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

234 © Copy Right: Rai University 7 . 11.• 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. The author is a Delhi-based personal growth trainer. do only the first instruction.

For example. it is essential that the basic elements of communication be identified. The result could be © Copy Right: Rai University 11. and the way she expressed herself. the process of transmitting information from an individual (or group) to another is a very complex process with many sources of potential error. Why should he pay heed to the proposal of this consultant? In a situation such as this. 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. From his personal data bank he selects ideas. we have to cover for you and this is messing all of us up. 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. in reality. the verbal part of the message actually means less than the non-verbal part. Communications is so difficult because at each step in the process there major potential for error. His choice of images and words the combination of the two is what goads the receiver to listen carefully. It turns out she was. She sent a message but the message is more than the words. among other emotions. complicated by her own complex feelings about pregnancy.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. this pregnancy keeps me nausious and my doctor says I should probably be reduced to part time. The manager had been interacting with many consultants. It is also very important to understand that major of our communication is non-verbal. was she trying to convey anything else. encodes and finally transits them to the receiver. the boss goes through a complex communication process in “hearing” the message. however. and her late calls. quite complex. This is most obvious in cross-cultural situations where language is an issue. but this is what the boss heard. there are a multitude of potential sources of error. This means that when we attribute meaning to what someone else is saying. work. The message that Terry sent had to be decoded and given meaning. were really being pressured by Terry’s continued absences. The boss “heard” hostility from Terry. she is conveying a number of complex emotions. and her future. If the consultant wishes the HRD manager to communicate with him. 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. Terry has what appears to be a simple message to convey-she won’t make it to work today because of nausia. indifference. If the message can be formulated in accordance with the expectations of the receiver. She was upset because she perceived that her co-workers weren’t as sympathetic to her situation as they should be. But she had to translate the thoughts into words and this is the first potential source of error. this is the third day you’ve missed and your appointments keep backing up. But it is also common among people of the same cuture. • Boss: Terry. Consider the Simple Example • Terry: “I won’t make it to work again tomorrow. He has a tough task ahead of him. lack of consideration. The non-verbal part includes such things as body language and tone. For this process to materialize. It is critical to understand this process. the timing of the call. a good strategy to be adopted is to expand the purview of the proposal and make it company specific. In any communication at least some of the “meaning” lost in simple transmission of a message from the sender to the receiver. Terry is communicating far more than that she would miss work. but Terry refuses because she would have to take it without pay. They wished she would just take a leave of absence. In this process a number of factors come into play. The entire burden of communication then rests upon the sender or encoder. The objective is to secure consultancy projects on training of personnel. it includes the tone. These elements are. Thus what appears to be a simple communication is. the level of acceptance is going to be higher. Sender/ Encoder/ Speaker The person who initiates the communication process is normally referred to as the sender. a consultant wishes to communicate with the HRD manager of a company. Key Stages in Communication Cycle Communication is a two. 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. Similarly. Her co-workers. he has to ensure that their goals converge. 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. primary among them being an understanding of the recipient and his needs. Was she just trying to convey that she would be late. Look at the example. 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.way process in which there is an exchange and progression of ideas towards a mutually accepted direction or goal. Terry may not have meant this.234 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

234 .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. individuals have responsibility • Independent .staff have a role.staff with specific skills join project teams.decisions made centrally • Pyramid . shared decision making. specialisation is possible • Matrix .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 .

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.

information also passes through an organisation informally • Communication is not complete until feedback has been received © Copy Right: Rai University 11.234 .BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 24 Channels of Communication • Channels between departments or functions involve lateral communication • As well as formal channels of communication.

not explaining the vision in clear. 5. Remember that your knowledge is limited : You may be tempted to appear to know more than you do. Not taking the time to explain the vision. serious. give information. Your voice should contain fire. without any misunderstanding. Your nonverbal signals are also important because they communicate your general demeanor. is the best way to demotivate your employees and stall any progress. Use gestures well : The effective use of gestures reinforces what a pastor says. your audience won’t Keep it simple Unfocused. which betrays insecurity on your part. Often. In a similar vein. When your audience doesn’t believe you. selfcentered anecdotes. Establish a warm atmosphere : The atmosphere you create with your words and gestures determines the effectiveness of your sermon. in this lesson we will understand the importance of effective communication. 2. whether oral or written. it is a distraction. Language is often an imprecise tool. to request. 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. 3. Everyday we communicate with each other but lets think for a while. Honestly communicate what you know. speakers get into trouble when they extrapolate a principle into a situation they don’t understand. 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. • Version #2: We are going to be the best victim services program of any police force in Canada. Actively engage people’s interest : Many of us use techniques to engage congregations that they believe are effective. 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. or anything. 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. not just those in front of you. but actually disconnect them from listeners. Effective communication can be achieved by having a through knowledge of the communication cycle. The seven principles below will help you to avoid mistakes. but know nothing about business. Our aim should be to communicate a message successfully so that it is received as we intended. to persuade. 6. 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. not theirs. Poor communication. run-on sentences filled with jargon and buzz words create confusion. The six communication basics all of us have to follow are 1. The more often we repeat jargon the less clear the meaning becomes. excessive emotion. Always keep in mind that someone in your audience may know more than you do about your topic. is all about understanding. Smiling at people demonstrates openness and invites them to listen. your credibility—and their motivation to keep listening — evaporates. Avoid beginning with a negative tone. Speaking with authority is dependent upon speaking truth. A conversational approach works better. dangerous. Overdramatization. If you’re speaking about how a certain principle would work in a business setting. Make sure your eyes sweep across and make contact with people in every part of the audience. Your eyes are almost as important as your voice. Gesturing also includes looking at people as you talk. but not distracting. and accurately reflect what’s happening in your mind. or not “walking the talk” are some common ways that organizations fail to achieve their goals. which exist. are we communicating effectively? Communication. We will do this by 11. and by considering carefully the following vital factors: • What is the objective of communication? Is it intended to believe it either. These focus the audience’s attention on your needs. it will show. appropriate for the context. As with the voice. we have targeted existing service lines and delivery models for transition to more efficient and effective service delivery options. understandable language. gestures should represent what is happening in the mind. being aware of the barriers. If your listener is conscious of your voice. on the other hand.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. and yelling focus listeners upon your performance instead of content. Effective communication is the key to mobilizing your employees behind a new vision. 4.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 25 . conviction. Choose your words the same way you choose your clothes.

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

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

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

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

Use a font that has a professional or neutral look. Try to keep the email brief (one screen length). Set your email preferences to automatically wrap outgoing plain text messages. spelling. and grammatical errors l l l Use caps when appropriate. l Write a salutation for each new subject email. so it is crucial that you follow the basic rules of etiquette to construct an appropriate tone. If your message is likely to be forwarded. Without immediate feedback your document can easily be misinterpreted by your reader. keep it to 60 characters or less. Check for punctuation. Format your email for plain text rather than HTML.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.234 . Return emails within the same time you would a phone call. 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. © Copy Right: Rai University 11.

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

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

• • • Do not wait until the end of the day to introduce a problem or concern via memo or email.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Delivering Bad News Deliver the news up front: “We are unable to order new computers this quarter due to budget cuts. 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. 11. Avoid writing a litany of concerns that you have been harboring for a long period of time. Offer suggestions on ways you think it can be resolved or how you are willing to help in the matter.” More examples of hedging are: Intents and purposes Possibly. ” 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. 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. • • You should briefly state the history of the problem to provide context for your reader.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 33 . most likely Perhaps. but what can I do to help?” Avoid using “weasel words” or hedging: “Our pricing structure is outdated.” Avoid blaming: “I think it will be hard to recover from this.

234 . l Read your message twice before you send it and assume that you may be misinterpreted when proofreading. 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.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 34 When you need to flame Flaming in emails • • Flaming is a virtual term for venting or sending inflammatory messages in email. l l Empathize with the sender’s frustration and tell them they are right if that is true If you feel you are right. What you say cannot be taken back. 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. “would I say this to this person’s face?” Calm down before responding to a message that offends you. • • Flame fights are the equivalent of food fights and tend to affect observers in a very negative way. ask yourself. it is in black and white. l l There are times when you may need to blow off some steam. Remember your audience and your situation before sending the email. Avoid flaming because it tends to create a great deal of conflict that spirals out of control. Once you send the message it is gone.

11.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 35 . or when you are delivering very delicate news then the best way is still faceto face. a lot of misunderstanding occurs. If things become very heated.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.

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

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

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

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

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

or -n. -d. A gerund is a verbal ending in -ing that is used as a noun. 5. However. -t. lying to (gerund) his constituents (direct object of action expressed in gerund) The gerund phrase functions as the object of the preposition for. • The crying baby had a wet diaper. 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. since they function as adjectives. You might get in trouble for faking an illness to avoid work. via state of being expressed in gerund) Newt's favorite tactic has been lying to his constituents. 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. I hope that you appreciate my offering you this opportunity. he walked away from the wrecked car. 2. Punctuation A gerund virtually never requires any punctuation with it. Finding a needle in a haystack would be easier than what we're trying to do. Swimming keeps me in shape. Gerunds and gerund phrases virtually never require punctuation. He won the game by scoring during the overtime period. 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. lying to (gerund) his constituents (direct object of action expressed in gerund) The gerund phrase functions as the object of the preposition for. object of preposition). • Shaken. Being (gerund) the boss (subject complement for Jeff. saved. and seen. eaten. my (possessive pronoun adjective form. 2. Points to Remember 1.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 41 . • Smiling. Newt's favorite tactic has been lying to his constituents. dealt. 3. 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). Past participles end in -ed. such as : Finding a needle in a haystack would be easier than what we're trying to do. 1. object(s). The gerund phrase functions as the subject of the sentence. or complement(s) of the action or state expressed in the participle. my (possessive pronoun adjective form. 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. subject complement. and/or complement(s). is based on a verb and therefore expresses action or a state of being. as in the words asked. participles modify nouns or pronouns. 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. 4. • The burning log fell off the fire. direct object. Present participles end in -ing. she hugged the panting dog. 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. 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).• The police arrested him for criminal activity. 11. indirect object(s). Being (gerund) the boss (subject complement for Jeff. You might get in trouble for faking an illness to avoid work. or complement(s) of the action or state expressed in the gerund. A gerund phrase consists of a gerund plus modifier(s). such as: The gerund phrase functions as the subject of the sentence. The term verbal indicates that a participle. 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. The college recommends sending applications early. indirect object(s). I hope that you appreciate my offering you this opportunity. Being the boss made Jeff feel uneasy. Being the boss made Jeff feel uneasy. like the other two kinds of verbals. 3. Telling your father was a mistake. Exercise on Gerunds Underline the gerunds or gerund phrases in the following sentences and label how they function in the sentence (subject. -en. There are two types of participles: present participles and past participles. Swimming in your pool is always fun.

