the first time you write the letters you also write the words out in full. what research methods should be used and also how the report might be written and structured.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 169 . For example: Use ‘Now’ or “Currently’ instead of phrases like ‘At the time of writing’ or ‘At this point in time’. These should be presented in a logical way using an academic writing style. The report should look professional and information should be easy to extract.. (1.) • When using a lead sentence make sure that the points that spelling The emphasis in report writing is on facts and interpretation of the facts... Helvetica) for headings. For example: Curriculum Vitae (C. graphs or tables number these point. • Try not to make generalizations sequentially and place them at the point at which they are first referred to.try not to use jargon or clichés • Provide definitions. Instead you should write: ”According to the Mori Report(2000). the word ‘It’ should be used instead: For example: ”I decided to interview the Tourism Planning Officer. For example: use “find out” rather than “endeavour to ascertain” . • Use appropriate verb tenses • Bullet points can also be used • Headings should be consistent and convey a clear meaning. Avoid using terms that lack a precise meaning such as ‘nice’.g.Include explanations of technical or unusual terms. • Conventionally a serif font (e. 2. 4. 3. When text is too dense and the page is too cluttered it becomes very daunting for the reader. • Ensure that the length of a report adheres to guidelines or Reports often use the present tense in the Introduction and the past tense when discussing findings. The starting point is to establish the objective of the report. Sub-heading one. follow on link to this Incorrect Example This style of CV creates the opportunity to: Can highlight skills and achievements Identifies personal attributes 11. Example: Introduction: ‘This report examines.heading two or A. a considerable body of detailed material has to be carefully presented in a coherent. This will determine: what research is required. • Use cautious language so that statements cannot easily be example: 1. • Proof read and carefully check grammar. • Use plenty of white space with wide margins and generous spacing.in academic writing you are not expected to directly address the reader. Avoid using a note-style of writing. Sub. ii. • Do not use fonts at less than 12 point. Choose fonts that convey a formal style.Times) that is clear and Some Academic Writing Tips • Use straightforward language and take care with grammar BUSINESS COMMUNICATION and sentence construction. Sub-heading one Sub-heading two challenged: ”Cold calling may not produce results”. Avoid personal terms such as ‘I’ or ‘We’. • Remember that the report needs to be concise and to the comfortable to read is used for the main text and a sans serif (e. Intellectual skills have to be applied in interpreting and evaluating findings. b.. ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. For For example: ”Everyone agrees that cold calling does not produce results”.’ • Be careful when using Acronyms restrictions imposed. Valid conclusions have to be drawn and appropriate recommendations made. and in bold.’ Findings: ‘Results showed that. cold calling does not produce results”. Heading a. Structure.1. Avoid writing headings in the form of questions . When the topic has been researched material should be collated and information grouped under sub headings. Sources should be included .” • Be precise. • Use impersonal language. • Use consistent and suitable formatting and numbering. One person’s idea of what is meant by ‘good’ is not necessarily another’s. • When using diagrams. unless you can reasonably expect your reader to know them.g.. Headings and sub- headings can be larger.

what is the most logical way in which data can be grouped. you can ask yourself some or all of these questions. might be required because they are a part of established procedures. Some reports arise out of a particular event. you will have a good framework for going on to plan the structure and content of your report.‘There are 134 websites on this topic’ • Try to avoid making sentences overlong and cost? • Do you need to give judgments. the board of directors of a company might call for a report on the financial viability of a new product or investment. Someone who is instructed to do so by a superior usually writes a report. or other committees. • Do not start sentences with linking words such as: but. • Avoid using abbreviations and contractions On the other hand. Effective Report Writing By Mustafa Muchhala Article added on December 27. Individual responsibilities often include the requirement to write reports — a representative on a committee. will have to report to members. how quickly and at what Short small numbers should be written in full and longer numbers given in figures For example: ’Three points were made’ . on which regulations prescribe the writing of a report. If you can then jot down a ‘skeleton’ of the headings and sub-headings you have decided to use (with notes of any particular points that occur to you as you go along) you will be ready to write. a director’s report or simply an insurance claim report. routine reports. what constitutes an effective report? A report is a general term that simply means ‘telling’ or ‘relating’. you will need to know how to put information together effectively. suggestions you wish to make as a result of the investigation and so on. So. Before you can even begin to think about what information you will need and where you will find it. any accident in the workplace must be reported. The formal headings of standard 170 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. but they will be expected to act on anything out of the ordinary that the report tells them. you are ‘reporting’. It may present itself in a wide range of formats. a leaving or exit interview report must be written following an employee’s resignation. at what point: final recommendation or throughout the report? • What can I do to make the report easier to read? • Are there suitable section or sub-headings I can use to indicate effectively each stage of the information/argument? • Is the subject of the report too technical for the users? What vocabulary should I use to help them understand? • Do I have a clear introduction to ‘ease’ the readers in to the subject. • Who is the user? • What type of report will be most useful to him/her? • What exactly does he/she need to know. and sequenced. If you give someone a verbal account. 2002 Most of us have been involved in writing a report at some time. such as performance reports. and they will expect to decide whether or not to undertake the product development or the investment on the basis of the report’s findings and if you are aware of particular constraints imposed on you in terms of report size. who will then expect to make a decision on the basis of what the report tells him. For example. and for what For example: ”they’re” for “they are” ”etc” and “ie” should also be avoided. • Avoid making negative statements For example: ”Calling firms directly should not be discouraged”. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Planning a Report Whether you are writing a report in an exam or compiling a report at work. complicated as wordiness and padding can obscure meaning. either in our working lives or our personal lives. When you then come to plan a report in detail. it is very important for any report to effectively communicate information to the report user. and a clear conclusion that will draw everything together for them? You could use the above questions as a checklist for planning your report. events. your manager of facts.• Correct Example This style of CV creates the opportunity to: Highlight skills and achievements Identify personal attributes Other Writing Pitfalls to Avoid • Do not address the reader directly or use questions “Does this mean that some strategies are better than others?” • Be careful not to use redundant phrases For example: “various differences” Various implies different so both words are not required. • What information do I need to provide? What is relevant to the user’s requirements? • Do I need to follow a line of reasoning? If so. This can obscure the meaning. • Writing numbers in text purpose? • How much information is required. ”Calling firms directly should be encouraged”. and.234 . A manager. recommendations and so on (or just information)? • If you know who the user is. For example. what he or she wants and why. or the secretary at a meeting. Be it an audit report. or write a message in a letter or a memorandum informing. Instead write positive statements. to make my reasoning clear? • Do I need to include my own personal views? If so. the procedures and decisions taken. you need to consider the following. or yet. actions you have taken. time and money. may commission a special ‘one-off’ report. say. The managers receiving the reports will not have commissioned them specifically.

You should not use expressions like ‘blew his top’. ‘we’ etc.1. subjective value judgments and emotions should be kept out of the content a and style as far as possible. D.g. Bear in mind that all these principles may not strictly apply to all reports but can be used as necessary. instead formal phrases should be used. Point 1 1. These aims may be achieved as follows. with a view to recommending either the closure of the product line or its continued production. You can use different labelling for each type of heading or alternatively a decimal system may be used as shown below. Underlining or Italics may be used for subheadings. Point 2 1. V etc. language and complex sentence structures for non-technical users. possibly before the title itself. Figures and diagrams should be used with discretion. an internal auditing report might state that its terms of reference have been to investigate procedures in the credit control section of the accounts department. but there are certain generally accepted principles of report writing that can be applied to most types of report. Sub-point (a).2 Sub-heading 1. e. each point may be referenced. Important headings. Report User and Date Reports should indicate in a clear place. IV. if they simply act as a constraint on what you actually want to say. such as ‘showed considerable irritation’. may be in CAPITALS. who has written them and the date of their preparation. For example. if recognized. 2 Heading 2 Spacing — Intelligent use of spacing separates headings from the body of the text for easy scanning. In other words. a summary of the history may be provided in the appendix. and how you want to ‘shape’ it. Point 1. 1. 2. C. whom they are directed at. E etc. Any bias. which carry personal and possibly subjective associations. this should be specified in the terms of reference. especially if it is leading up to a conclusion or recommendation. ‘don’t’ and so on should be replaced by ‘I have’ and ‘do not’. and it might be helpful to highlight key figures that appear within large tables of numbers. When timescale is important. these sources should be acknowledged in the report. the relative importance of points should be signalled. Headings — Spaced out or enlarged CAPITALS may be used for the main title. Main Section Headings I. 3. a uniform code should be used to refer to letters in the summary.1 Sub-heading 1. 5 etc. Alternatively. (c) or (i).. the terms of reference of a management accounting report might be to investigate the short-term profit prospects for a particular product. In more formal reports. For example. (ii). • The layout of the report should display data clearly and attractively. can undermine the credibility of the report and its recommendations. The material will have to be logically organized. There are certain stylistic requirements to bear in mind. In a report designed to persuade as well as inform. (b).1. formal written English. it should indicate clearly what the report is about and should be as short as possible. If the literature includes a lot of correspondence. 11. • Various display techniques may be used to make the content of a report easy to identify and digest. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Title The report should have a title. They will help you further develop your report writing skills..g. The terms of reference will explain not only the purpose of the report but also any restrictions on its scope. Terms of Reference The introductory section of the report should explain why the report has been written and the terms of reference. whether to put in a tender for a major contract and if so at what price.1 Subheading 1 Subsections 1. and the title should be explicit and brief. with a view to establishing whether the existing internal checks are adequate. These terms of reference would exclude considerations of long-term prospects for the product. 1. it should open with a list of contents. X found that…” or even “Investigation revealed that…” • Colloquialisms and abbreviated forms should be avoided in Identification of Report Writer. avoid saying “I/We found that…. Similarly. B. the board of directors might call for a report so that they can take a decision by a certain cutoff date. whether writing formal or informal reports. III. impersonal constructions should be used rather than ‘I’.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 171 . (iii) etc. of sections of the report. e. 4.” Instead the sentence can be framed as “It became clear that…” or “Mr. For example. For example. References — Each section or point in a formal report should have a code for easy identification and reference.2 Sub-heading 2 Points and subpoints (a). • Emotional or otherwise loaded words should be avoided. or even advisable. Colloquial (informal) words such as ‘I’ve’. first person subjects should be replaced with third person. if the report is based on primary research. Generally Accepted Principles of Effective Report Writing The purpose of reports and their subject matter vary widely. Sources of Information If the report draws on other sources for its information. II. perhaps in an appendix to the report. • Make the report easy to understand by avoiding technical Contents Page If the report is extensive. Relevant themes should be signaled by appropriate headings or highlighted for easy scanning. 1. in a situation where a customer has invited tenders which must be submitted by a certain date. In other words. Confidentiality If the report is confidential or ‘secret’ this fact must be printed at the top of the report and possibly on every page. and also makes a large block more attractive and ‘digestible’.business reports may be useful to help you to organize your thoughts — but may not be necessary. and so place a limitation on the scope of the report.1 (a) Sub-heading 2.2. the nature of the factfinding should be explained. 1 Heading 1 A. If there is an extensive series of documents referring to one matter. and the body of text should be broken up to be easy on the eye.

each referenced and headed appropriately. • Accuracy. as follows. with the detail in appendices. Don’t decide on a solution right now. and should lead the report user through the considerations that led the report writer to these conclusions. calculations. • The short formal report • The short informal report • The memorandum report Appendices To keep the main body of the report short enough to hold the reader’s interest. Sections The main body of the report should be divided into sections. The conclusions or recommendations could then be re-stated at the end of the main body of the report. I want you to go through some steps to come to the RIGHT solution. Is there something you would change? Have you noticed a procedure or on-going situation that could be improved? Perhaps new equipment is needed or the physical layout is inefficient. Report Summaries Long reports should be summarised in brief. Sales turnover Profit Cash movement Capital employed Return on capital employed Plan X X X X X Actual X X X X X Steps in Writing a Routine Business Report Your assignment will be to write a memo report to help solve a business-related problem.. For example. Gather Your Information 4. let us go through the three main types of report you might have to deal with. Title i. Section heading 2. follow these steps: 1. These conclusions or recommendations could perhaps be stated at the beginning of the report (after the introduction and statement of terms of reference). and each section should ideally have a clear heading. as suggested already it is often better to keep the main report itself brief. in its logically progressive sections. Determine the Solution The following sections of the report would then go on to look at each of these items in more detail. and to any other implica172 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. if possible. In creating your report. These headings or subheadings should. Summary of Recommendations A report will usually contain conclusions or recommendations about the course of action to be taken by the report user. audit reports. and not passed off as fact. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Completeness A report should be logically complete and should not overlook any item or consideration so that its recommendations are called into question. concluding with an assessment of the division’s performance and perhaps recommendations as to how it needs to be improved. detailed explanations. The short formal report is used in formal contexts such as where middle management is reporting to senior management. Terms of Reference (or Introduction) ii..For example. Implications For Management Reference should be made where appropriate to costs. savings and other benefits that might accrue. Once you have a topic.234 . training or redundancies and so on). • Timeliness. and • Cost-effectiveness. Procedure (or Method) iii. Perhaps the work flow needs to be revised or company policy needs to be reevaluated. Each paragraph should be concerned with just one basic idea. The sections should have a logical sequence. Think of a job you currently have (or have had in the past). you’re then ready to start thinking in terms of a report. a management accounting report into the performance of an operating division might summarise its findings at the beginning. forecasts or conjectures should be signalled as such. charts and tables of figures should be put into appendices. tions for management in the report’s recommendations (e. Analyze Your Information 5. It will be split into logical sections. Section heading if required • Relevance. It should be laid out according to certain basic guidelines. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference. • Appropriateness. However. • Reliability. Consider Your Audience 3. Findings 1.g. Prominence of Important Items The most significant items in a report should be given prominence. Determine the Scope of the Report 2. The main body of the report should make cross-references to the appendices in appropriate places. Types of Report Having discussed the generally accepted principles applicable to most types of reports. The main body of the report can then follow. Any assumptions. a report summary would pr obably not then be necessary. be standardized when reports are produced regularly e.g. I’m sure there is something you would like to see improved. implications for staff recruitment. letters between the Company Secretary and the Companies Registry might be referenced as CS/Reg [date].

6. Organize Your Report

Determine the Scope of the Report
A common fault of many reports is making the scope of a report too general or too vague. When you choose a subject for a report, one of the first steps is to narrow the scope to a report length The scope of the report is defined by determining the factors which you will study. You need to limit the amount of information you will gather to the most needed and most important factors. For example, factors to be studied to determine ways to improve employee morale might include: Salaries Fringe benefits Work assignments Work hours Evaluation procedures You could study many other factors relative to improving employee morale. Some may be important, and you may want to consider them later. For any one report, however, a reasonable scope must be clearly defined by determining what factors will be included.

readers according to their professional training, position in the organization, and personal traits; and determine how and when the reader might use the report. Audiences are basically of three kinds:



People who have to act or make decisions on the basis of the report People affected by actions of the primary audiences would take in response to the report People responsible for evaluating the report and getting it to the right people



Additional questions to ask regarding your audience are: 1. How much background will the audience need? 2. Do you need to define any terms you are using? 3. What language level will be most appropriate for your readers? 4. How many and what kind of visual aids should you use? 5. What will the audience expect from your report? 6. Does the reader prefer everything given in detail or merely a brief presentation that touches upon the highlights?

Consider Your Audience
Always consider your reader or readers. Unlike letters and memos, reports usually have a far wider distribution. Many people may be involved in a decision-making process and have need to read the information in the report Your job is to make it easy for the reader. In order to make reading your report easier, think in terms of the reader. Each audience has unique needs. Some audience consideration include:
• Need (from your report) • Education level • Position in the organization • Knowledge of your topic or area • Responsibility to act • Age • Biases • Preferences • Attitudes

Gather Your Information
Now that you have a clear understanding of the purpose and scope of your report and who you are writing to, you’re now ready to gather your information. Information you gather can be of two types: Secondary and Primary. Secondary is information gathered and recorded by others. Primary is information you gather and record yourself.

Sources Secondary Books, internet, reports, newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, and journals Questionnaires, surveys, observation, experiments, historical information, and raw data

Caution Information may be inaccurate, out of date, or biased

Some false assumptions commonly made regarding audiences are: 1. That the person who will first read or edit the report is the audience 2. That the audience is a group of specialists in their field 3. That the audience is familiar with the subject of the report 4. That the audience has time to read the entire report 5. That the audience has a strong interest in the subject of the report 6. That the author will always be available to discuss the report To avoid making these false assumptions, writers should identify everyone who might read the report; characterize those
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Information must be gathered carefully to ensure it is accurate and bias free.



At this point you should be doing your research. Think WHERE you are going to find your information. If the purpose of your report requires purchase information, you might want to check with vendors and distributors for features and pricing information. For certain types of information you might be checking out the library (books, magazines, journals, or newspapers). Another good source of information is the internet. Conduct a search using key words to find what information that might be useful to you in cyberspace. As you are gathering your information, create a way to manage your information. Massive information is difficult to sort through if it is not organized. One idea is to place different piece of information on note cards (with the source on that card). By separating pieces of information on cards, the information later can be “rearranged” and sorted when you are determining your plan of presentation.

Organize Your Report
You’ve got your topic, your information, and your decision. Now you’re ready to determine how to present your information. Before actually writing, organize your information into an outline form. You can formulate an outline for your report by choosing the major and supporting ideas, developing the details, and eliminating the unnecessary ideas you’ve gathered. This outline becomes the basic “structure” of your report. A report could be presented as a memo report, a standardized form report, or a formal report. The report you will be assigned in this course will be a memo report intended for an audience within your organization. Your memo report will have the following five steps:
• Provide identifying information (usually in the To, From,


Date, Subject Area)
• Define the project or problem (purpose of the report) • Give the background • Give the supporting data • State your conclusions and recommendations

Analyze Your Information
Now that you have information, you need to analyze it. The purpose of the analysis is to make sense, objectively, out of the information you have gathered. You will not want personal bias of any kind to enter into the analysis. Information is compared and contrasted in an effort to try to find new ideas or the best ideas. Separate facts and figures need to be interpreted by explaining what they mean—what significance they have. For example, if you were doing a study to determine which computer to buy for your office, you would collect information on the type of work you are currently doing in your office and the kinds of work you want to do. Then you would gather information on computers. This information might include cost, compatibility, speed of operation, machine capacity, machine dependability, maintenance availability, potential for upgrading, and other factors. Then you would compare and contrast (analyze) the different computers to determine how well they can do what you want done, what their potential is, how dependable they are, and so on. Once all the information is gathered, you are ready to determine solutions.

Create a “skeleton” outline by jotting down these five steps and filling in the information from your gathered material that would fall into each category. Based on your outline you are NOW ready to begin the actual writing of your report. Write a rough draft. Don’t be overly concerned about proofreading and editing at this point. Just get your thoughts done Be systematic if you can—starting at the beginning and work your way through. However, if you can find no logical approach, start anywhere—BUT START. Expert writers often use this technique. They know that they can write the opening paragraph(s) or page(s) at a later time. Remember, don’t think about editing when writing the first draft. Editing proves a stumbling block in creativity for many writers. Write first. Then come back and edit. Otherwise, you are working against the creative process In writing your report, you might want to use headings for each of these sections of your report. Headings and subheadings are used as organizational tools in writing to identify major parts of a report. Headings serve as guideposts for a reader, dividing the information into segments that make it easy for a reader to understand When writing headings be sure they are descriptive, parallel, and unnecessary to transition.

Determine the Solution
Based on your analysis, you will be then be ready to offer a solution (or solutions) to the problem you have been studying. For example, which computer would be the best buy for the word processing center or what office arrangement would be the best for effective work flow? A word of caution: The gathered information should be the basis for making this decision. A tendency in business report writing is to “slant” information in the report to lead the reader to the decision the writer want. Make sure you report all pertinent information—good and bad. The credibility of the report (and credibility of you) is at stake. Make sure, however, that a solution is even requested. Depending on your position in the organization and the particular business study, a solution may NOT be requested in the report. Your purpose would then be to present the objective facts. These facts would be used by someone else to determine the best solution.


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Headings should talk about the contents of their portion of the report. Poor: Supporting Data Better: Comparison of Three Computer Models


All headings of the same level should start with the same grammatical structure. Headings should not be relied upon to give meaning to that section of the report. Headings do serve as guides, but the report should be understood even though no headings are used. Poor: Changes Must Be Communicated to Employees: This problem has been a persistent one throughout the industry. Better: Changes Must Be Communicated to Employees. The problem of communicating changes procedures to employees has been a persistent one throughout the industry.

Unnecessary to Transition


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By the end of this lesson you should be able to:

• • •

State why questionnaires may be used Explain techniques used in designing effective questionnaire Illustrate the different types of question used on questionnaire

disadvantage is that the sample is small and may not be representative of the population in general. Personal interviews are a way to get in-depth and comprehensive information. They involve one person interviewing another person for personal or detailed information. Personal interviews are very expensive because of the one-to-one nature of the interview ($50+ per interview). Typically, an interviewer will ask questions from a written questionnaire and record the answers verbatim. Sometimes, the questionnaire is simply a list of topics that the research wants to discuss with an industry expert. Personal interviews (because of their expense) are generally used only when subjects are not likely to respond to other survey methods. Telephone surveys are the fastest method of gathering information from a relatively large sample (100-400 respondents). The interviewer follows a prepared script that is essentially the same as a written questionnaire. However, unlike a mail survey, the telephone survey allows the opportunity for some opinion probing. Telephone surveys generally last less than ten minutes. Typical costs are between four and six thousand dollars and they can be completed in two to four weeks. Mail surveys are a cost effective method of gathering information. They are ideal for large sample sizes, or when the sample comes from a wide geographic area. They cost a little less than telephone interviews, however, they take over twice as long to complete (eight to twelve weeks). Because there is no interviewer, there is no possibility of interviewer bias. The main disadvantage is the inability to probe respondents for more detailed information. E-mail and internet surveys are relatively new and little is known about the effect of sampling bias in internet surveys. While it is clearly the most cost effective and fastest method of distributing a survey, the demographic profile of the internet user does not represent the general population, although this is changing. Before doing an e-mail or internet survey, carefully consider the effect that this bias might have on the results.


Students, how many of you have filled up a questionnaire related to any product or service? Questionnaires are the most economical form data collection. We will discuss in this lesson the need and usage of questionnaires as well as various types of questions .

Designing and Using Questionnaires
This is the information age. More information has been published in the last decade than in all previous history. Everyone uses information to make decisions about the future. If our information is accurate, we have a high probability of making a good decision. If our information is inaccurate, our ability to make a correct decision is diminished. Better information usually leads to better decisions.

Ways to Get Information
There are six common ways to get information. These are: literature searches, talking with people, focus groups, personal interviews, telephone surveys, and mail surveys. A literature search involves reviewing all readily available materials. These materials can include internal company information, relevant trade publications, newspapers, magazines, annual reports, company literature, on-line data bases, and any other published materials. It is a very inexpensive method of gathering information, although it generally does not yield timely information. Literature searches take between one and eight weeks. Talking with people is a good way to get information during the initial stages of a research project. It can be used to gather information that is not publicly available, or that is too new to be found in the literature. Examples might include meetings with prospects, customers, suppliers, and other types of business conversations at trade shows, seminars, and association meetings. Although often valuable, the information has questionable validity because it is highly subjective and might not be representative of the population. A focus group is used as a preliminary research technique to explore people’s ideas and attitudes. It is often used to test new approaches (such as products or advertising), and to discover customer concerns. A group of 6 to 20 people meet in a conference-room-like setting with a trained moderator. The room usually contains a one-way mirror for viewing, including audio and video capabilities. The moderator leads the group’s discussion and keeps the focus on the areas you want to explore. Focus groups can be conducted within a couple of weeks and cost between two and three thousand dollars. Their

Questionnaire Research Flow Chart
Questionnaire research design proceeds in an orderly and specific manner. Each item in the flow chart depends upon the successful completion of all the previous items. Therefore, it is important not to skip a single step. Notice that there are two feedback loops in the flow chart to allow revisions to the methodology and instruments.

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10. Attempts to get non-respondents________ ________


Design Methodology Determine Feasibility Develop Instruments Select Sample Conduct Pilot Test Revise Instruments Conduct Research Analyze Data Prepare Report
Time Considerations
Many researchers underestimate the time required to complete a research project. The following form may be used as an initial checklist in developing time estimates. The best advice is to be generous with your time estimates. Things almost always take longer than we think they should. This checklist contains two time estimates for each task. The first one (Hours) is your best estimate of the actual number of hours required to complete the task. The second one (Duration) is the amount of time that will pass until the task is completed. Sometimes these are the same and sometimes they are different. Most researchers and business-people have to divide their time among many projects. They simply cannot give all their time to any one project. For example, my estimate of goal clarification may be four hours, but other commitments allow me to spend only two hours a day on this study. My “hours” estimate is four hours, and my “duration” estimate is two days. To arrive at your final time estimates, add the individual estimates. The hours estimate is used for budget planning and the duration estimate is used to develop a project time line. Hours Duration 1. Goal clarification ________ ________ 2. Overall study design 3. Selecting the sample 4. Designing the questionnaire and cover letter 5. Conduct pilot test ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________

11. Editing the data and coding open-ended questions ________ ________ 12. Data entry and verification 13. Analyzing the data 14. Preparing the report ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________

15. Printing & distribution of the report ________ ________

Cost Considerations
Both beginning and experienced researchers often underestimate the cost of doing questionnaire research. Some of the most common costs are: Proposal typing and editing. Cover letter and questionnaire typing. Addressing mailing envelopes. Following up on non-respondents. Mailing list cost (if necessary). Artwork and keylining. Cover letter and survey printing costs. Envelope costs (both ways + more). Postage costs (both ways + more). Incentives. Data entry and verification. Statistical analysis programmer. Distribution of the final report. ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________

Advantages of Written Questionnaires
Questionnaires are very cost effective when compared to face-toface interviews. This is especially true for studies involving large sample sizes and large geographic areas. Written questionnaires become even more cost effective as the number of research questions increases. Questionnaires are easy to analyze. Data entry and tabulation for nearly all surveys can be easily done with many computer software packages. Questionnaires are familiar to most people. Nearly everyone has had some experience completing questionnaires and they generally do not make people apprehensive. Questionnaires reduce bias. There is uniform question presentation and no middle-man bias. The researcher’s own opinions will not influence the respondent to answer questions in a certain manner. There are no verbal or visual clues to influence the respondent. Questionnaires are less intrusive than telephone or face-to-face surveys. When a respondent receives a questionnaire in the mail, he is free to complete the questionnaire on his own time-table. Unlike other research methods, the respondent is not interrupted by the research instrument.

6. Revise questionnaire (if necessary) ________ ________ 7. Printing time ________ ________ 8. Locating the sample (if necessary) ________ ________ 9. Time in the mail & response time ________ ________

Disadvantages of Written Questionnaires
One major disadvantage of written questionnaires is the possibility of low response rates. Low response is the curse of statistical analysis. It can dramatically lower our confidence in the


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the respondent may not be who you think it is. If your survey is over a few pages. 11. Be sure to print the return address on the questionnaire itself (since questionnaires often get separated from the reply envelopes). however. The best envelopes (i. If you cannot specify how you intend to analyze a question or use the information. The same holds true for questionnaires. well-designed studies consistently produce high response rates. Keep your questionnaire short. The respondent’s first impression of the study usually comes from the envelope containing the survey.General Considerations Most problems with questionnaire analysis can be traced back to the design phase of the project. These must be very easy to understand. A questionnaire probing sensitive issues or attitudes may be severely affected. Make them want to continue by putting interesting questions first. When returned questionnaires arrive in the mail.. so use short sentences and basic vocabulary. respondents often want to qualify their answers). This may not actually be the case. Finally. A low response rate can be devastating to a study. but many researchers neglect this task. It is a confounding error inherent in questionnaires. For example. For a variety of reasons. Housewives sometimes respond for their husbands. Response rate is the single most important indicator of how much 178 © Copy Right: Rai University . it’s natural to assume that the respondent is the same person you sent the questionnaire to. the shorter the better. A questionnaire with a title is generally perceived to be more credible than one without. and they usually provide insightful information that would have otherwise been lost. italics or underlining. Kids respond as a prank. do not use it in the survey. As a general rule. Begin with a few non-threatening and interesting items. there is little chance that the person will complete the questionnaire. This will reduce misunderstandings and make the questionnaire appear easier to complete. the design of the questionnaire becomes considerably easier. Response rates vary widely from one questionnaire to another (10% . Formulate a plan for doing the statistical analysis during the design stage of the project. For the elimination round. hand-addressed and use a commemorative postage stamp. Another disadvantage of questionnaires is the inability to probe responses. Well-defined goals are the best way to assure a good questionnaire design.. Questionnaires are structured instruments. One of the most effective methods of maximizing response is to shorten the questionnaire. throw it out. The wording of a question should be simple and to the point. the researcher can partially overcome this disadvantage. Comments are among the most helpful of all the information on the questionnaire. Many people have difficulty knowing which questions could be eliminated. “How am I going to use this information?” If the information will be used in a decision-making process. Therefore. the ones that make you want to see what’s inside) are colored. Do not use uncommon words or long sentences.results. refer to the study goals and a solution will become clear. If not. read each question and ask. They allow little flexibility to the respondent with respect to response format. Do this before you begin designing the study. people are turned off by written questionnaires because of misuse. Use simple and direct language. In fact. Avoid the temptation to ask questions because it would be “interesting to know”. The questionnaire is developed to directly address the goals of the study. The respondent’s next impression comes from the cover letter. People generally look at the first few questions before deciding whether or not to complete the questionnaire.. try to eliminate questions. they often lose the “flavor of the response” (i. Many times business questionnaires get handed to other employees for completion. Their suggestions will improve the questionnaire and they will subsequently have more confidence in the results.90%). It provides your best chance to persuade the respondent to complete the survey. More frequently. Make items as brief as possible. Nearly ninety percent of all communication is visual. Make the envelope unique. The lack of personal contact will have different effects depending on the type of information being requested. Give your questionnaire a title that is short and meaningful to the respondent. One way to eliminate misunderstandings is to emphasize crucial words in each item by using bold. confidence you can place in the results. When the goals of a study can be expressed in a few clear and concise sentences. One important way to assure a successful survey is to include other experts and relevant decision-makers in the questionnaire design process.. a written survey to a group of poorly educated people might not work because of reading skill problems. then keep the question. This sounds obvious. Provide a well-written cover letter.234 BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Questionnaire Design . We all know how important first impressions are. Envelopes with bulk mail permits or gummed labels are perceived as unimportant. The questions must be clearly understood by the respondent. Include clear and concise instructions on how to complete the questionnaire. Gestures and other visual cues are not available with written questionnaires. questionnaires are simply not suited for some people. This will generally be reflected in a lower response rate. with only a few exceptions. Why do research if the results will not be used? Be sure to commit the study goals to writing. In essence. A questionnaire requesting factual information will probably not be affected by the lack of personal contact. If the first items are too threatening or “boring”. By allowing frequent space for comments. One of the best ways to clarify your study goals is to decide how you intend to use the information. Know how every question will be analyzed and be prepared to handle missing data. Ask only questions that directly address the study goals. it’s important. The importance of the cover letter should not be underestimated. Whenever you are unsure of a question.e. you must do everything possible to maximize the response rate.e. long questionnaires get less response than short questionnaires.

be sure to clearly state your policy on confidentiality. One criticism of questionnaires is their inability to retain the “flavor” of a response. Asking a question that does not accommodate all possible responses can confuse and frustrate the respondent. Questions must be non-threatening. or both were unsatisfactory. The questions she asks are indicative of problems in the questionnaire (i. If possible. there is a good possibility that the answer will not be truthful. Varying the questioning format will also prevent respondents from falling into “response sets”. When a respondent is concerned about the consequences of answering a question in a particular manner. By putting the most important items near the beginning. “Were you satisfied with the quality of our food and service?” Again. Apple Clearly. The qualities of a good question are as follows: 1. Use professional production methods for the questionnaire— either desktop publishing or typesetting and keylining. Be creative. Has mutually exclusive options. Can accommodate all possible answers. if the respondent answers “no”.e. What if the respondent doesn’t own a microcomputer? What if he owns a different brand of computer? What if he owns both an IBM PC and an Apple? There are two ways to correct this kind of problem. If the information you are collecting is of interest to the respondent. or both.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 179 . a researcher investigating a new food snack asks “Do you like the texture and flavor of the snack?” If a respondent answers “no”. An obvious example is: Where did you grow up? _ A. At the same time. it must make the respondent want to complete the questionnaire. Try different colored inks and paper. Hold the respondent’s interest. The purpose of a survey is to find out information. The final test of a questionnaire is to try it on representatives of the target audience. If a questionnaire is more than a few pages and is held together by a staple. they almost always show up here. We want the respondent to complete our questionnaire. The first way is to make each response a separate dichotomous item on the questionnaire. Respondents often send back partially completed questionnaires. Multiple choice items are the most popular type of survey questions because they are generally the easiest for a respondent to answer and the easiest to analyze. offering a free summary report is also an excellent motivator. Leaving white space also makes the questionnaire look easier and this increases response. 11. 2. Make it convenient. A good question asks for only one “bit” of information. For example: Do you own an IBM PC? (circle: Yes or No) Do you own an Apple computer? (circle: Yes or No) Another way to correct the problem is to add the necessary response categories and allow multiple responses. Provide incentives as a motivation for a properly completed questionnaire. Qualities of a Good Question There are good and bad questions. Leaving space for comments will provide valuable information not captured by the response categories. Envelopes with postage stamps get better response than business reply envelopes (although they are more expensive since you also pay for the non-respondents). the questions on the questionnaire must be without any ambiguity because there will be no chance to clarify a question when the survey is mailed). Asks for an answer on only one dimension. then the researcher will not know if the respondent dislikes the texture or the flavor. service. the partially completed questionnaires will still contain important information. A good question leaves no ambiguity in the mind of the respondent. Anonymous questionnaires that contain no identifying information are more likely to produce honest responses than those identifying the respondent.Leave adequate space for respondents to make comments. IBM PC B. include some identifying data on each page (such as a respondent ID number). There should be only one correct or appropriate choice for the respondent to make. If your questionnaire does contain sensitive items. there are many problems with this question. What brand of computer do you own? (Check all that apply) __ Do not own a computer __ IBM PC __ Apple __ Other 4. Whatever you choose. Another questionnaire asks. it is important to group items into coherent categories. For example. there is no way to know whether the quality of the food. One way to keep a questionnaire interesting is to provide variety in the type of items used.. Attaching a dollar bill to the questionnaire works well. Country BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 3. For example. All items should flow smoothly from one to the next. This is the preferable method because it provides more information than the previous method. If there are problems with the questionnaire. be present while a respondent is completing the questionnaire and tell her that it is okay to ask you for clarification of any item. What does the respondent get for completing your questionnaire? Altruism is rarely an effective motivator. Evokes the truth. Place the most important items in the first half of the questionnaire. The object is to make your questionnaire stand out from all the others the respondent receives. consider the question: What brand of computer do you own? __ A. The easier it is for the respondent to complete the questionnaire the better. Pages often accidentally separate. Always include a selfaddressed postage-paid envelope. A question that asks for a response on more than one dimension will not provide the information you are seeking.