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

To see a shooting star is good luck. We began to learn. as the charts below illustrate.) Making Subjects and Verbs Agree 1. Exercise on Infinitives Verbs That Take Infinitive Objects Without Actors agree fail learn prefer remember Examples Most students plan to study. 5. In all of these examples the italicized main verb can take an infinitive object with or without an actor. (He never did it. adding any punctuation as needed. however. Also notice that when it is a pronoun. I want you to go home. in the fourth example). She forced the defendant to admit the truth. 2. I asked him to show me the records. 4. 3. use a plural verb. Trent expected his group to win. (He did it. They offered to pay. When the subject of a sentence is composed of two or more nouns or pronouns connected by and. In all of these examples no actor can come between the italicized main (finite) verb and the infinitive direct-object phrase. 11. Still other verbs can go either way. but he didn’t remember sometime later. Verbs that use either pattern ask expect (would) like want Examples I asked to see the records. since an infinitive phrase is not a full clause with a subject and a finite verb. It is somewhat misleading to use the word subject. 1. In all of these examples an actor is required after the italicized main (finite) verb and before the infinitive direct-object phrase. 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.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. I want to go. use a singular verb. when they take an infinitive direct object. When two or more singular nouns or pronouns are connected by or or nor. others can’t have an actor.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 43 .) Jack forgot taking out the cat. 2. not I. Examples Jack forgets to take out the cat. She promised to return. 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. (He did it. Certain verbs. Their fathers advise them to study. Underline the infinitive phrase and label the way it is used in the sentence. To fight against those odds would be ridiculous. the actor appears in the objective case (me. They neglected to pay. require an actor for the infinitive phrase.) Jack forgets taking out the cat. but he doesn’t remember now. (He regularly forgets. We want to see the play.) Jack forgot to take out the cat.

The other two prepositions of direction are compounds formed by adding “to” to the corresponding prepositions of location. CONJUNCTION AND PUNCTUATION By the end of this lesson you will learn more about : • Prepositions • Conjunction • Punctuation Introduction 1. 50 3. (See the sections below for some exceptions to this rule. and into. With many verbs of motion.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 7: PREPOSITIONS. it is attached as an infinitive and expresses purpose. 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. “on” and “in” have a directional meaning and can be used along with “onto” and “into”. such as a destination.234 . Prepositions What are prepositions? Prepositions are used before nouns to give additional information in a sentence. into. Sudeep washed her dog (in order) to rid it of fleas. The basic preposition of a direction is “to. Usually. The preposition may occur alone or in the phrase in order.” TO : signifies orientation toward a goal When the goal is physical.) This is why “to” is inside parentheses in the title of the handout. To. In (to) Prepositions that express movement toward something: to. the special uses of each one will be discussed. conjunctions and punctuation. First. prepositions are used to show where something is located or when something happened. Students this lesson is a continuation of lesson 6 and will help you recall and brush up your understanding about prepositions. for instance. 2. showing that it is somewhat optional with the compound © Copy Right: Rai University 11. 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. and on. The two uses can also occur together in a single sentence: 2. an action. the prepositions will be introduced as a group. “to” implies movement in the direction of the goal.) Prepositions of Direction: To. (1) Sa'id returned to his apartment. onto. The preposition of location determines the meaning of the preposition of direction. Then. in. and onto correspond respectively to the prepositions of location at. and the two mean about the same thing. “to” marks a verb. On (to).

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

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

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

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

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

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

but they are significant textual effects used conventionally in a variety of situations. including acronyms. with reservations. an object. .234 . plays of three or more acts foreign words that are not commonly used in English for example: Faulkner's last novel was The Reivers . or a piece of furniture. or in some unusual way. follow these rules to create one." Forming possessives of nouns To see if you need to make a possessive. 1.. words used as words themselves words or phrases that you wish to emphasize Wearing blue jeans is de rigueur for most college students. for example: He asked. To use an apostrophe to create a contraction. many instructors prefer underlining over italics for course papers. 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. But comments set off with a pair of dashes appear less subordinate to the main sentence than do comments in parentheses. Note that commas and periods go inside the closing quotation mark in conventional American usage. or they will lose their impact. Because academic papers are manuscripts and not final publications and because italics are not always easily recognized with some fonts. place an apostrophe where the omitted letter(s) would go." 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." Once you’ve determined whether you need to make a possessive. television programs. To show the omission of letters 3. "I'll look for you in the foyer.illustrating or emphasizing the immediately preceding statement). To form possessives of nouns 2. . e. and placement of question and exclamation marks depends on the situation (see our quotation marks document).” phrase. colons and semicolons go outside. to indicate words used ironically. The English word nuance comes from a Middle French word meaning "shades of color. Whichever you choose. long poems. To indicate certain plurals of lowercase letters. Since word processing today allows many options for font faces and textual effects. "Will you be there?" "Yes. . Contractions are common in speaking and in informal writing. 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. turn the phrase around and make it an “of the.. and the underlining would be replaced by italics in the published version. • 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. academic journals. in the following situations: to enclose direct quotations. 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." I answered. italics or underlining should be used . Apostrophes are NOT used for possessive pronouns or for noun plurals.” To form the © Copy Right: Rai University 57 The Apostrophe The apostrophe has three uses 11. 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 .g. The Simpsons offers hilarious parodies of American culture and family life. writers would underline certain terms in handwritten or manually typed pages. newspapers. The apostrophe shows this omission. here the rule appears to be more typographical than grammatical. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Quotation Marks “ “ Use quotation marks . it is generally recommended that you choose either underlining or italics and use it consistently throughout a given document as needed. “three ps” versus “three p’s. 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. but don't overuse quotation marks in this sense. films. A contraction is a word (or set of numbers) in which one or more letters (or numbers) have been omitted. Before computerized word-processing was widely available. books. in the following situations: to indicate titles of complete or major works such as magazines.

my. It’s is a contraction for “it is” and its is a possessive pronoun meaning “belonging to it. 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. His. (Note: Its and it’s are not the same thing. 58 © Copy Right: Rai University 11.234 . ours are all possessive pronouns.plural of a lowercase letter. yours. correct: She waited for three hours to get her ticket. teachers. A simple way to remember this rule is the fact that you don’t use an apostrophe for the possessives his or hers. its. place ‘s after the letter. and professors still prefer them). There is no need for apostrophes indicating a plural on capitalized letters. and symbols (though keep in mind that some editors. numbers. Here are some examples: wrong: his’ book correct: his book wrong: The group made it’s decision. 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. her.” It’s raining out= it is raining out.

10.(picked)_________ picked up her coat and umbrella and disappeared in the (unusual)____________ mysterious night. “Hang ______!” 11. The waitress noticed that there was no more Diet Pepsi ______ Marty’s glass. Joanna got ______ Fred’s car. 9. Lee and Sarah took the bus that was heading ______ the university. The kids climbed ______ the monkey bars. 5. Jane is _____ her bedroom. Pat drove Mike ______ the airport. I just called ______ say I love you. or on. • This beer tastes too(bitter)_________ for my liking. 7. and told us to carry ______ with our discussion. The plane landed ______ the runway. • He turned the car(cautious)__________ as not to drive into the (nice) ___________ laid-out border of the neighbours. Anna has returned ______ her home town. 17. In (to): Exercise Complete the following sentences with the correct preposition: to. in. 4. The girls didn’t want to spend a long time _____ the carnival. We drove _____ the river for an hour. 1. To reach this you should be able to: • Punctuate message correctly. toward. 2. onto. • She (haste)_________ ran down the stairs. but turned north before we reached it. Glenn almost fell ______ the river. 12. he said (cynical)____________ “he’s just gone bankrupt for the fifth time!” • (Unfortunately)__________all the milk has gone (sour)_________ overnight. or into. Mary Sue jumped ______ the stage and danced. Karper apologized for interrupting us. Some sentences may have more than one possible correct answer. • She looked at me (tender)________ and said (soft)______ Prepositions of Direction: To. • I could (easy) _______ convince him not to become too excited with all the media attention. on. 3. Matthew and Michelle moved the table ______ the dining room. 13.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 59 . 8. • Have you ever been (wrong)_______________ accused of something? • “My brother is an (incredible)___________ successful businessman”. I’d like ______ ask you a question. Allan left your keys ______ the table. On (to). I didn’t know you were going to take everything so (serious)________. Thomas fell ______ the floor. Remember that a few verbs of motion take only “on” rather than “onto. Dr. Practice Class Adverb or adjective? • I feel (bad)_______ about what happened yesterday. 11. 3. ·• Write complete grammatically correct sentence . 18. Daria’s books are lying _____ the floor. • The number of visitors to the exhibition dropped (considerable)_________ in the second week. 19. 14.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 8 : PRACTICE CLASS Upon completion of this lesson. Are the boys still swimming ______ the pool? 4. 6. but then suddenly it jumped _____ my face! that I looked (good) _______in my chequered shirt. We cried to the man on the ladder. Exercise 2 Complete the following sentences with the correct preposition: at. The dog jumped ______ the lake.” 1. 20. 5. 15. Will you wait for me _____ the bus stop? 2. I let the cat sit _____ my lap. The baby spilled his cereal ______ the floor. in. 16. you will be able to use the accepted standard of English grammar ad punctuation in written business communication.