Write short sentences. it will not be possible to perform any statistical analyses on the item. we are left with considerable uncertainty about why we asked the question and what we learned from the information. 180 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Among the most subtle mistakes in questionnaire design are questions that make an unwarranted assumption.B. 5. It’s the worst report I’ve read B. Worse than that. 8. If you ask a question similar to this. must be careful not to lead the respondent into giving the answer we would like to receive. If there is any doubt at all. most.. It’s somewhere between the worst and best C. Writing a questionnaire is similar to writing anything else. it should not be used in written questionnaires because it sometimes confuses respondents. It is important to understand that these adjectives mean different things to different people. therefore. An example of branching is: BUSINESS COMMUNICATION C. Remember who your audience is and write your questionnaire for them. What was your AGI last year? ______ 11. and the respondent will feel more comfortable. and very few respondents will take the time and effort to look it up. While branching can be used as an effective probing technique in telephone and face-to-face interviews. This is one of the areas overlooked by both beginners and experienced researchers. Be careful not to assume anything. The following question might be okay if all the respondents are accountants. As another example: Are you against drug abuse? (circle: Yes or No) Again. City A person who grew up on a farm in the country would not know whether to select choice A or B. It is important to look at each question and decide if all respondents will be able to answer it. Abbreviations are okay if you are absolutely certain that every single respondent will understand their meanings. Industry surveys often contain very specific questions that the respondent may not know the answer to. We are striving for objectivity in our surveys and. Leading questions are usually easily spotted because they use negative phraseology. Do not use uncommon words or compound sentences. As examples: Wouldn’t you like to receive our free brochure? Don’t you think the Congress is spending too much money? 9. For example: What percent of your budget do you spend on 7. Farm Direct mail advertising? ____ Very few people would know the answer to this question without looking it up. least. 6. Does not use emotionally loaded or vaguely defined words. When a question produces no variability in responses. do not use the abbreviation. Questionnaires that jump from one unrelated topic to another feel disjointed and are not likely to produce high response rates. Quantifying adjectives (e. Branching in written questionnaires should be avoided. there would be very little variability in responses and we’d be left wondering why we asked the question in the first place. If a question does not produce variability in responses. very little information is learned. Follows comfortably from the previous question. Does not imply a desired answer. majority) are frequently used in questions. Grouping questions that are similar will make the questionnaire easier to complete. 10. it could frustrate the respondent and the questionnaire might find its way to the trash. Does not use unfamiliar words or abbreviations.g.234 . Write your questions so they apply to everyone. For example. The wording of a question is extremely important. Transitions between questions should be smooth. the following question assumes the respondent knows what Proposition 13 is about. Does not presuppose a certain state of affairs. Produces variability of responses. include a “don’t know” response category. An example of this type of mistake is: Are you satisfied with your current auto insurance? (Yes or No) This question will present a problem for someone who does not currently have auto insurance. It’s the best report I’ve read Since almost all responses would be choice B. it is important to understand that the responses are rough estimates and there is a strong likelihood of error. Are you in favor of Proposition 13 ? ___ Yes ___ No ___ Undecided If there is any possibility that the respondent may not know the answer to your question. Design your questions so they are sensitive to differences between respondents. For example: What do you think about this report? __ A. This often means simply adding an additional response category. Is not dependent on responses to previous questions. but it would not be a good question for the general public. Are you satisfied with your current auto insurance? _ Yes _ No _ Don’t have auto insurance One of the most common mistaken assumptions is that the respondent knows the correct answer to the question. This question would not provide meaningful information.

the cover letter will affect whether or not the respondent completes the questionnaire.) in the cover letter might increase response. The signature of the person signing the cover letter has been investigated by several researchers. It is commonly believed that a handwritten postscript (P.. There are no definitive answers whether or not to personalize cover letters (i. and the answers become less reliable. Two researchers reported that mimeographed signatures worked as well as a hand-written one. 3. Explain why the person receiving the pre-letter was chosen to receive the questionnaire. One investigator found that a cover letter signed by the owner of a marina produced better response than one signed by the sales manager. This becomes especially problematic when asking respondents to assign a percentage to a series of items. The literature is mixed regarding whether a hand-written signature works better than one that is mimeographed.7 percent. but more often. 5. however. Describe why the study is being done (briefly) and identify the sponsors. They are an excellent (but expensive) way to increase response. Explain how the results will be used. 3. Pre-letters are seldom used in marketing research surveys. This becomes increasingly difficult as the number of items increases. Response Rate and Following up on Nonrespondents Response rate is the single most important indicator of how much confidence can be placed in the results of a survey. more recent studies found no significant difference. Do you currently have a life insurance policy ? (Yes or No) If How much is your annual life insurance premium ? _________ no. To a large degree. Pre-notification Letters Many researchers have studied pre-notification letters to determine if they increase response rate. These rates are too low to yield confident results. (A good incentive is a copy of the results). In order to successfully complete this task. Altruism or an appeal to the social utility of a study has occasionally been found to increase response. between 10 and 60 percent of those sent questionnaires respond without followup reminders.234 © Copy Right: Rai University . the respondents name appears on the cover letter). 1. Limiting the number of items to five will make it easier for the respondent to answer. Some researchers have found that personalized cover letters can be detrimental to response when anonymity or confidentiality are important to the respondent.1. The justification must be something that will benefit the respondent. 4. Flattering the respondent in the cover letter does not seem to affect response. Pre-notification letters might help to establish the legitimacy of a survey. Another investigator found that cover letters signed with green ink increased response by over 10 percent. Briefly describe why the study is being done and identify the sponsors. Mention inclusion of a stamped. Mention the incentive. 2. Ethnic sounding names and the status of the researcher (professor or graduate student) do not affect response. How much did you spend last year for life insurance ? ______ 12. When sample sizes are small. The importance of the cover letter should not be underestimated. mention the inclusion of a free gift without specifically telling what it will be. Other investigators. Describe your “confidentiality/anonymity” policy. It provides an 11. Give the name and phone number of someone they can call with questions. Questions asking respondents to rank items by importance should be avoided. If the questionnaire can be completed in less than five minutes.S. thereby contributing to a respondent’s trust. 4. Another possibility is that a prenotification letter builds expectation and reduces the possibility that a potential respondent might disregard the survey when it arrives. One of the most powerful tool for increasing response is to use follow-ups or reminders. Traditionally. 1. self-addressed return envelope. have reported that personalization has no effect on response. A meta-analysis of these studies revealed an aggregate increase in response rate of 7. If an incentive will be included with the questionnaire. go to question 3 2. Does not ask the respondent to order or rank a series of more than five items.e. 2. One older study did find an increase in response. The literature regarding personalization are mixed. Justify why the respondent should complete the questionnaire. the respondent must mentally continue to re-adjust his answers until they total one hundred percent. the response rate can be increased by mentioning this in the cover letter. it is not an effective motivator. altruism is not sufficient justification. The researcher needs to weigh the additional cost of sending out a pre-letter against the probability of a lower response rate. opportunity to persuade the respondent to complete the survey. This is impressive and lends credibility to the study. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION These questions could easily be rewritten as one question that applies to everyone: 1. however. 6. Encourage prompt response without using deadlines. Some researchers have found that personalized cover letters with hand-written signatures helped response rates. A low response rate can be devastating to the reliability of a study. 181 Cover Letters The cover letter is an essential part of the survey. so the need to follow up on nonrespondents is clear. For most people. every response really counts and a pre-letter is highly recommended. while another reported that hand-written signatures produced better response. It is important to maintain a friendly tone and keep it as short as possible.

and a meta-analysis revealed an aggregate gain of 3. Others have found that anonymity and confidentiality issues do not affect response rates or responses. However. In fact. identifying numbers on questionnaires are generally preferred to using respondents’ names. These include token gifts such as small packages of coffee. order to avoid response contamination. A subject is more likely to respond if they are involved and interested in the research topic. some studies have shown that the length of a questionnaire does not necessarily affect response. Generally (although not consistently). Most researchers view nonresponse bias as a continuum. Questionnaires that jump from one unrelated topic to another feel disjointed and are not likely to produce high response rates.234 . More important than length is question content. who examined a volunteer organization. Another study found that nonrespondents were more often single males. The Length of a Questionnaire As a general rule. ranging from fast responders to slow responders (with nonresponders defining the end of the continuum). However. It is difficult to conduct an anonymous questionnaire through the mail because of the need to follow-up on nonresponders. A meta-analysis of fifteen studies showed that an The Order of the Questions Items on a questionnaire should be grouped into logically coherent sections. Another group of researchers argue that nonresponse should not be viewed as a continuum. should appear together. It is important. Each question should follow comfortably from the previous question. where those conducting the study promise not to reveal the information to anyone.9 percent. nonmonetary incentives have resulted in an increased response. Transitions between questions should be smooth. Most studies have found that nonresponse is associated with low education. education. Incentives Many researchers have examined the effect of providing a variety of nonmonetary incentives to subjects. one study used extrapolation to estimate the magnitude of bias created by nonresponse. trading stamps. however. One study reported that questions in the latter half of a questionnaire were more likely to be omitted. It is not clear whether or not question-order affects response.Researchers can increase the response from follow-up attempts by including another copy of the questionnaire. However. it is important for the researcher to keep in mind the unique characteristics of the people in the sample. respectively. participation in a raffle or lottery.1 percent and 7. The average increase in response rate for monetary and nonmonetary incentives was 19. Questions should be meaningful and interesting to the respondent. One researcher proposed a diminishing return model. Some studies have shown that response rate is affected by the anonymity/confidentiality policy of a study. and employment status were the same for respondents and nonrespondents. and that the differences may be due to the different levels of interest in the subject matter. and that late respondents do not provide a suitable basis for estimating the characteristics of nonrespondents. When designing the follow-up procedure. A few researchers have reported that question-order does not effect responses. to explain why the number is there and what it will be used for. The promise of an incentive for a returned questionnaire was not effective in increasing response. one researcher reported that demographic characteristics such as age. Some researchers have reported that people who respond to surveys answer questions differently than those who do not. ball-point pens. The only way to do a follow-up is to mail another survey or reminder postcard to the entire sample. or a donation to a charity in the respondent’s name. it is believed that question-order effects exist in interviews. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Anonymity and Confidentiality An anonymous study is one in which nobody (not even the researcher) can identify who provided data. and contained fewer extreme responses. postage stamps. The most successful follow-ups have been achieved by phone calls. reported that those more actively involved in the organization were more likely to respond. respondents tended to exhibit greater interest in the general questions. The postcard serves as a reminder for subjects who have forgotten to complete the survey. it is possible to guarantee confidentiality. Others have found that late responders answer differently than early responders. but not in written surveys. Nonresponse Bias Many studies have attempted to determine if there is a difference between respondents and nonrespondents. Generally. key rings. Many researchers have examined whether postcard follow-ups are effective in increasing response. or those that cover a specific topic. Questions that use the same response formats. Writing a questionnaire is similar to writing anything else. One researcher. Grouping questions that are similar will make the questionnaire easier to complete. Demographic characteristics of nonrespondents have been investigated by many researchers. Some researchers have suggested that it may be necessary to present general questions before specific ones in 182 © Copy Right: Rai University 11.5 percent. where increasing the amount of the incentive would have a decreasing effect on response rate. while others have reported that it does. and the respondent will feel more comfortable. Others have reported that responses became more distorted when subjects felt threatened that their identities would become known. A meta-analysis of 38 studies that used some form of an incentive revealed that monetary and nonmonetary incentives were effective only when enclosed with the survey. Most investigators have found that the order in which questions are presented can affect the way that people respond. long questionnaires get less response than short questionnaires. Most researchers have found that higher monetary incentives generally work better than smaller ones. The vast majority of these studies show that a follow-up postcard slightly increases response rate. For the purpose of followup. Other researchers have reported that when specific questions were asked before general questions.

only to find a questionnaire. While a deadline will usually reduce the time from the mailing until the returns begin arriving. “Undecided”. Words like usually. The best advice is probably to use a “don’t know” option for factual questions. although we might predict that response rate would be less for gummed labels because they have the appearance of less personalization.2 percent was found. A meta-analysis of these studies revealed a small. while professors responded better to typed addresses. we might predict that color would have a positive impact on response because of its uniqueness. reported that students responded better to handaddressed postcards. unimportant. but significant. This writer could also find no studies that examined whether the color of the envelope affects response rate. often. The middle option of an attitudinal scale attracts a substantial number of respondents who might be unsure of their opinion. Therefore. In another meta-analysis on nine studies. Questions that exclude the “don’t know” option produce a greater volume of accurate data. 11. Many researchers have reported increased response rates by using registered. Several researchers have found that the physical location of the middle alternative can make a difference in responses. Unlike attitude questions. Researchers strive for objectivity in surveys and. A meta-analysis of these studies revealed that the aggregate difference was slightly less than one percent. Many studies have looked at the effects of presenting a “don’t know” option in attitudinal questions. There is still a controversy surrounding the “don’t know” response category. conducted at the University of Minnesota. Several authors have reported that minor changes in question wording can produce more than a 25 percent difference in people’s opinions. Frequently. an aggregate effect of 6. There are also different response patterns depending on whether the midpoint is labeled “undecided” or “neutral”. it appears that it does not increase response. Surprisingly. Question Wording The wording of a question is extremely important. there is generally no difference in response rate depending on the inclusion or exclusion of the “don’t know” option. The physical placement of the “undecided” category (at the midpoint of the scale. but not for attitude questions. or separated from the scale) can change response patterns. sometimes. the postage stamp.8 percent. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION The “Don’t Know”. must be careful not to lead the respondent into giving a desired answer. Reply Envelopes and Postage A good questionnaire makes it convenient for the respondent to reply. The “don’t know” option allows respondents to state that they have no opinion or have not thought about a particular issue. The results of these studies suggest a small increase in response favoring a stamped envelope. The wisdom of using these techniques must be weighed against the consequences of angering respondents that make a special trip to the post office.incentive of 25¢ increased the response rate by an average of 16 percent. Many investigators have confirmed that slight changes in the way questions are worded can have a significant impact on how people respond. The Outgoing Envelope and Postage There have been several researchers that examined whether there is a difference in response between first class postage versus bulk rate. and “Neutral” Response Options Response categories are developed for questions in order to facilitate the process of coding and analysis. and $1 increased the response by 31 percent. Others have pointed out that using a business reply permit might suggest advertising to some people. Envelopes with bulk mail permits might be perceived as “junk mail”. and may even reduce the response. One possible explanation is that a cutoff date might dissuade procrastinators from completing the questionnaire after the deadline has past. certified. Mail surveys that include a self-addressed stamped reply envelope get better response than business reply envelopes. Several investigators have looked at the effects of modifying adjectives and adverbs. therefore. and that placing the middle option at the last position in the question increases the percentage of respondents who select it by over 9 percent. Many researchers advocate including a “don’t know” response category when there is any possibility that the respondent may not know the answer to a question. or special delivery mail to send the questionnaire. Notification of a Cutoff Date Several researchers have examined the effect of giving subjects a deadline for responding. Some investigators have suggested that people might feel obligated to complete the questionnaire because of the guilt associated with throwing away money—that is. This writer could find no studies that examined whether gummed labels would have a deleterious effect on response rate. Unfortunately. respondents might legitimately not know the answer to a factual question. One study. Another possibility is that a business reply envelope might be perceived as less personal. and thus will be reflected in a lower response rates. First impressions are important. offering respondents a middle alternative in a survey question will make a difference in the conclusions that would be drawn from the data. A few researchers have also examined whether metered mail or stamps work better on the outgoing envelope. the research suggests that the “don’t know” option should not be included in factual questions. Respondents are more likely to choose the “undecided” category when it was off to the side of the scale. the effects of question wording are one of the least understood areas of questionnaire research. A meta-analysis on 34 studies comparing stamped versus business reply postage showed that stamped reply envelopes had a 9 percent greater aggregate effect than business reply envelopes. Researcher have also studied the “don’t know” option for factual questions. Furthermore. It is not clear whether a typed or hand-addressed envelope affects response. and the respondent’s first impression of the study usually comes from the envelope containing the survey.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 183 . or less personal. aggregate difference of 1.

When using this method. It is also called an Nth name selection technique. the sample is selected because they are convenient. the entire population will be sufficiently small. Sampling error is the degree to which a sample might differ from the population. Each member of the population has an equal and known chance of being selected. The following adjectives have highly variable meanings and should be avoided in surveys: a clear mandate. For example. This nonprobability method is often used during preliminary research efforts to get a gross estimate of the results. This may be due to the past benefits that the respondent has received from the university. Other adjectives produce less variability and generally have more shared meaning. Snowball sampling relies on referrals from initial subjects to generate additional subjects. The advantage of probability sampling is that sampling error can be calculated. This type of research is called a census study because data is gathered on every member of the population. 184 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. nearly all. This is usually and extension of convenience sampling. These are: lots. but carefully chosen sample can be used to represent the population. It may be extremely difficult or cost prohibitive to locate respondents in these situations. Convenience sampling is used in exploratory research where the researcher is interested in getting an inexpensive approximation of the truth. A small. this sampling method is as good as the random sampling method. not very many of. Usually. the population is too large for the researcher to attempt to survey all of its members. the degree to which the sample differs from the population remains unknown. Systematic sampling is often used instead of random sampling. a couple. The researcher first identifies the relevant stratums and their actual representation in the population. although it is clear that they do not mean the same thing to all people. Its only advantage over the random sampling technique is simplicity. a small number of. Like stratified sampling. so the pool of available subjects becomes biased. a large proportion of. and stratified sampling. virtually all.9 percent. When inferring to the population. it comes at the expense of introducing bias because the technique itself reduces the likelihood that the sample will represent a good cross section from the population. most. members are selected from the population in some nonrandom manner. systematic sampling. Sometimes. a researcher may decide to draw the entire sample from one “representative” city. After the required sample size has been calculated. results are reported plus or minus the sampling error. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Sponsorship There have been several studies to determine if the sponsor of a survey might affect response rate. Random sampling is then used to select subjects from each stratum until the number of subjects in that stratum is proportional to its frequency in the population. A meta-analysis of these studies revealed an aggregate increase in response rate of 8. almost none. Quota sampling is the nonprobability equivalent of stratified sampling. A stratum is a subset of the population that share at least one common characteristic. In nonprobability sampling. the researcher first identifies the stratums and their proportions as they are represented in the population. The population is defined in keeping with the objectives of the study. Sampling It is incumbent on the researcher to clearly define the target population. almost all. and the researcher must rely on logic and judgment. As long as the list does not contain any hidden order. numerous. Snowball sampling is a special nonprobability method used when the desired sample characteristic is rare. Sampling methods are classified as either probability or nonprobability. This differs from stratified sampling. a considerable number of. While this technique can dramatically lower search costs. every Nth record is selected from a list of population members. In probability samples. Another possibility is that a business sponsor implies advertising or sales to potential respondents. a substantial majority. As the name implies. In nonprobability sampling. and several. Probability methods include random sampling. the researcher must be confident that the chosen sample is truly representative of the entire population. many. a majority of. Then convenience or judgment sampling is used to select the required number of subjects from each stratum. and a few. a consensus of. and rarely are “commonly” used in questionnaires. Systematic sampling is frequently used to select a specified number of records from a computer file. hardly any. and snowball sampling. a minority of. and the researcher can include the entire population in the study. Stratified sampling is commonly used probability method that is superior to random sampling because it reduces sampling error. There are no strict rules to follow. The sample reflects the characteristics of the population from which it is drawn. judgment sampling. Stratified sampling is often used when one or more of the stratums in the population have a low incidence relative to the other stratums. seldom. When there are very large populations. each member of the population has a known non-zero probability of being selected. Judgment sampling is a common nonprobability method.occasionally. Random sampling is the purest form of probability sampling.234 . without incurring the cost or time required to select a random sample. The researcher selects the sample based on judgment. a significant number of. where the stratums are filled by random sampling. These include convenience sampling. The overwhelming majority of these studies have clearly demonstrated that university sponsorship is the most effective. it is often difficult or impossible to identify every member of the population. quota sampling. Some adjectives have high variability and others have low variability. even though the population includes all cities.

• Survey item or question measures such as: • Attitudes • Beliefs • Behaviors • Demographics The Questionnaire Development Process 11. written or oral communication from individual study participants • Its intended function is to obtain meaningful responses from study participants.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 27: PRACTICE CLASS ON QUESTIONNAIRE DESIGN In this lesson we will • Learn some tips on questionnaire design • Practice some exercises on questionnaire design Developing Questions Research Questions Points to Ponder The Functions of a Questionnaire • Translates the research objectives into specific questions • Standardizes questions and all or some of the response categories • Fosters cooperation and motivation • Serves as permanent record of the research • Can speed up the process of data analysis • Can serve as the basis for reliability and validity measures • A questionnaire (“survey”) item or question: statement or question used in research projects to obtain overt.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 185 .

• Question should use respondent’s core vocabulary. no ambiguity in word meaning. also. • Question should not use a specific example to represent a general case. • Question should be a grammatically simple sentence if possible. you do the math. No “double-barreled” questions. Questionnaire Organization Typical Question Sequence Approaches to Question Flow • Work approach: is employed when the researcher realizes that respondents will to need to apply different mental effort to groups of questions • Sections approach: organizes questions into sets based on a common objective of questions in the set © Copy Right: Rai University 11. • Question should be interpreted the same way by all respondents. Keep wording simple.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 186 Developing Questions “Shoulds” of Question Wording Questionnaire Organization Five Functions of the “Introduction” • Identification of the survey or respondent • Undisguised • Disguised • Purpose of survey • Explanation of respondent selection • Request for participation/provide incentive • Incentives • Anonymity • Confidentiality • Screening of respondent • Question should be focused on a single issue or topic. • Question should not be beyond the respondent’s ability or experience.234 . • Question should not require the respondent to guess a generalization. Developing Questions “Should Nots” of Question Wording • Question should not assume criteria that are not obvious. • Question should not ask the respondent to recall specifics when only generalities will be remembered. • Question should be brief.

file building. etc. You are working with a market research company and have been given an assignment to do a survey to do a comparative analysis of the two media giants: Aaj Tak and NDTV. change order of Q’s • Less than 10 percent change no new pretest. • Pretest the entire survey process. facilitates data entry after the “survey” has been completed • Numbers are preferred for two reasons: • Numbers are easier and faster to keystroke into a computer file • Computer tabulation programs are more efficient when they process numbers • Computer-assisted questionnaire design: software programs allow users to use computer technology to develop and disseminate questionnaires • Advantages: • Easier • Faster • Friendlier • More functionality Pretesting the Questionnaire Exercise 1. editing. modify Q’s. Design a feedback form to be completed by visitors to any of your many coffee houses/ restaurants. pretest again 11. including the questionnaire: sampling frame. data gathering (mail. coding. Use your initiative to decide which categories and statements should appear on the questionnaire so that it will be valuable to management in gauging customers’ opinions. You work at The Taj Mahal Hotel. sample draw.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Precoding the Questionnaire Computer-Assisted Questionnaire Design • Precoding: placement of numbers on the questionnaire to represent answers. delete Q’s.). and preliminary analysis • Questionnaire pretest: 20-40 questionnaires. Prepare a suitable questionnaire.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 187 . online. phone. data entry. 2. New Delhi as a Sales and Marketing Executive. “10 percent change pretest rule” • Changes: add Q’s. 10 percent or more.

By the end of this lesson you should be able to: • Explain the purpose of meetings • Describe the different types of meetings which take place in business • State the documents which are used in the meetings process • Compose agenda and minutes Students. review meets. Similarly. we have various committees in organizations like the Credit Committee. Based on their study. They facilitate direct. I am sure you are very familiar with this term ‘meeting’. created on account of ambiguous and incomplete verbal and vocal messages. and Legal Committee which take decisions and that is why it becomes necessary to organize many meetings. it is to be noted. production manager and research and development manager may meet to discuss the launch of a new product being launched soon. To obtain assistance 6. But in business meetings is an effective and efficient tool in the communication process. Indian executives too. To put forward ideas or grievances for discussion 4. However. These meetings are attended by a group of managers who may need to discuss a specific matter. Promotions Committee.e the minimum number of people who should be present in order to validate the meeting. Companies are required by law to hold these statutory meetings Board Meetings Board meetings are held as often as individual organizations require. they help in elaborating ideas. Similarly. They facilitate exchange of information. there can be customer meets. To coordinate or arrange activities 2. business meets. targets. And that a large proportion of this time was wasted on useless discussions. For example the marketing manager. managers meets. taking decisions and obtaining instant feedback. i. Booz.000 for a deci-sion that is worth $1000. sales manager. These are just two examples of the ways in which meetings can be of use to serve a vital communication need in an organization. face-to-face communication and are essential at various levels in all organizations. In the United States. clarifying concepts and clearing confusion. Allen and Hamilton. circulars. Meeting at What Cost A recent study conducted by the American management consultants. meetings with the computer or EDP personnel facilitate detailed and effective planning of the Y2K or any such contingency planning and preparedness strategies. To give information to a group of people 5. Recovery Committee. Meetings Meetings are the most popular method of interactive communication. All shareholders are invited to intend the GM but they must be given 21 days notice. politi-cal maneuvering Need and Purpose of Meetings 1. Such meetings may take the form of brainstorming or discussion sessions where strict agendas may not be necessary and minutes may not be kept. Man-agement Committee. usually by the company secretary. making suggestions and proposals. staff meetings. Informal Meetings Informal meetings are not restricted by the same rules and regulation as formal meetings. concluded that 299 managers.000 a year. Meetings enable face-to-face contact of a number of people at the same time. Annual General Meeting (AGM) AGM’s are held once a year to assess the trading of the organization over the year . Meeting of marketing people with prospective customers while launching a new product or service helps in clearly bringing out the significant features of the product and clarifying the finer points. To create involvement and interest Types of Meetings Formal Meetings The rules of conduct of formal meetings are laid doen in a company’s Articles of Association and/or Constitution or Standing Orders. © Copy Right: Rai University 11. dealer meets. etc. can be cleared through meetings with the people concerned. decisions are made by groups of managers or executives rather than by individual top management functionaries. To report on some activity or experience 3.234 .BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 28: MEETINGS DOCUMENTATION agenda to be issued to all members prior to the meetings so that they can be prepare adequately in order to make a valuable contribution. in India too. it is usually considered good business practice for an 188 and personal conflicts. Audit Committee. Misunderstandings arising from unclear memos. Like their Western counterparts. In addition to these. as reported in the press. association meetings. More importantly. With such meetings a quorum must be present. Statutory Meetings Statutory meetings are called so that the directors and shareholders ca communicate and consider special reports. Systems Committee. spent half of their time in meetings. in many organizations spend a large part of their working day in company meetings. at an average salary of$50. directives. They are attended by all directors and chaired by the Chairman of the board. if any. and so on. They provide a useful opportunity for sharing information. A formal record of these meetings must be kept . the consult-ants advised organizations not to call a meeting that costs $10. fostering of team spirit and commitment to common goals and objectives. report of progress reports.

Though most of these are-simple necessaries. different views. Sometimes. are best decided in consultation with the chairperson and other senior functionaries on whose behalf the meeting is called. It would therefore be imperative to give attention to certain details while convening meetings.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 189 . Invitations have to be sent well in advance to ensure that outstation participants have sufficient time to make appropriate travel plans. Background papers should state clearly what is expected of the meeting. office notes. which are effective. Regular members of 11. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Agenda Agenda is the list of items to be taken up for discussion during the meeting. It is also a common practice to state the “Resolution” covering the type of orders sought to ensure abundant clarity.While meetings. and so on. which are sent in advance to the members who. “Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything”. will have to be invariably invited. They are also taken up for confirmation before proceeding to the other items. The meeting notice should also state whether the addressee. it would be essential to identify people whose presence would be of significance when subjects are taken up for deliberation. If the agenda is not properly drawn up. Minutes of the previous meeting are also sent along with the first lot of background papers since it is always the first item on the agenda . Before the Meeting Background Papers Every meeting of some importance will have a set of back-ground papers. deliberations at the meetings should involve all the concerned functionaries and persons. Board notes. wherever formally constituted. but waste hours”. during the meeting and thereafter till the minutes are drawn up and sent. can depute someone else on his behalf. figures. efforts and other resources. people in organizations receive notices. The agenda should be such that adequate numbers of issues that merit the attention of members are drawn up and listed for deliberation so that the duration of the meeting is gainfully spent. Invitation for the meeting is to be clearly drawn up indicating the day. At the same time. etc. senior functionaries will have to be necessarily invited to lend authority to the decision making process whereas some junior level functionaries and subject matter specialists may have to be present to provide technical details and other relevant backpapers. J K Galbraith the committees. Whom to Invite To be effective. Meeting notices will have to clearly indicate who should attend the meeting. Background papers are normally prepared by the concerned functionaries or functional departments who are seeking a decision on the issue. they are often overlooked. will participate in the meeting. It should be ensured that there are ad-equate numbers of worthwhile issues. which do not clearly indicate whether they are sent as an invitation or just as intimation. Calling a meeting for the sake of it or just to ensure that the pre-determined periodicity is met entails waste of time and resources. which need deliberation at the meeting. latest position. The preparation for an effective meeting starts well in advance and there is a lot that needs to be attended to on the day of the meeting. Hope Not “Meetings keep minutes. wherever not specifically stated. All topics and issues that will be taken for discussion during the meeting call for advance efforts. time and venue of the meeting. These background papers relate to the items listed in the agenda and provide glimpses of the issues involved. contribute to decisionmaking and positive outcome. date. in the ab-sence of a formal list. The addressee in this case is likely to be confused and will have to start making further enquiries. expert opinion. It provides the reason for calling a meeting. keeping in view the purpose of the meeting and the expertise of members who will be participat-ing in it. Background pa-pers ensure that deliberations are focused and cover all relevant dimensions of the subject under discussion. illconceived and indifferently conducted meetings entail enormous waste of time. the meeting may not serve any useful purpose. In some cases. They may even lead to chaos and confusion. Background papers cover all relevant details that are germane to effective de-liberation and would normally include facts. Persons to be invited for the meeting. The items stated in the agenda should be relevant and appropriate. put up for important meetings should state clearly whether the note is submitted for “consideration and orders” or submitted for “information”. if not in a position to attend.

any notice sent months in advance or much earlier will have to be necessarily followed up with subsequent reminders. While it may not be possible to totally avoid overlapping in all cases. It is not uncommon in organizations to come across instances where the availability of venue is not confirmed or there is some misunderstanding in the date or time as a result of which either meeting are delayed or participants are made to move from one © Copy Right: Rai University 11. The date and time should be fixed taking into account holidays. that ensure minimum comfort for the members and facilitate uninterrupted deliberations. etc. lunch. etc. hinders effective communication. etc. With so many meetings taking place there is bound to be considerable demand for meeting halls and conference rooms. While reasonable advance intimation for any meeting facilitates better atten-dance. air conditioners. physical barriers such as non-availability of sound systems. day. The venue of the meeting should be fixed up obviously well before the meeting notices are dispatched. A notice in advance will ensure that participants get adequate opportunity to schedule or reschedule their en-gagements. The meeting room should lave all the physical facilities-fans. date and time of meeting Use the heading AGENDA These three items of ordinary business are included on every agenda (some committees will also include ‘Correspondence’) Special business is listed separately (any official reports come first) Finish all agendas with these final two items of ordinary business A meeting of the Sports and Social Club will be held in the Conference Suite A on Friday 14 May 2000 at 1800 AGENDA • • • • • • • • • • Apologies for absence Minutes of last meeting Matters arising Chairman’s Report Football Results and Matches (Frank Jones) New Keep-Fit Classes (Carol Chen) Purchase of Tennis Equipment (Aileen Forster) Annual Dinner and Dance Any other business Date of next meeting Don’t forget reference and date CE/ST 7 May 2000 Timing and Venue Care should be taken in fixing up meetings in a manner that is generally convenient to most of the members or participants. microphones. Also. projectors. details such as arrangements for breakfast.234 . As we have seen in the earlier chapters.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 190 Company name and committee name AURORA HODDINGS plc SOCIAL CLUB Notice states place. cramped seating. extraneous sounds. some advance planning and enqui-ries will certainly help better attendance at meetings. other important evel1ts and functions that may clash with meeting timings and make it difficult for the members to choose between one or the other. need to be mentioned. Indication of the duration of the meeting will also be helpful so that the participants would know how much time is to be allocated for it.

the chairperson ensures that discussions do not stray. fans. end on time and provide adequate time for proper deliberation of all listed items. leaving much less time for deliberating on the most important topics. among others. meetings can be really result-oriented. The chairperson may also have to make appro-priate opening remarks and concluding remarks in the interest of directing delibera-tions and arriving at clear decisions. They have to invariably give attention to details and ensure that everything is in order. ensuring that all papers have reached the participants. the convenor or the secretary and senior members have a vital role to play in conducting the meetings effectively. The Chairperson ensures that as far as possible.. air conditioners. • Refreshments and catering as are appropriate to the meeting • Checking flight arrivals. etc. Sometimes. the chairperson will have to use his or her skill in resolving such conflicts without hurting the people concerned. Checklist For Meetings The convenor or the secretariat for the meetings will have to take responsibility for the success of the meetings. it should be reiterated that meetings. will have to be attended to on priority: A situation where the deliberations have concluded and yet refreshments or lunch is not ready speaks of poor prepara-tions and has to be scrupulously avoided. during and after the meeting. On_ tan “assess the efficiency level of an organization in terms of effectiveness of the meetings conducted at various levels. secretariat brings in the much-needed professional approach in conducting meetings. obtaining approval for the same and their dispatch • Timely intimation of postponement. The checklist should include. and table items are placed. the following items: • Venue arrangements such as ensuring that the meeting hall is ready and open well in time. providing pens and pads. etc. conveyance. cancellation. • Briefing the chairman and other key members about the BUSINESS COMMUNICATION issues to be taken up in the meeting • Entrustment of responsibility concerning the recording of minutes or proceedings • Preparation of minutes on time. In other words. some time may have to be spent in warming up 9r refreshing the participants or what may be called unwinding. It is common fact that sometimes discussions in meetings tend to revolve too much on insignificant or irrelevant topics. before. well past the scheduled start-ing time.venue to another. It would be desirable to maintain a checklist of items to be checked at various stages Le. While providing the freedom for expressing views on items taken up for deliberation. should intervene and bring in the much needed sense of proportion. A situation where the convenor is still in consultation with the chairman of the meeting. some of the participants may tend to dominate the deliberations. There are occasions when the chief executive or other senior functionary may decide to convene impromptu or emergent meetings with very short notice in which case the availability of venue. Role of the Chairperson The Chairperson. room bookings. he brings in authority and decisiveness to the deliberations. reminding the Chairman and other members. At the same time. it should be borne in mind that although the people participating are knowledgeable. The chairperson or the convenor who should play a complementary role in conducting the meetings. which start on time. On the contrary. or personal clash. when conducted effectively. He or she has to ensure punctuality and effective time management. while the participants’ are waiting in the venue not knowing when and if at all the meeting would take place is the kind of situation that speaks of the indifferent attitude towards the meeting and must be avoided. Also the participants’ time is important and cannot be taken for granted. physical facilities and other arrangements for refreshments. To conclude. ensure cost effectiveness. etc. If. projectors are functioning. etc. • This kind of attention to all details by the convenor or the Punctuality Starting the meeting on time is an area that calls for conscious efforts. When meetings are either long or very frequent. Keeping the venue open. it takes conscious efforts and attention to details in ensuring that meetings are effective.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 191 . members get into a war of words. Partici-pants in all the meetings are the people and people management will have to be done smoothly. Time Management Time management is of essence in ensuring the effectiveness of meetings. they mayor may not speak out freely and contribute to the deliberations. • Changes to be effected in the composition of the members or participants. not giving an opportunity to others to express themselves. and ensuring that the convenors and organizers are at the venue well before the scheduled time are all a must in making meetings time bound and purposeful. They can be very cost effective means of intensive interaction. special invitees. change of venue. Through his experience. When participants learn to talk. all the agenda items slated for discus-sion are duly taken up for deliberation. etc for chairper-son and others wherever required • Reminding the local members about the time and venue of the meeting • Ensuring that all relevant background papers have reached the members as intended’ • Ascertaining the participation of members and the availability of quorum Ensuring that table items required for the day’s meeting are put up 11. during the course of delibera-tions. take up items not on priority and run out of focus entail waste of efforts and time and prove to be costly to the organization. meet-ings that start with undue delay. listen and interact in a responsible manner. A little extra care will avoid much embarrassment at the time of meeting. wit and wisdom. could bring in substantial benefits in resolving even sensitive matters through collective wisdom. checking whether all equipments such as mikes. Meetings.

sometimes an angry member shouts hateful. and likewise. . interpret data for solution evaluation . encourage participants to consider advan-tages and disadvantages of each suggested course of action. review what the group has accomplished. so let’s move along to the next topic. When praising people. when criticizing them. State the decision 192 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. While playing the group building and maintenance role. or ridicule. an especially tactful comment by you.You may thank this excessive talker when he is at the end of a sentence. Even taking a recess diffuses tensions. follower. respect their opinions. whenever possible. The “know-it-all. If a participant’s statement is vague. . be careful not to impose your own opinions on the group. This section lists procedures the leader should follow in conducting the meeting: 1. Maintain an atmosphere of goodwill and cooperation throughout the meeting. get along with others. To help spark discussion on each topic. 2. you should prepare your introductory statement before the meeting but neither memorize nor read it. . and then recognize someone else. nonparticipating member -First ask this person question he can answer by a simple “yes” or “no”. single them out. different participants (including the chairperson) tend to acquire some roles. If we are all here. . ask questions and keep participants from wandering onto irrelevant paths. an individual may perform as encourager. Present it informally and naturally-in one or more of these suggested ways: Good morning/ afternoon. d The erroneous member . 3. As with any bad-news message. ask another member to chair the meeting. may be required. Whenever possible. try to calm down the situation. 4. outside-the-meeting session can bring the group’s concern to the person. the terminal section is of major importance. You can show an attitude of calm understanding and turn him or her of by directing a question to another member. Thank and praise the person as much as you can. Sometimes if the original contributor of an idea cannot add to it. If a situation becomes tense or some members are reluctant to speak or are annoying or antagonistic. without referring to the speaker person-ally. or information giver. it necessary and you feel the majority are annoyed by this person’s arrogance.roles facilitating the harmony in the meeting so that meeting goes undisturbed. e. or if you wish to participate.Meeting Procedures: Conduct of the Meeting For success of the problem-solving meeting. is handling a problem participant • Here are some suggestions for leaders on handling difficult BUSINESS COMMUNICATION members a. everyone. ask other members for their opinions of these statements. . Stimulate discussion for solution discovery In general. Knowing the various roles being played by group members assists the leader in knowing how to react. Encourage each group member to feel a sense of responsibility for the success of the analysis. perhaps with a statement like “Well. . the leader. Particularly important. . and group building and maintenance roles . Sometimes. or opinion seeker. Try to be tactful.. tactless comments towards another mem-ber or members. and have a sincere interest in the values of cooperative group action. rephrase it clearly. another member may be able to carry it further. which strongly outvotes the know-it-all’s suggestions. and understanding and show a sense of humor. Good listening by everyone. or opinion giver. The quiet.If the other members-out of respect-are reluctant to correct this person. .234 . Then. Understand roles of participants In a meeting. he may then be more likely to enter the discussion confidently. Or you might move the discussion to another highly important point. let’s. an individual may playas coordinator. Begin with appropriate opening statementObviously. how to handle role statements made during a meeting. These roles may be categorized as task roles . know objectives of discussion and the reasoning process. or experience. Perhaps analyze a similar case. sarcasm. you may tactfully quiet the person by asking for a show of hands from the group. and do keep the discussion moving forward. be able to think and act quickly. a private. Summarize what parts of the problem members have solved or partially solved.get started .After you have listed members’ suggestions on the board. While performing a task role. but the above are some of the most common. perhaps with a statement like “Well. ask this member to give some information that he is sure to know because of job. The long -winded speaker . State the conclusion and plan of action – As with a written analytical report. Before you dismiss the meeting. This one-on-one meeting in a non-threatening atmosphere may produce more positive results. or information seeker.:. b. considerate. Shield the person’s pride. we have two more points to consider before we wind up this meeting. Sort. however. 5. Other possibilities are open to you as chairperson. training. avoid direct criticism.roles facilitating the achievement of the task assigned to the meeting. compromiser. or recorder.start the meeting. List them sepa-rately.‘: This person may be asked to justify every statement he or she makes. As leader. try to encourage all member’s to participate. . select. The member who shows personal animosity -Though rare. The leader should be well prepared. c. 6. we have two more points. put them in a group. to what others offer is extremely impor-tant. . be patient. If the negative member still insists on knowing all the answers.start. the leader’s attitude and efficiency-from the beginning statement through the entire discussion-are critically important.

. 6 NEW KEEP-FIT CLASSES 6 5 3 4 NOTES 1 2 meeting meeting • Names of members present • Names of any others present as invited visitors • Name of chairperson and (at the end) recording secretary • Brief summary of reports. Also future match schedule. Make some statement about how the solution the group decided on will be carried out. if any..”or “You have suggested.. Reference and date © Copy Right: Rai University 11. department. In some Agenda situations the meeting leader may have to confer with other executives of higher authority Leave right side blank and before appointments are use the heading NOTES made regarding policy Chairman will write notes in decisions..” If the group arrived at several conclusions. time. departments.(conclu-sion) clearly and definitely. by those listed on the agenda • Highlights of solutions Mention any details which will help the Chairman to conduct the meeting Carol Chen to propose the introduction of Keep Fit classes for staff. or individuals are appointed to carry out the Same main headings as the chosen action.Two functions after the meeting are distribu-tion of the minutes and-most important-seeing that responsible committees. 7 PURCHASE OF TENNIS EQUIPMENT Aileen Forster to report on new tennis equipment needed for July tournament. They usually should include: • Name of the organization. 9 ANY OTHER BUSINESS 10 DATE OF NEXT MEETING Suggest 24 June 2000 CE/ST 12 May 2000 9 10 8 7 presented and decisions made • Time of adjournment and (if announced) date or next meeting. preferably in order to importance. or group • Date.200 should read £ 12. 7.” or It’s my interpre-tation that we have approved” rather than.. ideas for programme and appoint person in charge. You might begin your statement of the conclusion by saying “You have agreed. Appointments may be made then or announced later in a memo regarding the action.£1. Point out error in 4. . this section during the Copies of the minutes your secretary or assistant prepared should be sent to the meeting participants soon after the meeting. Follow-up after the meeting . 8 ANNUAL DINNER AND DANCE Discuss date and venue..000 3 MATTERS ARISING 4 CHAIRMAN’S REPORT Separate notes attached 5 FOOTBALL RESULTS AND MATCHES Frank Jones to report on 3 matches held during April.234 193 .1 . place of the BUSINESS COMMUNICATION AURORA HOLDINGS plc SOCIAL CLUB A meeting of the Sports and Social Club will be held in the Conference Suite A on Friday 14 May 2000 at 1800 AGENDA 1 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE None received 2 MINUTES OF LAST MEETING Circulated on 16 May. “I think this is what should be done. list them.

Having this message delivered in person. Don’t be afraid to break away from the traditional meeting format and try something fun – attendees will appreciate the change to their routine and will be more likely to pay attention if they’re enjoying themselves! Here are a couple of ideas to get you thinking. In the e-mail. If you have a lot of detailed information to wade through. For example. ring a small bell). the group may want to get through the rest of the agenda and then revisit the extended issue at the end of the meeting. or suggest you wrap up and continue the session later in the week. Remember – most people need a ten-minute break every 50 minutes. "I just wanted to let everyone know there are only 10 minutes before our break". That person must comment on the subject at hand and then throw it to another participant. Outline what was assigned. It should be pretty easy to gauge if the audience is losing interest – stifled yawns. 1. Or save them to the company’s network in a meetings folder. Excessive detestation of men who are not benevolent will provoke them to unruly behavior. The timekeeper should also alert the facilitator and group members to breaks. with the help of the facilitator. In some groups. you can be certain all participants understand who’s responsible for what. small ball. Have a copy of the agenda with you. it’s worth putting some extra time and effort into your planning. a separate meeting may be scheduled to discuss an issue in more detail. for example.Here are Some Tips to Help You Take Better Minutes at Your Next Meeting. Each time the ball is thrown around the room. As follow-up. First. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Try introducing each agenda item with a humorous quote or a comic strip. also summarize the action items assigned during the meeting. Follow the agenda closely during the meeting and use a stopwatch to note when items begin and end. You could also write reminders on cards and hold them up as a reminder. reassuring them that their positions are secure. The first thing you have to do is introduce some variety into your meeting. Whoever provides the correct answer first receives a prize. If you want people to fully participate in meetings. This encourages every participant to contribute to the meeting discussion. schedule a ten-minute break. Begin by throwing the ball to a participant. keeping participants interested in what you have to say can be a major 194 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. so try to incorporate that into your meeting. ask your boss to attend the meeting and give the team a pep talk. At the end of your presentation. rather than in a memo or email. the leader may make this decision. another comment or suggestion is made. make the gesture again. analogies and guest speakers into your presentation. signal the group non-verbally (raise your hand. It's the timekeeper's role to let the group know when a speaker's time is up. Using a non-verbal gesture is comfortable for the timekeeper since he doesn't have to interrupt and encourages the speaker to be concise and stay on time. Participants who daydream or doze off during meetings make the entire session unproductive. You could say. try this simple game involving a soft. But if you sense that interest is waning. ask the group questions about the content you've just presented. will have a more positive effect. When one-minute remains. the priority level and the due date. all the meeting participants have access to the meeting notes if there’s an idea or discussion they’d like to revisit. try to insert stories.” So make sure your meeting “troops” are kept happy or you may be stuck with an uprising on your hands! Using Meeting to Help Rebuild Team Confidence. The time that's left over can be used to address any items that couldn't be covered earlier in the discussion. to decide to keep on the issue or move on. Any change of pace will help revive the audience’s interest. You can then explain the rationale behind the layoffs. Mixing up the meeting’s format should help keep participants on their toes. 2. This way. 4. Layoffs can spark hard feelings and fear in an office. which means action items aren’t always carried through. It will trigger the audience’s interest in what you have to say. Not only will this generate some excitement. When the speaker's time is up. This gesture should be determined before the discussion begins. If the agenda item has been addressed under the allocated time. it’s not always clear who’s responsible for what. As the wise philosopher Confucius said “Being fond of courage while detesting poverty will lead men to unruly behavior. It's up to the group. If your meeting objective is to introduce new information. It’s difficult to feel like a team player when you’re wondering if you’re next in line for a pink slip. but you can guarantee that fewer people will be daydreaming during your presentation! During a discussion or brainstorming session. to whom it was assigned. which would also give people time to prepare better for meaning discussion. let the group know that there will be a quiz on the content you're going to present. When a meeting’s adjourned. 3. If it's important enough. By summarizing the action items in an e-mail.234 . e-mail an attachment of the meeting notes to each of the participants. wandering gazes and random chatter are all good clues. challenge. 5. If people understand why the How to Keep People Interested in a Meeting? With the number of meetings that most of us attend. the speaker should finish.

To help bring the group back together. followed by past results? Having these criteria will help the process move more quickly. Finally they arrive at some conclusions or decisions. The record of confirmation of the previous minutes and any amendments agreed to by the committee. Minutes of a Meeting During the course of meeting. a Friday afternoon scavenger hunt or a mini-golf game throughout the office. If they’re not.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 195 . If you’re able. of those individuals/bodies responsible for talking subsequent action.” In other words. “No decision has been made unless carrying it out in specific steps has become someone’s work assignment and responsibility. and several times during. “The purpose of this meeting is to decide on the publications in which we will advertise this year. other words.” Help attendees be better prepared by sending them all relevant information for their review prior to the meeting. Follow through with your decisions. For example. record them and send them to all attendees and other colleagues who are affected. A list of those members who did not attended the meeting and from whom apologies were received. As the wise philosopher Confucius once said. behavior. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION How to Become a Better Audience Member? It takes great courage to recognize one’s shortcomings. It is the duty of a Secretary to retain all such discussions. is cost the most important factor. we must cultivate our personal life. make eye contact and respond positively to the presenter. which are always kept on official record. 11. we must first set our hearts right. Determine how the decisions will be made – will you need full consensus or will the majority win? Make your final decisions. and take action. A clear and unambiguous record of the decision reached/ resolution and if appropriate. before you can expect your department to be as effective and enthusiastic as it was. We call them as minutes of a meeting. we must first put the nation in order. A simple acknowledgment of their achievements and a word of thanks will go a long way. Otherwise. you’ll be on the way to rebuilding their trust and. “To put the world in order. Since you’ve already come this far. come up with some fresh ideas. A succinct summary of the discussion g. Then start being an active listener – pay attention. you’ll have succeeded in nothing more than wasting people’s time. they will begin to feel secure again. successful decision-making requires that you follow through with your decisions. we must put the family in order. If they’re having trouble getting inspired. relevant background to the topic under discussion f. such as new ways to meet or new rules for talking out of turn. Brainstorm possible courses of action on a whiteboard so attendees can refer to them throughout the decisionmaking process. to put the family in order. A list of those names of those who attended the meeting c. determine what’s behind your negative What is an Effective Decision Making Process in a Meeting? Achieving a decision can be a rare occurrence in some meeting rooms. • Also. Explore the potential outcomes of each option including both the benefits and difficulties. In other words these are the brief of discussions held and decisions taken at the meeting. and to cultivate our personal life. Thus minutes are the formal records of proceedings of a meeting. consider giving the team a more tangible reward as well. with it. Here are some tips for ensuring decisions are made in your meetings and helping the process run more smoothly. The essential. • Most importantly. author of The Effective Executive . I’m confident you will be able to change your negative meeting behavior. As Peter F. throw a few ideas into the ring: a lunchtime potluck. All the participants express their views/ opinions and discuss amongst themselves the pros and cons of each item of Agenda. the meeting. wait for an opening and share your ideas with everyone. The purpose of writing minutes is • To serve as the formal record of discussion and • To serve as a background for future discussions. Also use the meeting to recognize the team’s efforts and accomplishments. If the topics are boring or the presenters longwinded. Are you unhappy with the way meetings are run? Is there not enough time for attendee feedback? Are you attending too many meetings? If these things are making you resentful. d. ask everyone to brainstorm some teambuilding activities. Date and number of meeting.organization downsized and that these goals have been addressed. such as a Friday afternoon off. Organizing and participating in fun time together will help re-establish some of your department’s lost enthusiasm. For example. their effectiveness and enthusiasm. speak up – before the meeting – and suggest some changes to make your meetings more interesting and effective. e. Determine the meeting’s goal and state it clearly before. said. Define and prioritize the criteria for judging the options. to put the nation in order. deliberations and decisions in writing specifically. b. you must first help each individual realize that she is a valued member of the company. the items or topics listed in the Agenda are discussed serially one by one. By addressing the remaining employees’ status and showing them how appreciated they are. figure out why you’re nitpicking and making unwanted comments. If the comments are related to the topic of the meeting.” In Minutes comprises of a. address them after the meeting. Here are some ideas for breaking your bad meeting habits • Avoid side conversations by writing down questions or comments as you think of them. Drucker.

h. Where discussion of a specific case leads to a policy issue , it is important that a separate minute be written on the policy issue(even if this item did not appear on the agenda)
Remember Use the term Chairperson and not Chairman or Chairwoman. Non gender specific language must be used in the minutes.

Before setting out to write the minute, the following principles should be borne in mind for effective writing:
• Brevity- A minute is a selective, not verbatim record. • Clarity- Clarity is essential for good communication. Those

frustrating when I’m not told what the objective of the meeting is and when I don’t see a clearly laid out agenda that’s going to accomplish that objective.” Hagerty’s first pet peeve about meetings is lateness: “Don’t come in late. It’s disruptive and it’s too expensive. People should be on time, be prepared and be ready to roll.” But what he thinks would make the biggest improvement in meetings is for people in geographically dispersed companies to have more access to technology. “I just don’t think a phone connection is quite adequate anymore. Meeting attendees need to be able to see the information and the people – especially if they are remote,” explains Hagerty. He feels that in order for people to buy in to the focus of a meeting, they need to be fully engaged in the discussions that happen in these meetings. “When people are engaged, they feel better because they know what’s going on, and they can take better and faster action because it’s direct information they are getting, not second- or third-hand through some memo that came in the mail or through e-mail.”


who were not present should be able to understand what happened at the meeting from reading the minutes. All references should be specific, relevant and accurate. • Self -containment - The minute should stand by itself so that additional information is not required if it is required if it is referred to somebody. If readers want more of the ‘background’, they should be able to check references.
• Decisiveness – Decisions /resolutions should be conveyed

How to Reach Your CEO’s Meeting Expectations
So what can you do to make sure you’re measuring up to your CEO’s meeting expectations? Follow their meeting advice.”The basics of holding a good meeting actually haven’t changed over the years,” says Knowlton. “It all starts with whether or not there’s a clearly stated objective for the meeting in the agenda – a meeting without an agenda is a recipe for a waste of time.” Knowlton explains that she expects the meeting organizer to inform people in advance of the meeting objective and agenda, stay on track in the meeting, cover off the action items and clearly state what the outcome of the meeting is. Hagerty says there are seven main steps to follow if meeting organizers and attendees want to hold a successful meeting: stay focused on the main point; stay in control of the meeting; have an agenda; discuss the important issues; make sure everyone is fully engaged; get a decision; get out. “Because action happens outside the meetings.”

clearly. The language of actual resolution or decision should be reproduced.
• Immediate recording – Write up the minutes as soon as

possible after the meeting.

Further Readings Do Your Meetings Measure Upto Your CEO’s Expectation?
If the CEO of your company decided to sit in on a few of your meetings, would she be impressed or distressed? We asked Nancy Knowlton, Co-CEO of SMART Technologies Inc. and Bob Hagerty, CEO of Polycom Inc., what they expect from meetings and how important effective meetings are to the success of their companies. Find out if your meetings are effective enough to measure up to the expectations of these CEO’s.

What Your Meeting Means to the CEO
Both Knowlton and Hagerty feel strongly that the effectiveness of a company’s meetings has an impact on the organization’s bottom line. “Meetings are a huge investment of time, and the number-one expense that most companies have is their people,” explains Knowlton. “When people make good use of their time there’s a terrific return on investment. But when people don’t make good use of their time in meetings – they don’t achieve their objectives, there’s useless chatter or they’re cycling around on the same topic – that’s a prescription for no return on an investment.” Hagerty agrees, “I think unsuccessful meetings can be a disaster – they’re unpleasant to be in, they’re ineffective, they’re a waste of time, and they create a huge productivity hole. If you look around the room in most corporate meetings, there’s a lot of money being burned by the minute.”

Six Tips for Effective Meetings
1. Don’t Meet Avoid a meeting if the same information could be covered in a memo, e-mail or brief report. One of the keys to having more effective meetings is differentiating between the need for one-way information dissemination and two-way information sharing. To disseminate information you can use a variety of other communication media, such as sending an e-mail or posting the information on your company’s intranet. If you want to be certain you have delivered the right message, you can schedule a meeting to simply answer questions about the information you have sent. By remembering to ask yourself, “Is a meeting the best way to handle this?” you’ll cut down on wasted meeting time and restore your group’s belief that the meetings they attend are necessary. 2. Set Objectives for the Meeting Set objectives before the meeting! Before planning the agenda for the meeting, write down a phrase or several phrases to complete the sentence: By the end of the meeting,

What Would Your CEO Change About Today’s Meetings?
”I think people are generally well prepared for most of the meetings I attend,” says Knowlton. “They’ve all read background material and prepared their own materials. But I find it


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I want the group to… Depending on the focus of your meeting, your ending to the sentence might include phrases such as: …be able to list the top three features of our newest product, …have generated three ideas for increasing our sales, …understand the way we do business with customers, …leave with an action plan, …decide on a new widget supplier, or …solve the design problem. One benefit of setting objectives for the meeting is to help you plan the meeting. The more concrete your meeting objectives, the more focused your agenda will be. A second important benefit of having specific objectives for each meeting is that you have a concrete measure against which you can evaluate that meeting. Were you successful in meeting the objectives? Why or why not? Is another meeting required? Setting meeting objectives allows you to continuously improve your effective meeting process. 3. Provide an Agenda Beforehand Provide all participants with an agenda before the meeting starts. Your agenda needs to include a brief description of the meeting objectives, a list of the topics to be covered and a list stating who will address each topic and for how long. When you send the agenda, you should include the time, date and location of the meeting and any background information participants will need to know to hold an informed discussion on the meeting topic. What’s the most important thing you should do with your agenda? Follow it closely! 4. Assign Meeting Preparation Give all participants something to prepare for the meeting, and that meeting will take on a new significance to each group member. For problem-solving meetings, have the group read the background information necessary to get down to business in the meeting. Ask each group member to think of one possible solution to the problem to get everyone thinking about the meeting topic. For example, to start a sales meeting on a positive note, have all participants recall their biggest success since the last meeting and ask one person to share his success with the group. For less formal meetings or brainstorming sessions, ask a trivia question related to the meeting topic and give the correct answer in the first few minutes of the meeting. These tips are sure-fire ways to warm up the group and direct participants’ attention to the meeting objectives. 5. Assign Action Items Don’t finish any discussion in the meeting without deciding how to act on it. Listen for key comments that flag potential action items and don’t let them pass by without addressing them during your meeting. Statements such as We should really… that’s a topic for a different meeting… or I wonder if we could… are examples of comments that should trigger action items to get a task done, hold another meeting or further examine a particular idea. Assigning tasks and projects as they arise during the meeting means that your followthrough will be complete. Addressing off-topic statements during the meeting in this way also allows you to keep the meeting on track. By immediately addressing these statements with the suggestion of making an action item to examine the

issue outside of the current meeting, you show meeting participants that you value their input as well as their time. 6. Examine Your Meeting Process Assign the last few minutes of every meeting as time to review the following questions: What worked well in this meeting? What can we do to improve our next meeting? Every participant should briefly provide a point-form answer to these questions. Answers to the second question should be phrased in the form of a suggested action. For example, if a participant’s answer is stated as Jim was too longwinded, ask the participant to re-phrase the comment as an action. The statement We should be more to-the-point when stating our opinions is a more constructive suggestion. Remember – don’t leave the meeting without assessing what took place and making a plan to improve the next meeting!



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By the end of this lesson you will
• Learn how to organize meetings • Be able to state the documents which are used in meetings • Discuss the basic presentation requirements of each document • Compose agenda and minutes

Why do people meet?
♦ People meet to:
• • • • • • Share ideas Coordinate activities Negotiate solutions Plan policy and implementation strategies Develop new procedures Foster team spirit

Students, now that we know what meetings are and have also briefly studied the purpose and types of meetings let us do a small exercise. Lets assume that you all are a part of the academic cell of Rai Business School. We need to choose amongst us a Dean, secretary and faculties. Since that we have recently implemented the system of continuous evaluation system and there are yet some confusions amongst the students about its reliability and procedure, the dean has called for a meeting. Use the procedure discussed with you in the previous lesson and organize a meeting along with allocation of work as to who will send the email informing about the meeting and agenda and who will write the minutes.

♦ Topics Discussed:
• • • • Reasons for meetings Types of meetings Meeting structures and leadership Participating in, organizing and conducting a meeting • Recording • Following-up meeting outcomes

Effective Meeting Skills
♦ Organisational skills: • • • • Planning Informing Preparing Following-up ♦ Interpersonal skills: • Active listening • Questioning • Using appropriate non-verbal communication • Demonstrating cultural awareness


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Evaluating Meetings
♦ Effective meetings:
• • • • Have a clear purpose Are well planned Involve the participants Result in action

Organising a meeting
Plan Conduct Record Organise action Follow-up

Types of Meetings
♦ Formal/Informal ♦ Internal/External clients ♦ Face-to-face/At a distance ♦ Individual/Small group/Large group

Planning a Meeting
♦ Determine the purpose ♦ Organise the venue ♦ Inform the participants ♦ Prepare and circulate the agenda and documentation ♦ Check things on the day


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Conducting a Meeting
♦ Consider your purpose and audience and decide on the most effective:
• • • • • Type of meeting Management/leadership style Facilitation strategies Recording process Ways to follow-up meeting outcomes

Record decisions and follow up
♦ The minutes record the proceedings of a meeting and provide a basis for action ♦ Any decision on action should address what, who, how and when ♦ Summarise the actions and check that everyone understands what they have agreed to do

During the Meeting
1. Establish the purpose of the meeting 2. Specify the outcomes 3. Get agreement on the process and rules 4. Facilitate participation 5. Maintain focus 6. Pull the issues and outcomes together 7. Get agreement on action 8. Record decisions


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You simply cannot sell most goods and services unless you know them and can tell the prospects what they need to know. then. font selection. yourself. If you do not have such help. Angrily referred to as “spam” unsolicited. for in a sense most of them involve selling something-an idea. and such the total email package can be as complete and attractive as the comparable direct-mail package. In business. There are the downright uneth-ical practices of some email advertisers who use “misleading subject lines and invalid email addresses to thwart filtering attempts and get respondents to open them. In particular. they must be successful. • Compose sales messages that gain attention. a letter. As we shall note later. Perhaps it is because these messages clutter up inboxes. In large businesses. and usually they are blessed. and so on combine to. or such. age. The mindset of the reader must be changed before they can be successful. you must present facts and logical reasoning that supports your case. Maybe the rage results from the fact that mass mailings place a heavy burden on Internet providers.real ones. you should know your readers. Sales techniques are more valuable to you than you might think. develop convincing reasoning and close with goodwill and action. If time does not permit you to do 11. We can only suggest that you follow your conscience and practice good business ethics in whatever you do. the better you will be able to adapt your sales message. The more you know about your readers. a line of reasoning. It carries the main message. Before prospects buy a product. Or perhaps the fact that they invade the reader’s privacy is to blame. You must persuade the reader that he or she should grant the request before making the request. nationality. Knowing the Product or Service and the Reader Before you can begin writing. After you have studied the following material. how it works. you must know about the product or service you are selling. form a coordinated message. Even so. these mailings often go into the wastebasket without being read. customers. color. Anything else you know about them can help their economic status. Achieving this change require indirectness. With the use of artwork. that is. Probably you know from your own experience that direct-mail sales literature is not always received happily. Typically. what it will do. should you study sales writing? The answer is that even an amateurish effort to write sales messages gives you knowledge of selling techniques that will help you in many of your other activities. profes-sional writers usually write them. foldouts. and the other pieces carry the supporting details. And you must do it convincingly. a first step in sales writing is careful study of your product or service. you should have a general idea of how to sell by the written word. there are steps reputable advertisers can take to minimize this resistance.LESSON 30: SALES MESSAGES UNIT 3 CHAPTER 7: PERSUASIVE COMMUNICATION Upon completing this lesson. a marketing research department or agency typically gathers in-formation about prospective customers. you should know about their needs for the product or service. for the direct mail business has survived for over a century. Called ‘ junk’ mail. their goals run contrary to the reader’s wishes. You will have to decide whether and when sales mes-sages should be written. we should note that they are a most controversial area of business communication. you will able to use persuasion effectively in making requests and composing sales messages. These professionals achieve their status by practic-ing long and hard. Planning the Structure As you probably know from experience. Why. and what it will not do. with a special talent for writing. Or it may be in links or attachments skillfully arranged by subtopics. We take no stand on the issue. perhaps broken down into distinct subtopics in boxes.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 201 . Requests that are likely to be resisted require a slow. But usually a letter is the main piece. In addition. Especially will it help you in writing other business messages. Sales Messages Questioning the Acceptability of Sales Messages As we begin our discussion of sales messages. your company. and effectively drive for action Persuasive messages generally are written in the indirect order. You will need to consider these objections any time you use this sales medium. After you have stud-ied the remainder of this lesson. you will need to gather this information on your own. leaflets. email sales messages have generated strong resistance among email users. separate listings. most direct-mail sales efforts consist of a number of pieces. you should see why. and culture. persuasively present appeals. Clearly. you might ask.” Whatever the explanation. Such a presentation requires that you begin by developing a plan. education. Sales efforts by email also use support information. Our goal in the following paragraphs is to show you how to write sales messages. they may want to know how it is made. deliberate approach. the resistance is real. Moe specifically. The information may be in the basic mes-sage. brochures. Sales messages sent by email appear to be creating even more hostility among intended. usually enough to give the reader all that is needed to complete a sale. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION indirectly. you should be able to: • Use imagination in writing skillful persuasive requests that begin Benefiting from Sales Writing Probably you will never write sales messages . driving up costs to the users. To reach this goal. While they do not necessarily involve bad news.

For this reason many direct mail writers place an attention getter on the envelop. There are as many different ways of handling a sales message as there are ideas. hear. the envelope containing the message is the first attention getter.the necessary research. That is. you should write the sales message. it involves applied psychology and skillful word use. But a gimmick is effective only if it supports the theme of the message. Automobile tires. they are not likely to be received favorably. So would an electric shock or a miniature stink bomb. So would an electric shock or a miniature stink bomb. fear. Infact . and such. Attention is easy to gain if nothing else is needed. But these methods would not be likely to assist the selling. tools and industrial equipment are best sold through rational appeals. You could. a small explosion set off when the reader opens the envelope would gain attention. For example. your opinion has probably established an emotional atmosphere that you will continue to develop. anger. Cosmetics might well be sold to the final user through emotional appeals. Such products as perfume. That is. you are ready to create the sales message. But the method. Sometimes you know more-interests. If you are purchasing a mailing.234 . education. Expensive French perfumes and cosmetics would probably be bought by people in high-income brackets. Or you could present a product through an appeal to profits. race. you usually receive basic demographics such as age. One Company made effective use of a penny affixed to the top of a letter with these words. you will Gaining Attention 202 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. you proceed with the sales strategy that you have developed . Determining the Mechanics After selecting the appeal. Because sales messages are sent without invitation. or durability. sex. In addition to imagination . they even may be unwanted. Sometimes the appeals can be combined to support each other. a small explosion set off when the reader opens the envelope would gain attention. savings. It may be the offer of a gift (‘Free gift Inside’). This involves selecting and presenting basic appeals. such products as automobile tires. the messages are nit read. You should consider those that fit your product or service and those that fit your readers best. you use should assist in presenting the sales message. They also include strategies that arouse us through love. pride. How the buyer will use the product may be major basis for selecting a sales strategy. They must gain attention. smell. present a product’s beauty or its taste qualities. The reason is apparent. In one group are emotional efforts to persuade. If they do not . These are appeals to reason-to the thinking mind. A retailer’s main question about the product is: Will it sell? What turnover can I expect? How much money will it make for me? Holding Attention in Opening The first words of your message also have a major need to gain attention. and candy and fine food lend themselves to emotional appeals. It should not just gain attention for attention’s sake. In the other. it should help set up your strategy. it should help set up your strategy. but this penny can save you untold worry and money – and bring you new peace of mind. The reader must be moved to read on. list. Attention is easy to gain if nothing else is needed. But the method you use should assist in presenting the sales message. you establish a need. the nature of a prod-uct can tell you something about its likely buyers. It may present a brief sales message (“12 months of Time at 60% off the newsstand price”). income. your imagination comes intot he picture. and see. and getting better use from a product. you may have to follow your best logic. But it is likely to follow certain general patterns determined by your choice of appeals. People with technical backgrounds would proba-bly buy industrial equipment. Then you present your product or service as fulfilling that need. Thus. On the other hand. spending range. Presenting the Sales Message With the reader’s attention gained . we mean the strategies you use to present a product or service to the reader. Writing sales messages is as creative as writing short stories . making money. group is rational appeals. doing a job better. In any given case. they fail. With direct mail . Most pennies won’t buy much today. The only sure measure of the effectiveness of each way is the sales that the message brings in. In general . a rational –appeal message to a retailer would clearly tap his or her stron needs with these opening words: Here is a proven best seller – and with a 12percent greater profit Another rational – appeal attention getter is this beginning of an email sales message from eFax. consumption patterns. and enjoyment. because they grip the road and because they are safe. Unless they gain attention early. Such efforts affect how we feel. gimmicks are sometimes used to gain attention in direct-mail sales. for example. It should not just gain attention for attention’s sake. One of the most effective attention –gaining techniques is a statement or question that introduces a need that the product will satisfy. for example are not bought because they are pretty but because they are durable. many appeals are available to you. Selling cosmetics to a retailer (who’s primarily interested in their emotional qualities is only to the extend that these make customers buy. and marital status of those on the list. for example. If you select an emotional appeal. The plan of your sales message will vary with your imagination. and novels. The beginning of all sales messages have one basic requirement. Such appeals include strategies based on saving money. For example . All too often the reader recognizes the mailing as an uninvited sales message and promptly discards it. At this point . By appeals. style merchandise. In a sales letter. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Determining the Appeal With your product or service and your prospects in mind. In a sales letter.com: Never type a fax again! As was mentioned previously. we can divide them into two broad groups. taste. What you do here is a part of your creative effort. plays. For convenience in studying appeals.

Provide A Reader Benefit As Stimulus For Action Always mention some benefit(s) the reader will gain by prompt action. Dear Fellow Chicago Seminar Attendees. Date The Action—If Possible And Appropriate Name the date whenever you need the reader’s response by a certain time. and the reader has never heard of you or your item for sell. You should always include elements 1. 3.” “Jot down. 2. Sales writing usually is highly conversational. you will seek to create an emotional need for your product. your phone number (with area code and extension) are useful if you want the reader to call you. tone. People will read any length of copy AS LONG AS IT’S INTERESTING! 203 11. a one page letter may do.234 © Copy Right: Rai University .” Your book (or whatever you are selling) is the feature. ALWAYS use a headline. Complete this sentence: “Get my book so that you can. your sales description is likely to be based on factual material. Some people faced with a choice resolve their dilemma by doing nothing. References to these facilitating devices—preferably directing the reader to use them—reassure the reader that what you are asking is simple and requires little time and effort. Get out of your ego and into your reader’s ego. Pprovide a reader benefit as stimulus for action. to write your own letters. that suggest ease and rapidity in doing something. before the money goes for something else—before any of the things that could happen do happen. Finally.. Tactfully tell the reader why you need it then— perhaps to meet the deadline for a sale. order cards. Always! Without this. A good action closing—or clincher—should include the following four points: 1.” “just check. and 4 of the four point action closing when you are writing a letter relating to sales. a good persuasive closing is essential. Make That Action Easy Through Facilitating Devices And Careful Wording Facilitating devices: order blanks. Make that action easy through facilitating devices and careful wording. Therefore. 4. here’s what I think the “laws” are: 1. There is only ONE exception to this rule. This does NOT necessarily mean a short letter. but it also has decided psychological value as well because it emphasizes service attitude—rather than the greed stressed if you end with dollars and cents talk or the mechanics of ordering. When you personalize your letter. If you select a rational appeal.. Date the action—if possible and appropriate. you can also emphasize that what you are asking the reader to do is simple. 2.times called a clincher—comes appropriately at the ending of your letter. Write a headline that telegraphs the key benefit to your reader. 1. It not only provides motivation for the reader. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Sales Letters: Four Point Action Closing Securing Action Having convinced your reader that your product or service is worth the price. ONLY when it is appropriate for your writing situation. 3. you may have to name two actions and ask the reader to take one or the other. Such wording helps reduce reader reluctance to take action. 2. The headline is THE most important part of your letter! Spend nearly all of your time on it. before forgetfulness defeats you. “Write and let us know your choice” suggests more work than “Check your color choice on the enclosed card. Be brief. 2. In general. Don’ be afraid of length. your letter will bomb. You should use dated action. avoid doing so. This is something you could model in layout. the “Dear (whoever)” opening becomes your headline. this is where your letterhead should go.sell your product based on its effects on your product so vividly that your reader will mentally see it. you want to get action before the reader has a change of mind . Clearly state what action you wish the reader to take. state your office hours and location if you want the reader to come to see you in person. Jerry Jenkins asked me to tell you how to write letters that get read and get results. Clearly State What Action You Wish The Reader To Take Should the reader order your product or service? Call your office to set up an appointment? Fill out a form? Visit a local dealership or store to see a demonstration? Invite the visit of a sales representative? On finishing your letter. What people get as a result of having your book is the benefit. and ideas. Say what you have to say in terms of the reader’s self interest and shut up. Focus on benefits. and postcards or envelopes already addressed and requiring no postage— remove some of the work in taking action. You should describe your product based on what it can do for your reader rather than how it appeals to the senses The writing that carries your sales message can be quite different from your normal business writing. By the way. 3.(fill in the blank). Know what’s in it for your reader. If all you want is a return call. item 3. Also. Careful wording: through careful wording. There are few headlines more powerful than the reader’s own name. If you are trying to make a sale. Such a reminder of the desirability of your product or service—some. you may have to write four or more pages to get your message across. feel – and want it. fast moving and aggressive. At times. If you possibly can. your reader should know just exactly what you want done and how it should be done.” “simply initial” are also examples of wording Further Readings The 10 Laws for Writing Letters that Get Results By Joe Vitale The following is a letter in response to a question about how to write sales letters. That’s a tall order! Well. 4.

Use short sentences. Who wants to be dropped? Isn’t that like being in high school again and not wanting to be excluded from a popular group? Isn’t there an eternal desire to belong? With this appeal to my insecurities and ambitions. I was about to be dropped — Imagine! Me being dropped! — from the list of active subscribers. bulleted points.’ by tapping into the hopes. Use a planning tool such as the program Project Kick Start to help you think through your message. magazines try very hard to keep the subscribers they’ve got. write spontaneously and quickly to get your ideas on paper. Find one person to read your letter OUT LOUD in front of you. rewrite those places. It made an emotional case for what is essentially a business-to-business offer. Unless you act now. short paragraphs. or aspirations of those with whom you’re communicating. Or to a tape recorder. fears. 8. Many people who write persuasive copy. Abbott The other day.” © Copy Right: Rai University 204 11. Why waste your time or your reader’s with something that doesn’t communicate in a persuasive and interesting way? (I rewrote this letter 24 times!) Well. you may wish to add emotion to your communication toolbox. there are more rules. For now. But. If he (or she) has trouble reading your letter.234 . I’ve received many reminders and offers about renewing. Now. You should always guarantee whatever you are selling. But. Visual attractiveness accounts for 70% of your letter’s impact. as buyers. this idea won’t come as much of a surprise. Don’t skip this step! It’s the secret of many professional writers. think we’re being rational in making a decision to purchase. laws. edit last. Always. Using Emotion for Persuasion By Robert F. I’m not sure what active subscribers are: do they also have passive subscribers? But. or in choosing among different offers. what made this one interesting was a clever piece of copy that hit an emotional chord: inside the back cover of the special wrapper were the words. making it more persuasive.4. 10. Turn your inner editor off. for example. I wasn’t surprised. Sincerely. Get a reader. “You’re about to be dropped from our list of active subscribers. If you plan to use it. subheads. we must use emotion ethically and responsibly. Which is where the emotional factor kicks in. You can rewrite later. etc. Ask for something. Why are you writing? You want a call.’ it demands more involvement from the reader or listener. whether in sales letters or internal memos.000 to write a sales letter and have weeks to draft it always use a PS? They are always read. In the case of the magazine copy. I’m about to get dropped from an exclusive club unless I act now. in turn. Of course. indented paragraphs. Of course. Outline first. ideas and suggestions for writing letters that get results. 6. If you sell. There’s a sort of rule of thumb that goes like this: Consumers buy on emotion and justify on reason. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 5. Or to yourself. So when the last issue came with a special promotional wrapper on the cover. say the rest of us underestimate the power of emotion in getting the response we want from our messages. I received the last issue of a business magazine before my subscription runs out. More involvement. That’s always a simple but helpful litmus test. Write first. Something. and always offer proof for all of your claims. it must be a personal as well as business decision. Always. Or talk to a friend. I like this magazine. Personally. throw it away and call the person instead. there you have it. Look good. step back and ask yourself how you would respond if someone else directed that kind of a message to you. I thought it was an effective piece of copy (even though I still won’t renew). 7. so engaging subheads and bulleted points help reach them instantly. means more attention to the message. Or an order. This also helps you get comfortable with speaking your letter rather than writing it. Say so! 9. the meaning comes through. And when a message gets ‘personal. but I’m swamped with reading matter so I won’t renew. I can’t just make a ‘business as usual’ decision. we. if you try to influence behaviors in other ways. Or hire a copywriter to write it for you. but in reality we make the decision with our hearts and then justify that decision with our reasoning powers. It’s something you do by getting ‘personal. But the above will get you rolling. Of course. In other words. Some people will just skim your letter. the copywriters have forced me to think about my decision not to renew. Is it the best you can do? Be honest! If not. Always use a PS. Rewrite your letter again. if he wrinkles his brow or stops to reread a sentence. Why do copywriters who charge upwards to $15.

Copyright © 2002 by The McGrawHill Companies. q As logical follow -up. make request clearly & without negatives. - Preliminary Steps to Sales Writing q Learn product or service you sell: v How it is made v How it works v What it will do [AND WHAT IT WILL NOT DO] Body q Learn about prospective customers: v Economic status v Nationalities v Ages v Etc. q End message w/the request or words that recall the appeal. All rights reserved. All rights reserved. Inc. - Why Write Sales Messages? Sales messages are helpful in training you because: q Sales techniquesàuseful in your other activities v In writing other messages v In actual sales work v In selling yourself Copyright © 2002 by The McGrawHill Companies.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 3 5 5 Preliminary Considerations à Writing Persuasive Requests q Your Goal: Ask for something reader likely to oppose. - Closing 11.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 205 . All rights reserved. Inc. using persuasive language & you-viewpoint. - 4 6 6 Procedure for Writing à a Persuasive Request MESSAGE PLAN: Opening q Open with words that v Set up the strategyàAND v Gain attention. q Present strategy (persuasion). q You must develop strategy that w/convince reader to comply. All rights reserved. Inc. Inc. Copyright © 2002 by The McGrawHill Companies. Copyright © 2002 by The McGrawHill Companies.

- 206 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. do better job. All rights reserved. All rights reserved. All rights reserved. make money. Inc. - Organization of Sales Message Many variations are used: q Whatever works q But there is this conventional pattern: v Gain attention v Create desire v Cover all necessary information v Drive for the sale v Possibly add a postscript Copyright © 2002 by The McGrawHill Companies. smelling.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 7 7 9 9 Determining the Appeal 2-Broad Categories: q Emotional: Appeals to the senses (feeling.234 . Inc. - Copyright © 2002 by The McGrawHill Companies. All rights reserved. tasting. hearing) q Rational: Appeals to thinking mind (save money. Inc. get better use) Determining the Appeal Select appeal that fits prospects: q Sales to retailers (for resale): Ø Probably rational q Sales to ultimate consumers: Ø Either rational Ø Or emotional Copyright © 2002 by The McGrawHill Companies. Inc. - 8 8 10 10 Determining the Appeal Select appeal that fits product or service: q Some better suited to emotional: Ø Music Ø Cosmetics Ø Fancy foods q Some better suited to rational: q Work tools q Tires q Industrial goods Copyright © 2002 by The McGrawHill Companies.

234 © Copy Right: Rai University 207 . q Then. q May recall basic appeal in final words. you should strike out on new paths rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success. Pattern of Sales Letter in Detail Message Plan: Opening q Begin w/words that set up sales presentation & gain attention. - 11. - Body Closing 12 12 IF YOU WANT TO SUCCEED “If you want to succeed. q Urge immediate action. Inc. & you-viewpoint. Inc. Make it clear. Copyright © 2002 by The McGrawHill Companies.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 11 Conventional Org. drive for sale. persuasive language. q Include sufficient information to convince. use appropriate strength.” --John D. All rights reserved. q Present sales message. All rights reserved. Use imagination. Rockefeller Copyright © 2002 by The McGrawHill Companies.

and illogical or unsubstantiated claims. • Factual . tips and hints. exhibitions. radio. as the name suggests.avoid the padded quotes by company officers. In fact. is all about the relationship between the organization and the general public. A press release is an announcement.editors receive hundreds of press releases a week (perhaps more) and appreciate releases that are brief and to the point. much of what you read in newspapers. • Timely . Public relation is a part of the marketing function and press release is a part of the PR activity. which a company sends to the press and other media about anything. statements of belief: we’re the best. even if they are experts. • Well-written . you must have studied about the role of public relations in marketing. stick to the facts. hear on the radio or see on television originated in press release form. the average editor receives as many as several hundred press releases each week. Be factual. The job of the PR person in nay organization is to constantly on the lookout for newsworthy events. products. magazines. and they often depend on releases to tip them off to new and unusual products. and producers are hungry for news. newsworthy and impartial 2. Contain up-to-date information 4. Public relations.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 31: PRESS RELEASE By the end of this lesson you should be able to • Explain the function of the public relations department • Explain the purpose of a press release • Discuss the special writing skills needed for compiling a press release • Explain the appropriate format for presenting press release • Compose press release according to given instruction When writing your press release. Unfortunately. • Honest . here are some guidelines to follow. Questions to Consider Before You Write a Press Release • Who is the preferred audience of your press release? • What do you want readers to take away from your press release? • What does your press release provide: invaluable information or just another offer? • What is the support or justification for the information in your press release? • What is the tone of your press release? • Are you aware of possible pitfalls or areas to avoid? • What do you want to accomplish with your press release: increase business. Be a produced professionally Write a Successful Press Release A press release is one of the primary ways you can communicate news about your company to the media. sponsorship. etc. avoiding Students.g newspapers. it should be • Concise . The biggest obstacle to most press releases is the release itself. Effective PR material will: 1.stick to logical and substantiated claims. the vast majority of How to Write a Press Release Planning Begins Before You Write a Press Release While no one can guarantee your press release will be published or used for an article. A press release is not an advertisement but it can result in useful publicity for the company issuing the release. the cheapest. Reporters. Appeal to human interest 3. On of the aims of PR is to influence the general public through the mass media.a good way to ensure your press release ends up in the wastebasket is: bad spelling. If used.if your press release isn’t topical. they come across as biased. Be appropriately distributed 5. information . company trends. there are things you can do to improve your chances. disseminate information or both? Does the press release’s lead (opening) address or answer the basic tenets of journalism • Who • What • When • Where • Why • How If you are responsible for helping to produce public relations material. e.234 . television. or trade publications. 208 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. poor grammar. developments and human interest stories and then turn them into any of the following: • A press release • A press conference • A photo opportunity for newspaper coverage • Corporate material for direct mailing • Briefing packs for potential customers • Briefing packs for special groups of visitors • Free educational packs for schools and colleges incorporating it with a recent news event — but don’t stretch it. consider Public Relations The public relations (PR) function in any organization is usually carried out by staff who have specialized in this sector. and other developments. editors. services . which it considers to be newsworthy.