To prove to himself and his parents that he is a man. 11. I’ll use my cellular phone when I’m _____ the bus. 5. She opened the door and let us into her home. 14. ____12. he’ll be out _____ the street. Although that is a value judgment and in circumstances not a true premise. We claimed the picnic table was ours. The rancher built a fence to keep his cows _____ the pasture. 19. 18. 9. ____ 2. yellow. I found myself constantly putting two cs in the word process. Do you live _____ the city or _____ the country? 7. If William doesn’t make any money on his book. Audrey lives _____ Third Street. 60 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. The scene was filled with beauty. My old rowboat with its three-horsepower motor seemed like a high-speed job to me. Whenever I think of the stories I read as a child. Hoping she would accept his apology. They were all having a good time. but never while I’m _____ the car. 16. It was difficult to distinguish between them. Theyre not afraid to go ahead with the plans. The old house had so much grime _____ the windows that Bradley could hardly see inside. ____ 5. I find myself looking back into my childhood days at fun-filled times of snowball fights. Not realizing at the time that we would never enter that door in her home again. A few of the less serious fellows would go into a bar for a steak dinner and a few glasses of beer. Wrestling isn’t real. ____10. The dogs bark was far worse than its bite. It can be really embarrassing to be so emotional. ____14. he did not encourage students’ questions. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Sentence Fragment Exercises—#1 The sentences below appeared in papers written by students. Until one of Joe’s oldest and best friends had a little too much to drink. A junior high that was a bad experience. 7. 19. Within each group. Whos the partys candidate for vice president this year? 2. 8. though the choice is not theirs. and its just about to fall apart. those guys _____ the ring are just pretending. 16. ____ 7. ____ 3. I remember Cinderellas glass slipper and Snow Whites wicked stepmother. 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. He talked for fifty minutes without taking his eyes off his notes. prestigious. Then I attended Morris Junior High. and I heard the insects chirpings and whistlings. Our neighbors car is an old Chrysler. To think about this makes me happy.6. 18. 1. I reached for the pot handle. The audience threw tomatoes _____ the terrible comedian. Making up his mind quickly. My address has three 7s. Like other teachers in that department. ____ 8. She said the watch Jack found was hers. She did not hear her childrens cries. Act as their editor. you feel that you should be in control. The magazine has a reputation for a sophisticated. and elite group of readers. 15. Its important that the kitten learns to find its way home. 13. 9. a wide range of features to choose from. Especially when you are on your first date. and Tims phone number has four 2s. ____13. while Marty works _____ web design. 10. As Christmas grows near. ____ 6. Didnt he say when he would arrive at Arnies house? 12. Passengers are not allowed to use electronic devices _____ airplanes during takeoff and landing. but she couldnt identify the manufacturers name on it. Little girls clothing is on the first floor. and brown moving slowly in the wind. Its such a beautiful day that Ive decided to take a sun bath. 17. The man whose face was tan said that he had spent his two weeks vacation in the mountains. Heathcliff could see a light _____ the window. 15. In three weeks time well have to begin school again. The shepherd boy grazed his flock _____ the grassy hillside. and the mens department is on the second. 10. ____ 9. 3. After this meal. With my brother standing by my side. 13. Could you tell these writers why the fragments are incomplete sentences? ____ 1. ____11. 14. The moons rays shone feebly on the path. Tilting the pot way too much caused the boiling water to spill. Jim ordered two dozen red roses for his wife. 8. 11. ____ 4. The car stalled and got stuck _____ the street. Apostrophes: Exercise Punctuate the following sentences with apostrophes according to the rules for using the apostrophe. Although it only attained a speed of about twelve miles an hour. 20. The fox had its right foreleg caught securely in the traps jaws. 20. Didnt you hear that theyre leaving tomorrow? 6.234 . but the Smiths children looked so disappointed that we found another spot. David works _____ the field of network administration. Johns 69 Ford is his proudest possession. 17. From afar. 12. they were ready for anything. Such as the sun sending its brilliant rays to the earth and the leaves of various shades of red. In the seventh grade every young boy goes out for football. 4. Kevin and Mack are out practicing _____ the football field. Trent arrived _____ the school building just in time.

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

Consider the following list of consequences of poor conversation skills. cannot be segregated. good and bad. when you have a hard time making friends. There may be a host of ideas passing through the mind of the sender. 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. when you have difficulty making yourself heard. Still. 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. But other rules. it is because you have an imperfect comprehension of those shadowy rules that allow you to focus social power to your advantage. The initial impact is made by speaking abilities of the sender. would define helps us to impress the other person. influence. when your relationships are weak or troubled. Those who have the deepest awareness and understanding of the core rules are the ones who succeed and prosper. as stated above. which.234 .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. 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. not mere survival. Equally important is the ability to listen carefully. If the overall effectiveness of these two components is considered. Honing skills in both these areas is absolutely essential if the communicator wishes to impress the receiver. some of us have a better grasp than others of the complex systems in which we live. rules many people live and die without ever fully comprehending. People with these advantages go through life feeling the emotions and talents listed below. 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. No one in our world succeeds strictly on his or her own. I – Idea The first step in the process of communication is to decide on the idea which needs to be communicated. We all feel the above emotions and conditions. the ones that confer real success. The two activities viz. The rules that allow us to get by and survive are fairly simple (don’t run red lights. and a reputation for leadership and effectiveness. from time to time. Human beings are social animals. This is a book of rules. Both are closely intertwined an overall impact is created if both these skills are used effectively. Let us use the word ‘ IMPRESS’ as an acronym to understand the basic features of communication or concept. The primary tool of influence is communication. most of life’s successes and problems are founded in the quality of your communication skills. respect. Depending upon the situation and the receiver. communication has rules that few fully understand. and success leads to more success. It would e seen that he ability to listen rather than to speak fluently impress more. if once understood. Good verbal abilities usually promote good relations with others. True accomplishment requires that you efficiently influence those around you in positive ways. Our vast civilizations exist and function only because each of us has learned to control our behavior in very intricate ways. and when people take advantage of you. speaking and listening. the speaker selects the idea suited to the occasion. don’t make bank robbery a career). can sometimes be as difficult to detect as black holes in deep space. When your career progress bogs down. lead to success. Society’s rules aren’t always obvious. and like society itself. on the other hand.

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

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

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

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

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

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

the key supporting points • Say clearly what happens next • If appropriate.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Parts of a presentation • • • • Introduction Body Conclusion Questions Guidelines for Effective Closings • Always prepare a closing • Always restate the main point. connotes poorly made no standard give in 11. “excellent value”. • Connotations VS Denotations – – – – Examples sender denotes “Cheap” inexpensive “Flexible” offers choice “Compromise” adjust rec. perhaps. then say what you have just said. say it.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 69 . 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. too technical. etc. make a call to action • Thank the audience Say what you are going to say. and. – overused words such as. etc. “good”.

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. • Appearance and performance of the presenter • Use of gender bias terms or stereotypical terms • Positive VS Negative terms – We have a full year warranty. VS Warranty is only for the first year. • #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. interests. three or six to a page © Copy Right: Rai University 11. and concerns? • How much do people already know? • How are people likely to respond to your message? • Running handouts two. etc. retain opportunity for company • Poor grammar.234 . 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. spelling.

10 common presentation mistakes (and suggestions for avoiding them) • #5 Assuming all projectors are the same. 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. then punting.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 71 .BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 10 common presentation mistakes (and suggestions for avoiding them) • #3 Procrastinating. • #4 Getting a late start. • #10 Having too little to say – Be prepared! 11. – Be sure you know the equipment or bring your own. • #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. – Always plan to arrive early for your presentation. – Do not try to organize your talk and create your slides simultaneously. • #6 Failing to heed Murphy’s Law – Always assume the equipment will NOT work. 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.

• Create high contrast between the background and the text. Put it up about five minutes before your presentation begins.234 . Sample Slide • Sales are down! Tips on PowerPoint Presentations • Clip art should match your audience. stick to the points.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 72 Tips on PowerPoint Presentations • Always use a title slide. If you have bad news. • Use art judiciously. audio and video. • 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. You don’t want to distract from the content of the slide/presentation. keep the images balanced on the page. • When using art. • Art should match a key word or phase in the slide. • The presentation should set the tone of the message. your presentation can use a lot of fun art. – If you are sharing good news. • Keep a consistent look from slide to slide. • Consider creating a company specific background for sales presentations. © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Use the rule of thirds.

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

• Do not say anything important within ten seconds of putting up a chart.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. Tips on PowerPoint Presentations • Have a final slide that lets the audience know that the presentation is over. they’re too busy figuring out the chart. © Copy Right: Rai University 11.234 . People won’t be listening.

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

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

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

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

Uses the person’s name when speaking to them 9.• Suggest practical/organizational issues which will need to be dealt with. 2.g. Keep a personal record of the roles you play. Scenario 2 You would like to organize an overseas tour of students to a country which speaks the language you are studying (e. 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. For example. A Poor Listener May 1. 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. Scenario 1 You are concerned about water usage in your school. Using facial expressions (smiles or frowns. Record the names of group members 2. 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. China. It is different from a vote in which the majority rules. Indonesia. Use confirming words and phrases Yes. 2. suppose that you are listening to someone put a point a view about race relations in Australia. Be sympathetic to the speaker (e. Japan. 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. 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. Not focus on the speaker (e. concerned about their welfare) 11. or before the person has finished 3. Report back to the class The Critical Friend Should 1.g. by talking about personal matters). which ask for a particular response. France. Show no interest in the topic or not understand the points being made (e. Maintain a blank face 5. Italy. Nominate someone to lead the group. including whether they contributed and whether they allowed or encouraged others to contribute. someone to take notes and someone to act as a ‘critical friend’. Did anyone ask questions of other group members? Consider the characteristics of listeners. 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. Record the group’s point of view (arrived at by consensus) 4. Work co-operatively and concentrate. Ensure that the discussion sticks to the topic The Note Taker Should 1. Use eye contact to show concentration on the person 6. Allow the speaker to make a point or tell a story without interruption 10. Really? Go On! You don’t say! Oh no! 8. Germany) Scenario 3 You are concerned about the amount of litter in your school or local area.g. Interrupt when another speaker is taking their turn. and to respond when someone presents a different view during discussion BUSINESS COMMUNICATION The Leader of the Group Should 1.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 79 . Report on how each member participated. look around the room) 2. 3. Talk about themselves only 4. You would like to put in a tank to use rainwater for drinking purposes. Not ask questions about what has been said 7. Picks up cues. Encourage all people to contribute — make sure that everyone has a turn at speaking 2. You would like to improve student attitudes towards recycling. so that you have an opportunity to take different roles throughout the semester. nods or shakes of the head) to show interest or concentration 7. Note that consensus means that you come to a group view.Encourage others to take a turn.g. Observe the way the group functions (including body language). lack background in the topic) 6. For example: What do you think?’ 4.g.

Then draw a table like the one below. consider the impact of the following body language. Action ¨ Reflects Example: “You seem very upset. the speaker’s basic feelings. Help Hinder Comment Active Listening Skills The Heart of Empathic Understanding Folding arms Suggests a ‘closed’ approach to the discussion. • Folding arms • Putting arms behind head • Frowning • Smiling • Nodding/shaking the head • Sneering • Fidgeting with hands or an object (e. Puts a barrier between speaker and listener. In groups. Use this table to record whether the actions are likely to help or hinder a discussion. In particular. the level of formality can affect a listener’s response. n n Reflecting n Purpose ¨ To show that you understand how the person feels.Context The place where the conversation is taking place is also significant. Nodding Suggests agreement with the speaker and encourages them to continue. 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 .” 80 © Copy Right: Rai University 11.234 .g. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Body Language Our body language can send messages to others in a conversation or discussion. It may be useful to ask group members to act out these examples so that you can more easily assess their impact.

¨ To establish a basis for further discussion.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 81 . ¨ Use neutral words. “These seem to be the key ideas you’ve expressed…” Example ¨ “So Example ¨ you would like your friends to include you at recess. ¨ To encourage the other person to keep talking. ¨ To help the speaker see other points of view.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Encouraging n Clarifying n Purpose To convey interest. To help the speaker see other points of view. ¨ n Action ¨ ¨ n Example ¨ ¨ n Example ¨ “Can you tell me more…?” Summarizing n Restating n Purpose To review progress. ¨ Purpose ¨ To show you are listening and understanding what is being said. Restate major ideas expressed. Restate wrong interpretation to force the speaker to explain further. ¨ Use varying voice intonations. ¨ Purpose ¨ ¨ ¨ To help you clarify what is said. including feelings. ¨ To pull together important ideas and facts. To get more information. Ask questions. “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. n n Action ¨ Restate n n Action ¨ basic ideas and facts. is that right?” 11.