What are they interested in reading or viewing? Do they want news. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 3. And it’s better to use too many details than too few. food. Put the most important information at the beginning This is a tried and true rule of journalism. or know how a new service works. try not to use technical terms. Hopefully in your contact information research. Find legitimate ways to set you and your company apart and stress those points. in rare cases. Stress benefits This falls into the category of “don’t say it. With these two pair of shoes in mind. 1. rather than one that provides only general statements about how great or interesting your business is without saying why. If your release is boring or meandering. then you can contact each to find the appropriate contact person for your genre of information. usable information. save time.” Instead. feature editor (sports. you were able to obtain an e-mail address and/or fax numbers. If your release looks sloppy and careless. Keep jargon to the minimum If you’re in a technical field. The first pair belongs to the editor or producer of a particular publication or broadcast. When. ‘Shekhar’s new book contains seven principles of market analysis that enable even casual investors to choose profitable stocks. you’re not getting to the point. in other words. and descriptive.’ Even better. give the release to a friend or colleague who does. To promote your business.make sure your release provides answers to Who. If you don’t have a good eye for spelling or grammar. author of “Six Steps to Free Publicity” calls this “Yes. Real English. a managing editor or. Sometimes this will be a reporter.” Your challenge is to create a release that makes the journalist want to know more and discover that your story is one they must tell. 9.” Avoid saying something is “unique” or “the best. 5. provide real.” 10. make their life easier. Use an active headline to grab the reporter’s attention The headline makes your release stand out. as Yudkin notes. This person should be familiar with all the news in the release. snail-mail works best. So. 6. entertainment. show how people will benefit . “Instead of ‘Shekhar’s new book contains information designed to benefit any stock market investor. Be active and to the point Use language that will get the reader as excited about your news as you are. In some cases. show it. this person is the producer. Use these 10 tips to write a release that will get noticed. write a release that answers questions about your business. graphics or exhibits are pertinent.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 209 . chances are that’s all they may read. but what IS it?” syndrome. have someone unfamiliar with your product or service read the release and asks him or her to describe what you trying to publicize. The reporter should be able to tell what the release is about from the first two paragraphs. use something like “Rajdeep Named Man of the Year” instead of “Rajdeep Gets Award. Keep it short. when pictures. 7.e.’ write. etc. 11. save money. executive producer. Keep your release to two pages or less On the rare occasion. Be specific and detailed Marcia Yudkin. Otherwise. active. Include a contact Make sure your release has a person the journalist can contact for more information. Why walk in these shoes? These are the people responsible for assembling a publication or broadcast. So don’t hide good information. If your information does not fit the format or purpose of the publication or broadcast. this editor or producer will ignore and bypass your press release information. although faxes do still work. and should be ready to answer questions. Once you have identified the publication. If in doubt. Again. There is a trend today toward e-mail communication. Where.i. not jargon. Why and How. who do you now send the press release to? The logical answer is daily or weekly newspapers that serve your target market. What. 8. Many reporters are not as intimate with your company or your industry as you are. the actual publisher. Proofread When you’ve finished your press release. Instead of making over-inflated statements. remember to proofread it for typographical errors. a feature editor.” 2. Who do I send my press release to? In order to properly answer your question.it looks professional and gives the writer another way to reach your firm. best communicates your story. calling the station or searching the Internet will help you track down the correct name and contact information. In fact. 4. you can opt for a third page if it is necessary to provide critical details. I’m going to ask you to put on two pairs of shoes. if you can’t state your message in two pages. Avoid hype and unsubstantiated claims A writer can smell a sales pitch a mile away. tips or techniques? Knowing what readers and viewers want and how editors and producers supply these needs will help you craft and target your press release. so will you. You can get a list of these from your library or from search engine research. Once you’ve compiled your lists. program manager. And issue the release on your company letterhead . describe two of the seven principles right in the release. lifestyle) or individual reporter. it’s time to send your information.which end up getting “filed. And remember the “5 W’s and the H” . they may assume that you will not be a good interview. The reader needs to be able to visualize a new product. Knowing which method your contact prefers and then delivering accordingly will enhance your chance of publication or broadcast. The second pair of shoes to wear are those of the reader or viewer of a publication or broadcast. For radio and television. news director.

followed by an audience. So use email instead. articles will go to print at around 6:30 p. Tell the audience that the information is intended for them and why they should continue to read it. try to reach them early in the day. these people are very busy and usually face tighter deadlines than you and I work with on a daily basis. Make sure you wait until you have something with enough substance to issue a release. Further Readings Beyond the Press Release Develop a public-relations plan that will keep your business in the spotlight. Respect this and work with their schedules. intriguing case studies and fresh thinking. use the press release to tell the editor that you’re pitching a proven example of something. And if it’s a new campaign. on the other hand. Reilly If you build it. • It’s rare. Most importantly. make sure your press release communicates to editors exactly what makes the product unique. heed this advice: Read previously published articles. Although editors admit it’s not something that can be easily explained. 8. Make sure your story is one no one has written about. 1. don’t say “press release” in the subject line. 6. his vision turned into reality as the players came. Keep in mind.” • Some magazines prefer to examine case studies. so you’ll need to go through them to get it. 10 Essential Tips to Ensure Your Press Release Makes the News.m. but they will do their best to respond in a timely manner. then distinguish who announced it. 9. an Iowa farmer. editors don’t like companies that come off as boastful in their press releases. Your best bet is to offer a story very grounded in best practices. • Before you pitch a newspaper in a major city.m. This abstract concept worked for Kevin Costner in “Field of Dreams. they will come. built his dream baseball field. work it and keep in touch. 3. They should have a good sense of what is coming up on the editorial calendar. though. Hollywood makes it seem so easy! But if you want to attract 11. know their audience. most importantly. Business Start-Ups magazine . 2. Tell editors quickly why your story is so important to their readers. add to it. Web site address. and you’ll be on your way to hitting your target with PR. but something in the trip must make it worthwhile for them to travel. Start with a brief description of the news. And get their attention in two paragraphs or less. but some magazine editors will take time to visit individual companies. What is the best way to contact editors? • Most editors are too busy to field phone calls. be it pricing or a cool technical aspect. Voice mail is unreliable because it tends to clog up really fast. address. It’s best to just take your shot. even when you don’t have an actual press release. 210 © Copy Right: Rai University .” His character. for instance. so there’s one editor put it. 10. email. This is Part I. Deal with the facts.Keep your list of contacts. Make sure the information is newsworthy. What are the preferences of some of the well-known publications as far as submitting PR-related material? The advice given here applies to any situation in which you are submitting PR materials to the press. • Newspaper editors try to attend any local ad and media conferences. But before you do. all too often they receive irrelevant pitches that don’t relate to the publication.May 1997 By Catherine A. It’s also not a bad idea to give a clear definition of what segment of the market you are playing into. “We want leads about people who are flying beneath the radar and doing something quite remarkable. phone. Give us a company that no one has really heard about before or a new effort from a fascinating company that is trying something different. The calendar is proprietary. you wanted to pitch an idea for a technology article. Avoid excessive use of adjectives and fancy language. To make it work for you. Postal mail is even worse. 4. Instead. Ask yourself. in the city where the publication is based. 7. Make sure the first 10 words of your release are effective. Eventually. though their writers do them in their own way. some newspaper editors just might be receptive to meeting you. And. What about deadlines? • Monthly magazine editors plan ideas all the time. and not the other way around. What do magazines and newspapers look for in a story pitch? • Not all magazines are looking for news stories. Unless it really is breaking news. know the magazine. contact the marketing department. are on deadline every day of the workweek. real examples of how it differs from the competition.234 Most tend to shy away from the standard issue trade shows and instead go to conferences that feature new ideas. • If you’re trying to get PR for your new product. get to the point early. Make it as easy as possible for media representatives to do their jobs. Remember. as • There are certain big events that attract the attention of the BUSINESS COMMUNICATION media. Above all. but days are set by 4 p. Where can you go to meet the publication staff? • Magazine editors attend a variety of conferences each year. Provide as much Contact information as possible: Individual to Contact. though. “How are people going to relate to this and will they be able to connect?” 5. If. as they are the most important. it has to be different and relevant. Frequently. And if you’ve got a great story and you’re in the local area. most of it gets discarded by editors. • Newspaper editors. • Magazines love it when a company approaches them with no magic window of opportunity. fax.

You don’t have a plan. You may get there—eventually. but you must tell them in a systematic. you want to expand sales volume. in a marketing frenzy. Rice. although it can play a key role in marketing your products and services. Canada. former president of Royal Crown Cola Ltd. just as a sports coach or combat commander is constantly evaluating tactics. Las Vegas). and head off. The function of PR is to publicize your company to these people. What do you wish to accomplish with your PR plan? Of course. initially. Similarly. which is as futile as trying to boil the ocean. $10. and when you will finally reach your destination. are a part of your public. Trouble is. and how and when you will say it. Your public includes your current customers. suppose your new company is going to introduce a new product. they must develop a solid public-relations plan to promote their enterprises. You don’t know what the weather will be like along the way. point your van southwest. and determine how long it will take to drive there..” All good planning begins with research. You may be successful without the plan. However. you will obtain a great deal of positive publicity for your company—at very little cost. Planning the publicity for your business is similar to planning a trip. You don’t have a road map. and author of Marketing Without a Marketing Budget (Adams Media Corp. If your company is very new. and devote enough time and energy to carrying out that plan. however. but you have a much better chance of arriving in Las Vegas if you have a map in the glove compartment and consult it regularly during your journey. It may require a little extra time. your future customers.95. with its start and completion dates indicated. Consider your road trip: In planning for this journey. Put your goals into an orderly list of achievable objectives. All these people have an interest in your company—in the prices it sets. the relationship your company has with its public. Rearrange them. but it will save you time—and money—in the long run. you must publicize your field of dreams. Naturally. determine your objectives. So you place an advertisement in your favorite magazine. and in the products and services that it provides. all have lead times—the time between when they receive your promotional material and when it appears.employees and customers to your new business. just as they must start with a good business plan to launch their businesses. and garner very few results. So you throw some clothes together. your promotional materials must be released well in advance. Once you’ve determined these basics. Maybe you want to introduce a new product or service. and even potential customers. what other things do you want to achieve? Perhaps you want to increase the number of repeat customers your company has. Each promotional effort should be listed. you can plan the best method for achieving your goal. Obviously. For example. and plan how you will achieve this feat. if anything? Who are your competitors? How do they publicize their businesses? Understanding your competition will help you rival them in the marketplace. says planning should be an ongoing part of your day-to-day business operations. you must create a plan of action—a way in which you will achieve your objectives. What does your public know about your business. You will plan when to leave. you want people to know about it. No one will know that your company exists if you don’t tell them. You don’t know how long the trip will take. you’re not exactly sure what you should do. you must be realistic in your action planning. and as a new business owner. Your employees. 11. Beyond the Press Release BUSINESS COMMUNICATION What is Public Relations? Public relations—or PR—is. whether print or broadcast. Owners of thriving ventures know that. If you don’t plan what you want to say. Defined literally. For this reason. literally. Look them over. your time chart for promoting your new product should begin four to six months prior to the release date. You should always be thinking about next steps. if you are to realize any benefit from your effort. You want to drive from New York City to Las Vegas. it can take from two to four months for that release to be printed. With this information in mind. It is important to remember that the media. “When should you plan?” he asks. “All the time. But it will be much easier if you first research what you want to accomplish. you must first do your research. your public will be left to develop their own opinions without any guidance from you. you must first decide on your objective (in this case. your initial PR plan may include simply getting the word out about your business. select the roads you would like to travel and the places you would like to visit along the way. Certain PR practices can aid the marketing process. you try to promote your company on every level possible. in creating a PR plan. If you have a good plan. Let’s begin with a time chart. when you will stop along the way. The relationship you create with these people will have a profound effect on the future of your business. and to create a positive image of your business which will translate into sales dollars. Or. as are your neighbors and the local press. 800-872-5627). Therefore. marketing is the use of pricing and distribution to sell a product. How Do I Create a Plan of Action? Now that you know what you want to accomplish. As a result. If you’re running a one-person show. beginning a long road trip. Once you send a press release to a publication. Craig S. You should then consult a map. you cannot increase sales volume before your potential customers know about you. It is important to remember that PR is not marketing. It’s best to keep your initial plan simple. Your time chart should be a weekly calendar of things that you will do to promote your business. Put them into a logical sequence. planned manner. Write down your objectives.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 211 . while you know that you must do more than fire up the old computer and hang out a shingle. Do I Really Need a Plan? Imagine yourself in a car. you can learn to use PR to enhance your marketing plan. if you have any. you spend a lot of money and time.

unique or unusual? Tell them how running your release can benefit their readers. Supply a caption. bizarre? Is it the first. Keep it factual. Make sure it’s news. etc. man. so make certain you’ve included all the necessary facts in the opening paragraphs. The worst thing you can do is to inundate all publications on your mailing list with the same press release. Of course. identifying any individuals pictured. 5. event n Who ¨ People n Why ¨ Reasons 212 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. which can be very expensive. action. Is your company new. the last or once in a lifetime? Does it show progress or human interest? the information useful to those reading it? n Usefulness ¨ Is Elements of News n What ¨ Subject of the story.) Characteristics of News n n Conflict ¨ Is the subject man vs. Keep your target audience in mind. It is an informational letter describing a newsworthy fact about your company. editors receive many press releases. Find the angle. 3. Editors love photos.? Novelty ¨ Is the subject unusual. Start with the most important information. if you choose to include a photograph). if appropriate for action. 2. the press release can be very effective in promoting your business. magazines and newspapers do not charge for editorial coverage. Editors want the facts. object. Make sure you tailor your release to their respective markets. and there is no guarantee that yours will be printed. Editors usually cut from the bottom up. Also. That means you pay only for the cost of postage (and photography.234 . not your opinion. (Never write on the back of a photograph. nature. Photos help. How? Be professional. man vs. Editors want to create publications that are interesting to their audiences. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION What is a Press Release? The press release is the most common communication tool used in PR efforts. person. attitude. unlike advertising. phenomenon or area by name. 4. Written correctly. Remember these tips when issuing a press release: 1. you must try to make your release stand out from the crowd. and type it on a separate sheet of paper. when you have more people and resources to assist you. biased copy in your press release.and expand it later. Publications rarely run press releases word for word. Therefore. Research the publications first. title and description. The fastest way to diminish your credibility is to put gushing.


Writing Style


Inverted Pyramid
¨ Most

Answer the following questions:
¨ What ¨ Why

important points expressed first ¨ Required by newspapers and other publications that have limited space

will take place? are you holding this event? ¨ Who will be there? ¨ When and where is it? ¨ How many people are participating and what will they be doing? ¨ What do you expect to come out of the event?

Most critical part of the news release n Without an effective lead, the reader will not read further. n A good lead “sells” the story. n What, how, why, when and who should be covered in the first paragraph. n Give this information in three or four sentences (no more than 30 words).

Parts of the Release

¨ Inverted

pyramid ¨ Include support for each point
Quotes Comparisons n Statistics n Causes and consequences n Background information
n n


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Parts of the Release
n Closing
¨ Tell


CONTACT: JANE DOE (405) 555- 1234

Headline is centered and bolded STILLWATER, Okla. – First paragraph: interesting lead sentence, general description of event, date, place, and who is invited. Second and succeeding paragraphs: more description, background of the event, quotes from people involved. Final paragraph: program details, contact information. ###

how one can receive more information
of person, phone number, e-mail, etc.

n Name

Closing example

For more information about OSU’s basketball team, contact Coach Eddie Sutton at (405) GO-POKES.

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the big guns and stress “just a few of” the most important things the reader will discover. By offering a killer list early in your sales letter, you will automatically create a desire in the reader to continue through your ad copy. After all, if they are already interested after the first list of benefits, they will certainly be open to finding out even more reasons why your product or service will aid them. 6. Just let it all flow out. Write down everything that enters your mind as you are writing your sales letter. You can edit it later. If you just sit and start writing everything you know about your product or service and how it will benefit your customer, you will be amazed at how much information floods your mind. Write it ALL down. Then read through it - you’ll be able to add a lot more detail to many of the points. Edit it after you have exhausted all of your ideas. 7. Make your sales letter personal. Make sure that the words “you” and “your” are at least 4:1 over “I” and “my.” Your ad copy must be written about YOUR CUSTOMER not yourself. I’m not sure how the old advertising adage goes, but it’s something like this, “I don’t care a thing about your lawn mower, I just care about my lawn.” Leads aren’t interested in you or your products; they are interested in themselves and their wants and needs. When you are finished with your sales letter and have uploaded it to a test web page, run a check at http://www.keywordcount.com and see what the ratio between “you” and “your” versus references to “I,” “me,” “my,” etc. It’s a free service. Make sure it’s at least 4:1 in favor of the customer. 8. Write like you speak. Forget all of those rules that your grammar teacher taught you. Write your sales letters in everyday language, just like you would talk in person. Don’t be afraid to begin sentences with “And” or “Because.” Don’t worry about ending a sentence with a preposition. Write like you speak. Your sales letter isn’t the great American novel, so don’t write it like you are Ernest Hemingway. 9. Use short paragraphs consisting of 2-4 sentences each. Long copy works...but long paragraphs do not. Use short paragraphs that lead into the next paragraph. Don’t be afraid to use short sentences. Like this one. Or this. See what I mean? Shorter paragraphs keep the interest of the reader. Longer paragraphs cause eyestrain and often force the reader to get distracted. 10. Stress the benefits, not the features. Again, readers want the burning question answered, “What’s in it for me?” What need is it going to meet? What want is it going to fill? How is your product or service going to be of value or benefit to the reader? Spell it out. Don’t focus on the features of your product or service , but rather how those features will add value to the life of your reader. For example: If you are

Upon completion of this lesson you will
• Learn the structure of a sales letter • Compose a sales letter

Writing an Effective Sales Letter
(32 easy ways to give a new life into your sales letter...) 1. Write your sales letter with an individual in mind. Go ahead and pick out someone, a real person to write your sales letter to. Doesn’t matter if it is grandma or your next door neighbor or your cat. Write your sales letter just like you are writing it to them personally. Why? Because when your potential customer reads, it then it will seem personal, almost like you wrote it with them in mind. Too often, sales letters are written as if they were going to be read to an audience rather than one person. Keep your sales letters personal, because one person at a time is going to read them. 2. Use an illustration to get your point across. In my sales letters I have told stories about my car stalling on the side of the road to illustrate the idea that we must constantly add the fuel of advertising to keep our businesses running. I have compared the hype of easily making millions online to the chances of me riding bareback across Montana on a grizzly bear. Leads have read of how getting to the top of an oak tree relates to aggressively marketing online. People love a good story that pounds home a solid message. Tell stories that illustrate a point you are trying to make. Emphasize a benefit by sharing an account from the “real world.” It effectively creates interest and further establishes the point. 3. Create an interest in the reader from the very first line. Your first line of the sales letter should immediately create a desire in the reader to want to know more. Go back to the beginning of this article. The first words were, “It’s true.” I can guarantee you that either consciously or subconsciously you thought “What’s true?” Immediately, your mind wanted to know what I was talking about. Before you even knew it you were right here, 8 paragraphs into this article. Carefully craft your first line. If you can immediately get them wanting to know more, you’ve got a winner. 4. Use bullets. People spend a lot of time reading bulleted lists. In fact, they often reread them over and over. Use bulleted lists to stress the benefits of your product or service, to spell out exactly what is included in your offer. Use an extra space in between each bullet to really highlight each line and create a sense of more length to the list. 5. Launch into a bullet list immediately. Shortly after your opening line, immediately give the reader a bullet list of benefits to absorb. Hit them with your best shot. Pull out


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selling automobile tires, you may very well have the largest assortment of tires in the world, but who cares? I don’t care about your selection. But, I do care about keeping my 3month-old baby girl safe while we are traveling. So, instead of focusing on your selection, you focus on the fact that my baby girl can be kept safe because you have a tire that will fit my car. You’re not selling tires, you’re selling safety for my family. Stress the benefits, not the features. 11. Keep the reader interested. Some sales letters read like they are a manual trying to explain to me how I can perform some complicated surgery on my wife. They are filled with words and phrases that I need a dictionary to understand. Unless you are writing to a very targeted audience, avoid using technical language that many readers might not understand. Keep it simple, using words, language and information that are easy to understand and follow. 12. Target your sales letter. When you are finished with your final draft of the sales letter, target it to a specific audience. For example: If you are selling a “work at home” product, then rewrite the sales letter by adding words in the headlines and ad copy that are targeted towards women who are homemakers. Then, rewrite the same sales letter and target it to college students. Write another letter targeting senior citizens. Still another could be written to high school teachers wanting to earn extra income during summer vacation. The possibilities are endless. All you need to do is add a few words here and there in your ad copy to make it appear that your product or service is specifically designed for a target audience. “Work only 5 hours a week,” would become “College Students, work only 5 hours a week.” Your sales letter is now targeted. Upload all of the sales letters to separate pages on your website (you could easily target 100’s of groups). Then, simply advertise the targeted pages in targeted mediums. You could advertise the “College Students” page in a campus ezine. The “Senior Citizens” page could be advertised at a retirement community message board. By creating these targeted sales letters, you can literally open up dozens of new groups to sell your existing product to. And, in their eyes, it looks like the product was a match made for them. 13. Make your ad copy easy to follow. Use short sentences and paragraphs. Break up the sales letter with attention grabbing headlines that lead into the next paragraph. One thing that I have always found to work very well in sales letters... ...is to use a pause like this. Start the sentence on one line, leaving the reader wanting to know more, and then finishing up on the next line. Also, if you are going to use a sales letter that continues on several different pages of your website, use a catchy hook line at the end of each page to keep them clicking. “Let’s get you started down the road to success, shall we? CLICK HERE to continue.” 14. Use similes and metaphors for effect. When the customer purchases your product, they will generate “a flood of traffic that would make Noah start building another ark.” If they

do not order today, then they will “feel like a cat that let the mouse get away.” Use words to create a picture in the readers’ mind. When you think of Superman, what comes to mind? Immediately, we remember that he is “faster than a speeding bullet.” “More powerful than a locomotive.” “Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.” See how word pictures stick in our minds? 15. Focus on one product or service. Don’t try to sell your customer multiple products at the same time. It only confuses the reader. Keep your ad copy directed at one specific product or service. Then, use other products and services as back-end products. 16. Make it stand out. Don’t kid yourself. There are hundreds, maybe thousands out there on the web doing the same thing you are doing. How will you stand out among the crowd? Your sales letter must inject personality. It must breathe of originality. Your product or service is different. It’s not like all of the rest. It is unique. Right? Your sales letter must separate you from the competition. It must create a feeling of “You won’t find this anywhere else.” 17. Be believable. “Earn $54,000 in the next 24 hours!!!!!” Delete. Good grief, do they think I am an idiot or something? Get real. Don’t make outrageous claims that are obviously not the truth. You’ll ruin your reputation. Let me tell you a simple universal fact that cannot be reversed. Once you have been branded a liar, you will NEVER be anything but a liar. It doesn’t matter if you launch the most respectable, honest business available anywhere, people will always have doubt because they remember the crazy stuff you’ve said before. Be believable. Don’t exaggerate, mislead, stretch or distort the truth. 18. Be specific. Don’t generalize your information, but rather be EXACT. Instead of “over 100 tips for losing weight” use “124 tips for losing weight.” By generalizing information, it creates doubt and questions in the reader’s mind. “What am I really getting here? Does he even know?” When you use specific information, the reader begins to think, “This person must have counted. I know exactly what I can expect.” “Platitudes and generalities roll off the human understanding like water from a duck,” wrote Claude Hopkins in his classic book “Scientific Advertising.” “They leave no impression whatsoever.” 19. Be complete. Tell the reader everything they would want to know about your product or service. Answer all of their questions, anything they would want to consider before making a purchase. Think about it from their point of view. Ask yourself, “Why wouldn’t I buy this?” Then, address that in your sales letter. Remove anything that would keep the reader from making the purchase. 20. Use testimonials to boost your sales. Share actual excerpts from what your current customers are saying about your product or service. Many websites have an entire section or even a separate page that has endorsements and compliments listed. Satisfied customers remove some of the doubt in the mind of the reader. “If these people have found a lot of value and benefit in the product, then I



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probably will too.” Especially effective are testimonials from respected, well-known “authorities” within your target field. 21. Use headlines over and over throughout the sales letter. A headline isn’t just relegated to the beginning of your ad copy. Use them frequently -but don’t overuse. A well-placed headline re-grabs the reader’s attention, brings them deeper into the letter, and readies them for the next paragraph. You will want to spend as much time working on your headlines as you do the entire sales letter. They are that important. 22 Avoid asking stupid questions. “Wouldn’t you like to make $1,000,000 a year?” “Doesn’t that sound great?” “Would you like to be as successful as I am?” Avoid any question that insults the intelligence of your reader or makes them feel like they are inferior. 23 Offer a freebie even if the customer doesn’t buy. If the customer decides he or she isn’t going to make a purchase, then you want to follow-up with them later to try to influence them to buy in the future. By offering a free item, you can request their email address in order to obtain the freebie. By doing this, you can now follow-up with the customer for a potential future sale. Additionally, you can continue the sales process by having your ad copy, banners, flyers, etc. within the free item. And, of course, if your free item is a high quality, useful product or service which impresses the customer, they probably will be back as a customer soon. 24 Use bonuses to overwhelm the reader. One of the things that I have found very effective in writing sales letters is to include bonus items that OUT-VALUE the actual product I am offering. Ginsu made this one famous. They were selling a set of steak knives, but before the commercial was finished, you had so many bonus items on the table it was hard to refuse. Make sure you provide quality bonuses and not some worthless, outdated junk that damages the credibility of your main offer. 25. Use connective phrases like “But wait, there’s more” and “But that’s not all.” These phrases effectively lead the reader from one paragraph to the next, particularly when the next paragraph is a bullet list of benefits, or leads into bonus items. Again, the idea is MORE and MORE value and benefits to the reader. 26. Always include a deadline. By including a deadline, you create a sense of urgency in the mind of the customer. “If I don’t order within 24 hours, then I won’t get the bonuses.” “Oh no, there are only 10 items remaining, I’ve got to hurry.” Let the customer know what they will be missing out on if they don’t make the deadline. Remember, they won’t miss out on your products or bonuses, they will miss out on all of the benefits of your products. Deadlines are very effective. Every sales letter should have one. 27. Tell them exactly how to order. Be clear as to the order process. Point them towards the order link. Tell them what methods you offer. (I.E. credit cards, checks, etc.) Make this process as simple and clear as can be. If it takes more than 2 steps, most people won’t continue.

28. Explain when the product will be delivered. How quickly will the order be processed? When will the order be available? Let the customer know exactly what they can expect when they place their order. The more specific you can be here, the better. Let them know that you have a system in place. “Operators are standing by.” Their order will be handled properly. Tell them. 29. Offer a money back guarantee. Take away their last reason to hold back. Offer a “no questions asked” 30 day guarantee. Most people may not realize this, but in most cases, it’s the law of the land. You are REQUIRED to give them their money back if they are not satisfied with the product or service. Since it’s the law anyway, why not make it a benefit. Let them know that they are purchasing your product or service RISK-FREE. 30. Instruct them to respond immediately. Many people just need to read those words, “Act Now!” “Order today!” “Click Here to Instantly Place Your Order.” You’ve got them this far, now tell them what you want them to do. Get them to “Act Fast!” Have you ever heard a mail order commercial on television that didn’t prompt the viewer to order right way? 31. Include a postscript. People will always read the P.S. Always. In fact, the P.S. is one of the MOST IMPORTANT parts of your sales letter. Why? Because in many cases the visitor at your website will scroll immediately down to the end of your page to see how much it is going to cost. A P.S. is a perfect place to recap your offer, so when they see your price tag, they will also see a very detailed description of what they will receive for their money. Use your P.S. to restate your offer in detail. 32. Include a second postscript. You better believe if they read the first P.S., they will read a P.P.S. Use this post script to remind them of the deadline or offer another bonus or point out some compelling factor that would make them want to order. I guarantee you they will read it.


1. Write a sales message for Memories Forever, a photography group socializing in weddings. The group’s primary service is making videos of the complete wedding and the post wedding festivities. In addition, they can prepare the conventional individual photographs of the wedding highlights. In fact, they can do just about everything photographic that the wedding couple desires. The group has decided to send sales messages presenting their services to the brides as their weddings are announced in the society columns of the local newspaper. The message will be designed to sell idea of preserving the wedding for all time. It will use whatever appeals and approaches will best achieve this goal. As the one who will write this sales message, you will need to think through this situation carefully to determine just what these appeals are. Then you will develop them in a carefully worded message that will create conviction. In preparing your message, you will use this basic information plus any additional facts consistent with the


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234 . for you have a number of good testimonials. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 218 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. They guarantee ‘ satisfaction or your money back’. For the basic video and selected still photographs package the charge is Rs 8000. You can supply the names of satisfied customers if necessary. depending on what is wanted. But it can go p or down.information given. The photographers in the group are all experienced professionals. A company representative would meet with the customer in advance to determine precisely what is wanted and the cost.

to get the most out of your hard-won cash. When they phone in. You’ll need permission to leave your leaflets in these places and some may demand a small fee. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Student’s in this class we will understand what are leaflets. In a two-step campaign the leaflet is only intended to attract the customer’s attention . you answer their questions and try to clinch the sale there and then. If your product is aimed at a select group of people then look for specialist publications aimed at that group. Alternatively they can be placed where potential customers will see them. You capture their contact details and send them a brochure or information pack. Do they have cars? If so. which make them extremely effective. • Think about the product you are trying to sell . Which publications are they likely to read? Don’t just think about well-known titles. They can include color. How many interested people you can contact for each £1 spent? Estimate how many people will see your leaflets . They put across your sales message very powerfully 3. Pick out a few promising candidates and evaluate them a bit more. They can be made to stand out so they’re very good for attracting the reader’s attention 2. This section runs through the key stages in a leaflet campaign and includes suggestions and questions to consider when designing your particular approach. which may be used for leaflets. ie: Value For Money = People Contacted x % Interested ÷ Leafleting Cost Obviously. Do they insert leaflets? How much does this cost? Who is already mailing your target customers? Use your imagination.and persuade them to phone or write requesting more information. The telesales variant of the two-step campaign asks the customer to phone for more information. With the bigger leaflets you can include a cutout form for enquiries or immediate purchases. Suppliers of related products? Clubs and special interest groups? Do they insert leaflets? Look for adverts under Business-To-Business headings. and place their order. Leave a small heap and see how quickly they get taken. Design leaflet according to given instructions. One Step or Two? First you must decide what kind of campaign you want to run one step or two. We will also learn to design leaflets. Although many network marketers achieve great results using leaflets it is not without hard work and careful preparation.and place their order. In a one-step campaign your leaflet asks your customers to buy your product immediately. There are specialist mailers who charge for their services.and adjust it by your guess at the percentage interested in your product. So the leaflet has to include all the information to persuade them to buy . importantly . Then divide this figure by the total cost of the leaflets plus any charges for distributing them. This then contains the material to persuade them to buy. Include them in mail shots.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 219 . Place them on car windscreens. distribute your first leaflets via the options offering the best Value For Money. work out the Value For Money rating . • Where do they live? Are you just aiming at people in your neighborhood? Or do you have wider ambitions? Will saturation coverage of your area reach the people you want to find? Or will your leaflets just get chucked in the bin? 11. Leaflets Leaflets are very powerful tools for promoting your products. Finally. where do they park them? Will a blitz on the town center car parks reach the people you want to find? Or will they just get thrown away? Which public places do they visit? Supermarkets? Libraries? Sports centers? Doctors’ surgeries? Use your imagination. Distribution Options There are several options for distributing your leaflets: • Push them through letterboxes in your area. It can work well but requires good telephone technique.think about the kind of people who are likely to buy it.our transatlantic cousins charmingly call this the “bang for a buck”. The idea is to find potential customers by distributing leaflets to their homes or workplaces. its purpose. Remember: It’s worth taking your time to get your planning right because it’s easy to waste a lot of money and effort on unsuccessful leaflets. Place piles of them in public places insert them into newspapers or magazines. photos. The great advantages of leaflets are 1. For each one: How many people will see your leaflet? What proportion is likely to be interested? How much will it cost? Don’t forget to include the cost of the leaflets as well as any charges for distributing them.LESSON 33: DESIGNING LEAFLETS UNIT 3 CHAPTER 8: LEAFLETS AND INVITATIONS By the end of this unit you will be able to • • • Explain why leaflets may be produced in business Describe different designs.and more Designing Leaflets Leaflets vary in size from A6 (a quarter of an A4 page) up to A3 (folded to A4 size). drawings and logos.

Make good use of “power words” . earn. It would be a crying shame to excite your customers’ desire and not be able to receive their responses. Send 4 x 26p stamps to Anita at . include an order form for the reader to cut out. And you can make sure they fill in all information you need. Give enough information about the product so they understand what you’re offering. mystery. For example: Phone 567890 for details. special. One-step campaigns . save. “Special Offer!”. then your headline can focus on what makes your product different from the rest.and make your leaflet stand out from the rest. enjoy. now. This makes life easier for them. Use all these special effects sparingly. etc) can be used to attract the attention and put across key points. and you can afford the space. Too many looks fussy . and separated from the rest of the text. Don’t force these words into your leaflet . For example. If you’re selling a service then consider a picture of something related to it. eg. free. more.which will save a lot of effort. If you can afford the space. don’t attempt to do the job of your brochure or your telephone sales pitch. bonus. Obviously they need to be happy people.the first phrase or sentence . Start by being clear what your leaflet is intended to achieve. You can also put a code on the form so you know which campaign produced the response. fast. the more you do the better you get.or even a mess! Leave some “white space” around the content as that helps to draw the reader’s eyes. large print or special typefaces to achieve the same effect. a car for motor insurance. you’ll have to use your artistic ingenuity to make your leaflet stand out from the crowd.mehraonlin. boxes. Short phrases enclosed in simple graphics (banners. For example. write.and vice versa. If your customers are mostly men then a picture of a woman will be most effective . There are some basic rules for designing leaflets . and clearly shows your postal address. The headline .com Proof read this bit especially carefully. especially if the brand name is well known. possibly capital letters. fax or email for more information. extra.but use them rather than weaker alternatives. drawings and logos to attract the reader’s attention. This makes life easier for them. or someone on the phone for cheap calls. new. Put a code on the form so you know which leaflet and publication produced the response. include an order form for the reader to fill in and post to you. if you don’t want your message to end up in landfill. If you’re inserting in a publication with a specialist readership. If you’re inserting in publication with a broad readership. maybe you can use lines. And you can make sure they fill in all information you need. eg. Make sure it tells them who to make out their cheque to.are less common. win. profit.. persuade readers to buy. Take some time thinking of alternative headlines and picking out the best. money. They also help to arouse the reader’s interest and desire. Also they may have restrictions about where or how you distribute leaflets. Where possible. the local paper. Some printers offer colors. You can also put a code on the form so you know which campaign produced the response. is to forget the product and lead with the benefit to the customer. A few of them will create a strong visual impression. You’ll need to describe the product. stars. eg.234 . You want people to stop and read your leaflet . If you can’t afford the artwork. 220 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. They have to look good so you may have to pay someone to design them and produce the “camera-ready copy” 2. It should be written in large bold type. speech balloons. They’re especially important if you’re trying to sell “off-the-page”. Your customers get bombarded with lots of leaflets. discover. Photographs or drawings of people help catch the attention. especially suitable for business opportunities. The tail end of the leaflet must tell the reader what to do next. These include: avoid.is critical. fortune.where the object of the leaflet is to persuade the reader to buy your product immediately . include an information request form for the reader to fill in and post to you. Many leaflets are part of a two-step campaign . Examples include: Be your own boss! Earn in your spare time! Or you can use blatant attention grabbers like: Free! Brand New! Only Rs20! Two for the price of one! The middle wording needs to interest the reader and build up their desire. For example. “New!”. Visit our website at www. Most get thrown straight in the bin. Another powerful approach. This makes life easier for them. fill in and post to you. and tell them where to send their order and payment which takes space and increases the cost.The Main Disadvantages are 1. Use the headline to attract the reader’s attention . Pictures of the product don’t just catch the attention. how to. (Reverse that if your target market is gay people). This will only attract the attention of people who are genuinely interested in rare books. exciting.not other things around it. then your headline should probably specify your product. if you’re two-stepping.words that make the reader sit up and take notice.but there is also great scope for artistic inspiration. Rare Books!. If you’re one-stepping. They can probably supply you with “camera ready copy” . easy.where the object is to persuade the reader to phone. but these usually cost more. “Sale!”. Glossy paper looks more professional but costs more. But. Logos also work well. emphasise the benefits for them. Check with your company. Bikers News. They may insist on approving your leaflet BUSINESS COMMUNICATION All Leaflets Should Follow the Tried and Tested AIDA Formula • Attract the reader’s Attention • Interest the reader in the product • Excite the reader’s Desire • Ask for Action from the reader The big advantage of leaflets is that you can use photographs. If you want them to write. Printing can take time so you have to plan ahead 3. And prompts them to fill in all information you need. More Studs Than Any Other Jacket. learn. They may already have some effective leaflets you can use or modify. “Half Price!”. Like most things. Flashy ones can be quite expensive. or you’re limited for space. exclusive.. bargain. So.