OH: Thomson Executive Press.” The Keys to Effective Listening Keys to Effective Listening Listening 1. Action ¨ Acknowledge ¨ Show n Example ¨ “I truly appreciate your willingness to resolve this matter. mentally summarizes the speaker. not delivery 5.” Selling Power.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 82 Validating n n Purpose ¨ To acknowledge the worthiness of the other person. © Copy Right: Rai University 11. weighs evidence. Find an area of interest Tunes out dry speakers or subjects Tunes out dry monotone speakers 4. the value of their issues and feelings. Listen for ideas Listens for facts 3. 1996). 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. Building the Human Side of Work Community (Cincinnati. Capitalize on thought speed The Bad Listener Listener Tends to daydream The Good Listener Stays with the speaker. and G Manning. pp 32-34. July/August 1999. Judge content.234 . “Communication Skills. appreciation for their efforts and actions. pp 127-54. 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. and S McMillen . K Curtis.

Use handouts. overheads. 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. Work at listening The Bad Listener Does not expend energy on listening The Good Listener Listener Gives the speaker full attention 7.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 83 . Resist Distractions Is easily distracted Fights distractions and concentrates on the speaker 8.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION The Keys to Effective Listening (continued) Keys to Effective Listening 6. Does not take notes or pay attention to visual aids or other visual aids 11. Hear what is said Shuts our or denies unfavorable information Listens to both favorable and unfavorable information 9.

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

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

" When cultures interact. What happens if this convention isn't followed? This issue of eye contact is another important aspect of nonverbal communication.) Eye Contact: This rich dimension speaks volumes. or on the street. restaurants. Modern American business culture values a fair degree of eye contact in interpersonal relations. especially with authority figures. and looking away is sensed as avoidance or even deviousness.. 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.Nonverbal cues are culture-bound Evidence suggests that humans of all cultures smile when happy and frown when unhappy. or in public places (e. people on elevators or crowds can adjust their sense of personal space if they agree to limit eye contact. lest one be perceived as arrogant or "uppity. 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 .. However. People from certain countries. some cultures raise children to minimize eye contact. social relations (e. while persons of Northern European descent tend to prefer a relatively greater distance. this inhibition of gaze may be misinterpreted as "passive aggressive" or worse. 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. Eye contact modifies the meaning of other nonverbal behaviors. most nonverbal symbols seem to be even further disconnected from any "essential meaning" than verbal symbols.g. Gestures seen as positive in one culture (like the thumbs-up gesture in the USA) may be seen as obscene in another culture. Position: The position one takes vis-a-vis the other(s). . Different distances are also intuitively assigned for situations involving intimate relations.g. friends). However. For example.. A few other gestures seem to be universal. co-workers or salespeople). such as parts of Latin America or the Middle East often feel comfortable standing closer to each other. ordinary personal relationships (e. in parks.g.

This creates a characteristic appearance.)] Facial Expression: The face is more highly developed as an organ of expression in humans than any other animal. 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. soft.) Pacing (rapid.. growling. as it can suggest many emotional nuances. breathy. ) Tone (nasal. falling.. More transient expressions often reveal feelings that a person is not intending to communicate or even aware of. hesitant.. measured. shy... low. changes. wheedling..) Intensity (loud.. 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. changing.Posture: A person's bodily stance communicates a rich variety of messages.) Pitch (high.. Some of these become quite habitual. almost fixed into the chronic muscular structure of the face. 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 . in its broadest sense.. For instance.) Pauses (meaningful.. flat. disorganized. in some parts of the South.. The squint of people who live a lot in the sun is another example. This category includes a number of sub-categories: Inflection (rising. operatic. slow.. whining.. medium.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

” But I’m also trying to create it for people who are going to approach this and say. a chemist may want to begin with a review of the research. a chemist. Remember. But even within the same discipline. a journalist may want an article that begins immediately with the most startling fact or event. only how they use the information varies. Not all-academic writing has the same requirements. • You’ll have to think about what is an appropriate format to use. one professor might ask you to write mainly about your own experiences and your reactions to your experience. The other audience. I’m creating an audience position that “Yes. its format should allow readers to quickly grasp information. Because a business letter is an effective way to communicate a message. Experts are often “theorists” or “practitioners. and asking questions about how the teacher treats this material in class will help you remember those details to help you shape your paper. Psychologists. take the time to brainstorm about what you’ve learned about the teacher to help you meet his or her expectations for this paper. you will follow a general format. including the teacher as a secondary audience. For instance. They will gain information from your writing. depending on the level (informal to formal) of the writing. your instructor or your company may have specific requirements that you must use. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Academic Audiences Assuming you are writing a paper for a class. • You’ll have to consider what is and is not an appropriate topic for your audience. there exists some reality. 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. an English literature teacher. is those who will be at the conference. document formats are often elaborate and technical.) • You’ll have to determine how your topic will fit the format. or a biologist—and they want and expect writing that is appropriate for their field.” I think it’s useful for students to widen their sense of audience in order to realize that their specific teacher is. For example. 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. I’m almost telling the reader who I want them to be. Think about writing a newsletter or a resume: an audience read these for information. a representative reader from a particular academic field or discourse community. However. “It’s my teacher. I don’t say that in my text. members of a business community. each of these teachers “wants’ something slightly different. Information should stand out to readers as they scan the document. Teacher as Audience For most academic papers. Consider the following: • You’ll have to determine who the audience is. even if a grader will look at the paper first. By saying that. presentation. ask yourself who is the reader? The most important reader is probably the instructor. literature professors. source citations are reliable and up-to-date. A nonacademic audience involves more than writing. many students say. congressional representatives. a business letter reflects your professionalism. but for your teacher as a representative of a larger group of readers who belong to that particular academic area. imagine writing not just for your teacher. professors might expect quite different formats for papers. style and vocabulary may be specialized or technical. That awareness may help you see that the requirements of that assignment are not just strange or quirky. In a conference paper I’m writing. You probably know more about the teacher than you think. When asked who their audience is. in sociology. In a way. a historian. Who’s at the conference and who reads the journal are not always the same. and historians may or may not want you to use your own personal 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. (Some teachers assign papers specifically asking students to write for nonacademic audiences). Nonacademic Audiences Nonacademic audiences read your writing for reasons other than to grade you. “Okay there are things I think we all hold in common. and graphics or visuals. in fact. General Format When you write a business letter. for example. but make some sense in the larger context of that particular academic discourse.The “experts” may be the most demanding audience in terms of knowledge. you tell the reader who you want them to be. and documentation is accurate. Ask yourself what you know about your teacher and his or her approach to the discipline. the teacher is the explicit audience.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 95 . but my text invokes it. and those differences reflect the expectations of different academic areas. a company might have a particular way of presenting a salutation or may even use a specific type of letterhead. Their teacher may be a composition teacher. a psychologist. So when you are writing an essay. Do you know. A composition teacher may want an introduction that gradually leads into the topic. Then students address the target audience (class members. 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. In terms of their expectations about effective writing.” For the “expert” audience. Teachers will often try to give students more experience with writing to different audiences by targeting particular readers for a given paper.” 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. I start off by assuming that we’re (the reader and myself) sharing some presumptions. the real audience. (If you don’t have one already. • Heading or Return Address • Inside Address 11. and so on).

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

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

letter of n complaint n To supply somebody else with information: n somebody else with information: e. you want to express concerns and educate your reader about your child’s problems.g. letter to the press n To get somehing done: e. 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. provide information or describe an event.234 . When you write letters to the school. This © Copy Right: Rai University 98 11. 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. decline a request.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Applications of the business letter To persuade: e. sales letter To express an opinion: e.g. and express appreciation.g. sales letter persuade: e. You want your letters to create a good first impression.g.g. request action.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

establishes a timeline in which she would like the help to be offered. so write with an active voice. Remember that a passive voice is not as commanding as an active one.B. Snyder: I am a professor in English at Colorado State University organizing a seminar on concept mapping for a colloquium coming up in December. sentence structure and grammar mistakes. as the recipient. Ask yourself if the transitions between paragraphs are working and if your point of view. Thank you for your time. You want your inquiry to be strong. I was wondering if you would be interested in attending. Examine your word choices carefully. if you have not written an opening or a conclusion now is the time. Based on your experience in this area. It would be a great honor to have you in attendance. Example Inquiry Letter Dept. 1999 Ms. 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. If the reader is expecting the letter. In this case. If the reader is not expecting your letter. whether you are able to comprehend the request quickly and if enough information has been included to enable a timely response. In situations where you are unsure of the proper close. Your closing remarks need to reiterate your objective with a question that calls for an action. ME 04101 Dear Ms. asks for a meeting and strongly reinforces the benefit to the reader. Enclosed is an admissions form and more information on the colloquium. You will check your draft in this step. 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. And finally. so remove all that is not helpful. e-mail. You want to help your reader understand exactly what it is that you want. The deadline for admission is August 13. making sure that your objective is clear and your scope is concise. Writing. tone and style are consistent throughout the text. Dawn Snyder. then it is more difficult. The important thing to keep in mind is the overall cohesiveness of the whole unit. CO 80523 May 23. clichés and trite language serve no real purpose and will obscure your objective. As the title indicates.234 . clarity and a sense of completeness. your task is easy. Look for the obvious errors first. (signature here) I. 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. Ambiguous words lead to confusion. 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. of English Colorado State University Fort Collins. the purpose of this form is to obtain information from the reader. Look for accuracy. 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. Professor. or phone call to the person who helped you with your request 108 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes as you examine the rough draft. Check for spelling.should be placed beneath your title line. Professor ICU Technical College Portland. Ask yourself. At the end of the sample inquiry letter the writer reiterates her request for help. consult the Formatting Business Letters page for acceptable options. Jargon and abstract terms may not be understood at all and affectations.

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

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

CO 80523 Dear Mr. Writing: Are you having trouble organizing your clothes into your existing closets? If you are like most Americans. 1999 Professor I.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. This is why it is important to have an organized closet system. Colorado State University Fort Collins. give us a call at 555-1212 and set up an appointment with one of your friendly operators. Therefore. Writing. Writing. 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.B. because the reader will want to know why they should spend their valuable time reading the letter. (signature here) I.B. 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.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 111 . we have the skills and experience to come in and help you with your closet needs. CSU IW/gt Sales Letter When writing a sales letter. May we stop by and offer you a FREE estimate at how much it would cost you to rebuild your closet? If so. OR 97225 July 7. a Web site address. specific information that will explain to the reader why they should be interested in buying your product or service. Professor. (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. it is important to have a good attitude in order to sell your product or service. At CLOSET CARE. Sincerely. you need to provide clear. you have trouble finding your favorite shirt when you really need it.

The best letters have a conversational tone and read as if you were talking to your reader. expected number of people) people) n Closing paragraph – Promote goodwill. provide all necessary problem. understanding your reader’s needs and then clearly writing what you need to say. Every letter should be clear. provide all necessary information – Describe inconvenience or loss – Suggest a solution to the problem n Other paragraphs – Provide info about function (type. positive note Create goodwill.234 .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. background. place) – Info about audience (gender. discover the Seven-Cs of letter writing. explain why invited explain why invited n Other paragraphs – Explain problem. willingness to help Promote goodwill. date. human. In brief then. You should be • Clear © Copy Right: Rai University 11. willingness to help The Seven CS of Business Letter Writing Effective letter writing boils down to knowing why you are writing a letter. interests. offer further assistance n Closing paragraph of goodwill Letter of complaint n Letter of invitation n Introductory paragraph – Create goodwill. time. age. positive note Introductory paragraph – Create goodwill. helpful and as friendly as the topic allows.

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

is overusing abstract words.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. Imagine a customer was sitting with you when you mentioned a technical term and asked ‘What’s that?’ You would explain in everyday language. 114 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. in. Add them to acronyms and you can produce CAS Facility which in turn means Civic Amenity Site Facility. Many people would not recognize these two. Here are some abbreviations. 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. what is a device.234 . Here’s a list of the most common ones to avoid in your writing. with. pure jargon for Council Recycling Site. 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. As for CRA. It doesn’t insult the intelligence of your readers to explain terms clearly. Such words are so abstract they become meaningless to the reader. SC for spot color is an unnecessary shortened form and UGD for User Guide Documentation is jargon for a manual. Do the same when you write. common to many writers. 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. such as output device and you have instant jargon for the word printer. String them together. Don’t overestimate your readers’ understanding of terms because they may have a hazy idea of the true definition. also to about. camera-ready artwork would be better. output or facility. towards. For example. as well as.

3. Be able to write a letter to a friend. (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. Practice Exercise on Business Letter Writing Skills Objective 1. Students will know how to address an envelope for sending business mail. Please supply this information. 1 blank line Very truly yours. brother. also. and I plan to visit the area and will also need a list of accommodations and restaurants. 2. just learning the tips and format of letters will not help you in the long run. So lets start the exercise UNIT 2 CHAPTER 4: BUSINESS LETTER Procedure : Students will work from a format and prepare a sample business letter. 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. Evalution : This letter will be put into the student letter portfolio. Activity Time: 50 minutes Objectives: 1. Have students write a friendly letter and address an envelope to anyone they would like to write. Different formats of typed business letters will be discussed. My mother. Students. The class will discuss writing a letter together (e. students will choose one of theirs to read aloud to the class. Call on different students to point out different parts of a letter and envelope. the students will 2. the class could discuss writing to a person in the class or the principal of the school). 11. Envelopes will be prepared during this class. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Practice Exercise on Personal Letter Writing Skills Overview : Students need to practice writing a friendly letter. 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. 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. father. 3. Better understand parts of a greeting letter and envelope. students will type the letter and spell check it on the computer. Students will become familiar with business letters and the difference between a business letter and friendly letter. 4.g.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 115 . 2. As a result of this activity. 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. I am sure at the end of the lesson you’ll have more confident in writing business letters. accommodations. On the fifth day spent on friendly letters. If this letter is chosen. also. Sometimes we camp if there is a nearby campground. Parts of that business letter will be discussed. and their directions to help us plan a fun and meaningful vacation. The chosen letter will be graded according to the teacher’s rubric for letter writing evaluation..LESSON 16: PRACTICE EXERCISES ON BUSINESS LETTER By the end of the lesson you should • Be perfect in writing letter particularly business letters. Directions to places and maps of the area would be helpful. Be able to address an envelope.

stay in their Students stay in own area. audience. May have some grammar and or punctuation that indicates it is a friendly letter. is creatively written. Accurate Parts of the Improper form is Friendly Letter used. Text is easy to read. Letter Grammar. punctuation. audience. and is cleverly presented. grammar. Punctuation. purpose. 4 The letter is creatively designed with easily read text. and punctuation all fair and indicative of a friendly letter. grammar. 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. but is written and limited or interesting to read. and punctuation. Text may be difficult to read. Text is difficult to read.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 116 Evaluation Plan for Letters Rubric for the Friendly Letter Score 1 Letter is unattractive or inappropriate.234 . Layout/ Design Information. Students quietly to their own followed project partner only. Grammar. Grammar. style. Some friendly letter Letter is complete elements may be with all required missing. style. and choice of words poor for a friendly letter. elements. Inaccurate punctuation or grammar. Students are often out of their area without permission and are disruptive to the class. directions and classroom directions. Information mislabled or missing. Information is poorly written. Excellent job on presentation. and purpose all excellent for a friendly letter. Most friendly letter elements out of place or missing. inaccurate. style. Students occasionally leave area without permission. Students are always on task. inaccurate. and work their area and talk quietly. style. and punctuation is indicative of a friendly letter. and choice of words for the friendly letter Following Classroom Guidelines and Directions Grammar. It does not have proper grammar or punctuation for a friendly letter. Information is accurate and complete. 3 The letter is eyecatching and attractive. Style. tone Some information is Information is well provided. or incomplete. 2 Letter appears busy or boring.

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

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

• Seek advice. which you want to promote. try to begin where your reader is and lead quickly to your purpose in writing. elaborate on the valuable experience you gained and how you can put it to work for them. Draft your letter to show how your individual qualities can contribute to the organization. or features of the project that may apply to the job you want. in your first paragraph you should provide a preview of the rest of your letter.. explain them in detail. you may want to begin with a reference to an advertisement that prompted your application. style. Such a reference shows your knowledge of the company. 1998 Ms. and be appropriate to the job you are seeking. for example: “your advertisement for a graphic artist. Make sure your letter is professional in First Paragraph Tips Make your goal clear. • Conclude with a clear. Or you may want to open by referring to the company’s product. The following are some tips to help you develop effective application letters. 1998.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 119 . for example. if your on-the-job experience is your strongest qualification. so avoid simply copying the form and style of other letters you’ve seen. Such a reference makes your reason for contacting the company clear and indicates to them that their advertising has been effective. If you ask for a phone call. You can then refer your reader to your resume for a summary of your other qualifications. May 15. the person you write to should be the individual doing the hiring for the position you’re seeking. the last sentence of the first paragraph refers to specific work experience that is detailed in the following paragraph. and suggest a procedure for doing so. For example.” • If you’re prospecting for a job. Additionally. • Be professional. stimulate interest. MD 21038 Dear Ms. IN 47902 June 6. a consultant to your firm and my Organizational Management professor. can be enough. Be specific about how your reader should contact you. 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. name the position stated in the ad and identify the source. and mechanics. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Individualizing Your Letter Give your readers some insight into you as an individual. If you have two or three areas that you think are strong.. Box 233 Gulltown. courteous request to set up an interview. This tells your reader what to look for and lets him or her know immediately how your qualifications fit the requirements of the job. strive to make your letter represent your individuality and your capabilities. Remember that readers often “deselect” applicants because of the appearance of the letter. Look for this person’s name in company publications found. discuss it in detail and show how you can apply it to the needs of the company. Some employers recommend a maximum of four paragraphs.Cover Letters : How to Sell Yourself Your application letter is one of your most important jobsearch documents. Other Tips • Refer to your resume. In the example letter. In the example below the writer chose to describe particular experiences and skills that could not be generalized to most other recent graduates. phone the organization and ask for the person’s name or at least the name of the personnel manager. Be specific. Addressing a Specific Person Preferably. 11.O. resume at the most appropriate point in your letter. • If you’re answering an advertisement. Inc. The difference can be a matter of how you handle a few key points. This is your letter. Sample Letter 311 Nestor Street West Lafayette. especially if you travel at your own expense or have a restricted schedule. P. Rennick: Dr. Saul Wilder.. in the discussion of your qualifications or in the closing paragraph. However. The date and place for the interview should be convenient for the interviewer. 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. • If a specific position title isn’t available or if you wish to format. organization. Christine Rennick Engineer Aerosol Monitoring and Analysis. Or if you were president of the Marketing Club and you are applying for a position in marketing or sales. give your phone number and the days and times of the week when you can be reached. Highlighting Your Qualifications Organize the middle paragraphs in terms of the qualifications that best suit you for the job and the organization. but a poorly written application letter usually spells continued unemployment. try to identify the job title used by the organization. If special projects you’ve done apply directly to the job you are seeking. you may decide to adapt the professional objective stated in your resume. which appeared in the Times of India. described so that the reader can picture you actively involved on the job. grammar. if the name is unavailable in these places. Maintain a courteous tone throughout the letter and eliminate all errors. you can develop additional paragraphs. Use numbers. One strong qualification. has informed me that Aerosol Monitoring and apply for a line of work that may come under several titles. Be sure to refer to your enclosed Catching Your Reader’s Attention Your introduction should get your reader’s attention. An effective letter can get you a phone call for an interview. Instead. you’re welcome to suggest a range of dates and places convenient to you. That is. Whatever opening strategy you use. names of equipment you’ve used.

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

Luke's Medical Center 729 S. ideally to the person who will interview you. l Make your goal clear to readers. and newsletters * Directories * Professors * Company literature l Solicited application letters are letters written in response to an advertised job opening. It is appropriate to mention where you learned of the opening in the first paragraph.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 121 . and be appropriate for the job you are seeking. l Dear Ms. magazines. or phone the organization and ask for the person’s name or for the personnel manager. Purdue University Writing Lab Purdue University Writing Lab 11.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Header Emma Markley Human Resources Director St. Paulina Chicago. l Preview the rest of your letter. 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. stimulate interest. Highlight the qualifications you will discuss throughout the letter. Look for the person’s name in company publications. 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. IL 60612 l Introductory Paragraph Address your letter to a specific person. Markley: Your first paragraph should: l Get the reader’s attention.

hoped. tried. I provided quality customer service while Include specific. that may apply to the job you want. Vague: I worked as a ramp agent at Comair . balancing the bank’s or features of a project ATM machine. of $20. credible promoting the sale of examples of your products to customers. Refer employers to your enclosed resume. Demonstrate how these qualifications will benefit the employer. 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. names of was responsible for equipment you've used.234 .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. Weak: I attempted to attract customers. It is important to gain the reader’s attention and persuade them that you can contribute to the company’s goals. © Copy Right: Rai University 11. and attempted. Don’t use weak verbs such as endeavored. Don’t use sexist language such as chairman and manpower. 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. qualifications for the I also handled upwards position. Purdue University Writing Lab l l Don’t be vague in your descriptions.000 a day and Use numbers. As a member of one of the fastest growing publishing houses in the world.