If they mention their family.. If you try to put on airs it will sound false. 11. Prepare counters for objections they might raise. You’ll also have to train the family to answer the phone properly too. Explaining that new clothes or computer games depend on business success may tip the balance. Incorrect contact details will lose you business and annoy your customers. For example: “Akash traders – Anil speaking”. make remarks about the caller! Assume they can hear everything. you have to get the kids out of school .”. “How would you like this delivering?”. and they seem to be interested. Try to sound keen and interested in what the customer is saying. ever. you’ll need to send “camera ready copy” to the printers . Answering with “Hello?” will make your customers wonder just what kind of business they are dealing with. This should include your trading name .but the only alternative is a separate phone number. If you just want to capture the callers details and send them an information pack then keep the call short and business-like. “Do you want to buy one?” comes across as aggressive . Simply dropping in the occasional “Yes” helps build a rapport. Make sure you get their name early on and use it occasionally.don’t fold it! It won’t photograph cleanly with a fold line down the middle. For some reason the television. phone number. and where they saw the leaflet. You should also get an answering machine to field your calls when you’re out. You just switch back into your sales pitch and try to close the sale when they’ve had a bit more time. what product they’re interested in. Make sure you proof read what you send for printing. Your friends and family may think you’re a bit odd . Try to establish a personal relationship with the caller. If you want your leaflet to go into a particular issue.show an interest. Spelling errors and nonsense wording make you look an idiot. address. For most publications there is no flexibility about their deadlines. and sort out a mutually convenient time to call them back. Speak clearly and at a comfortable speed . And you won’t be able to claim a refund. Work out the key points of your sales pitch and rehearse how you’re going to say them. Murphy’s Law says that the phone only rings when you’re in the toilet.so they know who they’re dealing with.so don’t rely on it! If you want to clinch the sale over the phone then make sure you’re well prepared. you come to the crunch point asking them to buy. You should call them (and pay the call charges) because you’re the one causing BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Handling Responses Telephone Calls Good telephone manner is vitally important. So try to find somewhere quiet for your business calls. “Which color would you like?”.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 221 . Work out a standard message along the lines of: “Thank you for calling Akash Traders. This should be a conversation . They’ll come in handy the next time you talk to them. Human memory is notoriously unreliable . Emphasis and intonation can be quite important here. Like “How many would you like”. Write it all down . Try to tune your comments to fit in with their train of thought. or tell them something similar about yourself. we’ll get back to you”.and your name . If you don’t have the expertise or the facilities you may have to pay someone else to do this. But be yourself. or where they live . you can produce acceptable camera ready copy using your PC with a good laser or inkjet printer. the kids fighting. If you’re setting the leaflet yourself. If you don’t tell them it’ll be your own fault if it goes wrong.a good quality original of your leaflet.explain the problem.all sound much louder over the phone than they do in the room. but .with them speaking as much as you. When you’ve told them about the product and its benefits. or “How would you like to pay?”. Find ways to agree with them. But don’t overdo this or you’ll spend all the time gossiping rather than selling.even with your hand over the mouthpiece. For example: “It costs more than brand X”. For simple non-glossy leaflets. If you’d like to leave your name and number after the tone. They’ll probably say “I don’t know” or “I haven’t decided”. If you don’t have the enough time to make the sales pitch . photos and logos.there and then.. “Yes. Never.and allows them to answer “No”. take the caller’s name and phone number. postcode. Much better to ask them a question that implies they have decided to buy. Keep a notepad and pen by the phone. Even if you have to disagree with them try to say “Yes.for a fee! For very small leaflets check whether the printer can photo-reduce a larger original. Listen carefully to what the caller is saying. or their job. Work out a standard greeting and use it whenever you answer an incoming call. Sales people call this “closing the sale”. Some printers will produce the artwork for you . If you’re posting camera ready copy to the printer . or otherwise unavailable. And put a stiffener or some padding in the envelope so your precious original doesn’t get mangled by the postman. Modern telephones are very good at picking up background noises .so the caller knows they’ve got through to the right number . Make a note of key points. It must be clear and sharp enough for them to photograph or scan into their publishing / printing system.not too slow. Note this doesn’t say you’re out (which might give a hint to burglars) and it doesn’t say when you’ll call back (which might raise false hopes). get it to the publisher in good time for the deadline. This may well give a sharper image than you can achieve directly from your PC’s laser or inkjet. Ask them open questions (ones that can’t be answered yes or no) so you’re clear what they’re looking / hoping for. Capture the bare minimum of information: name. Don’t let it degenerate into a monologue.it doesn’t help their street cred. Usually they’ll just answer the question and you can move swiftly on to capturing their order details. Make sure you tell them (preferably in writing) which issue you want it to go in. Stroppy teenagers often baulk at this . and the toilet flushing . Even if they baulk at this question all is not lost.before it’s published. I’m sorry we can’t take your call right now. Don’t approach this head on.eg. but you use less each time so it lasts longer”. You’ll definitely need permission to use their trade names.not too fast .

Second class may be cheaper but it allows the customer 24 hours longer to cool off and gives the impression you’re less serious about wanting their business.and what to do with the responses. Faxes and Emails First rule . BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Following Up Your campaign will have given you the names and contact details of paying customers (even if you didn’t recover your costs). Count up how many responses your leaflet produced (and. which can have some unfortunate effects. If you’ve taken an order from the caller then move it on to payment collection and delivery promptly. Remember. explain the offer accurately. follow up every few weeks/ months. And the wording has usually been carefully crafted to present the product in a good light.do it! This is essential to build up their trust. If you can afford it. it’s possible to design a leafleting campaign that successfully sells products to customers . You can use graphics on faxes to improve their appearance but check what they look like after faxing. Types of Leaflet Most organizations produce leaflets or brochures for any number of reasons: 1. Then wait for a second so they can hang up first (otherwise they may think you’re glad to be rid of them). Adding a short personalized letter or note is a nice touch that can endear you to the customer. To promote special events an promotions 3. use the standard brochures. your campaign design worked better than expected. If you have a PC with a modem. If you’ve promised to send the caller an information pack then get it on its way today! Follow the guidance below about replying to letters. Check the weight of the sealed envelope on your kitchen scales if you’re in any doubt. faxes and emails. Did you recover your costs? Earn a bit of extra cash? Were the response rate. If you’re replying by letter. If you’re replying by fax or email then take your time to get the wording right. Then take away your costs. Or phone them for a brief chat (but back off if they don’t seem keen to be called). Once you’ve captured a customer. But write it neatly (or type it) on quality paper . Your aim is to encourage them to buy again. order rate and average order value what you predicted before you started? If they were higher . if you’re two stepping.and don’t give this information away to anyone else. it’s much easier to get further orders than to find new customers. Review Results At the end of your campaign you should review how well it worked so you can learn how to do better in future. before you leap into action.well done. If illness or absence delays your response then apologize! Keep an accurate record of who has responded and what you have sent to them .with dates. You’ll only get this one chance to make your pitch so prepare it with the same care as you lavished on the original leaflet. At the end.and say goodbye. Appearances really matter a lot. Fast delivery is always very impressive and makes them well-disposed towards further purchases. and comply with the law. fax or email your reply the same day. Having the postman knock on their door to demand excess postage will put a customer right off you. However. how many orders). have you any clues as to why it went wrong? Should you use that distribution option again? Was there something wrong with the leaflet? Keep a note of what happened.strike while the iron is hot! Your customer has seen your leaflet and taken the time to ask for more information about your product. take a short breather and conduct a Sanity Check on your plans.but ends up losing you money! So. Where possible. Store their personal details securely . They’re probably worth using again. Substitute your own material at your peril. and bear this hard-won learning in mind for future campaigns. To give information of any kind Such leaflets may take the form of a single page or they could be designed as a folded document – A4 size couldbe folded once or twice to make a four page or six page leaflet as shown here: 222 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Make sure your name and contact details appear on the material you send out .234 . Whatever you promise to do .the problem. They’re usually well printed on glossy paper with nice pictures. price lists and order forms produced by the company who supplies your products. To prublicise goods or services 2. It’s vitally important to reply quickly while they’re still keen. The appearance at the receiving end is often much better than if you send from a low-cost fax machine. make sure you put enough stamps on it. The same goes for the envelope. If possible despatch the order today. You’d be surprised how many people forget these simple courtesies. Remember that publication and the key elements of your leaflet. If your campaign didn’t do as well as you hoped. try sending your faxes direct from the PC. Letters. Shades of grey get changed to black or white.or you can undo all that goodwill at a stroke. Record these people in your customer list and guard it jealously. use first class postage for replies. Aim to post. What are you going to put in the reply? Make sure it includes everything the customer needs to make their purchase decision and return their order. thank them for their call . Send them the latest brochure when it’s updated.even if you have to add a sticky label to each item. Work out the value of the orders taken and your commission / profit. Also lay out the text so it’s easy to read and the page looks visually attractive. Sanity Check OK. You’ve now worked out what leaflets to distribute where .

234 © Copy Right: Rai University 223 .BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 11.

(2) Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. • Antibiotics do not just attack the infection they are prescribed for they can also kill useful bacteria which normally protect you against other infections such as thrush. • Some antibiotics have harmful side-effects such as diarrhoea and allergic reactions.doctorpatient. Your body’s defence system can often protect against infection without the need for antibiotics. If you have an infection such as a cold. This could mean that the antibiotic may not work when you really need it. • extreme shortness of breath. you or your child are experiencing any of the following: • symptoms which are severe or unusually prolonged.uk Reproduced courtesy of Doctor Patient Partnership © Copy Right: Rai University 11. antibiotics can reduce contraceptive protection. (2) Not taking the full course of antibiotics can lead to future antibiotic resistance. If you are prescribed antibiotics ensure you take the medication according to instructions. DOCTOR PATIENT PARTNERSHIP Promoting a healthy partnership between patients and health professionals BMA House Tavistock Square London WC1H 9JP Fax : 0171 383 6403 Internet : www. Viral infections are much more common than bacterial infections. Some antibiotic treatment can cause side-effects such as stomach upset and thrush. Harmful side-effects Potential side-effects are another reason why doctors are cautious about prescribing antibiotics. so you should not always expect to be given a prescription. Antibiotic facts • Antibiotics have no effect on viral infections (eg.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 224 Most infections get better without antibiotics In cases where patients will get better without antibiotics.org. especially for patients with serious life threatening infections. For women on the pill. (3) Ask your pharmacist (chemist) for advice. The pharmacist will refer you to your doctor or practice nurse if they think it is necessary. Overuse of antibiotics can also cause resistance and result in them not working in the future. it makes sense for your doctor not to prescribe them. (1) Although you may begin to feel better. Colds. flu and most sore throats). • Inappropriate use of antibiotics can encourage the development of resistant bacteria.234 . Many infections can be managed effectively with over-the-counter medications. When to contact your GP Call your GP’s surgery for advice if. Listen to your doctor Your doctor will be able to recognize whether you have an infection that needs antibiotics. after taking overthe-counter medications as directed. • coughing up of blood or large amounts of yellow or green phlegm. you must take the full course of antibiotics to prevent your illness coming back. Doctors need to prescribe antibiotics with care: This is because inappropriate use of antibiotics can be dangerous for individual patients and for the whole population. flu or sore throat (1) Take paracetamol according to the instructions to help reduce fever and relieve aches and pains. This is a very worrying trend. • There are effective alternative remedies for managing the symptoms of many infections.

you can create a new. or secretary wrote these. . and most who could read and write had excellent penmanship. under all weather conditions. a circle or ‘o’ might be thin at the top and bottom and wide on the sides. each invitation was placed in a protective enclosure (a handmade envelope). Can you tell me what did you like about that invitation? Is it the wordings or is the paper quality or the color combinations. Thus arose the need for an ‘outer’ envelope. About the same time. the aristocracy hand wrote invitations since “mass production” would be in bad taste. Dukes. handwriting. the characters that were formed were thin in one direction and broad in the other. Amy Vanderbilt and Emily Post appear on the scene to help correct the fumblings of society. Everything was spelled out. It may be possible to go back another hundred or two hundred years to find the foundations. what is now called the inner envelope. The real beginning of the commercially printed wedding invitation began in the United States probably after World War II. The Kings. Writing was a mark of education. unique invitation that will set you apart from the norm yet still be in good taste. This was the task of one of the servants. by today’s standards. cross the stone bridge and proceed past the three farms until you see the stone entrance marked “Wesley”. castle. while holding the pen in one position. would include the invitee’s names (For example. and give to the doorman. when your employer gives you an instruction simply to accept or refuse. When you couple excellent penmanship with the writing instrument of the day. a hot wax seal was affixed to the envelope. When finished. Even after the printing press. This outer envelope served a dual purpose. Duchesses.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 225 .” Only for the Elite .BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 34: INVITATIONS By the end of this lesson you should be able to State reasons why invitations are used Compose formal and informal invitations Reply to formal and informal invitations of a feather with a carefully cut tip. The wife. or farm. the printing of wedding or social invitations did not begin until the start of the 20th century. There. Do you recall what the pen was like as an early writing instrument? It was a quill made 11. fascinated with industrialization. The ‘address’ was often a set of directions something like. butler. was a work of art. One or the great features of the combination of democracy with industrialization is to give the common man the ability to mimic the life-styles and materialism of society’s elite. How did they arise? Who used them? How was a wording composed? How were they delivered? What was the impact of the printing press? Why do current invitations all appear to follow a consistent style? Why is calligraphy so popular? Knowing the history and the traditions behind the social invitation will help you in your selection. Even so. etc. Lords. these invitations had to be hand delivered. “Go one days travel down the road to Chelsea. Once written. For example. Calligraphy In those days. (Wax seals often indicated the crest of the family. remove this covering. or how to reply to such invitations. . “The Duke and Duchess of Windsor”). which began the tradition of the invitation. began using ‘mass produced’ invitations probably as either a novelty or simply as another expression of wealth. Student’s I am sure you must received many invitations for birthday parties. weddings. The Postal Service Without any form of postal service. on horseback. society was not in a hurry. or in today’s vernacular. In addition. Some of the elite. The aristocracy in England and France probably beginning in the 18th century used invitations to social events. as we know it today. Thus. It was used to protect the inner envelope from water and dirt and to also provide directions to the recipients estate. including the event date and time. Or if you wish. what? Many companies organize special functions for various reasons: • To publicize a special event • The launch of a new product • The opening of a new branch office • The retirement of a senior executive The Wording The actual wording was very similar to the ‘socially correct’ wordings used today. Ladies. the ‘inner envelope’ was again wrapped or placed in an outer envelope. You can then take exception to current “standards” and still conform to socially accepted standards. The History of the Invitation There is a long history to the evolution of the Invitation. That ‘envelope’.) You may be expected to know how to prepare invitations to such functions . The major difference was that the wording. The Printing Press The printing press appeared in Europe in the mid 13th century. There. in most cases. Wait for a response and make note of same. “High Society” would invite their peers to their social events with hand written announcements of the event. Queens. included the name of the guest as part of the wording. As one wrote. You must have liked some of the invitations you have received. there were no ‘addresses’.

Is raised ink or engraving important? No. business networking meeting. 226 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. It permitted the printed invitation to emulate hand writing since engraved copper plates were made by hand. You can print invitations each including the Guest’s name as part of the wording and you can do this with your computer. Movable lead type is replaced by computers with a wide variety of lettering styles. But consider this. These are simply the traditional assets from the old days. requires an artisan to “hand write” in reverse into a metal plate using a carving tool. called fonts. This plate is then used to expose a sensitized copper plate which is then acid etched. etc. When the printed paper is removed from the press with wet ink. whether addressee only. Their name is MISSING!!! Today. Unlike ordinary printing. The print quality was beautiful and you could feel where the ink was deposited because you could feel the slight cuts in the surface of the paper. what about emailing those invitations? Sorry. the most important aspect of the invitation has been ignored. It produces very sharp and distinctive inking. One might ask why it became common place to send invitations with this ‘protective’ tissue still in place. Or are there New Technologies What of the truly old fashioned.234 . hand written invitation? You can see that over the years. as opposed to the ‘old fashioned hand written’ invitation? In any event. 2. while adhering to all the ‘old stuff’. while all the social experts tell you to hand write those envelope addresses and to hand write the Guest’s name on the Respond Card. as the name implies. This served a second purpose. your invitations are engraved and printed on only the finest paper stock. Any special dress requirements from black-tie to bathing suits.) BUSINESS COMMUNICATION The Tissue Technological advances in the design of the printing press increased the speed at which paper could be printed. engraving was a less time consuming way to mimic true handwriting. Type of event (birthday party. By printing your own. envelope seals. you are about as close to truly following the original intent of the invitation as you will ever be. Rain date (if any). . as each invitation was removed from the press. Your invitation is mass produced and is not directed to the recipient. If you and I could afford ordinary printed invitations. Be specific about who is invited.The first appearance of the printed invitation was probably for large events hosted by wealthy industrialists wishing to exploit ‘new technology’. If you want the finest invitations possible. 6. The plastic powder absorbs the ink color. . Date. . 5. not to be outdone. Three Dimensional Hand Made Invitations To be complete. tissues. To this day. Some fonts even mimic calligraphic lettering styles. you must purchase the finest paper and hire an artist and a calligrapher. or doors. Gradually. hand made and assembled. 8. Along comes a cheap version of engraving called Thermography or ‘raised ink’ printing. . The calligrapher will hand write your wording and address your envelopes. with guest. But today’s engraving plates are made by first producing a photographic plate of the wording using a typesetting machine. raised ink. Names of party hosts or sponsoring organization. Engraving. these were just technological innovations. This is a custom invitation. What is not so apparent is that raised ink is a cheap alternative to engraving. a plastic powder is sprayed on the wet ink and then blown off.). the inclusion of the tissue continues to this day. or with spouse and children. Contents 1. 4. envelope seals are the mass produced equivalent for replacing the hot wax seal. again tried to mimic the quality open only to the very wealthy. a tissue was place over it so that the next invitation laid on top would not pick up the ink from the one below. The thermography process. Was it simply a mark to clearly show that the invitation was printed using a new and fascinating technology . even with moveable layouts. Time. 3. unlike engraving used ordinary lead type washed with ink. pop-ups. these can be three dimensional with multiple layers of paper. you can print all of these things on your computer. One could guess the answer. and engraving? Consider this. 9. Mimic the Elite and Stick with Tradition Now you know why there are inner envelopes and why there are tissues. on the other hand. is a method of printing which retains a very high quality replica of drawn or sketched artwork. 7. Else why would we stick with inners. that’s for people with no taste. outers. They then elected to have their invitations “engraved”. then the socially elite needed to distance themselves from such an abomination. The artist will personalize your invitation with a hand drawing on each. Typically. custom or hand-drawn artwork. engraving actually cut the surface of the paper. But wait . It is a messy process and does not produce very high quality lettering. RSVP date and phone number. The paper is then heated until the plastic powder melts leaving a raised ink which you can feel. these factors coalesce to give you and I. Since printer’s ink took some time to dry. Even better. Us lesser folk. commercially printed invitation. there is one more form of the invitation. Similarly. technology on has given you the ability to mimic the old traditions. an affordable. So if you are upper-crust. you can go the full circle. (Such invitations are often in the region of tens to hundreds of dollars each. Lithography. Place. Raised Ink Versus Engraving Ordinary printing simply stamps ink rolled on lead type onto the paper. the finest invitations are engraved.

Type of audience. time. etc. Send anywhere from 8 . meals. and special occasions like showers. • If you do not want gifts. less formal events that include local guests or guests from nearby areas. The type of speech. date. formal dinners. © Copy Right: Rai University 11. briefly state that gifts are not wanted or needed. such as Mr. Any accommodations that will be made. articulate your pleasure of having the person speak at the meeting or conference. state the preferred dress in the lower left-hand corner of the card. Guidelines for Writing Invitations • State the occasion.. • If you need a response. Date. and transportation. we’ll) except for name titles. and how long the speech should be. time. weddings or events honoring someone. • Make sure you send your invitations out with ample advance notice.2 weeks in advance depending on formality of occasion. Always send written invitations for formal events such as business gatherings. casual dinners and brunches require the least. place of the conference and speech. save money. etc. topic. stamped reply card or envelope with your invitation. • The name of the contact person along with phone numbers BUSINESS COMMUNICATION and addresses where the person can be contacted. or graduation coming up? Is there a performance. 3. and place.) This will allow your guests adequate time to make preparations. reservations. Include addresses and a map if necessary. including lodging. include a self-addressed. Do you have an engagement. the following will help you write an effective invitation. include a map to location of event. baby shower.Tips 1. your invitation should include the following information: • • • • • Name of the conference and the sponsoring organization. If there is a dress code. Weddings require the longest leadtime. • If you have guests coming from out of town or from other countries. you may want to send out your invitation several months in advance (especially if your event takes place around a holiday. or meeting to which you want to invite people? Any special religious ceremonies like Communion or a Bar Mitzvah? Do you want to invite someone to speak at your meeting or conference? Whatever your event is. • If dinner will be served.. 2. If guests are not from your local area. school event. • For smaller. and • Finally. • If you are inviting someone to speak at a conference. List any charges that may apply. state two separate times: the time people can start arriving and the time dinner will be served. • Do not use abbreviations and do not use contractions (don’t. Include a telephone number for RSVPs. you may only need to provide a few weeks notice. Explain that their presence is the only gift you need. Mrs. • Express that you are looking forward to seeing the person. Mention if refreshments will be served.234 227 . wedding.

Format for Writing Invitations Formal Invitation BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 228 Mr.234 . Akbar lane Bangalore RSVP Semi-Formal Dress (202) 555-6908 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Arun Mehta cordially invite you to a reception celebrating the engagement of their daughter Meghna with Yash Sharma to be held on Sunday. the sixth of June at six o'clock Le Meridian 108 . and Mrs.

1999 New Friends Colony club New Friends Colony. and entertainment will be provided. 1999 Time: 11:30 am to 3:00 pm Where: 345 Eastern Avenue New Delhi Call Tania at (307) 555-1234 to RSVP 11. th Personal Invitation BUSINESS COMMUNICATION You are invited to Aneesha’s 10th birthday! The whole family is welcome! 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm Saturday. drink.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 229 .Business Invitation Longman's Transportation Services Cordially invites you to the 15 Annual Employees Appreciation Picnic. Calcutta Food. games. Date: Saturday June 12. May 22.

and Mrs.e. etc. . • Avoid the expression “and family. Use “Mr. Amit Rai and Ms. Susan Smith (as opposed to using her ex- Reverend.. . Complete times with “o’clock. have family and friends spread this message. address the envelope to both parties: people’s names and titles.. including Mr.” • For a married couple. Lieutenant.. If you do not want gifts.Rabbi Fr. • When sending invitations to guests invited to the wedding husbands first name).” “Drive.. Always spell out “Street. Bernard Shaw Melissa • If inviting two people sharing a home or living together. Addressing the Outer Envelope • Avoid the expression “and family. • No words are capitalized except proper nouns. and Mrs. and Mrs.Wording Etiquette When writing wedding invitations keep these rules close in mind: • There is no punctuation.” • Do not include the address of the church or place of them with an “and” (i. • Do not mention anything about gifts on your invitations. • For children over 13 and living at home. Katrina Ross Mr. and Mrs. Fr. or a married couple with different names.etc. Miss. living at home with parents: Mr. such as titles.Captain . except for commas after the day of Envelopes and Addressing Addressing the Inner Envelope Write the guests’ names only.” are never used. worship unless the guests are unfamiliar with it’s location. and family names for relatives (i. use their full names and join BUSINESS COMMUNICATION the week and periods after abbreviations such as Jr. an RSVP is not included.Reverend . Captain.” and “P.M.e.” • If the couple lives together.Honourable . Doctor is usually written in full unless the name following is quite long. Messrs.. place names. and Mrs. .Dr. Eliza Tondon) • Print the list of names with the appropriate titles: Mr. without street address) ________________________________________________ (city and state) ________________________________________________ (enclosure) Reception immediately following the ceremony at ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ own invitation or are list their individual names separately on the inside envelope of their parent’s invitation: • Over 13.” “Grandmother. Mr.. Allen Johnson • If a widow: Mrs. “Aunt Mehra. Mr. • All dates and times are spelled out. . Peter Campbell 230 © Copy Right: Rai University 11.. whether you want them or not.” You may also choose to write “three o’clock in the afternoon” or “seven o’clock in the evening” etc.Messrs.” and “Boulevard.Mrs.” for married guests.” etc. . etc. such as the case may be in a large city.234 . Ms. Rabbi. and Mrs.e.M. . • Spell out the addressee’s middle name if you are going to include it. and names of the day and month. use both full names: Dr. Mr.Lieutenant .Ms. Doctor.” “Road.).) ________________________________________________ (day and date written out) _______________________________________________ at (time. Mr. Honorable. Bernard Shaw Ms. John Smith • If divorced: Mrs. they receive their ceremony only. otherwise leave it out.. Mrs. • Print names with the appropriate titles: Mr.Miss .. Practice Sheet for Wording a Formal Invitation With Enclosure (Names of parents/hosts) ________________________________________________ request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their daughter (given names only) ________________________________________________ to (groom's name written in full. first names for children under 13 years old (i. Melissa Shaw • Under 13 Mr. Matthew and Kate) . • “A. • Use full addresses with no abbreviations. written out) ________________________________________________ (place.

You have been asked to design a leaflet to highlight the work of the nursing team. Your company will be opening its new branch in a nearby town next month and is arranging a cocktail reception to mark the occasion.00. sticky eyes) Doctors = more time for more serious consultations. Nursing Team always works closely with Doctors to ensure best possible care for all.30-12.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 231 . Temple Street. Design either a leaflet (either A4 size. diarrhea and vomiting. Tues/Thurs 4. 1. Prepare a reply from Doctor Anthony Long of Orchard Medisave Pte Ltd.15. They see anyone with minor illnesses (some throats. 2. or fold A4 into three to make a six sided leaflet) to issue to patients at the health center. coughs / fever / asthma. which can be printed to send to a number of special clients. 3. 6.30 pm at the Park Royal Hotel. minor traumas. earache. Mon/ Wed/Fri 2. Write a letter to be signed by the Managing Director – Harshvardhan Sharma – to one of your customers (make up the details). Practice Nurses are available Mon – Fri 8. Akbar Lane.00. Your company. Calcutta RSVP by 15 th May 1998 5. New Delhi . has recently appointed a new office manager – Mr Anurag Purie – who will replace Mr Abhishek Mehta. Invite the customer and his partner to a reception to mark Mr Purie’s retirement and to introduce Mr Mehta to them. Follow my instructions and prepare a reply.00-6. Unfortunately Dr Long cannot attend the cocktail reception as he will be overseas on a business trip. Practice Nurses and Health Visitors = role developed to bridge the gap between medical and nursing care. Student’s this will be a very interesting class where in you need to use your creativity in designing invitations and leaflets. Arora Holdings. Prepare a reply accepting the invitation from one of the clients. It is to be held on 14 October at 7. Prepare an invitation. To help to meet this aim there is a team of fully qualified and trained practice 11.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 35: PRACTICE CLASS: LEAFLETS AND INVITATIONS By the end of this unit you will be able to • Compose invitations • Reply to invitations • Prepare a leaflet nurses and health visitors.00-6. Delhi . You work at a local health center where the aim is to provide a high standard of service for all patients. of Temple House. Here is an invitation which I received. 4. Angela and Tony would like to invite Shruti Tondon to celebrate the Blessing of their Marriage on Saturday 22 nd August at Taj Mahal Hotel at 4pm followed by a party at Golf and Country Club.

8. Huge Afraid Regularly Retain Impression Accurate Honesty Specimen Common Immune 11. a handout for issue to trainees. This exercise is designed to give you practice in choosing synonyms for words. One Word for Many Summarizing means saying the same thing but in not so many words. you must produce the accurate transcript of the accurate transcript of the main discussions. © Copy Right: Rai University 11. 4. This exercise will help you be aware of such expressions and spot them. 15. When the meeting is over. 3. In these sentences replace the section in italics by providing just one word. which an employee may very well be asked to perform in the business world. and others like them. which took place and the decision made. 5. 17. Always bear in mind (1) 9. 19. A lot of (1) 10. 13. golf – anything requiring physical activity. 9. 18. when summarizing. which many examiners are now turning in order to provide realistic tasks. Provide synonyms for each of the following words (remember that very often more than one word could be used): 1. 12. swimming. 16. it is very rare in business to be asked to do a straightforward continuous prose summary. 6. We use summarizing skills all the time in response to question like what did you do last night? Or so how was your holiday? This is usually done orally instead of in writing. 14. form or flow chart Complete ’reformulation’ tasks involving expanding. which are long winded and could be expressed in a simpler or shorter way. Equipment should be checked (2) 14. Use the number of words shown in brackets: 1. 3. 20. 4. I must prepare the list of items to be discussed at the meeting. On the day of the interview (3) BUSINESS COMMUNICATION What is a Summary? To make a summary means to convey all or most of a section of text using a reduced number of words. However. hockey. The next meeting of the board is coming up soon. 232 5. The person who greets visitors to an organization must portray a good impression. As a result (1) 7. 10. It is to this type of more realistic exercise. This type of ‘business summary’ will be discussed in more detail later.LESSON 36: REFORMULATING AND SUMMARISING • • • • UNIT 4 CHAPTER 9 : REFORMULATING AND SUMMARISING Complete ‘look and write’ production tasks involving labeling a diagram. The same amount of (1) 5. 1. an article for the staff newsletter. 7. Summaries in business may be written in the form of an advertisement or notice. She is not interested in work – only in tennis. It is something most of us have done throughout our school days. Because of this (1) 8. Make a record of all appointments (3) 15. These are all exercise in summarizing. Reduce the expressions shown without changing the meanings. Reducing Phrases There are many expressions in the English language. reducing or selectively rewriting a passage of English for a specific purpose Use summarizing skills effectively Produce a business summary from a given passage of English. At all times (1) 11. In modern times (1) 6. it is used to send out an itemized statement informing the buyer of the quantity. Certain Vital Price Desire Apparent Inquisition Objective Reluctant Inadequate Terminate 2. description and price of the goods which were bought. 2. It appears that (1) 3. At the beginning of each day (2) 12. In the near future (1) 2. Using Synonyms When summarizing or reformulating you may be expected to use your own words as far as possible instead of quoting huge chunks of the original passage.234 . When goods have been purchased. The written summary will not be new to you. Owned by private individuals (2) 13. Put up with (1) 4. picking out relevant and important information and then presenting it in an appropriate manner.

This means the recipients have no particular interest in the message. Read the following passage and use it to complete the table below In the name of safety.6. (2) i. rephrasing or additions. so it should be repaired or replaced. to avoid a fire hazard electrical appliances should be unplugged and switched off at eh end of each day.. i. All business documents should be grammatically correct.’ ‘This means ………. Business letters should be free of slang and other colloquialisms.’ clues’ are often given in such cases. (1) especially in recent years. orders. gangways between desks should not be blocked with boxes. for example letters.g.. and state the reason why the rest should be removed. not the type of summary one is required to do in the business worls. e. choose which details should be retained. files or waste bins as employees may trip over them causing injury. especially …….g. all sentences in a series should consistently follow the same grammatical pattern. 1. References often include departments and file numbers. Reason? Clue? 5.. any other business and date of next meeting. We must send out a document to all the customers on our mailing list Reason? Clue? 3. standardized formats. It is becoming popular for large organizations to use a ‘house style’ for their correspondence in the same. Certain items appear on the agenda of many regular meetings. This is a list of all the duties which the employee may be required to perform. Reason? Clue? BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 7. i.. particularly the larger ones. particularly ……’ example : (the information to be removed has been underlined) it has been argued. Number 1 : Number 2: why should it be removed? (addition) What was the clue given? (especially) why should it be removed? (rephrasing) What was the clue given? (i.g. meetings of shareholders.’ ‘In other words……’ ‘That is ………. annual general meetings. are turning more and more to computerization of their clerical procedures.. 8. e. spelling or punctuation. Categories 1. Some job advertisements require applicants to send a separate schedule showing their education. Some circular letters are unsolicited. which should be removed from a summary – examples. additions and rephrasing. 233 11. It is important to retain grammatical precision when writing business documents. as shown below.e.e. Additions ‘……. A lot of information which can be removed from summarizing exercise can be categorized. especially in correspondence with government departments.g…….e. Reason? Clue? 6. (2 words) Retain or Remove? Summarizing anything requires the ability to find and remove unimportant details or . Rephrasing Clues ‘For example…’ ‘…….’ ‘……. e. A quorum must usually be present at formal meetings. or the cabinet may become unbalanced and topple over. together with the clue which was given.. An essential part of any documentary evidence. Reason? Clue? 2.) The sentences below all contain some information.. they should contain no errors in grammar. Reason? Clue? 9. qualifications. example definitions. is that it should have the names and the addresses of both parties to the correspondence. Filing cabinet drawers should be closed immediately after use. Many companies. employment history and other personal details when applying for jobs.’ ‘………. This will prevent burglars from breaking in.234 © Copy Right: Rai University . invoices. i. e. Examples 2. Reason? Clue? 8. Highlight the details which should be retained. Office doors should be locked and windows secured at the end of the day.. (2 words). definitions.e. that an examination summary is not a realistic exercise. Reason? Clue? 7.’ ‘This is ……. Torn of frayed floor covering could cause a person to fall. Definitions 3. Reason? Clue? 4.………’ 4.e. Removing Reasons 1. Reason? Clue? 10. expressions used only in conversation. more to the point. In other words.

form senior management to the junior mail clerks. Do not block gangways between desks with boxes. Highlight important words and phrases. is the ability to communicate well. nothing that too many words have been used in the first draft. 3. The best option is to try to stick within the word limit and always include it at the end in brackets. 5. Will yhe Examiner Check? An examiner with many scripts to mark will know approximately how much space your summary should rake up on your answer sheet. do not exceed 160 words. the secretary. Use no more than 160 words In this case. If you do not indicate the number of words used. Being able to communicate well with people is therefore a most important aspect of the secretary’s role. do not count the words in the heading or any numbers used in your display. To avoid having to insert the paper back into the typewriter to correct errors. look up unfamiliar words in a dictionary. Counting the Words Summary assignments normally state the number of words to be used. 2. files or waste bins. To avoid making unnecessary errors and having to type the document again. What to Count When counting the number of words used. As she communicates a lot with people inside her own company she must be able to treat all personnel with the same amount of respect. Reason If you indicate that you have used the precise number of words instructed (perhaps a white lie?) then the examiner may just spot that it looks too long or too short. eg fellow employees. with the same amount of respect. Secretarial work involves much communication with people both internally and externally. should be included in your word count. therefore. a pleasant disposition. juniors. It is. (148 words) Rules for Transcribing Reason 1. so that the document can be dealt with quickly. produce a first draft. When in contact with such people. Inside the company. 5. so many invaluable qualities will be necessary for this. If there is any doubt about spelling. 4. A lot of personal contact is involved with secretarial work. He / she will be able to see if yours looks too long or too short. Step 3 Step 4 Having double checked that nothing in the original has been overlooked. Letters required urgently by the dictator should be typed and returned to him first. 234 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. as a representative of her company. However it may be helpful to take a look at the various stages involved in just one method of producing an effective summary. but anything less than 155 will be penalized.Safety Precaution 1. This will usually be expressed in one of two ways: 1. either by telephone or in person. again highlight key words and phrases. however. An important aspect of the secretary’s role. essential to acquire effective communication skills. and many different final versions. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION A Worked Example of a Short Summary There are many ways in which summaries can be handled. management. Assess the size of each document before typing it. Step 1 Step 2 Read through the next carefully. 3. A lot of personal contact is associated with secretarial work – contact with people inside the company. diplomacy. or by using a highlighter pen (NB: Retain consistency of expression by using verbs at the start of each item in column one. She also deals with various people ourside her organization. 4.) 2. 2. Letters cannot be signed with grammatical errors. 150 –160 will normally be accepted. Use approximately 160 words Here. (99 words) Step 5 Produces your first summary. always check any doubtful points in the dictation with the dictator. always proofread carefully before removing work from your typewriter. A good impression of the company must always be reflected. and where words can be altered. Sub –headings. the secretary should treat all levels of staff with equal respect. by underlining. you will also be penalized. as well as clients and other people outside the company. other departments. A secretary is in constant contact with people both inside and outside the company. Read the following passage and use it to complete the table below: When transcribing recorded dictation assess the size of paper can be chosen. 155 –165 will not be penalized. many personal qualities are vital. by using the method of circling shown here.234 . When dealing with people outside. which could all able quite satisfactory. it is important that she reflects a good image at all times. therefore. is expected to reflect a good image of the organization she represents at all times. Make notes about how it can be reduced still further. Tact. friendliness and helpfulness are some of the invaluable qualities a secretary needs when dealing with people outside the organization. As a representative of her company. so make sure they are grammatically perfect. 2. The nature of a secretary’s job means she is in constant communication with many people in her own company. and will double –check. and she is expected to treat all office personnel. Summaries the following passage using approximately 50 words.

5. Perhaps points can be listed. and if necessary make some more amendments ot keep within the limit prescribed. Whatever. 6. Check your draft carefully against the original. NB: There ca be no hard and fast rule to say ‘Oh it’s a handout – I must do it like this’. 7. Your employer stresses she wants a lists of the ‘main points’ as well as ‘misconceptions’. or added anything. Take care with consistency of expression. with subheadings. Your employer is giving a talk entitled “Running your own Business” at a local club. “will you please list the main points about being your own boss and the misconceptions people have about it from this leaflet? It will help me in giving my talk. again enumeration would probably be easier to follow. Read the instructions carefully and determines what is required in your summary. Perhaps an introduction is necessary also. take care with consistency of expression 11. I have made a summary of the article which appeared in the May edition of ‘Business Digest’ for its inclusion in the next issue of the staff newsletter. many students produce very good summaries. 2. Enc A Worked Example of a Business Summary As with any assignment. as well as numbered points. but lose marks because they have not done what the instructions requested. Checklist Enumeration is required in any checklist. It is important that the instructions are studied carefully so that you pick out only the information required in your summary. so that all points on the checklist follow the rule of grammatical parallelism. Also important here is the world ‘list’ – obviously your employer does not want to read from a script. Use approximately 120 words for your summary. Your summary is to be used by your employer as reference when giving a talk about ‘Running your Own Business’. careful thought should be given to using the most suitable format. summaries to suit a specific purpose. so continuous prose will not be suitable. 8. punctuation or spelling errors. These two terms give you a clue as to sub – headings. Here are some example of different types of business summaries which you could be asked to produce: Advertisement / Notice Obviously an advertisement or notice should be presented suitably. Read your summary through carefully to check for grammatical. (A useful word –saving ploy here is to use verbs at the start of each point. Make a rough draft from your highlighting. “will you please list the main points about being your own boss and the misconceptions people have about it from this leaflet? It will help me in giving my talk. Notes for a Speech For reference when making a speech.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 235 . She says to you. After checking the instructions again. it must be remembered that no two people will produce identical summaries. Read the passage through carefully twice – the importance of this reading period cannot be over – emphasized. marking the important points.Guidelines for Writing Summaries 1. using your own words and avoiding the language of the original passage wherever possible. i. therefore. Count the words used. Items should be centered to attract attention. Step 1 Your employer is giving a talk entitled “Running your own Business” at a local club. Re –check what you have highlighted in case you have missed something or highlighted something incorrectly. The instructions will tell you for what purpose your summary is to be used.) Handout / Information Sheet Sub – headings may be appropriate. A list will be easy to refer to. Example Safety In The Office As requested. I hope you find this satisfactory. thus making her talk sound very natural. perhaps also with subheadings for different aspects of the main theme. Use capitals and underscoring to add to effect.) BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Covering Memo When instructed to compose a business summary of the type discussed. Write out the summary in its final form. it may be relevant for covering memo to be written to the person who requested it. a straightforward paragraph or two. and that you display it appropriately. which could be used. Business Summaries The summaries we have looked at so far have been ‘continuous prose’. making sure that you have not left out anything of importance. Again. the recent trend is towards realistic summaries. this worked example of a business summary is given to illustrate the principles and procedures involved in effective summarizing. However. You really need to ‘think yourself into the theme’ of the passage and ensure a complete grasp of the topic before continuing. Virtually any type of presentation could. which is not relevant. or perhaps it should all be summaries. and double – checking the instructions. yet many could be suitable for the purpose intended.e. Read the instructions carefully. Step 2 Consider a suitable format. 4. and your employer will be able to expand on each point. Use approximately 120 words for your summary. Take every possible opportunity to rephrase in an attempt to cut down on the number of words used. 3. or whatever. After reading the passage carefully. Your memo should be short and state the source of the material which has been used. However. be required. 9. which should be included in your summary. May be only a certain theme from the passage needs to be picked out. She says to you. go through the passage highlighting the information.