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

They should provided a list of reasons why your experience makes you a good fit with the position. Some resume writing firms and some Internet job search firms offer “Broadcast Cover Letters” where the cover letter is “canned. They should include the specific job title you are applying for. Internet posting. It also presents your qualifications and availability to prospective employers. Cover Letters should be clear and to the point so that they can be quickly scanned by the reader.” Successful cover letters are personalized. 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 ——————. IJCTC.. 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).” If the advertisement is silent on salary requirement or relocation. www. Provide evidence of your qualifications. Jerry Bills. projects. it is your first opportunity to make an impression with the hiring authority or HR department. By sending a cover letter with your resume you tell the reader you are serious about your job search. The letter should be error-free.. www. CPRW. cell phone number. Jerry Bills. Proofread carefully for grammatical and typographical errors. Inc. IJCTC. or knocking your previous employer do not belong in either the resume or cover letter. attitudes..234 . appealing format. The letter should mention something specific about the company and should be address to a specific individual whenever possible.Key Points to Remember l l l l ized cover letter shows that you are serious about working for the company. you can provide a variety of ways to communicate with you (home number. One of the most effective tools of a cover letter is that it allows you to be proactive. pending litigation. Ph. You can also note that you will follow up by telephone to provide additional information if necessary. But the cover letter is no place for negative information – personality conflicts with previous managers. and other professional services.com BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 124 Appeal to company values. never include such information. If the advertisement asks for salary history or willingness to relocate you can say something like “My salary requirements are in the range of $—— to$———. is President of the Resume Center. They should provide a brief summary of your career highlights. career transition counseling. Professional resume writers are regularly asked. 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.1GreatResume. A personal- © Copy Right: Rai University 11. “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. etc.1GreatResume. If so. The cover letter is an excellent vehicle to brag about your special skills and accomplishments. CPRW. goals.com A cover letter introduces your resume and spells out your reason for sending the resume. Elaborate on the information in your resume. cover letters. Purdue University Writing Lab How to Write a Winning Cover Letter by Dr. You can state that you are available to fill immediate or anticipated needs. a leading resume writing service providing resumes. email address or even a friend if you are traveling). 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.D. If written in a succinct. It should entice the reader to review your resume over the many others received for each open position.D. Ph. MBA. don’t forget to call. MBA.

as is the first hurdle in getting a job. By the end of this lesson you will: • Know what Curriculum vitae is. now that you have learnt how to write a covering letter. which leaves you vulnerable to gaps in your work history. Unlike a Chronological Resume. 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. This will allow you to emphasize your transferable skills rather than your growth in a certain kind of industry or job 4. For this reason.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 125 . It can help you overcome some of the same difficulties a Functional resume can. Points to remember about using a Combination Resume are: 1. 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. the Functional Resume is a favorite with people who have something to hide. You should have a stable Work History with few gaps and nothing to be ashamed about 3. CV as it is most commonly known. Think about what you do at home in your sparetime that makes life worth living. Everybody’s is different. you’ll find you like the job. but you really liked it. However. You might want to use it if you are dramatically changing careers. and with a mass of resumes on their desk. You should ideally relate your Work History to your current targeted position 2. What is it about the job you like? Working with people or not working with anybody?. 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). 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. You should use this type of resume if you are switching career tracks or returning to the workforce after a hiatus. Think About Your Favorite Job in the Past. 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. Points to remember about a Functional Resume are: 1. 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. 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. 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. Functional Resume The Functional Resume differs from the Chronological Resume in the way it presents information. What was it about that job that made you enjoy it so much? Could you find those things in another job? 11. Can you do it and get paid for it somewhere or in some form? It might not be quite the same.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 18: CURRICULUM VITAE 3. • Learn different types of CV’s • Learn how to prepare a CV Students. You should use this type of resume if your skills have been learned through schooling rather than work experience. 5. 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. Its weakness is the fact that it can’t help you hide a recent position you’d rather forget you ever accepted. the Functional Resume can help you hide a past position that you’d rather forget. 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. while maintaining the comfortable structure of a Chronological Resume. but if your job evens contains an atom of what you enjoy. 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 also need to know about curriculum vitae. Points to remember with a Chronological Resume are: 1. you really need to ask yourself a number of key questions. You should use it if your Work History is repetitive and your past positions lack variety 2. It requires the employer to be a detective to some extent.

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

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

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

Use upper-case letters and line breaks to create headings rather than differing sizes of fonts. Create your resume in a plain text (ASCII) format with an application like Windows’ WordPad or Notepad. which anyone should be able to view. while WordPerfect is ideal only if you are sending your resume to a legal firm. Include your resume in 11. Opening an attachment can be time-consuming if you are an employer answering hundreds of applications a day. ii Attachments are sometimes corrupted by the time an employer tries opening the file. Perhaps your resume is linked to other pages on your site with less than savory material. “If you want to see my resume.e. Align all the text to the left of the page. Works. Does it make sense? Good. iii. copying your resume as HTML can be a pain (forget about formatting. send a stamped addressed envelope to such and such address and I’ll mail it back to you. directing them to your site. e-mail yourself a copy of your resume and proof-read it. Appearance is very important in a resume and although potential employers realize the nature of e-mail is disorganized when it comes to style. How do you achieve both goals . start sending it out to companies. “If you want to see my resume.txt or . guess what? All your hard work gets turned into crazy ampersands. 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. but when you send it in the body of an e-mail. click here. Now you send prospective employers an e-mail. etc. they’ll also allow you to save your resume to plain text. Other times. Even if the potential employer does visit your site. you are committing a gross breach of business etiquette (not to be confused with netiquette). If you send an employer an e-mail directing them to your resume. acceptable to include a link to your online resume as long as you also send a text copy with the e-mail. your vaunted webpage will come back “Not Found” or your page may take forever to load.” Not all employers have easy access to the web. You may use these programs to create basic . Some people attach their resumes as HTML files.doc files though. 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. 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. Choose a basic font that exists on everyone’s machine: Times Roman. Finally. WordPerfect). A perfectly justified e-mail message with bolding and italics becomes a series of jagged text edges and lost formatting. especially those used as resume databases by companies. should you resist sending your beautifully formatted Word document altogether? The answer is no. Works. it’s every word for itself). So. Make sure no line exceeds 72 characters. While including your resume in the body of an e-mail gives it near guaranteed accessibility. Word is good for most businesses. Try to create your attachment in a format you know a large number of people will be able to access. Some advice on creating attachments might also be useful here. e-mails invariably look worse once they’ve gone through the wringer known as the Internet. Wordstar).234 © Copy Right: Rai University 129 . 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. keep the resume simple. isn’t it? All those missed opportunities. Indeed. Try to avoid creating and attaching your resume as MS Works files or Wordstar. This has the advantage of being almost as universal as a text or document file because most businesses have a browser on their workstations. Don’t make it more complicated than that. Forget tab spaces. Forget bolding and italicizing.E-mailing Your Resume in the body of an E-mail You may have spent hours on Word or WordPerfect nicely formatting your resume.universal readability and presentability? First. they still like to see a nice looking resume. What you are doing is the offline equivalent of mailing an employer a letter which says. Somehow or other. No matter what operating system or e-mail client application the employer is using. It’s the nature of employers. In most cases. It is. Attachments are sometimes created in formats the employer cannot open (i. Ever wonder how many employers never got back to you because they couldn’t/wouldn’t open your resume? Scary thought. If you prefer to use your favorite Word Processor (Word. 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. HTML files are restricted in their formatting though and do not always copy nicely to other text based programs.” Big mistake. there is the problem of formatting. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION How Do You Avoid This? Prepare a special copy of your resume for inclusion in the body of an e-mail. Many companies prohibit internal use of the web owing to productivity issues. they’ll be able to read your resume if it’s in text form. however. Arial or Courier are common examples. after that it may break awkwardly and create an odd pattern of sentences on down to the bottom of the resume. dollar signs and *@*&**$. the employer will probably not bother with your resume at all.

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

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

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

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

Care should be taken to avoid indirect discrimination in person specifications. test and interview states. (see below). call out arrangements. misinterpretation) of the reader when writing your letter of resignation. requirements for specific employment competence should be expressed in terms of possession of the relevant NVQ at the required level. 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. 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). • 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.g. Where possible. The criteria must: • Be specific • Be justifiable in relation to the job needs • Not be unnecessarily restrictive (for example. As duties and responsibilities change and develop the job description will be reviewed and be subject to amendment in consultation with the postholder. training.In other words. Where qualifications are deemed essential these should reflect the minimum basic educational requirements necessary to carry out the job to an acceptable standard. vocational and 2. • Candidates will increasingly come forward with National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs). 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. try not to leave anything up to the interpretation (or rather. • Remember the possibility of adaptations or aids to enable a disabled person to fulfill a requirement. 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. • 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. in which case skills may be more important than a narrow definition of experience. spirit and purpose of the job.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. they will be unable to adequately perform the job. shift or weekend Elements of the Person Specification Knowledge can be derived in a number of ways. but you should distinguish between need and convenience and weigh up need against discriminatory effect. The criteria set out in it are the only criteria against which area of work to another. applicants should be assessed at the shortlisting.) • Purpose and frequency of contact with others • Signed agreement by postholder and date Qualifications/Training • There are a wide variety of educational. otherwise. periods when leave cannot be taken. Other Requirements • It may be necessary to specify “availability to attend evening meetings” or “possession of a driving license’. however. 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 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. or experience Skills are practical abilities gained through study or practice Aptitude is the ability to attain knowledge or to develop a skill working. for example by setting unjustifiable age limits. time spent • Occasional duties with indication of % of time spent • Any special working conditions (e. inflation of the job requirements (for example. for some jobs a particular qualification may be essential. The qualifications recognize the achievement of employment-led standards of competence. while for others no single qualification may be most appropriate and experience may be of just as much importance as a formal qualification. stipulating length of experience required should be used cautiously because quality of experience is more important than length of experience. etc. © Copy Right: Rai University 134 11. It should include: • The job title • The department • The grade • Work relationships . The Person Specification should be derived from and therefore drawn up after the job description and before advertisement. for example education. the amount of previous work experience required) should be avoided.234 .

Appreciation for the Offer Placement: First Paragraph • Be appreciative and sincere • • Reaffirm Offer: Clearly restate the job offer • you received. For Example: “Thank you for offering me a Sales Associate offering me a Sales Associate Position at Denmark Inc.” 11.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: 1.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 135 . received.

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. What to Include: What to Include: 3. letter. When accepting a position.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 136 What to Include: 2. prior to accepting a position. 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. understanding It is not appropriate to address serious issues or concerns serious issues or concerns after accepting a position. Reaffirmation of Employment Conditions n n 4. This is not the time to include critical items or concerns include critical concerns you have. preboth parties. should negotiable. the applicant should have a complete understanding of the position and related details. Instructions Based on Employment or Notices n n n n n n n n Placement: Within the body of the letter. not be addressed for the first time in a job acceptance letter. 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 . 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. It is recommended to address any questions or is recommended address questions issues you may have.

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 “Thank you for offering me a Sales Representative INSTEAD “Thank position. over .” INSTEAD: “I look forward to joining your team and striving striving to meet and surpass the job expectations. n However. 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. 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.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION A Winner’s Attitude: Tone n Tone: Writing with Confidence An employer will welcome a confident attitude and a selfselfassured personality.confident attitude message is perceived.” 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 . It may sound arrogant or presumptuous.” 11.