Step 3 Read the passage carefully several times. These occur just as much when you are your own master. running an enterprise of your own entails disadvantages as well as advantages. listing the main points about being your own boss. Running your own business gives you the status of being self employed perhaps also of being a company director. many of the petty irritations of life. referring to the instructions again to ensure you are picking out what is required. If right for you – immeasurable benefits. In fact. These are just a few of the reason commonly given. like employees – wrong! Irritations also when you are boss – more often? Effects more upsetting! Conclusion Consider drawbacks carefully. or days. There are very real drawbacks to running your own business. say some people. An important reason why there is such glamour about being in charge of your own business is that when you are working for someone else. Step 5 Get through your draft/ notes and make marginal notes regarding amendments / synonyms / rephrasing. Step 6 Produce your final summary by linking up the notes into full sentences. missing the bus when you are in a hurry. Some are attracted to the idea of starting a small gardener tends his plot and makes a number of creating further growth. make further amendments. and so on. This is almost entirely misleading. Some people like the idea of there being no – one in authority over them. feeling tired or in other ways not really up to working hard At the moment. too. and also if your summary could be used for the purpose mentioned in the instructions. saying their work is not up to standard. If your are your own boss. Others are attracted by the thought of deciding their own hours. As with so much else in life. There are all kinds of reasons for wanting to be your own boss. their effects can be far more upsetting. and as a pleasant way or earning extra money from work they like doing. Managing Director GS / ST From : Rakesh Singh Date 12 july 19 . 236 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. This is attached. Finally. responsible for own income/ life Satisfaction from seeing enterprise grow Less interesting work – other people also more difficult work Business occupies spare time – earn money too BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Misconceptions Few consider all details – essential first step. though for the right kind of person. of works. Main Points No – one to give you instructions Choose own hours/ working arrangements Self – employed status – directory? Independent. worked is so much more pleasant. others are based on completely false ideas. turning down their ideas.234 . life would immediately become infinitely pleasurable and free from irksome details. yet this is an essential first step for anyone thinking about whether it is even practicable for him to be his own boss. highlighting the important points. Memorandum To Ref Mrs Anita Sharma. Work becomes easier. as well as the chore of often having to get sown to work that you do not feel like doing at that particular time. Being the boss seems glamorous – thinking that life would be better if no mundane chores. because you can get someone else to do the more difficult tasks. and that your income – is in your own hands. Many others want to set up a little business of their own ot occupy their spare time. You can get someone else to do the less interesting jobs and you are not bogged down in annoying details. together with misconceptions. It is surprising how rarely people stop to consider in real detail just what the drawbacks are. Make sure your summary reads smoothly and is correct in spelling and punctuation. I hope this helps you in giving your talk next week. if only you were your own boss.Running Your Own Busines I have summarized the leaflet you gave to me. they tend to happen much more often. immeasurable benefits also. Remember that your summary should be expressed in your own words wherever possible. while at the same time. Most contain some element of truth which gets magnified out of all proportion and seized upon without it being borne in mind that there are other points to consider as well. or insisting on methods that seem pointless. Count the words. become associated with being an employee. ask yourself if your summary is a satisfactory condensed version of the original. telling them what to do. no annoyances. There is a feeling that. There is the general feeling of independence. If necessary. Step 7 Don’t forget to produce a brief covering memo for summaries of this nature. Many of the little annoyances probably have nothing to do with being an employee: being interrupted when you have at last immersed yourself in some disagreeable task. Some have good sense behind them. Enc Step 4 Produce a rough draft or notes from the original.

use quotation marks and document the quotation. This proves that you can understand it. Summarizing Tips 1. Remember that it should be in your own words. and in this way. boss. 15. teachers can test your knowledge. which states the main idea of the original writing. 2. Quote only when the author expresses a point in a particularly telling or interesting language. Underline or make notes of the main issues. Delegations is possible – of the simple and the laborious jobs. It’s better to re-write. ven one word that the author used. and have self-employed may be director. 5.or make a diagram. or take the law into their own hands by invading the pitch in the hope of affecting the outcome of the match. general version of the original information. 14. Otherwise. (115 words) Here is an Example Original At a typical football match we are likely to see players committing deliberate fouls. 1. Look up any words or ideas you don’t know. The process of summarizing someone else’s material enables you to better understand that material. You might need to summarize a passage as a ‘comprehension’ exercise. 10. 3. A summary is a short version of a longer piece of writing. 11. use complete sentences to describe an author’s general points to your reader. A simple picture of boxes or a spider diagram can often be helpful. 2. you are plagiarizing material (presenting another person’s information as if it were your own). 7. Summaries also show readers that you have understood the general point of a text. How to Summarize 1. 3. Don’t quote extensively. accountable for your own income. It contains all the main parts of the original. client) wants to read it. If it is for you.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 237 . 4. Why shouldn’t the reader just read the original? Summaries benefit the reader because they offer a concise. but with more disagreeable consequences. Make a list of the main topics . You have no one to answer to. You make your own choices. outline the writer’s argument. 4. Use a highlighter if this helps. and try to understand the main subject. damage stadiums. Summary is more economical than quotation because a summary allows the writer more control over the argument. Finally. the rewards are limitless. The summary should be written in your own words. If you’re summarizing an entire essay. Some do not consider the drawbacks – a vital preliminary step. In any case. most of such aggravations occur to employers as well as employees. summaries provide quick overviews of material. They might try to take a throw-in or a free kick from an incorrect but more advantageous positions in defiance of the clearly stated rules of the game. including working hours. You obtain pleasure from seeing your company grow. rather than copying out parts of the original. If you quote. Then read it again .in more detail. Summary Conventions 1. 4. Summarizing is a very useful skill when gathering information or doing research. It can fill your spare time and create income formwork you enjoy. [100 words] BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Misconceptions Summary Unsporting behavior by footballers may cause hooliganism among spectators. [9 words] Further Readings Purposes of the summary Before you write the summary. 12. They sometimes challenge the rulings of the referee or linesmen in an offensive way which often deserves punishment or even sending off. Read the original passage or text very carefully. standing. For a busy reader. 11. However.Running Your Own Business Benefits 1. often behind the referee’s back. The final summary should capture the main point of the original. 3. Write a sentence. No wonder spectators fight amongst themselves. Conclusion Consider the disadvantages carefully. 9. 8. 6. If you fail to document the quotation. Use a summary to present information. Use a pencil to highlight or underline what you take to be the main point of the original text. 6. 16. or make notes in the margins or on another sheet of paper. 13. but puts them more briefly. 17. Now tell your audience what the original source argued. simply summarize. Summaries can range in length from two sentences to several pages. You are self reliant. 2. What and When to Summarize Many student writers tend to quote when they should summarize material. consider why your audience (professor. Then write a paragraph which combines all the points you have made. 2. Read the original quickly. summaries allow you to introduce knowledge within a research context: you can summarize someone’s argument in order to analyze or critique it. 5. Some feel life would improve without the aggravations often encountered as an employee. Use a summary to restate an entire argument.

piece of writing is figuring out what to include and what to leave out. or capitalized). • Jot down the organization of the original and follow that pattern in your summary. • Check your summary to be sure you have been objective. In general. Your opinions are not part of the original! 238 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. • Model the summary on the structure of the original. “Green contends that the Republican and Democratic parties are funded by the same major corporations. • Before you begin to write. has undergone major revolutions in the past 20 years.2. Use the author’s last name as a tag to introduce information: “Smith argues that population growth and environmental degradation are causally related. • The problem we all face when attempting to summarize a • Cross out the less important detail • Underline topic sentences and key ideas in each paragraph • Take notes on those key ideas—jot down the information that clarifies a topic sentence. Never summarize as you read the article for the first time. check for topic sentences and key words (words that are underlined.” BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Writing Summaries • · A summary is intended to highlight objectively the main points of another writer’s work. the summary does not include your opinions of the piece you are considering. for example. • These steps may also help you write a good summary: • Read the piece for understanding first. Since the summary eliminates those details that are not needed to convey the major points.” “Brown notes that education in the U. Use the present tense (often called the historical present tense) to summarize the author’s argument. a summary is from one fourth to one half the length of the original. Keep the size of your paragraphs in roughly the same proportion as the paragraphs of the original and in the same order.S. These will clue you in on main ideas. it is naturally shorter than the original.” 3. Although written in your own words.234 . Below are some tips on how to choose material to include in your summary. italicized. This will help you eliminate details that should not be included.

as the employers prefer not to use shorthand dictation. do state the exact nature of the document.) Using dictation machines saves considerable time.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 37: PRACTICE CLASS This is a practice class. it is essential to be organised. Your nose run too. to make sure they sparkle and that your breath smells fresh.a spare pair in case you damage them on the way to the interview. without going off the mark. And when you walk in. and to send it to the editor of the staff magazine asking him to consider it for inclusion in the next issue. avoid using ‘yes’ or ‘no’ . it is not intended to be like entering the torture chamber Relax . a few tips should be borne in mind to ensure interview success. in preparing them for job interviews. Make a suitable summary for the Principal to issue to teachers for the_ to use in class discussion. and it will make it easy for the interviewer to conduct the interview. so avoid embarrassment by having a hearty breakfast. All the necessary papers should be to hand. make sure you carry . but be as natural as you can. then you know what I mean. Before you walk into the interview room. If you are wearing tights. Not many employers would be impressed by a provocative evening-type dress and hair tossed seductively. with your skirt hem. it may be impossible to correct. A rumbling tummy is a sure sign of nerves.they tell an interviewer absolutely nothing and result in a very dull interview. which will help you hone your skills on summarizing. You must consider the effect you may have on the people around you. Give your teeth a good going-over too.234 © Copy Right: Rai University . Be friendly in the interview itself. take a few deep breaths to calm your nerves . 11. talk too loudly occasionally and then almost whisper? How many times have you rewound and listened to an unfamiliar word 20 times and just wished the boss had the sense to spell it out? Well maybe your boss is an admirable Accountant or a marvellous MD. you know there is a considerable amount of fru8tration because of poor audio dictation technique by their employers. If you have ever stood next to someone on a bus whose personal ‘aura’ makes you rush to get off before your stop. so give yourself a good manicure and ensure your nails are. thus it leaves the secretary free to deal with her other responsibilities while the boss dictates his correspondence. the first impression is that which makes the strongest impact on new acquaintances. Long tapering nails also wouldn’t be able to whizz across a keyboard if you are asked to do a typing test.always -a useful calming technique. smile! Don’t get carried away so that your smile looks forced. as the secretary does not need to be present. so be sure to carry tissues.experiences which some people love. Try to answer as fully as possible. But how many secretaries out there continually bang your head against the office wall in frustration because the boss has coughed loudly in your ear? Does your boss mumble. When answering questions. In nearly all meetings. with your fingers. Otherwise you’ll get frustrated and start scrambling about in the mi4st of dictation and it will be especially infuriating for your secretary if you forget to switch off the mike during this process! Interruptions will affect your train of thought during the dictation so try to time your recording when you know you have some time free and do it in a room which is free from noise. so an employer would prefer a smart and presentable person to fulfill this role. Whichever category you belong to. particulate when under stress. In informal talks with many secretaries personally. Remember that the aim of an interview is to allow the interviewer(s) and the interviewee to get to know each other in a short space of time in order to decide quickly if. ‘long 239 1 You are secretary to the Principal of a secretarial college and the Principal feels the following article contains useful points for students who will be leaving shortly. sit in as relaxed a manner as you can. Make sure your hair is clean and shining too. However nervous you feel. e. Before starting dictation on each piece of correspondence. but good dictation technique requires considerable practice. friends or other associates. Secretaries are often seen as status symbols. Once these preparations have been made.g. Use no more than 70 words. and some hate. Nerves can often make. Personal freshness is also important. get all your clothes ready so as to avoid a panic and not being able to decide what to wear. Interviews . so plan your wardrobe carefully. for no apparent reason. ‘short letter’. or whatever. and don’t keep twitching nervously. it would be possible to work together. and feel it includes helpful advice for employers on effective audio dictation techniques. The evening before the interview. (Use approximately 100 words. with the strap of your handbag. but don’t admit where it came from of course! Before starting dictation. you’re off. and it certainly would not be everyday office attire. You decide to summarize it as a checklist for employers to follow when dictating. If that goes wrong. You recently came across the following article in a secretarial magazine.and try to enjoy it! 2 All the secretaries in your organization use audio transcription. I hope this advice will be helpfulperhaps you can casually put it on your boss’s desk with his coffee in the morning. At the end of this lesson you will: • Use summarizing skills effectively • Produce a business summary from a given passage of English Look at the interviewer directly and don’t avoid eye contact or it will not give a good impression. attractive. be they colleagues.

” but at more formal meetings they may be useful.have been attended to. As for the dictation . but try to ensure your speech is clear. and she won’t need to bother you with queries. We all need to pause for thought now and again. and give clear instructions to your secretary regarding headings and any items which need to be numbered. If you hold it too close. Also give an indication of the number of copies which will be required. First of all arrange the meeting room. etc. writing paper and pencils. Any equipment which may be required at the meeting should be arranged. or to :i conversation with your wife about what’s for dinner! Wherever you can. etc. In this way all the information she needs will be just where she can find it. percentages. And please don’t go like a bull at a gate . statistics. etc. should be circulated with the notice and agenda. Meetings form an essential part of business life and.234 BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 240 © Copy Right: Rai University . make sure you keep any letters.) Any additional documents for distribution. which delegates will keep for future reference. and that all the paperwork is dealt with correctly.a secretary will not thank you if you dictate at 50 miles an hour! When you have dictated the first sentence or so. Discuss what is wrong with it. what about other matters? If you have a regular caterer. Remember also to ‘make additional sets of such documents . doesn’t it? Happy Dictating! 3 After reading the following assignment carefully. First of all make sure you enter the date of the meeting in your boss’s diary and your own. Then check the venue for the meeting. avoid the risk of a clash of apP9intments at a later date. listen to it again by playing back the recording. it should save your Secretary much frustration . reports.report’.isn’t it .the microphone is not a lollipop. video recorder. and rewrite the answer more appropriately.always the case that someone forgets to bring their copies on the day of the meeting. our role is to ensure that they are organized and administered efficiently. as secretaries. Using an appropriate format make your summary in not more than 150 words.this will be a valuable reference tool for your secretary on the size of paper to use for the correspondence. files and other relevant documents connected with the dictation in a special pill and pass “all this to your secretary with the recording. Numbers too . study the answer given. so it’s much better to correct it at this point than deafen your secretary later! If the volume’s OK. Then you” will need to make sure everything is organised as efficiently as possible.. and the text of your speech is printed below. (NB: Discuss from examples printed in “seminar booklet page 41. as well as the 11. your speech. spirit pens. Your secretary will also need to clarify things with you every few minutes if you don’t spell out personal names.?) Place names should be prepared if these are needed to ‘identify the participants at the meeting. you will avoid this last-minute rush. and ashtrays. be too high or too low. the number of participants is known nearer the date. too far away and you won’t be heard at all. or when the phone rings. foreign names anything which she may be unfamiliar with. and the disorientation involved. sums of money.place on a particular day there are many practical tasks you should attend to. attending to’ such things as seating arrangements. If you follow the above advice.and a happier secretary makes your life easier too. which will be confirmed when. so that members may become thoroughly familiar with their contents prior to the meeting. So much for the preliminary documentation. (Does anyone require the overhead projector. In consultation with your Chairman you should then produce a draft of the Chairman’s agenda which he may amend as necessary. or in the case of a departmental meeting perhaps you will use the manager’s office. It is . try to include a mention of new paragraphs. The Chairman’s agenda is a little more detailed than the ordinary members’ agenda. You have been asked” to give a talk at a secretarial seminar on the secretary’s duties in connection with meetings. remember to switch off the mike. and if there is a regular room make sure it is available. so that you can make any necessary adjustments . water and glasses. Once these provisional arrangements . You have also been asked for a one-page summary of your speech for inclusion in the seminar booklet. including making sure any visual aids required will be available if necessary. such as reports. will be blurred.a bit of the foresight we are supposed to develop as secretaries. “ Finally. “using. place names. This will. so when you find it necessary to do so. then go ahead. containing” extra notes for his own reference in helping him to conduct the business of the meeting efficiently. memos. so don’t try to eat it! Hold it two or three inches away from your mouth. This may be the company’s own board room. Your secretary doesn’t want to listen to a few minutes of nothing.the sound may. I would like to talk to you today on the various things we have to think about when preparing for meetings. mark the length of the document on the index slip . a provisional order should be made for refreshments at this stage. Don’t mumble into the mike. etc.for use only by the Chairman.prices. “ You then need to prepare and circulate the notice of meeting and agenda. “and we end up having to get “extra copies for them at the last minute! If you take extra copies to start with. Obviously these will not be necessary at a departmental meeting where everyone knows everyone else. If you will turn to page 41 of your seminar booklet you will see examples of the “wording and layout of the notice and agenda. Spare copies of the agenda and. When you’ve successfully reached the end of a document. This type of information is invaluable to your secretary as to the correspondence to be transcribed. of course. you can more or less relax until the day of the meeting itself. Once it has been agreed that the meeting will take . minutes of the last meeting should be at hand. Any-doc-Nments to because during the meeting should be laid out on the table.

This will ensure no one walks in and disturbs the progress of the meeting. . I will not mention anything about Minutes here because my colleague will be discussing that with you in detail later in the programme. Perhaps a colleague will be called upon to take all calls. The switchboard and receptionist should also be given a list of participants at the meeting. I wish you success. making sure all the documentation is issued at the appropriate time. you can ensure that. You don’t want your boss to switch on the OHP during the meeting only to find the bulb has blown. make sure the relevant people know what is required of them. You should also check that any equipment and accessories required are in the right place and in working order. or for him to write on a transparency only to find the spirit pen has run out! Next reconfirm that refreshments will be served at the appropriate time. Arranging meetings can be a bit of a headache . Whatever the arrangements. So whether you are organising your first meeting or your ‘fiftieth. and. nothing is overlooked. or the switchboard operator herself may be required to take messages. gather your own paperwork together with suitable materials to take down the minutes. together with instructions for diverting their calls as necessary. Ensure that you have your own and your boss’s diaries available to check details of appointments when future dates have to be arranged during the meeting. step-by-step. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 11.collating all the reports and material for the meeting. and give any last-minute instructions regarding the number of members attending the meeting.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 241 .official minute book and any other reports which I mentioned earlier. all the various other matters which we have to attend to. But if you thiI1k them through logically. If you are attending the meeting as secretary. Finally place a ‘meeting in progress’ notice on the door. and use the summarized checklist which I have included in the seminar booklet.

before attempting an answer. take about 15 seconds to sum it up in one sentence—in the form of a rough thesis statement. jot down a rough outline as you read. My boss is always finding fault with anything and everything in my work.t.. It is most unlikely that you have not studied comprehension exercises before now. jot down in outline form where these details are located in the passage so you can locate them quickly as needed to respond to the questions. I’m sure I’ll make the grade. 4. 1.. You must be honest with yourself and others – don’t try to gloss over the truth..LESSON 38: COMPREHENSION UNIT 4 CHAPTER 10 : COMPREHENSION By the end of this lesson you should be able to: • Choose synonyms for given words • Identify the meaning of words from the context • Calculate how marks are allocated in comprehension questions • Develop effective techniques to answer comprehension question the question.234 . I understand Personnel haven’t decided on a replacement for the MD’s Secretary. Most examiners and assessors would comment that many questions are badly answered because candidates do not answer the question which has been set-they do not fully understand what is required before answering the question. The importance of careful and thorough reading cannot. Most errors in previous units of this book will have resulted from not having read a question properly. Always look up unfamiliar words immediately.. Using your pencil and scratch paper.. 8. I felt like a fish out of water on my first day at work.. ( c . Since the company recruited a new Account.-d) 242 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. and lists) as you read. or stance.-I) 8. By doing so.. Occasions will arise when you are not familiar with a word used in a passage. you can read more actively—with an eye out for the information you need. 2. but she’s really no better than the rest of us. how to word and display your answers and how marks are allocated. 3. Information relevant to a question can appear anywhere in the passage.. preliminary exercises are provided in this unit on the meanings of words in context. Any assignment we undertake in any aspect of our studies is an assignment in comprehension. No communication in our business or private life can take place successfully without comprehending. Doing so is well worth the effort. ( m. followed by a look at the types of question asked. Read the first question before you begin reading the passage. The importance of using a dictionary has to be emphasized. Stella is always assuming superior airs. You should choose a word.c . and fully understood it. If the author of the passage adopts a position. Don’t be overly concerned with details (dates. instead. but Laura and Jackie are in the running. In view of the importance of vocabulary work. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Students. It will help you locate relevant details quickly as you answer the questions. on an issue.-g) 4. and relate the dictionary meaning to the contextual use of the world. ( f—t—i—s ) 2.-v. 6.-r. to ensure understanding.-d. 5. If I work hard at all these exercises.-d) 6. ( s .. You must bring home to Lesley that she cannot leave it until the last week of term before she starts work on her integrated project. 1. Never confirm your answer to a question until you’ve read the entire passage. eliminate any answer choice that runs contrary to the passage’s overall thesis..-r. be on the lookout for answer choices that confuse the author’s viewpoint with the viewpoints of others. These wrong answer choices can be tempting. which could be used to replace the phrases in italics.-t) 5. (d. ( m. ( p-tr-n——g) 9. because it’s remarkably easy to assume that you overlooked the information as you read the passage.-d) 3. After reading the entire passage. That is why use of a dictionary is so important. I knew no one at all.-e) 7. Use a dictionary if necessary to fill in the blanks in the words below. examples.. therefore.m . This is another common wrong-answer ploy. and minimize vertical scrolling and re-reading. No matter what type of question you’re dealing with. Comprehension is tested every time we read or write.. Be on the lookout for answer choices that provide information supported by the passage but not responsive to Using a Dictionary Comprehension all about understanding. ( c . because you’ll be able to answer some Reading Comprehension questions with nothing more than the thesis in mind.. but discusses other viewpoints as well in the passage. We all know what comprehension exercises requited – a passage has to be read and then questions based on the passage must be answered. This is one of the test-makers’ favorite wronganswer ploys. (c. Be on the lookout for wrong answer choices that provide information not mentioned in the passage—yet another common wrong-answer ploy. the accounting and book keeping records seem to have gone from bad to worse. 7. John has been the main person behind the formation of new company. be over-stressed.

Dilettante b. c. a Resentment b. Traveled Ttraveler 8. Cancels Canceling 6. Polite 4. Obeyed 5. In the following sentence: a. Inborn 3. Awaiting b. Private 7. a. Answer: go-between Synonym: intermediary 1. a. When my car’s engine is cold. I always making insinuations about a pay increase. Privilege b. but I don’t know what I’ve done to upset her. employees must leave the building and report to their gestideand safety officer. a c Hint Hinted b.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 243 . Unsuccessful a. Profit – sharing c. The new secretary shows a lot of togismanna towards me. c Cancel Cancelled b. Replaced c. If may son is contumacious. Don’t be a victim of crotinarspation – you should not put off until tomorrow what you could do today. Privacy d. Suzanne has those intone qualities which make her perfect for the job a. c. A secretary has to perform quite a lot of esoteric duties in her job. but I’ve still not had confirmation. Hints Hinting 4. Travel Traveling b. the company has grown substantially and become very orpserpuso. Contentment 10. This electronic typewriter is going to be superseded by a new model. If you want to change you lunch hour. our paradise island off the east coast of Malaysis? a. a. Irritability BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Grammatical Precision When choosing the meaning of a word mentioned in a passage.-k . d. Choose one word from the choices given to replace the nonsense word which is in italics. Suspension c. a. a. Appendix b. Disobeyed b. Specialize Special Types of Answer Most comprehension questions ask for a certain type of answer: • Who? ( a person ) • When? ( a time) • Where? (a place) • Why? ( a reason ) • How? ( a method ) • What? ( a thing/idea ) 9. a. b. Example : I have to act as the idyaremrinet between my boss and his callers. Friendship c. d. a. Deprecation c. d. 7. a. c. a. d. From the choices given. ( j . it goes in fits and starts until it warms up. Nominal 3.-y) c. a. Replace b. a. Specialist Specialized b. My boss is always very irascible over the tiniest mistake in my work. d. It’s women’s prerogative to arrive a few minutes late for a date. Disobey Disobedient b. When the fire bell rings. Patronizing c. My boss is always making insinuations about a pay increase. Drinking too much coffee at night causes mosainin. Disobeyed Canceling 5. Nominated c. you must obtain the contains of your manager first. d. a Irritate b Irritable 11. a. A letter which is written in a genniscodencd tone will not give the recipient a very good impression. Tranquility Tranquilising Contextual Clues Very often the meaning of an unfamiliar word can be identified from the context. Tiresome 6. The disciplinary matter is yebacean for the Manager to may a decision when he returns tomorrow. I need a corroborator to back me up or I’ll be in big trouble. a. choose one word which could replace it. Dilatoriness 2. Don’t forget to have your work permit abrogated before you fly home. Inert b. Irritant d. care must be taken not to alter the meaning or change the tense. Replacing d. Privileged c. Caffeine b. Do you remember the balcyon days we spent whiling away the hours on Rawa. Linda is a peripatetic author – she been all over the world while writing her first novel. Courteous b. Replaces 2. 10. Incorrect: on purpose/deliberate Correct: deliberately In each sentence below. If any of the company’s rules are lovetiad you will not give the recipient a very good impression. Suspense 8.10. c. Since the new Chairman was appointed. Dilapidation c. Unsubtle the word in italics to make a synonym for the word you chose to replace it. 1. even though it’s not my fault. Tranquil Tranquiliser b. You must make sure you answer fits exactly in the passage in place of the stated words or phrases. Nomination b. but I’ve still not had confirmation. Approval 9. Followed c. one word is italicized. Successful b Sleeplessness c. Example: He intentionally left the fire door open. Inhuman c.

Bear in mind the following guideline. Do you agree with the author that shorthand will never be completely redundant? Whose opinion? 2. The candidate’s ( based on the passage) 3. Suggest one reason why some people collect stamps. Why is Great Britain thought to be the ideal market for the products mentioned? Whose opinion? 5 Mention three ways in which the secretary in the passage considers information technology has changed her role. What impression does the writer give you of …? The impression the writer gives me is. Your answers must be grammatically correct and suitably punctuated. What are the peak advertising hours on television? Question type Answer required 5. 1. … 6. State two advantages of facsimile transmission mentioned. Why did the writer think…? The writer thought… because… 7. The author’s 2. Whose opinion? 244 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. As with other aspects of your communication course. 1. In what why do Pam’s methods differ from those of the other secretaries? Question type Answer required 7. regardless of how much you know about the subject.. 3. How was … understood in the past? In the past … was understood as… 8. Why did the workers go on strike? The workers went on strike because… 3. 1. Example : Question: How will the new technology affect the secretaries mentioned? Answer : Give the author’s opinion. 4. not in note form. and what type of answer is required. … … … Giving Opinions Some comprehension questions require the candidate to state someone’s opinion. Question type Answer required 3. answers should be expressed in complete sentences. Whose opinion? 4. What did Lisa’s boss find was the most convenient time for dictation? Question type Answer required 4. Mention two of the factors upon which the choice of method of communication is dependent. Mention two ways in which … Two ways in which … are: a. 2.. Someone else’s ( someone else mentioned in the passage ) If no one else is motioned. 4. Question type Answer required 3. … b. Which fact best illustrates the…? The fact which best illustrates the … is … 5.Example : Question: In what year did Henry Ford produce his first motor car? Question type: When? Answer required: A time In the following questions. Name four qualities essential for … Four qualities essential for … are: a. Mention one item of equipment which could help Janice with her tasks. Unless the instructions state otherwise. It is worthwhile following the pattern suggested by the working of the question. Which sister wrote the book Wutbering Heights? Question Type Answer required 2. It could be one of three people whose opinion is required. you should give the author’s opinion. The examiner is well aware what questions have been set. presentation of comprehension answers is very important.234 . A little extra thought in presenting your answers neatly will put him/ her in a much better mood than will a paper which looks messy and has arrows everywhere. Question type Answer required 6. Why are bank notes advantageous over coins? Bank notes are advantageous over cons because… 2. what type of question is asked. Do not waste time writing out the questions on your answer sheets. Whose opinion? BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Working and Displaying Answers An examiner often has hundreds of scripts to mark. Decide whose opinions are required in the following questions: 1. as in the passage. c. b. Give one reason for the drop in prices of computers. Study the Following Example 1.

“ Quality is emphasised at all Luxor hotels. 245 Guidelines for Comprehension 1. When you are required to give definitions of words or phrases. it should be possible to identify area-s to which certain questions refer. marks are probably awarded for neatness and presentation. with 2 marks for each. with 600 rooms. Your handwriting should be legible and your expression as correct as possible. Remember in such cases that the number of marks allocated will be divided equally between the number of reasons. In some comprehension passages. with 2 marks for each. half the video’ facilities in all European hotels will have been updated. 10. If 11. Use your own word rather than those used in the passage wherever’ possible. 3. This was attended by 700 delegates from around the world . In your own words. but by 1995 there was at least one conference every week of the year and almost 10. Today there are Luxor hotels in more than 100 countries around the world. All meetings held at Luxor hotels are concerned which business. Staff training is paramount at Luxor hotels. 1000 beds were replaced in Cape Town by new ones imported from Canada. but this is not always the case. too. be sure your answer is in the same part of speech. . All I say is be aware that examiners do not usually award marks ad hoc. This also helps to reinforce in your mind the question which is asked. Tr. a. that. in Perth. The biggest.234 © Copy Right: Rai University . Which sentence in the passage shows most clearly the …? The sentence which shows most clearly the … is . 5. From the very beginning. Western Australia. The quality of their work is assessed at monthly meetings with their line managers. and two lines in answer to an 8-mark question. In 1990 there were three conferences with just 200 delegates. your answer should be a noun. Singapore. Luxor Hotels—and Conferences continues to grow and we look forward to the future with confidence and anticipation. You should check carefully the number of marks allocated to each question and bear this in mind when looking for and writing out your answers. Quote a few words from the text to support your answers. The largest hotels have a training manager and smaller ones are grouped together for training. Marks can be lost because of poor presentation and untidy work: BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Marks Awarded for Comprehension Questions One way of judging whether a lot or a little is required of any question is to refer to the number of marks awarded. etc. In 1996 every conference centre in Asia replaced its video facilities with the newest German equipment. By 2001. He decided to set up his own business and began with one hotel in 1989. George Meredith. On your second reading of the passage. Wording your answer in close relationship with the marks available should be remembered at all times. All Luxor hotels in the USA have at least 250 rooms whereas European hotels prefer smaller units.. One of the strangest topics for a conference was plankton farming. Make a note in the margin of the passage as a cross-reference to the question number concerned. what do you think is meant by the expression’ …’? I think this expression means… a noun is given. effects. with question numbers clearly shown. They are all decorated annually.half the number who were at the Chicago conference on whales in Lake Michigan in 1994. This gives you an idea of how much is required in your answer. There can be no hard and fast rules. 8.ue/False b. For example. was staying in Luxor and planning a conference to be held in. etc. with 100 rooms.. tackling them in the order in which they are printed if possible. Present your answers neatly. Over 66% f Asian hotels have more than 300 rooms. ‘ 6. Be careful when consulting a dictionary because often more than one meaning is provided . Answer the questions one by one. Very often questions ask for reasons.000 people attended. 2. There are no hotels with fewer than 100 rooms. advantages. 4. Take particular note of the number of marks allocated to each question. Subjects ranged from international trade to private meetings of national sports bodies. is in Chicago and the smallest. Assignments 1 Read the following passage carefully. and how much detail is necessary. Remember. Concentrate carefully and read the passage thrum once. Obviously that cannot be right! Comprehension questions need careful consideration. There are 100 Luxor hotels.. Then read through the questions. There is generally a strict marking scheme to which they work. Base the wording of your answer on the wording of the question. Do not copy dictionary definitions out ‘wholesale’ use your initiative to rephrase accordingly. Luxor Hotels and Conference Facilities Our company name stems from the day when the founder. arguments. The importance of careful and thorough reading cannot be over-emphasised. In 1992 alone. 5000 litres of paint were used in Singapore and about 50% of the carpets were replaced in our hotels in China. questions are posed so that they work logically through the text. An 8-mark question may mean there are four advantages. 7. Indicate whether these statements are true or false. Some students write half a page in answer to a 2-mark question. a 6-mark question may mean there are three reasons. During 1994. which you give. and so on.be careful to choose the right meaning which matches the meaning of the word in the passage. Luxor’s conference trade has developed at great pace. All staff from senior managers to bar staff and reception staff attend training sessions annually.9. all fittings are regularly checked and any worn furniture is immediately replaced. advantages.

lawn or field. Coca-Cola who. True/False _ f. Why was John’s plan ‘dashed’? (2) e. cleared. schools and football clubs. How did the Bank Manager help John? (4) g. Now we monitor the situation constantly and can plan accordingly. clubs and individuals throughout the UK and Europe. bout is a highly scented and extremely potent liquid. True/False d. No question about it. . virtually impassible to. roots or bark.beach. albeit inferior.234 .Coca-Cola “Big Red Bag” branded . albeit inferior (2) ii. please his san. the Football Association who. knack aver and yet light enough far children to. 700 delegates visited a place called Whales in Lake Michigan.’ ‘The Bank Manager also. Every Luxor hotel has a training manager. True/False 2 Read this passage and then answer the questions which follow. How did John Wilson please his son? (2) b. In 1995' 50 conferences took place. True/False g. How did John finance this project initially? (2) f. True/False i.to. John felt he lacked sound ‘financial advice. introduced me to a good accountant. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Aroma Therapy Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils from plants. ‘ITSA Goal’ (Inter Trading Sports Associates) was now in business. h. Taking a business 10. John Wilson recreated the wood and pea netting goal he had first made as a bay. safe. The FA was talking to. Once absorbed into the blood stream. as antiseptic. Other soccer related equipment (2) . What does John mean by a ‘win win win’ situation? (2) Explain the following phrases used in the passage: i. An essential oil is a delicate fluid which forms the fragrance of a plant or flower. with a £112 million turnover and growing and all John’s loans. and how they work in aromatherapy.True/False’ c.’ The second half: John generously stresses the role that Midland has played in helping him aver the years. cranes in ‘and tats up the figures at the end of the year. Luck then took a hand. Today. Explain ‘John’s initial plan to sell the goals via sports shops was dashed. All Luxor hotels have at least 100 rooms. different oils are often used to help relieve anxiety and stress. Total: 30/marks Read the following passage. The Midland Branch Manager far Ratherham met that need. portable goals already existed. Therefore. George. The first half: John’s initial plan to. and therefore help the skin to heal faster. He then saw the huge potential far a portable goal that could be packed away in a bag and used anywhere . Coca-Cola about a Youth Development project far small team games far which John’s product was ideal. ITSA Goal and Midland Bank pic a. (2) c. Funding the business through my mortgage wasn’t sensible. To. True/False . a local plastics company then produced goals that were strong. Using John’s patented design. Explain ‘the huge potential for a portable goal’. market far a product costing £125 when <. Seventy per cent of the video. ‘ ‘He restructured the whale financial side of the company and helped me with planning. What does Coca-Cola gain from the business? (4) i. this was the major cultural change. leaves. it doesn’t actually resemble one in texture. John has scored with this cracking idea.and to alleviate depression. Use your awn wards as far as possible. easy to. equipment in European hotels will be changed in 2001.’ (2) d. realizing that an accountant need’s just be someone who. I sell the goals . Reproduced courtesy of John Wilson. Funding came from remortgaging his home in Sheffield and from a government grant. then answer the question which follow. Customers ‘benefit from the discounted price. depending on the plant.heaper. John turned to. Half the carpets in China’s hotels are new. For me. True/False e. Lavender. get the brand name displayed nationwide. assemble. for instance. John calls the resulting deal a win win win situation. I target through leaflets and other literature and ward-of-mouth. Although called oil. carry and _rect. Essential oils are regenerative as well. an with the house as security was far mare tax efficient. Cheaper. ITSA Goal’s own factory produces goals and other soccer related equipment for schools. What happened when John took on a good accountant? (6) h. ‘Coca-Cola buys regularly from me in bulk at a discounted price. It has been preyed that essential oils have a great ability to penetrate the skin. Meredith attended a conference in Luxor. which is concerned with emotion. also. True/False j. is excellent 246 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Experts say the reason for this is that their aroma is ‘transported’ from nerve cells in the nose to the part of the brain. It can be stored in the stem. These oils are very potent and to understand their benefits you need to ‘know what they are. I return the money from the sales to. liked it and gave it official approval. agreed to test the product. different ones seem to have an ‘affinity’ with different organs in the body. 400/0 of Asian hotels have 250 rooms. sell the goals via sports shops was dashed when retailers told him there was no. The powerful aroma of essential oils can affect the way we feel.

feminine qualities.Are You Getting Enough? The weather’s boiling. so it is important to choose the right one. taking a supplement will do you no harm provided you take only the recommended dose. As the body is not very good at storing minerals (apart from a little calcium. Briefly explain how acupuncture works. Where do the oils used in aromatherapy come from? c. Explain the meaning of the following words. London) a. it might cause you to absorb less of another such as zinc. What causes heat cramps? c. iii. In acupuncture the needles are used to restore balance and so cure illness. fish. It gets more confusing.especially if we eat an unbalanced diet. Why do certain people not have enough minerals? e. Yang hard. London) a. poor diet. b. can irritate the skin if applied undiluted. Many of us could be low in certain minerals . d. London) a. you’ve been running around. Whatever the truth. Excruciating Deficiency Extracting Minute Controversy BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 4 Acupuncture Acupuncture .. But do you need a supplement if you’re eating a balanced diet of mineral rich liver. Explain the meanings of the following words. and restores the equilibrium of Yin and Yang. With which oil should insect bites be treated? - just one of the effects of not having enough of an essential mineral in the system. dairy produce. If we don’t get enough of these minerals.hails from China. Others believe . masculine qualities. we feel run down. If you continually eat on the run and you know you’re not having a balanced diet. contains less minerals than whole meal bread because the wheat germ and bran are removed. as used in the passage: i. this can cause mineral deficiency illnesses such as anaemia. fruits and vegetables? Traditional nutritionists say that a balanced diet will give you all the nutrients you need. White bread. is said to be the result of a balancing act between two opposing forces known as Yin and Yang. And excessive aluminum has been linked with Alzheimer’s disease. overwork and stress can disturb the even flow of Chi and lead to illness. boils. Treatment involves stimulating various defined points along the Meridians by planting needles in them. At worst. Sometimes described as ‘acupuncture without the needles’. Eucalyptus and peppermint. you’re in a birof a lather and suddenly an excruciating cramp hits you. how much we need and which foods they are found in.needle-therapy . Alleviate iv. or one high in refined food.that the use of pesticides which poison the soil. In Shiatsu . for example. Taking a higher dosage can be positively harmful. Even worse. d.for treating acne. minerals such as lead can be positively bad for you. How does acupressure differ from acupuncture? 5 Read the following passage. and if you take excessive amounts of magnesium. ii. Refining often means extracting the most wholesome part of the food. The vital Chi circulates along a network of invisible channels called Meridians. because if you eat too much of one mineral. pollution and food processing mean that many of our foods no longer contain enough minerals. for instance. Too much iron can prevent you absorbing zinc. Such ‘heat cramps are caused by losing sodium when we perspire - 11. burns and eczema. What are Meridians? c. Good health also relies on the smooth flow of the body’s lifeforce or vital energy known as Chi.the Japanese version. Essential oils are beneficial in various ways. What would happen if eucalyptus was applied to the skin neat? e. (Extract from Prima magazine. Bodily harmony. as used in the passage: i. phosphorus. wholegrain. . acupressure uses light fingertip pressure. then a supplement can only do you good. whereas tea tree oil is good for spots. Emotional upsets.heavy pressure is involved too. such as iron. This strengthens Chi. Minerals are the poor relations of vitamins. So just what are these elusive substances? Minerals are metals which occur naturally in the soil and are absorbed into the plants and animals we eat.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 247 . You I1eed to smell pure undiluted essential oils to appreciate their potency and they should never be used neat. Briefly explain what minerals are. These points are known as acupuncture points. Neat b. (Extract from Prima magazine. they are used up as our cells become worn out. it is vital we have enough in our daily diet. Potent ii. you’ll get a bout of diarrhea! (Extract from Prima magazine. Although the cells in our body naturally contain minute amount of minerals. Which minerals is the body good at storing? Minerals . good health depends on the body’s ability to maintain a state of inner balance. pimples and insect bites. Few of us know just which minerals we need (and which we should avoid). magnesium and iron). v. or health. then answer the questions that follow. meat. There is considerable controversy over whether or not we need to take supplements. Yin represents soft. iv. Aroma iii. How does the aroma of these oils affect us? d. b. According to traditional Chinese medicine. Briefly explain the three forces on which the Chinese believe good health relies.

.. and Religious Expression: It's growing influence E. like Fogel. Gutman's study is significant because it offers a closely reasoned and original explanation of some of the slaves' achievements. But unlike these historians. For questions asking you to give the passage a title. The passages are of varied lengths. Slavery in the US: New Controversy about an old subject D.. based on its content? A. Music. one that correctly emphasizes the resources that slaves themselves possessed.. but generally of 75 to 150 lines.234 .. Strategies : Go through the passage once to get the general idea of the passage Don't try to memorize details but instead pay attention to the topic and the focus of the passage as you read. biological sciences and physical sciences. And Genovese.. The number of questions pertaining to a particular passage could range from 3 to 5. social sciences. has rightly stressed the slaves‘ achievements.(rest of the passage) .f..In sum.. Herbert Gutman. The Black heritage of Folklore. Which of the following is the most appropriate title for the passage.. The influence of Herbert Gutmanon Historians of Slavery in the US B. The Black family and extended kinship structure: How they were important for the freed slave 248 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Gutman's explanation of how slaves could maintain a cultural Heritage anddevelop a communal consciousness C. look at the first and last lines of the passage for clues... Sample Passage: In his 1976 study of slavery in the US. Engerman.. Would supplements of minerals be harmful to someone who eats a balanced diet? BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Reading Comprehension Passages are taken from the humanities.

with all the rights and responsibilities that citizenship brings.we re-used everything. The Body Shop is always on my mind.buying and selling. Summarise these experiences. He came up with the idea for ‘self-financing’ more new stores. engaged in their own livelihood. I am aware that success is more than a good idealities timing too. I had no training or experience and my only business acumen was Gordon’s advice to take sales of £300 a week. They are ‘citizen companies’. Since then I have been given a whole host of awards. and franchisees running their own businesses. And I haven’t a clue how we got here! It wasn’t only economic necessity that inspired the birth of The Body Shop. which sparked the growth of the franchise network through which The Body Shop spread across the world. And why buy more of something than you can use? We behaved as she did in the Second World War . The Body Shop arrived just as Europe was going. while my husband. I opened a second shop within six months. some I don’t.UNIT 4 CHAPTER 10: COMPREHENSION LESSON 39: PRACTICE CLASS The Body Shop and I have always been closely identified in the public mind. With a budget of around £15 million a year for working with community causes. The relationship I have with The Body Shop is one where I sometimes can’t tell the difference between stress and enthusiasm. What does Anita Roddick mean when she says ‘It is impossible to separate the company values from my own personal values. undoubtedly because it is impossible to separate-the company values from my own personal values and issues that I care passionately about: social responsiveness. Now 22 years on. But I must point out that The Body Shop is not a one-woman show . The Body Shop has always been recognizable by its green colour. was trekking across the Americas. and I spent time in farming and fishing communities with pre-industrial peoples. The company went public in 1984. 11. Some 90°/0 of members believe that companies have at least some ‘responsibility to the community. Women. But it is not just about good citizenship. but that’s exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking. Use your own words as far as possible. they are part of those societies. • Learn to answer correctly the questions given below the comprehension BUSINESS COMMUNICATION passage. some I understand. Student’s lets recall what we have studied in lesson 38. We will now try to understand the passages below. Gordon.. in one way or another. (6) e. Reproduced courtesy of The Body Shop International PLC a. (6) d. when they want to earn a livelihood. we refilled everything and we recycled allowed could. it’s about trading .’ Try to explain these values in your own” words. We are proud to accept that responsibility.the environment and animal protection. The foundation of The Body Shop’s environmental activism was born out of ideas like these. Shop. Why waste a container when you can refill it. What did she learn from her first shop? (4) c. Why did Anita Roddick start The Body Shop? (2) b. Running that first shop taught me business was not financial science. Also the frugality that ‘my mother exercised during the war years made me question retail conventions. Give two reasons to suggest why ‘green’ is important to The Body. We © Copy Right: Rai University 249 .234 The Community Opportunity Companies do not exist above and beyond the societies in which they operate.and my two daughters. The Body Shop is a multi-local business with 1650 stores in 47 countries. Reproduced courtesy of British Teleco1Jlmunications pic from BT’s Annual Review and Summary Financial Statement 1998 By the end of this lesson you will: • Hone your skills in understanding the passage given for comprehension. and a couple I think I deserve. Nobody talks of entrepreneurship as survival. How would you sum up how Anita Roddick feels about The Body Shop? (4) Total: 30 marks Read this passage carefully and then answer the questions which follow. which follow. by which time Gordon was back in England. BT is committed to helping people in need and at risk to improve their quality of life through our Community Partnership Program. My travels exposed me to body rituals of women from all over the world. Profile of Anita Roddick I started The Body Shop in 1976 simply to create a livelihood for myself . BT is determined to make an imaginative and ejective impact in all the communities in which we conduct our business. trading in 24 languages across 12 time zones.’ green’. Read this passage and then answer the questions. mouldy walls of my first shop. Whether ii be in a state of delight or frustration. the only colour that we could find to cover the damp. this program is the largest of its kind in the UK. respect for human rights.it is a global operation with-thousands of people working towards common goals. I traveled. It’s about creating a product or service so good that people will pay for it. Use your own words as far as possible. (8) f. usually earn it through what they are interested in or what they are knowledgeable about. Anita Roddick says ‘I had a wealth of experiences to draw on. I had a wealth of experience to draw on.

shareholders will want to invest in us. Midland Mainline has a raft of travel options which complement the vision of a less car-orientated future. Type talk.’ says Chris Lyons. ‘Until people are offered a cheaper and more convenient alternative. To improve their quality of life (2) Touch everyone’s lives (2) Stimulate a wider debate (2) Total: 30 marks Read this passage carefully and then answer the questions which follow. All our public payphones are fitted with inductive couplers to help hearing aid users and we have .’ Clearly. But is it realistic to think that hardened car users can be coaxed away from their steering wheels? ‘No-one says it’s going to be easy. three or four people can catch an offpeak train to London and back from as little as £39 for the group. This is why we are careful that all our involvement is reputation enhancing.also believe it is good business. reduced access to town centres and higher taxation. we are looking to develop competitively priced tickets that combine rail transport on Midland Mainline with other modes of transport. we aim to stimulate a wider debate into how BT can contribute to an improved quality of life for all. trains and pavements. buses. Seventy per cent of the general public say that the _contribution a company makes to the community could affect their buying decisions.co-ordinated public transport is the way forward if a cleaner” greener Britain is to be achieved. Using the car has its own problems. As part of this. BT will also be one of the corporate sponsors of the millennium celebrations. Explain ‘we are careful that all our involvement is reputationenhancing’. so we will be launching ‘Mill-eMail’ . For example. skilled people will want to ‘join us. the national telephone relay service run by the RNID with finds from BT. environmental and technological interactions with society. We want to make a contribution that will touch everyone’s lives in the year 2000. customers will want to buy from us. Describe BT’s work with charities and voluntary organisations. (4) d. and BT is helping to address their communications needs. Reproduced courtesy of Midland Mainline a. A pre-booked taxi to and from the station_ is included in the price. What does the writer mean by ‘Don’t Choke Britain’? What is the purpose of the ‘Don’t Choke Britain’ campaign? (4) 250 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Why does the company believe that it is ‘good business’? (4) c.000 deaf or speech-impaired customers to communicate via a text phone. such as Door-to-Door. incessant road works and the prospect of heavyweight measures to curb driving such as motorway tolls. where two. not just at the Millennium Dome in Greenwich but throughout the country.234 . we are collaborating with the charity One World On Line to offer training and support for small charities to help them run their own Internet sites. iii. Its latest offer is Door-to-Door. Perhaps the most ambitious scheme is the proposed development of an East Midlands Parkway Railway Station.a free electronic mail address service. good quality service. A comprehensive set of reports is also being published that describe BT’s social. which means that no-one need ever be out of touch. What does the writer mean by ‘citizen companies’? (4) b. a good reputation means that governments will want us in their countries. This local authority-led initiative aims’ to raise public awareness about the damage t_ our environment and health caused by increased traffic congestion and pollution. Combining the various travel options in one straightforward offer will make traveling to the airport by public transport much more attractive. their it’s possible. BT is bringing the benefits of the new technology it is developing to the people who need it most. ‘Through these reports. After all. they will continue to take the car whether it’s air: the way to London or just to the station. close to the M 1 motorway. Chris Lyons. BT and the Anchor Trust are developing remote health monitoring to help older people continue to live independently. Midland Mainline’s services take a sizeable chunk of traffic off the Ml and that’s good news for the environment. enables 20. For example to make getting to airports easier. Explain the following phrases as used in the passage: i ii. ‘But if the products are right and backed up with a reliable. and our employees will be proud to work for us. We place particular emphasis on education and training. new products and better customer service are definitely persuading more and more people to use the train. the Don’t Choke Britain Campaign urges people out of their cars and onto bikes. station. (8) e.been working with the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) to improve deaf people’s access to arts venues around the country. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Wake Upto Pollution ‘Don’t choke Britain’ is about persuading people to forget the car and wake up to better ways to get around. not just the journey from station to. Embracing many local initiatives throughout June. Constant improvements to Midland Mainline’s services such as greater frequency.’ says Midland Mailing’s -Product Manager. But it’s not just about encouraging people to talk and listen. and the involvement of BT people. a. As Chris Lyons says. the improvement of communication skills. More than 80 million people in the UK have some form of hearing loss. support for people with disabilities. How is BT helping to celebrate the millennium? (4) f. In the last year we have put in place a programme to enable charities and voluntary groups to make more effective use of communications technology. ‘Midland Mainline are looking hard at taking more responsibility for our customers’ real journey from their from door to their final destination. Use your own words as far as possible. not least of which is traffic jams. Our community partnership activities throughout the UK are themed around access and communication.

the tedious garnering. And some are clearly more than equal. lasting and not inconsiderable demand and it would be hard to see how they could be superseded. By the late Middle Ages the word ‘secretary’ had gained in status. v.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 251 . Embracing many local initiatives (2) Perhaps the most ambitious scheme (2) Our customers’ real journey (2) Coordinated public transport (2) Hardened car users (2) employer’s day in manner both discreet and reliable. You might say ‘anyone who has mastered all this and still has some energy left deserves to go places . ii. Surely there is quite a good job to be made of all that? Well. the business letter as we know it was born From that point the phenomenon has been developed to a high degree. expanded and endowed with a new status. In the days of illiterate kings and barons. how to bring the best out of the people and the crises. How can the planners make it easier for people to get to airports? (4) e. The much-heralded silicon chip technology is clearly’ here to stay and is surely removing all the drudgery which has been built into secretarial work -the filing. carries a sizeable amount of responsibility. revealing formidable ability. especially one who was employed to conduct correspondence. the coordination. but it will not change the fact that women by and large have more patience. Explain the following phrases: i. and invented the Penny Post. A job to be done and a female workforce who can do it. remember everything from the year dot and make drinkable coffee.that is.’ (2) c. calls for the exercise of the highest level of expertise and represents really caring work. So the written word became the chief medium of communication. putting yourself in another person’s place and thinking for them. The Personal Assistant to the Far East Division’s Chairman is to give the opening address at a secretarial seminar. nail polishing dolly who sits behind a typewriter thinking about her boyfriend and waiting for 5 pm. civil servants or business executives. But why can we do it? I think for the very reason that we are female. And women have on the whole always’ been better equipped to do this. Describe the Door-to-Door scheme. The same broad aims and much the same problems concern us all. Result .streamlined version of an old classic: that position which is often at the very centre of power. the checking. In other words. And how about when we don’t really understand the technicalities of the work we are dealing with . compose and produce individual letters. and when the Victorians launched the newest ‘profession’ in the widest sense of the word. but they will not after the fundamental nature of the ordinary. Hence secretaries have really come into their own and not just as transcribers of letters. doubtless far too many such letters are written now. take heart. Because there will always be a large sphere of work for which I believe women are temperamentally better suited than men. putting to good use the feminine capacity for being a buffer state. a partner and full supporting cast. which complement the vision of. Someone who will give a reliable and sensible back-up service. the question must be asked ‘where are we going?’ For the status quo is showing signs of exciting development.upwards’. For as busy decision-makers in all spheres. in the wake of which have come opportunities hitherto unheard of for women to prove themselves ‘equal to a man’s world. How to create order out of chaos” how to raise or foster the public image of the company. So far so good. secretaries are the best alternative. (4) d. causing literally tons of paperwork to be produced. Certainly these prominent women will continue to focus attention on changing attitudes to their sex.ear. equally they cannot make every single telephone call. So they need someone to bail them’ out. These people are the present answer to a solid. barristers.the administration. We have been taught to take shorthand (and sometimes we can even read it back!) and to type. bankers. Read it carefully and answer the questions which follow. to the high-flying and terrifying paragon who can speak five languages_ take shorthand at 3 00 wpm while piloting a VC10 and run a press reception for 1000 before breakfast. Until some bright spark invents a machine that can think as well as take messages. book all their own appointments or keep track of all their file copies. indeed.must be thrown into relief. surgeons. a less carorientated future. stimulating and deeply rewarding jobs who started out as secretaries and who made the transition with resounding success. and can be trusted to handle all information passing before them in an adult and serious fashion. A recent movement has initiated heated debate about the comparative roles of the sexes. here we are. Explain the sentence ‘Midland Mainline has a raft of travel options. But for the rest of us. keep a vague employer to his schedule. when most dealings were conducted verbally through intermediaries. acting as a base or nerve-centre in the hectic flow of events. As I have said before there certainly are women in very senior. and she has submitted a draft of her speech to you. the liaison with people . the qualities that make. At its most accurate the word denotes those who occupy the area between these two . drive’ and stamina in many important areas. processed and stored every working day. self-control and imagination . iii. guess who? A ‘secretary’ can now signify anything from a thigh-booted. referring to one whose office it was to write for another. cannot write all their letters out by hand. However. of information.that small army of quiet and efficient persons whose job it is to deal with their 11. intent upon the concealment of dirty linen. the arranging and confirming.or no-one BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Total: 30 marks 9.with all its attendant record-keeping. iv. But because such technology cannot make decisions. The debate will go on. attention to detail. inter alia. commerce . the job of ‘secretary’ conjured up a icture of someone employed by the rich and powerful as a private . be they MPs. timeless female capacities and strengths. the thinking part of the secretary’s job . will hold the strings. What are the problems facing car users? (6) f. Really effective secretarial work demands imagination. to keep records. a good secretary.b.

. The most effective way to answer the main idea question is to ask yourself what the whole passage is about. Explain the meaning of the following. • Questions about the organization of the passage. recognize examples. conversely Addition words — also. the main idea of a passage is stated in the first sentence of the paragraph. Quebec’s annual syrup 5. • Inference questions ask you to draw a logical conclusion from what you read in the passage. 252 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. not just a portion of it. • Vocabulary questions ask you the meaning of a word or phrase within the context of the passage. and a few well-tried life’ saver tips . I hope you enjoy it and I wish you luck! (Adapted from Super Secretary by Sally Denholm-Young. Superseded Inter alia Status quo iv) liaison (4 marks) Cause-and-effect words — as a result. Some specific detail questions are negative and are singled by the words NOT.which is what this two-day seminar is all about. (6 marks). in addition Emphasis words — more important. learn what produces a result and what its effects are. • Language expression questions include pronouns and vocabulary questions.ever thinks we need encouragement . • Specific detail questions are based on the supports presented in the reading. To make pure maple syrup. some firm priorities held well in view.. the phenomenon has been developed to a high degree’? (4 marks) c. who have made the transition with resounding success’? (4 marks) f. Rank as major producers of maple syrup. 4. Vermont and New York. Sometimes the main idea or topic sentence comes at the end of the paragraph and. Make a habit of reading the opening and closing statement of each paragraph. Production surpasses 2. If you cannot find the correct answer for negative specific details.. The answers to these types of questions are not explicitly stated. • Go over the passages with familiar subjects. in your own words. Making of maple syrup. simply and clearly. iii. analogy. eliminate the choices given in the reading and choose the choice that remains as the correct response. Scan the passage to spot the key words for the specific details. as used in the passage: i. The writer refers to a ‘secretary’ in one context as ‘. a terrifying paragon who can speak five languages. which is used in the 3. The answers that cover specific details are either too narrow or too broad.. They may not be stated at all.and LEAST.. holes are 6.or is there just too much work? Well. To locate the correct answer to these types of questions.234 . or the following paragraph are not as common as the other types.concentrate on the sentence(s) before and a few sentences after the pronoun appears. therefore. find similar or unlike characteristics of two things or whatever. They help you understand the relationship between the ideas within a paragraph(s). To what ‘transition’ is the writer referring when she Says ‘. What effects is new technology having on the role of the secretary now? (6 marks) (Total: 30 marks) passage rather the individual parts. the options that have the same words from the reading are almost always incorrect. therefore Time words — meanwhile. d.. The sugar maple is commercially valued for its sap.. take shorthand at 300 wpm while piloting a VC10 and run a press reception for 1000 before breakfast. • Pronoun questions ask you to spot the correct antecedent or Helpful Testing Hints More than 50% of the time. To what phenomenon is the writer referring when she says’. The correct answer is usually a restatement of what is said in the whole passage. remember • Watch for questions that test your knowledge of the BUSINESS COMMUNICATION relationships between the topic and the supporting ideas. the author’s point of view. published by Settle Press. on occasion. anywhere in the paragraph. London) a. you can take a deep breath and get cracking . The sugar maple is a hard maple tree. It can grow as tall as 100 feet and as wide as 2. before Contrast words — in contrast. a degree of skill. Why does “the writer believe the secretarial workforce is made up mainly of women? (6 marks) e. ii. Sample Passage 1. 4 feet. EXCEPT.with the aid of a philosophical acceptance of what you probably can’t change. Understand definitions. In Canada. noun to which the pronoun refers to.5 million gallons. understand explanations.’ Explain what you think her meaning is. MOST . Made in the trunk of the tree at the end of the winter or in early spring. Two northeastern states. The water- Main Idea Questions What is the main purpose of the passage? What does the passage mainly discuss? With what topic is the passage mainly concerned? Which of the following does the passage mainly discuss? * Pay attention to signal words and phrases. Then read the passages whose topics are less familiar. but simply implied. Description of the types of questions tested in the comprehension passages • Main idea questions test your understanding of the whole b.

9.” Even though all the choices are grammatically sound. To a tank kept in the sugar house. It reduces the shelf life of the syrup. B. even though mentioned in the passage. To illustrate the difference in quality D. To be tried B. Where in the passage does the author first mentions the consistency of the sap? A. For which of the following words does the author provide a definition? A. C. Has been put to use in furniture. D. and (D). the sugar maple tree 16. therefore. These types of questions are relatively easy to locate. What can be inferred about the production of maple syrup? A. The choice (A) is inaccurate. The question is based on the closest synonym for the phrase “to be strained. All of the following is true about boiling EXCEPT A. the best choice is (A). which of the following periods is ideal for sapping? A. To be filtered D. Then the sap goes through the boiling process. Pay attention that numbers are always in ascending order. To emphasize the use of the maple lumber in furniture and other products This is a general inference question. however. To be solidified This is a language expression question. The maple syrup found in the supermarkets. Early November to late December This is a specific detail question. To list a number of the major producers of maple syrup C. 8.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 253 . Late January through April B. The word “its” in line 15 refers to BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 11. May to late July C. The choices (B). 7. The choice (C ) is incorrect because the difference in quality is not a concern of the passage. Based on the information in the passage. The color of pure maple may range from golden honey to 14. sapping takes place at the end of the winter and in early spring. It enhances the color. It improves the flavor. is usually not pure and 13. what is the author’s purpose in mentioning “golden honey to light brown”? A. and crates. 3. are not defined. To provide a visual description B. The choices (B) and (D) are both specific details but not the main idea of the passage. 5. eliminate all the choices A. The sugar maple (line 1) B. To provide information on how maple syrup is made D. Afterward. Furniture (line 16) This specific detail question tests your understanding of a definition. August to early October D. Maple syrup. Light brown. B. To be purified C. Additives (line 13) D. Its processing demands complicated equipment. 4. The choice (D) is incorrect considering the author is not persuading the reader to buy any specific product. Therefore. According to the passage. The correct response is (A). A tank (line 9) C. Most of the passage explains the technique used for making maple syrup. Line 9 C. (A) is the best answer. It is labor intensive. 10. The production technique is quite straightforward. B. the sap is ready to be strained and marketed. the choice (B) is inaccurate.7. Like sap seeps through the holes and runs through a plastic spout that is put into 8. It is rather simple. The producers have to depend on the natural flow of the sap. flooring. This specific detail question is negative. therefore. The hole. but it takes time. (D) is the correct choice. Content of the sap is about 65-66%. 1. This question tests your inference ability. the phrase “to be strained” could best be replaced by A. Lines 6-8 B. In lines 13-14. Between 35 to 50 gallons of sap are needed to produce 1 gallon of 15. It increases the sugar content. What is the main purpose of the passage? A. The passage is non-technical. Lines 10-11 D. and C that are used in the paragraph. The higher the volume. In line 11. Once the sugar 11. The answer to the question is not directly stated in the passage. D. Also popular for strength and finish of its wood. Only the sugar maple (line 1) is defined. (A) is the best answer. Boiling enhances the flavor as well as adding color to the sap. In order to answer it correctly. (C) is the most logical choice according to the context. Has other additives. The best answer is (C). the collected sap is transferred into tubes that are hooked up 9. To examine the economic viability of a tree B. To make the reading more technical C. (C). Therefore. interior woodwork. To persuade the reader to buy the product This inference question asks the author’s purpose. 6. 12. 2. C. the less predictable the quality is. Lines 14-15 This specific detail question directs you to the exact line and asks for the first occurrence of the word. but time-consuming.

For instance. adverbs. so it is easy to locate. The passage neither expresses the causes of the maple syrup production nor lists the similarities between pure and commercial maple syrup. (C). the sugar maple tree. the new word development is a noun. The choice (B) shows the relationship between the performer and the tool. The prefix “ex” means “out. To illustrate. A vase and a bouquet of flowers B. A. Before long. In addition. which can be a distractor rather than the correct response. These types of questions need attention. The prefix “mal” means bad or improper. Sap B. and © Copy Right: Rai University 11. biology. Sometimes the specific lines on which the definitions and explanations appear are mentioned. A painter and a canvas C. Which of the following would best describe the organization of the passage? A. learning common suffixes can be an extremely helpful tool for the acquisition of new words. C. How to Tackle the Vocabulary • Be careful with word choice that has the prefix clue. consequently. Further. The choice (A) shows the relationship between cut flowers and a vase. suffixes can help you with the understanding of different parts of speech: nouns. the noun to which the pronoun refers. • More pronoun and antecedent questions. therefore. “Malnourished “ means improper nourishment. The choices (A). The analogy here is the relationship between a part and a whole. the choices (B) and (C) are incorrect. This question tests your understanding of how the author organizes the information in the passage.The relationship between the wood and the maple tree is similar to the relationship between A. This type of question always gives you the line number. if you decide to add the suffix “al” to the noun development. and verbs. on the back. (D) is the correct choice. • Do not study unusual or technical words related to specific fields of study such as chemistry. geology. Study the common prefix list to increase your knowledge of a word. If you add the suffix “ment” to the verb develop. and (D) can not be inferred from the passage. the correct choice is (D). Most of the passage explains a step-by-step process of how maple syrup is made. the new word developmental is an adjective. 10. A cause and effect analysis of the maple syrup production is presented. Ways to eradicate diseases attacking maple trees B. A novel and a writer D. Other uses of the sugar maple tree C. These BUSINESS COMMUNICATION questions are based on the meaning of the vocabulary or the phrase within the context of the passage. the prefix and suffix information can help you unlock its meaning. A comparison and contrast between pure and commercial maple syrup is made. Facade The correct choice is (B). the choice (A) is not true. These questions test your understanding of definitions and explanations presented for a term or a word in the passage. the correct choice is (B). The correct answer is based on the antecedent. Based on the conclusion we can draw from the passage. Appearance B.A.234 . thus. Outside C. D. “nourished” means having proper nourishment. Sometimes these questions test your understanding of the meaning of a complicated sentence or an important comment or idea expressed in a paragraph. therefore. The relationship between an inlet (a part) and a sea (a whole) is similar to the relationship between the wood (a part) and the maple tree (a whole). Extension D. Write the new word and its pronunciation on the front of a three by five inch index card. An inlet and a sea This analogy question tests your understanding of the relationship between the ideas. The sugar maple tree This is a language expression question as well. Marketing plans for import distribution D. you will have a rich assortment of words.” The exterior of modern churches lacks typical Gothic architectural features. 12.” but the word “extension “ is not a synonym for “exterior. adjectives. it makes sense to know something about its other uses. A persuasive argument in favor of the maple syrup industry is advanced. Color D. The diversity of the ecosystem This is an inference question. The author does not attempt to convince the reader. Effective Ways to Improve Your Vocabulary • If you do not know the meaning of a given word. • The best way to increase your vocabulary is to study 15-20 new words a day. write the definition of the word and the sentence in which you saw the word. A step-by-step explanation of how maple syrup is made is given. B. Since the sugar maple tree’s popularity for strength and finish of its wood is 254 mentioned at the end of the passage. we notice that “its” is a possessive pronoun which refers to the noun phrase. The following paragraph will probably discuss A. • More detailed questions about the methods of development in the passage. The new test of TOEFL starting July 1995 will have: • At least two or three vocabulary or phrase questions. Keep reviewing your index card pile and adding new vocabulary. (C) is incorrect because it indicates the relationship between a creator (writer) and the work created (novel). Maple syrup C. Reading the sentence. (D) is the correct choice. 11.

• The words tested on TOEFL are similar to those used in college-level textbooks. others may be semi-difficult or difficult. Associated with is the appropriate synonym for related to. For instance. true mints can be propagated from seeds. or is a synonym. count on ). A. plants. but only one will be the most appropriate meaning within the context. Accompanied by D. a gemstone. Reproduced B. Associated with 11. The ratio varies from test to test. get into . while the word propagate means reproduce. The information in the dependent clause is in contrast with the information in the independent clause. planets. Rare. guess. The correct response is (D). Coral. Look at the example. • DO NOT be tricked into choosing the correct answer on the basis of its grammatical form. is related to living plants. The vocabulary in the Reading Comprehension section includes only general words that have synonyms. are not tested. Even though (B) has the same preposition. animals. etc. • The vocabulary items vary in degree of difficulty. all the answers will be phrasal. Although mint hybrids are infertile. if the vocabulary is a phrasal. to the vocabulary or the phrase. and Archaic are not tested. Definitions of minerals. it is not the correct answer. something that can not reproduce. • If you do not know the meaning of a word or a phrase. read the entire sentence because the sentence may provide additional clues. You will not lose any BUSINESS COMMUNICATION points for guessing. Derived Pay attention to the context clue and construction of this sentence. chemicals. Informal. While some may be easy.physics. Other types of words labeled as Slang. look over . Some of the choices might have similar meanings. Nonstandard. Poetic. • If you do not know the answer. but the correct answer does not necessarily have the same preposition. choose the word or the phrase that is closest in meaning. All the possible answers have the same grammatical form. A.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 255 . Selected C. Vulgar. Helpful Testing Hints • Use context clue to guess the meaning of the words or phrases tested in the reading comprehension passages. Some vocabulary items are two-or three-word phrasal (for example. The following example shows this point. The word infertile means barren. the correct response is (A). therefore. Study all three types of vocabulary. Partial to C. Compatible with B. • Nouns and adjectives as well as verbs and adverbs are tested in the vocabulary section. The sentences used before or after the sentence in which the word or phrase appears often supply clues to the meaning of the word or phrase. • From the four answer choices given. Planted D.

But many do not especially those involving massage writing. • Explain the language equivalency problem as a cause of miscommuni- cation. insensi-tive. These positions and movements differ by cul-ture. But such is not the case. people can be belligerent. Thus. and different ways of relating to one another. different values. one must take care not to over generalize the practices within a culture. the rich differ from the poor. arrogant. people tend to view the ways of their culture as normal and the ways to other cultures as bad. Because 11. space. Technological advances in communication. Problems of Cultural Differences A study of the role of culture in international communication properly begins with two qualifying statement First. But the truth of the matter is that in all cultures. communicating how your company can meet these needs. wrong. people living in different countries have developed not only different ways to interpret events. and the educated differ from the uneducated. culture is often improperly assumed to be the cause of miscommunication. In preparing to communicate with people from other cultures. and what may be the practice in one segment of a culture may be unheard of by other segments. in our culture most people sit when they wish to remain in one place for some time. as is a wire-less phone. . Within a culture townspeople differ from country dwellers. the subject of culture is highly complex and should not be reduced to simple generalizations. Unfortunately. A final reason is that your attention to communicating clearly with those from other cultures will enrich your business and personal life. While we can all talk on wireless phones and drink Coca-Cola at McDonald’s. Clearly. “for cultural differences are at the root of the exceptions. They have different habits. In either case. or such. you will be more efficient both within and outside your company. Furthermore. In covering the subject. you will avoid problems stemming solely from misinterpretations. It is around these two problem areas that this review” of cross-cultural communication is organized. A Coke at McDonald’s in America and a conversation on a wireless phone in Israel may be com-mon occurrences. services both domestically and internationally.” you must study the differences among cultures. The classic definition most useful in this discussion is one derived from anthropology: Culture is “a way of life of a group of people . This trend is expected to continue in the foreseeable future. but in much of the world people squat. but in Moscow a trip to McDonald’s is a status symbol. the stereotyped patterns of learning behavior. • Define culture and explain its effects on cross-cultural communication. you will be able to hire good people despite their differences. and transportation have made busi-ness increasingly global.not. The miscommunication these types of behavior cause is not a product of culture.234 256 © Copy Right: Rai University . you must look at the special problems that our language presents to those who use it as a second language. the chances are good that you will have to communicate with people from other cultures. peculiar. In other words. But we have little choice. or biased. Another reason is that in addition to being a more effective worker. Being able to com-municate with others helps you be more successful in understanding customers’ needs. with cultural barrier broken down. a modern definition is that culture is “the shared ways in which groups of people understand and interpret the world”. Culture has been defined in many ways. and so on). . BUSINESS COMMUNICATION this knowledge effectively in communication. it is necessary to make generalizations such as “Latin Americans do this” or “Arabs do that” in order to emphasize a point. which are handed down from one generation to the next through means of language and imitation. We must remember that communication between Body Positions and Movements One might think that the positions and movements of the body are much the same for all people. you might welt begin by reviewing the instructions given in this book: Most of them fit-all people. intimacy. and the differences can affect communication. • Describe cultural differences in body positions and movements and use people of different cultures involves the same problems of human behavior that are involved when people of the same culture Communicate. These differences ate a major source of problems when people of different cultures try to communicate. Second. creating a more comfortable and productive workplace.LESSON 40: TECHNIQUES OF CROSS CULTURAL COMMUNICATION Upon completion of this lesson you will be able to describe the major barriers to cross-cultural communication and how to overcome them. To reach this goal. We say this even though some of the statements we make in the following paragraphs are over generalized. For example. To determine which do. you should be able to: • Explain why communication clearly across cultures is important to UNIT 5 CHAPTER 11: EMERGING TRENDS business. and winning their business. Specifically.” Similarly. “In addition. travel. Often it is confused with the other human elements involved. Also. You will be able to work harmoniously with those from other cultures. these problems are related to two kinds of cultural differences: (1) differences in body positions and movements and (2) differences in views and practices concerning vari-ous factors of human relationships (time. A primary reason is that businesses sell their products and. these activities can be interpreted very differently in different cultures. prejudiced. subcultures are present. Both large and small businesses want you to be able to communicate clearly with those from other cultures for several reasons.

our practices of eye contact are less rigorous than those of the British and Germans. These movements may serious breach of etiquette among Muslims. the two-fingered “victory” sign is as clear to us as any of our hand ges-tures. you can seize the opportunity to access the cultural style of another. To us an regarded as a sign of weakness in’ cer-tain situations. some cultures. And so it is with many of our other body movements. short steps taken by the inhabitants as peculiar or funny and to view our longer strides as nominal. repeated 'frequently' Gentle. In our culture a side-by-side hand movement can ‘be interpreted to mean “hello. They will give a handshake you might perceive as weak.234 © Copy Right: Rai University . Being late to a meeting. a similar sign represents money. For illustrative purposes. Other cultures that like touch-ing will give you greetings ranging from full embraces and kisses to nose rubbing. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION For another example. cooking directly at people. squatting is a very normal body position. 257 11. This is made difficult by other cultures adopting West-ern greetings. for some. for they view the mean nothing at all or some-thing quite different to people left hand as unclean. quick. shaking hands is unfamiliar and uncomfortable (an As you know. positioning the fingers. or lifting the chin are eyebrows. frankness. even within cultures. or such is of little consequence to them. space. movements of Asians exception to this is the Korean. It is easy to see how such different views of time can cause people from different cultures to have serious miscommunication problems. who generally has a firm handshake) certain body parts (especially the hands) are a vital form of human communication. but in different ways. for what we see when we communicate is a part of the message. the people in these cultures move at a deliber-ately slow pace. In Indonesia. firm. In our culture. However. a smile is meanings. raising the arms. and expression of emotions. We attach no such meaning to the left from cultures in which thrusting the head forward. Hispanics Moderate grasp. They strive to meet deadlines. If you can avoid judging others from different cultures on their greeting based on your standards for others like you. jerking the head to one side. Touching and particularly handshaking differences are important to understand in cross-cultural communication. and these meanings may differ by culture. repeated upon arrival and departure certain occasions (as when British Soft someone enters the room). squat. In addition. definite meaning even within a culture. All cultures use body movements in communicating. rais-ing the hand. In North America. Our children squat quite natu-rally until their elders teach them to sit. not offered to superiors. like the Chinese. The meanings that movements of our eyes convey also vary by culture. people view time in a more relaxed way. Views and Practices Concerning Factors of Human Relationship Probably causing even more miscommunication than differences in body positions and movements are the different attitudes of different cultures toward various factors of human relationships. But some have clear But in some other cultures (notably African cultures). perhaps even a bribe. to be punctual. repeated upon arrival and departure appropriate thing to do on French Light. is considered to be disrespectful. Who is to say that sitting is more advanced or better? how one uses eye movement can be in-terpreted as being impolite on the one hand or being shy on the other. to conduct business quickly. In business negotiations. and many used to convey similar meanings. They differ widely. Germany. whose culture is not vastly different from ours. and intimacy of relationships. In some other cultures (especially those of the Middle East and some parts of Asia). see the inhabi-tants of these countries bow on meeting and leaving. They see planning as unwise and unneces-sary. long-lasting other cultures do not. they are likely to interpret the bowing as a sign of subservience or weakness. the Japanese might think they needed to give more money. Un-less one understands these cultural differences. To an Australian. If a busi-nessperson completing a contract gave this sign. and to work on a schedule. the sign has a most vulgar meaning. Receiving a gift or toughing with the left hand is a side movement of the head means no. especially those in higher positions and older. odors.we do not squat. we are encouraged to look at others but not to stare. Here are some types of handshakes by culture. we will review seven major factors: time. engaging in casual talk before getting to the main issue. Time. people from our culture who visit certain Asian countries are likely to view the fast. we are taught not to look over the heads of our audience but to maintain eye contact in giving formal speeches. The “OK” sign is terribly rude and insulting in such diverse places as Russia. some of them hold the view that important people should be late to. This view obviously affects our communication with people who. people tend to regard time as something that must be planned for the most efficient use. do not like much touching. In Japan. And when people from our culture. repeated frequently whereas people from some Latin Americans Firm. more. each other. values. But how correct is this view? Actually. we tend to view squatting as primitive. In fact. Middle Easterners Gentle. and Brazil. And so it is with other body movement searching the eyebrows. Even the widely used “thumbs up” sign for “things are going well” could get you into trouble in countries from Nigeria to Australia. people from our Americans Firm culture see standing up as the Germans Brusque. Culture Handshakes Similarly. In informal talking. a social function. smiles are viewed positively in most situations. show that they are busy.” The same movement can be interpreted to mean “go away” or “no” in India. (Such as up and down movement of the head means yes and a side-to‘bargaining). On the other hand. Some of these movements have no In our culture.