” NOT airplanes.” relations.” INSTEAD “As a Sales Representative.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 138 Tone: Use Nondiscriminatory Language The applicant should never use language or convey a message that discriminates against any group or individual. n It is unprofessional to exhibit prejudicial behavior or to stereotype individuals. my objective is to maximize client relations.” Foods International.234 . 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. my objective is to 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.” 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.” 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.

say your piece and leave your bridges intact behind you. Fair enough . 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. smacks of jealousy. thus ensuring that they have a solid platform to go forward into the market place. This is the sort of thing we get sent all the time. Snaith In most cases. the person it is addressed to. Yes. and so on.J. if at all. Sometimes an employee goes nuclear and disses everyone they have ever worked with one by one: Sally. What we’re going to deal with here is how to handle the urge to get something off your chest. don’t get too personal and if you must express your criticism of an individual or department use only civil. If things improve. provide a brief explanation for your decision including resignation date and other details. but bringing up his age is probably unnecessary. maintaining good relations with friends who are also colleagues or keeping your good reputation intact. Conversely. 10 th ed. a notice of termination of employment. they need more money. reluctantly. they’re bored of their work. whinge and score points . there may be an occasion when you really. It’s unfortunate that in these cases the final correspondence with an employer is used as an opportunity to issue personal abuse. date. It would have been possible to raise the same concerns with more diplomacy and tact. 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. 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. we recommend that you keep your letter of resignation concise. ever advocate resorting to this in your own letter. We also receive letters where the advice ‘if you’ve nothing good to say. formal and polite.it’s personal. Maintain goodwill by restating your appreciation for your work experience at the company. People leave jobs for a many different reasons: they decide to continue their career elsewhere. by Brantley & Miller. It’s simple: keep your criticism constructive. anecdotal. Note to self .this employee has given his company’s predicament a lot of thought and seems to be leaving out of sheer frustration. That last extract is relatively mild in its personal attack compared to others we have received.a letter of revenge rather than resignation. If you have any concerns about getting a good reference (your new job may depend on it).. We only hope that they’re beefed up versions of the letter they actually sent. This second extract doesn’t reflect well on the writer .. Compare these two extracts from a pair of letters sent to us in the last few months. 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. 2005 © Your Resignation Letter: How To Have The Last Word By T. your signature will suffice.Resignation Letter Begin with main idea: confirming your resignation. However. really want to tell your boss something else. personalities have clashed too often. We never. It can only do you harm. businesslike language. Your name.234 © Copy Right: Rai University . to quit your job. Your own reason for leaving can usually be expressed in a few sentences. 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. If appropriate. not WHAT you know. He can see how the company should be doing better. The resignation letter is a formality first and last . which all other companies will use as yardstick within the industry and so I wish you all the success in the future. though not a particularly pleasant human being was a good manager. The manager in question is probably glad to see this employee go. keep quiet’ is abandoned with some style. The first is from someone who has decided. acknowledge it and then file it away with all the other quitters. can you detect a hint. 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.it’s who you know. when this is effective from and finally.. think about what you commit to paper. This apparent philosophy will always ensure that we come second best to companies that concentrate on the fabric and foundations of their business first. he might even be persuaded to return. The message is lost amid the bile. bad blood and illtemper. 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. the inexperience of the director and inequity of the pay structure would be fair game.you can expect your boss to read it quickly. It is possible 11.

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

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

Languages… Internships. Organizational Memberships & Activities. Volunteer Experience. Travel. v May be stated by the job title. E-mail Bob A. Experience Highlights. 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. by level or type of responsibility. and/or other work experience sections * Most appropriate for recent grads* A brief description of the position you wish to be considered for . Phone. in terms of skills you wish to develop. Professional Background.” 142 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. DC 2000 (555) 776 -7890 : Objective Education Experience Skills Summary w Additional Headings ú ú ú ú : Relevant Coursework. Zip.emphasize how you can help the company. Significant Presentations. Computer/Technical Skills. Academic Honors & Awards.. relevant experience . Publications Also include your personal web-site address if available. or a combination of all three.234 ..edu Current: 100 Braddock Road Frostburg. Address. Research. Maryland 21532 (301) 687 -7000 Permanent: 100 Constitution Ave Washington.. 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..” “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. Resume Styles w Chronological -Experiences are in reverse.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Headings w Most Common Headings - Personal Data Necessary Info: Name. Cat Email: bcat0@frostburg.

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

e. different fonts (standard) Absolutely NO spelling/grammar errors v Content: (Dynamic. 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. Persuasive) Action-oriented verbs. Balance of text and white space Use of bolds. an employer will type in “business major” into the database and look at hits ) w Resister with www. Cat Name of Reference Job Title Name of Organization Address Work Phone Number E-mail Address Electronic Resumes w Employers now search a database. emphasize skills Grammar. 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.234 .com/frostburg and view your resume. concise. present/past tense Lead w/ strengths/accomplishments 144 © Copy Right: Rai University 11.collegecentral. graphics. (i. easy to read. using keywords. underlines. w Guidelines if it will be scanned or uploaded from * 3-5 references is an appropriate amount. Remember to ask people whom you know will provide a good reflection of you and in a timely manner. underlines.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION - The Reference Page… References for Bob A.

Structure The four point plan for structuring all business documents should also be applied to memos. and link them to broader management and/or policy issues. 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. Memos serve a variety of purposes: • To inform of decisions • To request decisions. circulars and notes • Understand the structure of memos.Incorrect . circulars and notes. Along with this now a days organizations are more comfortable using emails as the primary tool of communication (refer to lesson 4 ). You should then use the facts and examples from the case or other readings to support your analysis and conclusions. Students . some of which will be implicit rather than explicit. It does not mean that you simply rehash the facts of the case or summarize what has occurred. Subject heading Give a brief indication of the topic. Instead. Remember that the point of analyzing cases is to draw out the pertinent issues. When necessary. It helps if you follow a fairly fixed pattern when preparing memos. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Preparing a Memo Memos standard form of communication in many public and are a nonprofit organizations.Incorrect . 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. use bullets to summarize and then explain in more detail in subsequent paragraphs. If extensive background is required. For example. 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). It is also important that you are specific when analyzing issues and presenting your recommendations such that they are communicated effectively. 20 June Letter of complaint Kodak Camera model X345 Main body of memo Introduction Background information . 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). If more than one issue is presented. circulars and preparing notes. you would use an attachment.Correct . 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. this can be followed by a brief explanation or clarification (no more than a paragraph or two). for eg: Confirmation of meeting Departmental meeting. circulars and notes. today we will learn about the importance of memorandums. 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. • Tips on preparation of memos. Identify relevant alternative courses of action: There are always at least two options (taking no action is always an alternative). Part of your task is to point out the significance of the larger issues. Limit the number of options but be sure to cover the full range of choices. you are asked to analyze a situation and present your recommendation for a specific course of action. That will get you a poor grade on these assignments. of course.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 145 . etc • To provide information of any kind • To remind someone of action required. and. 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. actions.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.Correct 11.

234 . Try to adopt a tone which reflects these factors. 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. 2 SIGNATURE BLOCK (LETTERS) On outgoing letters the Chief Executive prefers his name and title in lower case with initial capitals. I hope that these guidelines will be useful but if you have any questions please speak to me. Some specimen documents are attached which will guided you in these requirements. Executive Secretary MO/ST 12 July 2000 IN-HOUSE METHODS OF DISPLAY Congratulations on recently joining the staff in the Chief Executive’s office. Administration Assistant Maggie Ong.+ briefly give the reason for writing + refer to previous communication + who? What? Where? When? Details Facts and Figures + logical sequence + separate into paragraphs . eg 3. The major consideration in composing memos should be the status of the sender and recipient in the organization. You should aim to put over your message as concisely as possible while still being courteous . 3. no salutation or complimentary close will be required. but Mr Nunn will usually give instructions about this. Separate the body into paragraphs. clear.politeness (do not say ‘I should be very grateful …. Tone As you most likely know your recipients fairly well..’) • 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.1. ie Peter Nunn Chief Executive On some personal letters. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Tips • Avoid being abrupt or impolite (add ‘Please…. concise and correct. Subsequent enumeration should be decimal. etc.’) • Avoid over. memos are usually written in an information style. and of course the topic of the memo. using numbered points and sub-headings if relevant 146 © Copy Right: Rai University 11.2.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. 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.

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

He put up this note in the Board meeting. Sudhakar. suggestion. 5 Lac loan in the note. a statement or analysis of the question regarding the given case. 5 lac loan. Now Sudhakar again wrote a note. or order (like Sudhakar ordered his assistant to send an intimation of the relevant decision to Sandeep). his income-tax returns for last three year.00. He deposited the relevant application form. Telephone ……………………………………… Fax ……………………………………. He intimated the same to Sandeep. 2. Sudhakar prepared a note detailing all the relevant matter about Sandeep’s case.234 .. This is widely used in public sector enterprises. Date …………………………………… Name (in capitals) ………………………………………………………………………… Use double spacing for the section to be completed Use this footnote when appropriate Company …………………………………………………………………………………. the loan officer reviewed all these papers. 5 lac loan may be sanctioned as per Board’s approval via note…. and estimated cost of the house. 4 lac loan. and marked this note in the name of his junior for action.” And marked the file to legal department for completing other legal formalities. 4 lac loan only”.000.. 5. This note was an order of Sudhakar for his junior. He found that as per the Sandeep’s income scale he is entitled to the maximum of Rs. It is to be assumed that the officer to whom the case is submitted will read the ‘paper under consideration’ and the previous notes. The reproduction of verbatim (copy) 148 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. and recommended Rs. which he was going to buy. 3. Signature ………………………………………. 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). Sandeep met Sudhakar and convinced him that his salary is going to increase in one month time. 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. He noted on the file that “intimate Sandeep that he is entitled to Rs. which would make him entitled to Rs. Sudhakar agreed in principle but he had no power to sanction this amount. Characteristics of a Good Note 1. if any. “Rs. It should be deterministic.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. conveying decision of the note maker clearly. The Board approved the note. This approval note became part of the file papers. * Please delete where appropriate Notes Writing Notes Sandeep applied to a housing finance company for a house loan of Rs. A note should be concise and to the point. proof of his residence.

of extracts from the attached papers is not required. Look for implications beyond what is being said • • • Wide-lined. The note must be signed by its maker with his name and designation below it. Notice signals that a change of direction is coming but.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 149 . It Should be written in a courteous language free from personal remarks. it should be incorporated in a separate statement. and can be referred to as appendix to the note. 4. 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. etc. however. Just give references. • 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. and topic clearly labelled • May use dividers Plenty of blank paper in back • Be an aggressive. etc. 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. window glare. jot questions in your notes Seek out meanings. 6. Memory requires Review Four Purposes For Note Taking • Provides a written record for review • Forces the listener to pay attention • Requires organisation. If any information to be included in the note a very lengthy. is important Effective Note Taking Note Taking is a Skill • This takes understanding of what you’re doing • It takes practice. It must be clearly marked to another person or department for further action. easy-eye paper Conference/Meeting date. usually. rarely. 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. not a passive. listener • • • Before Taking Notes • Prepare yourself mentally • Be sure of your purpose and the speaker’s purpose • They may not be the same 11. implications. 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. on the other hand Ask questions and discuss if it’s permitted If not. 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. which involves effort • Be ready to understand and remember • Anticipate what is to come. 5. • 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. illustrations. not how.