and aggressive to Asians. they jostle. To illustrate. for one). actions are likely to be misinterpreted. strict social classes exist. yet we fiercely maintain the rights of tl1e individual. at best. we continue to move toward a generally recognized goal of equality. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 258 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. but in some cultures (Japanese. extracting limit background information and thus communicating more implicitly. they stand in line and wait their turn. The role of women varies widely by culture. the role of women is quite different. Asians may Appear evasive. North Americans tend to be relatively frank or explicit in their relation-ships with others. for example. North American view personal space as a right and tend to respect this right of others. For another example. income. the major concern is for spiritual and human well being. some. tend to move on to friendly talk and clearly prepare the listener for the end of the call. and. Expectations are quite different in some other cultures. on the other hand. It is the belief that if one puts hard work ahead of pleasure. and such. not all of us subscribe to this ethic. in some Asian cultures public displays of affection are strongly frowned upon-in fact. Also differing by culture is our values-how we evaluate the critical mat-ters in life. People from different ‘cultures may have deferent attitudes toward body odors. Americans. have been indoctrinated with the Protestant work ethic. In. Westerners typically respond with subdued and controlled emotions. To illustrate. The prevailing view in some other cul-tures is quite different. How employees view authority is yet another question that cultures view differ-ently. The view of work is relaxed. In similar situations. This difference in at-titude toward class status also is illustrated by differences in the familiarity of address. Such differences have caused misunderstandings in American-Japanese joint ventures. standing at ticket counters. Frankness. In some Middle Eastern cultures. success will follow. encounters between people with such widely differing attitudes could lead to serious miscommunication. From culture to culture. Autocratic rule is expected—even wanted. Some Americans are quick to establish a first-name basis.. Intimacy of Relationships. in some Asian cultures people view body odors not as something to be hidden but as something that friends should experience. impolite. Of course. Americans work hard to neutralize body odors or cover them up and view those with body odors as dirty and unsanitary. We North Americans generally accept authority. quickly getting to the point and perhaps being blunt and sharp doing. These widely differ-ing practices have led to major communication problems in joint business ventures in-volving ‘people from these cultures. North Americans may appear harsh. People from cultures that stress human equality are apt to take offense at such questioning about the notion of class status. belong to a low-context culture. thus. for space when boarding trains. a Cul-ture that explicitly shares all relevant background information in our communication. Some of the people from these cultures believe that it is an act of friendship to “breathe the breath” of the person ‘with whom they converse and to feel their presence by smelling. On the other hand. their practices are in accord with their religious convictions.Space. especially among the Chinese. shopping in stores. and such might be asked. a person from such a culture might quiz a person from another culture to determine that persons class status. so. Employees expect to move freely from job to job. accept at least a moderate display of affection. and max-imizing production. Even people from the same culture may have different space preferences. Telephone customs may be an exception. working efficiently. In many cultures. The dominant view in Latin America. In encounters between people whose cultures have such different. People from some other cultures view space as belonging to all. but it is a strong force in the thinking of many in our culture. who tend to end telephone calls abruptly after their purpose has been accomplished. In sharp contrast is the somewhat democratic work arrange-ment of the Japanese in which much of the decisionmaking is by consensus. the practices of the people of these other cultures suggest severe restriction of human rights. Asians. North Americans. and indecisive to North Americans. This practice is offensive to people from some other cultures. Even such emotional displays as sorrow are influenced by culture. People from different cultures often vary in their attitudes toward space. For this reason. for example. and productivity is. In Japan. not following this practice is considered impolite and bad etiquette. workers accept a subservient role passively. Most in our culture view as appropriate an order between these extremes. a secondary concern. Americans belong to a high-context culture. In many Islamic cultures. The workplace is viewed much like a family. Similarly. Values. They see us as being the ones out of step. Views about the relationships of employers and employees also may differ by cul-ture. who expect such intimate address only from longstanding acquaintances. Thus. In the view of the peo-ple of these cultures. Westerners. considered crude and offensive. sorrow is expressed with loud. on the other hand. and class status determines how intimately people are addressed and treated in communication. how people view superior-subordinate-relations can vary by culture.234 . and they expect companies to fire them from time to time. Odors. attitudes toward space. The product of this thinking is an emphasis on planning. To many in our culture. on the other hand. seemingly uncontrolled wailing. with loyalty expected from employees and employer. Thus. notably the English and the Germans. But in some cultures (some Arabian and South American cultures). Expression of Emotions. employment tends to be for a lifetime. for example. North Americans tend to prefer about two feet or so of distance between them-selves and those with whom they speak. In North America. North American workers expect to change companies in their career a number of times. people stand closer to each other. Asians tend to be far more reticent or implicit and sometimes go to great lengths to save face or not to offend. In many Third World cultures. laughter is a sponta-neous display of pleasure. laughter also can be a controlled behavior-to be used in certain social situations. title. differences in social behavior de-velop. To Westerners. roundabout. Clearly. and they expect employers to hire and fire as their needs change. Questions concerning occupation. is a strong boss with weak subordinates doing as the boss directs.

problems of miscommunication are bound to occur in international communication. Or consider the multiple meanings of such words as fast. The second sees the first as excitable. The obvious result is that even the best trans-lators often cannot find literal equivalents between languages. The Oxford English Dictionary uses over 15. Many more such practices exist. And different cultures have different concepts. of our numerous meanings for the simple word run (to move fast. Because few of us can learn more than one or two other languages well. and some have no adverbs and/or adjectives. Our objective here is only to establish the point that the differences among cultures affect communication between people of different cultures. others prefer.8 Even the British. responsible. Keep in mind that this book was written for our culture. Within a culture. certain manners of expression may be used in a way their dic-tionary translations and grammatical structures do not explain. concepts. They use what appears to us as exaggerated politeness and slowness in moving the message.that is. we couldn’t be overly nice. In some cultures.” meaning try as we may. have message practices that differ from ours. and such (for example.? Our persuasive appeals may be rejected in India. other languages have more than one meaning for many words. And so it is with the many other cultures of the world. The comparisons could-go on and on for there are countless differences-in cultures. we might say. it is difficult to. “Business couldn’t be better. domestic feminine. Jo compete for office. And so it is with words for many other objects. views. Adding to these equivalency problems is the problem of multiple word meanings. gross. Obviously. street vendors. You must learn the cultures of those with whom you communicate. sell flowers. our florist does not have a precise equivalent in/the language of such cultures. Another explanation for the lack of language equivalency is the grammatical and syntactic differences among languages. a description of the situation the message concerns. “Business is bad” (impossible to im-prove). and make.000 languages. Some cultures combine business and social plea sure. wide differences among languages make precisely equivalent transla-tions difficult. We should guard against ethnocentrism. Some expect to engage in aggressive bargaining in business transactions. Books have been written on the subject. One from another culture might understand the sentence to mean. for example) have no gerunds. others do not. roundup. experiences. you then modify your communication accordingly. Some communicate with emphasis on economy of expression. more highly developed morality lead to thinking different from ours. and many more). Think. Italians have nearly 500 words {or types of pasta. They begin with an identification of context. monopoly. and that we understand them. aloof). What to do about this problem? You have no choice but to become a stu-dent of culture. a fading of colors. experiences. But it is not necessary to review them all. The communication techniques presented in this book should be modified to fit the culture involved. chal-lenge and having fun. that we look for them. -Some talk loudly and. interview. The French have no word to distinguish between house and home. And we have seen the more subdued communica-tion of othersnotably northern Europeans. ring. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Lack of Language Equivalency Unfortunately. Straightforward dealings. and perhaps even unstable. and tense in the same way. Don’t expect them to understand your culture. for example. They prefer an approach that we would regard as blunt and calloused. Unless one knows a language well. Not all languages deal with verb mood. the sentence might mean “We cannot be nice to our customers. To one from another culture. Like English.000 words to define what. actions. cat. we think of a florist as someone who sells flowers and related items in a store. “We could never be too nice to our customers. those outside may not. mind and brain. Or we might say. our supermarket has no equivalent in some languages. some of our direct messages would be regarded as rude by people in these cultures. Especially is this the case with our cov-erage of the basic message situations-those concerning directness and indirectness. where views of an older. and man and gentleman. The Spa.T1ish have no word to distinguish between a chairman and a president. the use of cultural practices as standards for determining mean-ing in cross-cultural communication. generally favor a somewhat indirect approach for messages we would treat directly. trip. mainly women and children.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 259 . and such of the cultures that developed them. They especially differ in the treatment of negative situations. For example. Much of what we say does not apply to other cultures. with emotion. The first group tends to see the second as disinterested and lacking in friendliness. They would regard our goodwill strategies as insincere and evasive. while Italians have no word for wishful thinking: And Russians have no words for efficiency. however. tough. whose culture we think of as resembling our own.” Similarly. Our practices just do not fit into them. strike. emo-tional. However. What is important is that we recognize their existence. Problems of Language The people on earth use more than 3. others communicate orally in a subdued manner. Those within the cul-ture understand these expressions. One reason for such differences is that languages are based on the con-cepts. a word Effects on Business Communication Techniques The foregoing examples illustrate only a few of the numerous differences that exist among cultures. a score in baseball. for example. 11. For el-ample. like-meaning words can be used in different ways in different cultures. although many of them do. With your recipient’s culture in mind. know which of the meanings is intended. voice.” meaning business is very good. Some languages (Urdu. others communicate with an abundance of verbiage. views. a break in a stocking. In fact. People in Asian cultures. and such.We all have observed the emotion and animation people of the Mediterranean\cul-tures display as they communicate. Similarly. One example is the simple word yes.

“English has emerged as the lingua franca of world commerce in much the same way that Greek did in the ancient world of the West and China did in the East. When combined. we must keep in mind that it is not the primary language of many of the who use it. the second translation matches the original. an executive from Iraq and an executive from Saudi Arabia would communicate with each other in Arabic. Dictionaries are of little help to nonnative who are seeking the meanings of these word combinations. Following are a. documents. that a special dictionary of them has been compiled. combined with the verb.’ the Chinese will usu-ally reply. However.not to say that other languages are not used in international business. break out. your best course is first to be aware that translation ‘problems exist and then to ask questions-to probe-to determine what the other person understands. few of them arranged by the more common words that combine with the verbs: BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Verb Plus “Away" . is to know more than one language well. what-ever it may be. ‘Yes’ meaning a polite agreement with the negative question: ‘Yes. For very important oral messages. in fact. For example. Some of their more troublesome problems are reviewed in the following pages. they are likely to use English. when an American says to a Chinese counterpart. The members of the European Free Trade Association conduct all their business in English even though not one of them is a native English speaker. take the verb break and the word up. produces a meaning that the verb alone does not have. For the same reason.’ Or it may be understood in English as the opposite of yes. This procedure involves using two translators.234 © Copy Right: Rai University . The best way. they are likely to use it. can often be understood by Americans and British as their English yes. for Ara-bic is their common language. I do not agree with the clause. and the second translator then translates the message back into the original. break in. Since many of these users have had to learn English as a second language. English is the primary language of international business. By two-word verbs we mean a wording con-sisting of (1) a verb and (2) a second element that. but the competence required is beyond the reach of most of us. like the Japanese yes. Overcoming such language problems is difficult. Thus. And look how the meaning changes when the same verb is com-bined with other words: break away. When business executives from different countries have a common language. For example. of course.that has an equivalent in all languages. If the translations are good. one with firstlanguage skills in one of the languages involved and one with first-language skills in the other “language. you are right. The first translator translates the message into his or her language. Although we can take comfort from knowing that ours is the primary language of international business. for they are. “The Chinese yes. But the Chinese yes often means ‘I am listening. words have alone. or such. they are likely to use it less fluently than we and to experience prob-lems in understanding us. For example. give away keep away Lay away pass away put away throw away Verb Plus “ln" cash in cave in lose in dig in give in run in take in throw in Verb Plus “Off” break off brush off buy off check off clear off cool off finish off let off mark off payoff run off send off show off shut off sound off start off take off write off verb Plus “out” blow out Difficulties in Using English Fortunately for us. when execu-tives have no common language. One of the most difficult problems to nonnative speakers of Eng-lish involves the use of two-word verbs. they have a meaning quite different from the meanings the 260 Verb Plus “Back" cut back feed back keep back play back read back take back turn back win back verb plus “down “ calm down die down hand down keep down let down lie down mark down pin down play down put down run down shut down sit down wear down verb plus “out” clean out clear out crowd out cut out die out dry out even out figure out fill out find out give out hold out hold out lose out pull out rule out verb plus “up” blow up build up call up cover up dig up end up fill up get up hang up hold up keep up look up mix up pick up save up shake up 11. break down. an executive from Venezuela would use Spanish in dealing with an executive from Mexico. This is . Two-Word Verbs. in the words of one international authority. There are many two-word verbs-so many. ‘I see you don’t agree with this clause. you might consider using a procedure called back translating.

hookup. a steal. Words derived from our culture also present problems. down for the count. get in Two-Word Verbs go out. soused. hurry up go on. Following are some examples Head for home Have an itching palm Grasp at straws Flat footed On the beam Out to pasture Sitting duck Crying In his beer In orbit A honey A flop Dope (crazy) Hood (gangster) Up the creek without a paddle A fish out of water A chicken with its head cut off If you are like most of us. Exam-ples of such adjectives are going away (a going-away gift). . feedback. lookout. You use them in your everyday communicating. ballpark figure. cleanup (cleanup work). It is apparent that we should use these word com-binations sparingly when communicating. squid. hobo. Similar to and in fact overlapping slang are the words and expressions that we de-rive from our various activities-sports. Examples of such nouns are breakthrough. bogus). In writ-ing to nonnative readers. cover-up. squeeze play. But many of them are not covered in language textbooks or listed in dictionaries. get out blow up think up figure out take out. Baseball has given us out in left field. When-ever possible. strike out. cover-up (cover-up tac-tjcs). from scratch. goal-line stand. social affairs. The most apparent are the slang expressions that continually come into and go out of use. work. and go to bat for. nonnative studying English learn some of these word combinations. and the like. come in. many of these words and expressions are apart of your vocabulary. wimp. lousy. touch base. blurb. keep on put off take off come down go in. natch. Similar to these words and expressions are words and expressions developed within our culture (colloquialisms). par. and on the ropes. in the groove. Sports es-pecially have contributed such words. and tops of following decades. Fortunately. and sit-in. From football we have kickoff. you will need to use sparingly those that do not appear in standard dictionaries. and cool. come out. remove descend enter Suggested Substitutes exit. below the belt. for they are part of the English language. take away remove return Suggested Substitutes surrender accelerate continue defer depart. Some slang expressions catch on and find a place in our dictionaries (brunch. These also tend to confuse nonnatives using English. be back Additional problems result from the fact that some two-word verbs have noun and adjective forms. and turningo f f (turning-off place). stymie. get back. scram. and get the ball rolling. Following are some two-word verbs and suggested substitutes: Two-Word Verbs give up speed up.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 261 . pig out. couch potato. which is all right. leave explode imagine solve go back. Some of these have similar meanings in other cultures. right off the bat. and takeover). drive-in. some nouns and adjectives of this kind are commonly used and appear in standard dictionaries (words such as hookup. From other: sports and from sports in general we have jock. balk. But most are with us for a little while and then are gone. 11. Most slang words are not in dictionaries or on the word lists that non-English-speaking people study to learn English. and over the top. answer the bell. but most are difficult for non-natives to understand. The obvious conclusion is that you should not use slang in crosscultural communication. They are colorful. we should substitute for them words that appear in standard dictionaries.with nonnative speakers of English. Perhaps you are not aware of just how much slap we use.verb plus “out” pull out rule out tire out wear out work out verb plus “up” save up shake up shut up slow up split up wrap up verb Plus Miscellaneous words bring about catch on get across pass on put across put forth roll over set forth verb plus “over” check over do over hold over pass over put over run over stop over take over talk over think over win over Culturally Derived Words. From boxing we have knockout. breakthrough. many of which are so widely used that they are part of our everyday vocabulary. earth pig.’ ace. show-off. More recent ones that are probably destined for the same fate include nerd. airhead. Exam-ples of such shortlived slang expressions are the “twenty-three skiddoo” ‘and “oh you kid” of the 1920s and the ritzy. and they can communicate clearly to those who understand in the groove nuts (crazy) grand(thousand0 circle the wagons shoot from the hip tuckered out gumption tote (carry) in a rut pump priming make heads or tails of it tearjerker countdown shortcut educated guess BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Of course. off base.

We will end manufacturing operations-in November. equivalency in translation is difficult. however. Following are some examples: Not This We were caught flat-footed. • We should not use our culture’s practices as standards for determining meaning • Instead. values. they are acquainted mainly with primary dictionary meanings and are not likely to understand slang words or shades of difference in the meanings we give words. • The best advice is to master the language of the nonnative English speakers with whom you communicate. • Being able to communicate across cultures is necessary in these operations. • Specifically. 3. try to check and clarify your communication through continuous confirmation. • People tend to view the But This We were surprised. • Also. each may not understand the other’s body movements. 'I'll touch base with you on this problem august. most have words with multiple meanings.234 . • As a result.” • Cultures differ. relationships. Be she your questions are not double questions. • Like English. Summary By Chpater Objectives 1.000. frankness. Finally. Avoid “Do you want to go to dinner now or wait until after the rush hour is over?” Also avoid the yes/no question that some cul-tures may have difficulty answering directly. I'll talk with you about this problem in August. Your sales report put us in orbit We’ will wind down manufacturing operations in November Your prediction was right on the beam. It allows you to be certain you have conveyed your message and received theirs accurately. Answer this section to the. He -frequently acts before he thinks. you should follow one general suggestion: write or talk simply and dearly. and social behavior. consider back translation – the technique of the second to translate back to the original. gesture A General Suggestion For Communicating Acr’os’s Cultures In addition to the specific suggestions for improving your communication in English with nonnative English speakers. 6. • They differ greatly in grammer and syntax. Culture may be defined as “the way of life of a group of people. The sales campaign was a flop. Variations in how people of different cultures use body positions and body movements is a cause of miscommunication. Your prediction was correct practices of their culture as right and those of there cultures as peculiar or wrong. smile. and generally in understanding and satisfying the needs 2. you should be aware of the problems caused by language differences.000. odors. and such varies from culture to culture. Language equivalency problems are another major cause of miscommunication in cross – cultural communication. • About 3. and today’s technology enables parties to do this on the spot. we use a billion to mean 1. 4. it helps in gaining additional business. Normative English speakers are not likely to understand them. The sales campaign was a failure. in hiring BUSINESS COMMUNICATION good people.them. • How people walk. in other cultures the response is directed toward the question being asked. • Specifically. Use more openended questions such as “When would you like to go to dinner?’” Also.000 languages are used on earth. they differ in their practices and thinking concerning time. Remember that because most nonnative speakers learned English in school. • When people from different cultures attempt to communicate. • For important communications. People in different cultures differ in their ways of relating to people. Overcoming the language equivalency problems involves hard and tedious work. You also will communicate better if you carefully word your questions. 5. They couldn’t make heads or tails-of the report.000. a culture similar to ours. We would be up the creek without a paddle. Even in Britain. He frequently shoots from the' hip. Take. In . They will understand you better if you avoid these pitfalls. Businesses are becoming increasingly global in their operations. Talk slowly-and enunciate each word. You will need to use words that are clearly defined in the dictionaries that these people are likely to use in translating your message. • Check the accuracy of the communication with written summaries.0000. avoid negative questions such “Aren’t you going to dinner?” In some cultures a yes response confirms whether the questioner is correct. similar words can have vastly different meanings. we should try to understand the other culture.the words of two highly regarded scholars in the field you should “educate yourself in the use of Simplified English. They couldn't understand the report.000. an educated guess op this question. Summarizing in writing also is a good idea. • Ask questions carefully to make sure you are understood.000. to eliminate such words and expressions in communicating with them. best of your knowledge Your sales report pleased us very much. space. We would be in a helpless situation.000 whereas the British use it to mean 1. © Copy Right: Rai University 262 11. Continually checking for meaning and using written summaries can help ensure the accuracy of the communication process. For example. so you will need.

In interviews what you have learnt so far is secondary. your personality and your interests. your aspirations. • Learn the prerequisites in preparing for an interview.UNIT 5 CHAPTER 11: EMERGING TRENDS LESSON 41: INTERVIEW TIPS Upon completion of this lesson you will: • Have more self-confidence in facing interviews. what matters is how prepared are you for the interview and finally the job. The questions below are focused towards a European market. INTERVIEW QUESTIONS: The questions most typically asked at interviews have been grouped into the following topic areas (but are seldom as structured during the interview process). • Stop worrying about Interviews. It is not possible to guarantee questions in any interview. You are best placed to know your own shortcomings and where you might fall below the expected standard. the potential employer and the position. You should prepare for questions about: your background. so it is important to anticipate and practice the answers. but you should consider asking yourself the following questions so that you will be fully prepared during the interview. This list is not exhaustive but should provide food for thought. Student’s this lesson will equip you to come home with a job in hand after an interview. Focus on your strengths and what skills you can bring to a position. Potential Employer • Why did you apply to us? • Where did you hear about the position? . please note that the style and types of questions do vary from one country to another. The interview is a prime opportunity for you to sell yourself to the interviewer.

What skills will you bring? • How do you work best? .• • • • What do you know about our organization? Do you know anyone who works for us? What interests you about the position? What do you think we have to offer you as a company? Career Ambitions • What are your long/short term goals? • Tell me about your career aspirations. • Why are you changing your career? • Explain the gap in your work history.how did you find the solution ? You say you have x skills…how did you demonstrate these in your previous position ? Personality • Describe yourself . • What have you got to offer the company? .nevertheless be prepared). Questions to ask the Interviewer .Give me three reasons.Leading a group. how long do you expect to stay with our organization? • Can we contact your current employer for references ? (this question is usually only asked after an offer letter has been sent . • Given your career plans.strengths/weaknesses? • How would your friends describe you? • What motivates you? • What are your strengths/weaknesses? • How do you spend your spare time? Problem/Sticky Questions • What salary or benefits are you looking for ? (We can give you advice regarding how to deal with this question prior to your interview). • What are you looking for in a career? • Do you have plans to gain further qualifications? • Where do you see yourself in 2/5 years time? • Describe your ideal employer. in a team or alone? • Are you prepared to travel? • Are you looking for a position with training? • What has been your main career achievement to date? • What was the most difficult problem in your current/previous position . Skills and Requirements • Why should we hire you? .

Get a location map.) DURING THE INTERVIEW • Smile and make eye contact. Most companies today have a Web Site and they expect you to have researched their company. If going for a marketing/sales/finance position . flexibility. .Find out what the job entails. • Be positive and enthusiastic.• • • • • • Why is the position available? What skills are needed to succeed? What are the initial priorities of the position? How does the position fit into the organisational structure? How much scope (autonomy. career growth.research company products and the company potential (e. Check Out . • Why did you chose your particular degree/discipline ? • Why did you chose your college/university ? • What did you most/least like about your course ? • What was your strongest/weakest subject ? • Tell me about your project work ? • How are your studies related to this position/vacancy ? • Tell me about your career aspirations ? • Describe your ideal employer ? • Do you plan to gain further qualifications ? • How do you spend you spare time ? • How would your tutor describe you ? • Besides your degree. dress well. contact telephone numbers.g. Research .Who are you meeting? their titles. Plan Ahead . responsibilities) is there within this position ? What is the company’s managerial style/culture ? Questions typically asked of Graduates. etc.Prepare for Interview Questions. what else do you feel you gained from college/university ? • Were you active in any societies ? • What positions of responsibility do you hold/have you held ? PRIOR TO THE INTERVIEW Prepare . etc. have a few to ask the interviewer. allow yourself a good 30-60 minutes of additional time to arrive.Company brochures or website. Make sure you have all the information. relationship to job. mobile phone if possible. A good agency will always provide you with a detailed job specification. • Think about your body language. have money. • Relax and be friendly. Identify . Annual review report.

.... .Fluency in a foreign language... Researching the facts Get as much information as possible about your prospective employer. which is . Tricky questions You maybe asked about your major personal strengths. Be courteous to the gatekeeper and receptionist.Membership of a local club.. Arrive at least ten minutes before your appointment. which are relevant. or which show initiative. as they may be asked for their opinion of you. your body language and the overall impression you create....Physical appearance and bearing .. Write these down. Telephone and ask for any brochures or literature and collect them if necessary.Special abilities and aptitudes . . This knowledge will greatly increase your self-confidence at interview...General intelligence How you are rated. time and place.Collection of money for charity. If you are going to be late. REMEMBER 7-10% is what you say 20-30% is how you say it 60-80% is your image.• Don’t discuss salary until you’re offered the job. On the evening before the interview re-read this information....Disposition and personal characteristics . write back immediately. . ...Past experience and achievements. Select something.. education or experience.. telephone and apologize.. Write down at least four points about the organization and its products or services and memorize them.A relevant research project.Interests and leisure activities . by considering the following points: .Experience of part-time jobs. . The interviewer’s assessment of you Professional interviewers will try to obtain an objective assessment of candidates. memorize them and make sure you talk about them at interview. thanking the person and confirming the date. An example could be: . Confirming your acceptance When you are offered an interview. particularly on the first three depends on how well you have prepared yourself Five key points for the interview Select five points from your background..

you may be asked to take a series of tests. choose one that still shows you in a positive light.relevant. etc. If you take a personality test. give honest answers. Prepare yourself by working through a book of these tests now. such as: getting on well with other people. always completing a job properly. Your general attitude to life is one of the most important aspects on which your future employer will assess you.g. e. work quickly but without rushing – quality is more important than quantity! Giving value for money You have to convince an employer that you are worth employing and that you have the capacity for hard work and a readiness for accepting change or further training. ‘I take on too much work’. In any test. . If asked about your weak points. not ones that you think will improve your score. Just before the interview.




234 © Copy Right: Rai University 271 . the England and Manchester United defender. Learning Objectives • To understand the variety of methods and media that • • To understand the nature of barriers to successful communication can be used to communicate information To understand the process of communication Event 1 The Rio Rumpus! The outline of the event: Rio Ferdinand. In business. is due for a random. The press gets hold of this and there are big divisions over the stance of the FA and the players. Sven Goran Eriksson. Ferdinand is due to attend a hearing on Monday 13th. Rumors about the future of the company began to circulate amongst staff when some received text messages advising them to look at their bank accounts because there were problems paying salaries. communication can be: • between individuals • between individuals and organisations • within a business • between a business and an external organisation Communication: The Role of ICT 11. Manchester United and the Football Association. The Accident Insurance Group was a company specializing in the pursuit of compensation claims for victims of accidents either at work or elsewhere. The rest of the England team are furious. There were then stories of the company actually notifying staff of dismissal by text message. Delays to the announcement of the squad by the manager. that he will not be selected from the England Squad to go to Turkey for the crucial European Championship qualifying match on October 11th. The company pursued claims for compensation on behalf of victims and takes a slice of the compensation award if successful. Following a fall in the success rates for personal injury claims and the withdrawal of a key financial backer. Approximately 2500 staff lost their jobs. Your task is to discuss each event in terms of the following: Event 2: Accident Insurance Group Background. The FA and the players eventually announce that agreement has been reached and the match goes ahead. The Chairman of the company. he turns up back at the training ground but the testers have gone home. The key events of the cases have been highlighted. routine drug test but ‘forgets’ because he is moving house. Mark Langford. PriceWaterhouseCoopers. The players register their discontent and mention boycotting the game as a possible option. fuel speculation and by Monday October 6th information is released through a press conference by Manchester United pointing out that Ferdinand has been left out of the squad. the company ceased trading in late May 2003. • What communication processes were adopted in each case • (there may be more than one)? What message/information was the sender trying to send out? that message? • How successful was that person/body in communicating • What barriers to successful communication did the information experience? • Advise the sender on an alternative approach that may have had different results. later text messages advised them that their salary had not been paid. Discussions then take place between his club. which proves negative. claimed the decision to tell workers they had been made redundant through text message was not his and blamed the administrators. they feel his confidentiality has been compromised and that Ferdinand is being branded as ‘guilty’ without any charge being made against him.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 42: CASE STUDY Business Communication Activity Below are extracts from two cases that have occurred during the past year that highlight the importance of communication. Two days later on 25th September he gives a test.

BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 272 Communication Communication takes place within networks.234 . sales teams report to head office Communication © Copy Right: Rai University 11. These are some of the types of network: • chain • circle • wheel • all-channel • A circle network e.g formal contact Communication • A wheel network e.g.g. between people at same level Communication • A chain network e.

234 © Copy Right: Rai University 273 .BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Communication • An all-channel network e. brainstorming Examples of ICT Use • Mobile telephones • Video and tele-conferencing • Lap-top computers • E-mail • Multi-media communications Communication Communication in the business world is very different today compared to twenty years ago. because of: • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Examples of ICT Use • Mobile telephones • Video and tele-conferencing • Lap-top computers • E-mail • Multi-media communications 11.g.

© Copy Right: Rai University 11.234 .BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 274 Communication Failure • • • • • No matter what medium of communication is used. it can fail if: jargon is used inappropriately badly written messages are transmitted the message goes to the wrong receiver information overload takes place the communication channel breaks down Communication Failure In the UK firms wanting to move into e-commerce can be: • prevented due to slow connection speeds • affected by lack of broadband services Go to the Activity for more on this.

For this. in today’s context. They are very much unlike the fly-by-night type of businesses. There is an imperative need to go beyond the substance. This relates to the ethical dimension or the values Business Organizations are Perpetual Entities The ethical dimension of busi-ness assumes significance when we realize that business organisati6ns. Be that as it may. They are indeed a pre-requisite for ensuring effective communication and meaningful and enduring customer relationships. The spirit behind the words counts for a lot. essential. Yet. We have seen the need for good words and nice gestures in communicating with people in business and dealing with customers. In beating competition. and look at the spirit in which communication is ef-fected and customer relations are sustained. businesses often do not have much choice but to use flashy words and hard-hitting ideas to penetrate markets and win over and retain cus-tomers. Progressive business organizations make it a point to articulate values and lay empha-sis on the ethical aspects of business in general. By the end of this lesson you will have more understanding on : • • • • • • Commitment to Core Business Principles Beyond Caveat Emptor Towards Corporate Governance The Rights of Customers Changing Trends in Business Communication Data Warehousing Customer Relationship Management Values in Business Communication and Customer Relations--The Ethical Dimension What we have discussed hitherto in all the earlier chapters essentially relates to the content and substance of and approach to communication and customer relations. In as much as bottom lines are crucial for sustaining market share. A pre-requisite for ensuring effective communication and meaningful and enduring customer relationships. • An organization may decide not to make any adverse comments. businesses where the ethical dimension co-exist with the pecuniary objectives. Yet. for example: • An Organization may decide not to advertise in any politically affiliated newspaper or journal. Business decisions are taken more by applying the head than the heart. of needs in a manner that is acceptable to the customers or service seekers. they must earn and sustain customers ‘trust and confidence on an on-going basis. Be that as it may. no doubt. the profit motive governs the rules businesses follow in pursuing communication and customer relations. ideas and disciplined think-ing”. In beating competition. and look at the spirit in which communication is ef-fected and customer relations are sustained. words and deeds clearly reflect the value system which operates in that business organization. businesses where the ethic dimension co-exists with the pecuniary objectives. progressive organizations are value-driven and they affirm their commitment to core business principles. in today’s context. 11. businesses often do not have much choice but to use flashy words and hard-hitting ideas to penetrate markets and win over and retain cus-tomers. The spirit behind the words counts for a lot. Commitment to Core Business Principles In order to earn and retain custom-ers’ trust and confidence. particularly in the corporate world are seen as perpetual entities.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 275 . beyond the words. • An organization may decide not to pass on to the customer any loss arising out of mistakes committed by their employees. The market place can be described as a battle ground and marketing as “ a civilized form of warfare in which most battles are won with words. In their communication and customer relations they are governed by such principles to which they are committed. This set of core principles may take many forms. businesses have to do much more than the good word and nice phrases bit. These are. it is to be well understood that businesses that really endure are those that show commitment to values. They will continue to thrive and survive as long as they strive to meet that specific need or a set. implicitly about its competitors and their products. Progressive business organizations make it a point to articulate values and lay empha-sis on the ethical aspects of business in general. ideas and disciplined think-ing”. There is an imperative need to go beyond the substance beyond the words.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 43: RECENT TRENDS concerning communication and customer relations that every business should consciously build up and nurture. . Business decisions are taken more by applying the head than the heart. This relates to the ethical dimension or the values concerning communication and customer relations that every business should consciously build up and nurture. businesses have to do much more than the good word and nice phrases bit. The market place can be described as a battle ground and marketing as “ a civilized form of warfare in which most battles are won with words. it is to be well understood that businesses that really endure are those that show commitment to values. the profit motive governs the rules the businesses follow in pursuing communication and cus-tomer relations. In as such as bottom lines are crucial for sustaining market share. When it comes to advertisement or the vision document or the ‘mission statement. which operate with a shortsighted profit-at-any-cost motive. They exist to fulfill a specific need of people in the community.

if need be • For Airlines services it means giving reasons for the delay in the flight depar-ture. Taking recourse to legal remedies and carrying on running legal battles against the customers is far from desirable. Enlightened business managers do realize that ‘you missed the fine print. Essentially. Legal requirements have to be met. Corporate governance strives to ensure fairness. the incen-tives and discounts. It brings out the accountability of management to shareholders. statements and performance-related claims. these relate to the right of information. good business organization is a. These aspects of corporate governance are particularly relevant in the context of ensuring good and proper communication and customer relations. In its broader sense. Adequacy b. customers. and not keeping him or her in the dark about any hidden costs • For a mutual fund agent or salesman it means keeping the prospective inves-tor duly informed about the implications of investing in mutual funds-that the returns may vary and even the principal amount may get eroded depend-ing upon market related factors The right of information would also cover the availability of and easy access to product and company literature. particularly when they are favoring the customer. it is realized. Among others. say you suffer’ days are over. the warranties and after-sales arrangements should all be made available. supported by the figures of the company’s performance and pros-pects and that the Board has an obligation to present a balanced and understandable assessment of the company’s position. even if it means delay or loss. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Beyond Caveat Emptor Value driven business organizations transcend the ‘Caveat Emptor’ or the ‘buyer beware’ attitude. They are partners without whose sup-port no business can hope to survive. A business can win the court case but lose the customer. honesty and transparency of a business organization in rela-tion to its dealings with various stakeholders viz. Consistency. Among partners there cannot be a win-lose relationship. the probable time of departure and the efforts being made to cut down the delay and not leaving the passengers in the dark • For a bank or a financial institution it means giving to the borrower the full picture of the rates and charges involved. the right of choice and the right of accountability. Consistency in a sense reflects the core principles. there should be a sincere effort to make the relationship mutually beneficial. In the services sector. Beyond legal compliance. investors or shareholders as the case may be to facilitate a fair assessment of the state of affairs. • A doctor giving his patient details about his ailment. and even the goodwill of a section of existing and potential customers. shareholders. Adequacy implies that all relevant information is made available by the business and its management to its employees. It has to be a win-win relationship. which the company stands by over a period of time. The attitude is not one of carrying to any customer inimical information in fine print at some corner hoping that it would miss his attention. The widely referred prescriptions of the Cadbury Code in the United Kingdom deal with the role and responsibilities of the Board of Directors and its sub-committees. the right of information is gaining acceptance not only in the financial services and public utilities. the code lays down that the Board report should contain a coherent narrative. Move Towards Corporate Governance Values relating to communication and customer relations are also to be seen in the larger context of business organizations moving towards corporate governance.234 . The attempt is not to outwit the customer and make a fast buck. 276 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. It supports a business ethic that shuns short cuts and unethical practices.. Transparency c. Good customers are hard to come by and should be given fair treatment. the state and employees. The term corporate governance has a wide connotation. The sense of fair play. Right of information This right concerns the customer’s need to have all relevant information on the product and the company before he is in a position to decide on the transaction or relationship. even when the legal grounds favor the business. the type of medication and treatment he proposes to follow and may even involve encouraging the patient to seek a second opinion.Such principles can be many and varied and to proceed legally against any government department for realizing its dues. Transparency relates to the degree of openness in the sense that no attempt is made to cover up or hoodwink the shareholders. is an important value that should permeate communication and customer relations. but also in medical and such other professional services. Cardinal Principles of Communication The three cardinal principles of communication for any. corporate governance is said to encompass the entire range of formal and informal interactions of the corporate sector with the society at large. creditors. the terms and conditions. It means that there is no attempt to contradict the. business organizations will have to take cognizance of customer expectations and their rights as they perceive them. The prices and rates. The right of information in different areas would mean the fol-lowing: Customers are Not Adversaries All these arguments bring out the message that customers are not to be treated as adversaries. Business Legal Compliance Businesses have learnt hard way that their relationship with the customer extends beyond the legal aspect. beyond the jargon. statements and claims made by senior management functionaries and that they speak on the same wavelength. The Rights of Customers In the context of ensuring effective communication and meaningful customer relations.

Even as they commit themselves to the core business prin-ciples. Old ways of doing things are yielding place to the new and more sophisticated ones. for a bank borrower. appreciate their advantages and use them for improving the effectiveness of business communication and customer relations. all these developments bring in new opportunities and responsibilities. the advantage is that people from one group or section can speak to another and have discussions. In fact the trend in market today is to offer abundant choice and even tailor-made products or services rather than a one-size-fits--all kind of approach. The information access will alter the lifestyles of consumers and their expectations of business. If 1980s were about quality and 1990s were about re-engineering. Telecommunications and computers are driving this change across the world. it may involve the facility of shifting from one scheme to the other without much of a load factor. which govern their actions. As John Naisbitt and Patricia Aburdene ob-serve. This facility. Video Conferencing Video conferencing goes a step ahead of teleconferencing.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 277 . It is of a particular relevance when the chief of the state or the CEO of the company or any expert wants to communicate with people spread across regions. 2000s will be about velocity. it is possible for more than one person to speak from one end and discuss with more than one person at the other end. Thanks to globalization . For business communicators. They expect the employees to turn out a day’s fair work and resent gossiping or idling. The technology revolution has started impacting the rural areas as well. ‘Business at the speed of thought’. Similarly. Internet. in their book Megatrends 2000. Business Communication and Customer Relations In The New Millennium Newtrends In Business Communication The contours of business communication are changing at a rapid pace. Businesses are undergoing a metamorphosis. and the analysis that follows. and not pass them on to the customers. Numerous technol-ogy-induced developments towards the end of the last century have brought about new dimensions to the range. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Right of Accountability Today’s businesses have to be far more accountable to their customers than the businesses in the past. methods and modalities of personal and business communication. It is also possible that if an expert speaker cannot be physically present to address the meeting. There is much greater choice of channels and instruments. customers expect the business managements to penalize their em-ployees for any mistakes they may commit. a live telecast of his message or address can be brought to the assembly of people in a meeting or seminar. Laptops. wherein opinions and comments are sought. speed. for an airline passenger the right of choice would involve different menus to choose from. mobiles. It is possible to look at the person speaking. business organizations are laying particular emphasis on the ethi-cal part of business too. It is gaining popularity in modem business places and organizations. modems and computer based messaging systems have started impacting every sphere of activity including business communi-cation and customer relations. without physically meeting at a particular place. To cite examples.and cross-border flow of ideas and resources. Business is going to change more in the next ten years than in the last Fifty years. they also articulate the values. In the process. which result in losses. Through transparency. 11. Messages have to be brief. especially for small group interactions. Customers generally expect to haveadequate choice of identical or more or less similar products or services. “In telecommunications we are moving to a single world-wide information network. Transmission leakages can be brought down substantially. the customers and others get to know what is happening in the company and when things do not happen as they should be happening customers often make their voices heard. just as economically we are becoming one global market place”. for a mutual fund investor. developments in one place are rapidly reaching the other parts of the world. To conclude. swift and focused. Business Velocity Bill Gates makes the following observations in his recent book. whereby apart from the audio messages. They resent if the costs of any inefficiency within the company are passed on to them. Very soon people around the world will be living the web lifestyle. the video pictures are also available. People forming part of the business should make conscious efforts to reflect such concerns through communication and customer relations. is a conference or discus-sion that takes place over telephone. so that enduring and endearing relation-ships are built up and sustained across all sections. It has become necessary to keep abreast of such developments. however. Given below are some new co