clarify points during or after the meeting/talk • • • • • • • Give the speaker a reasonable chance to make the point clear Avoid sidetracking the speaker. =. Thus he is eligible for a maximum loan amount of Rs. etc. 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. and they are found in accordance with our rules.234 .25 lac. Hr s sntnc wth vwls lft t . Sandeep Aggarwal has been checked. • 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. &. most important. Check it out. Mr. A copy of his increment letter is attached as annexure I. The note put up by him before the Board is as follows: Note Mr. As per our rules. 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. etc. we may consider the case for sanction. • If possible. and it will take us one month’s time to process the loan papers. Some things are more important than others. and his annual salary would become Rs.000. @ • Try to get the hang of listening and writing at the same time.00. • 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. 4 lac as on today. You are the loser when this occurs Some Specimen Notes Consider the. Since we have a confirmed proof of increase in his annual income within one month. 5. case of Sandeep taken up by Sudhakar. Sandeep Aggarwal met me and showed me his salary increment order. 4 lac per annum. because the main reason of the said clause is to ensure the repayment capacity of the loanee.g. Sandeep Aggarwal has applied for a house loan of Rs.• Develop a suitable system of mechanics • Jot down words or phrases. another 25% is gone. the maximum loan we can give to a person for housing is equal to his annual salary. we can give him Rs. From one month hence that order would be effective. Review • Glance back over material from time to time to see if a We forget 50% of what we hear immediately. not entire sentences • Develop some system of shorthand and be consistent • Be selective. two months later. Illustration on board Reference to text Note especially new words and ideas in its use (e. 5 lac house loan. 5. 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. if consistency is being maintained. Be willing to hold some seeming inconsistencies in your mind over a period of time Make meaningful associations pattern is emerging. • Sharpen your note taking technique by looking at your colleagues’ notes. In my opinion. • Be alert for speaker emphasis through • • • • • • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Tone or gesture Repetition Use of cue words such as remember. All other credentials of Mr. His present salary is Rs.Here is a sentence with vowels left out!) • Leave out small service words • Use contractions and abbreviations • Use symbols +. It can be done.

Examples: Examples: + plus // parallel • Use standard abbreviations and leave out full stops. an apostrophe. are abstract representations of some word or idea. 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. words are shortened. You may syllable. or name is used again. Examples: is was were • Leave out unnecessary articles. The gleaning strategy involves representing the main ideas of a book (or meeting) in shorthand version. Examples: during the talk or meeting. initials can be substituted whenever the term.Sd/-Sudhakar Sinha Finance officer 16-08-2002 Chairman. Symbols. such as our alphabet. and science symbols. rather than abbreviate short words. Directions for using abbreviations. Board bkgd background mvmt movement prblm problem • Form the plural of a symbol or abbreviated word by adding BUSINESS COMMUNICATION ‘s. decrg decreasing ckg checking estblg establishing • Spell out. a an the • If a term. phrase. Examples: in but as key • Leave out unimportant verbs. These strategies are useful in note taking because they allow one to write more quickly. and the ending of the word. Examples: Hints of Creating Your Own Abbreviations and Symbols Abbreviation involves using shortened versions of words to represent the complete form of the word.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 151 . With gleaning.’ Examples: custs customers fs frequencies /s ratios • Use ‘g’ to represent ‘ing’ endings. once symbols and shorthand systems have been internalised. 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. 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. symbols. Examples: assoc associated ach achievement info information • Omit vowels from the middle of words. Examples: subj subject budg budget ind individual • To distinguish among various forms of the same word. use the first syllable of the word. and symbols are used to represent the main ideas of the text. phrase. vowels are omitted. and shorthand when taking notes are summarised below. 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. • Use standard maths. Example: January Advertising Campaign Budget JACB • Use symbols for common connective or transition words. Shorthand makes use of both abbreviations and symbols. Examples: 11. accounting.

234 .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: .supporting information .a progress report .a new project/ development .the main information .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 : .a recommendation 152 © Copy Right: Rai University 11.

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

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

Understanding the important of these sections. The problem and purpose had already been identified at the stage when the answers to the question what and why were 155 11. the report. Who is involved in the situation? This could take into account both the reader(s) and the writer. Why is the issue important? What is its relevance and significance to the department in specific. 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. coupled with logical conjoining of the various parts. In fact.234 © Copy Right: Rai University . The marketing and the production department people would probably be the readers in this particular case. Finally. Who is going to be my reader? With a change in the reader. Let us take a look at a project report to be prepared by a financial institution.Where would the report be read? The degree of formality or provision of details would vary in response to these queries. its types and to understand the need of report planning. and organization in general? The issue is important because a decrease in sales is a cause for concern to the entire organization. and ensuring that nothing has been left out. Five W’s and One H Prior to commencing work on a report. Chalking out or revision of strategies should be done prior to the marketing season or entrance of new players in the market. • Understand the role of report planning. It may be asked: When am I going to write the report? The time factor is very important. This enables the writer to produce a highly focused report. Further. the organization. for instance. If the planning’ is done in a detailed manner. It is a logical and coherent structuring of information.When would the loan be sanctioned? Is the report being written close to the time of sanctioning of the loan. a few queries should be raised by the report-writer and satisfactorily answered. and time of the problem before reaching any conclusion. results in a well written and presented report. or is it merely an informative one.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. How-If the sanctioning of the loan is important. be one that has to determine the cause for the decrease in sales. Why (purpose) should the problem be analyzed? What are the benefits that will accrue as a result of this particular report-to the department. This would entail tracing in brief the downward curve of the sales graph. This.What is the justification of a loan for project A? Who . it would also account for that. is segregated into various sections. persuasive language can be used to get the ideas and message across. queries of the following nature could be raised: Why . Identification of the genesis of the problem helps in streamlining the approach. in turn. You need to know what are reports. When . The various steps involved in report planning are as follows: 1. In a report such as this. Students. synchronizing details. Spend as much time as possible in collecting material. Strategies need to be chalked out for redemption of the situation. would. As a neatly structured piece of work. The problem could. providing information on the various factors leading to the sanctioning of the loan? Where . • Implement the tips given the lesson while preparing reports.and the purpose. one would also need to address oneself to the source Report Planning The planning stage is the most crucial one. for greater ease in comprehension. 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. a change is visible in the manner of approach in the report. 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. planning for a report is as important as the process of writing itself. 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. 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. The queries centre on the five W’s and the one H. ideas and concepts. as suggested in the report.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. All details should be provided and meticulous care should be taken to ensure that nothing unwarranted is included. when did the trouble start? In case it is an analytical report.Why should project A be supported? What . lead to increase in sales. In case there is a third party involved. there are very few chances of missing out errors at the final stage. reports are an integral part in a written communication. and the self? The report would probably lead to a suggestion of various strategies that could be implemented. 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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in deductive method the structure could also be of a slightly different pattern.. 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.... Therefore. a deductive ordering observes a reverse ordering where it proceeds from the unknown to the known..... the steps observed are as follows 1.. e. Conclusion Analytical Terminal section Introduction Text Upon completion of this lesson you will • Learn about various types of reports and their structures.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 161 ... text and terminal section.. let us take an example. 4.g. inductive patterning. evaluated and conclusions drawn.. it holds valid only up to the point there is discovery of an issue that proves contrary to the findings in the report. Universal truths are taken as the formulation point for the problem.. all men are mortal Syllogism 1 Syllogism 2 Syllogism 3 Syllogism n.. 2.. 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.... 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. logical arrangement in which you proceed from the known to the unknown. . One could formulate umpteen number of syllogisms to reach a final conclusion. Conclusion While in an inductive method the pattern of the report would normally fo1low the sequence of introduction. Shyam is a man and he is mortal.. An inductive ordering follows a simple.. naturally follow this pattern....... in which experiments have to be done and surveys conducted . Types of Reports and Their Structure Types Informational _ Structure Introduction Text Terminal section All men are mortal... To take a look at the manner of approach in deductive methodology. this is a continuation of lesson 23 wherein we will study about different types of reports and their structure.... As it is not based on any universal truth. Recommendations or suggestions are then incorporated in the report.. On the other hand. Such readership would only be concerned with the conclusions and recommendations/ suggestions or plan of action..BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 24: TYPES OF REPORT However.……………………………….. • Learn about the usage of visual aids in reports Students .... Thus.. Here the progression is always in the nature of working on the known elements to arrive at an unknown conclusion.. analysis and subsequent interpretation.... 11. Ram is a man and he is mortal. 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. or factors observed.. while normally followed for organization based studies and experiments.. • Know the difference between an analytical report and an informational report. There are two premises or syllogisms that conjoin to yield a final conclusion. . depending upon what is required by the report writer. It is by nature only relevant in the present and no universal claims to the same’ can be made. The various alternatives are suggested. 3. suffers from a major drawback. which is always based on the number of experiments conducted. keeping in mind the original problem stated... .. Merely a glance at the initial pages would enable the reader to assess the contents... Certain disciplines.. in a problem solving method..

Changing the size of tins. However. 2. 3. A schematic summary 3. Points. 1.g. Five sample automobile com_anies were taken. An organizational pattern Correction 1. Company X has produced three models of cars. There is also a slump in the market with excessive production and insufficient demand. The expected progression is from the general to the specific or abstract to the concrete. What are the prospects of growth? The report attempts to analyze..Different Styles of Opening a Report Inductive Approach The automobile sector in India seems to have made tremendous headway in the last ten years.. in a sequential order. Will Company X be able to face stiff competition from other companies? 3. A logical. there should be a consistent pattern of clubbing them together. 4. it will not be able to corner a substantial market share. All group-related ideas are clubbed together. Unless and until Company X brings down its price to match that of the competitors. Company X is facing stiff competition. e. The current study analyses the growth prospects of Company X vis-à-vis its competitors. 3.234 .. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Nature of Headings Headings can be of two types: informative and descriptive. with the entry of new players in the market. Change the size of tins If the same were to be converted into a descriptive heading. 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. Company X is facing severe competition from Companies Y and Z. 2. 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. in discussing the various alternatives. There is also a slump in the market with excessive production and insufficient demand. The current study analyses the growth prospects of Company X vis-àvis its competitors. general description 2. Now comes the tedious task of assigning an order to the cues. The conclusions arrived at and recommendations made are based on the following study. Developing An Outline It is extremely important to develop an outline of the report prior to commencing work on the report. depending on the nature of the report which is being written. Installing more capacity. The study focuses attention on the following three questions: 1. with the entry of new players in the market the company is facing stiff competition. are organized in the form of sections and subsections. Increase promotional efforts. Correct Ordering 1. 2. Size of tins A descriptive heading report in an indirect order. An informative heading should present information in the direct order and be geared towards a more receptive audience. Questions revolving round the five W’s and one H should be answered or kept in mind at the time of preparing an outline. Increasing promotional efforts. This could be done in such a way that the following points are taken into account. Main and sub-headings are created keeping in mind the fact that all follow a similar grammatical pattern. A visual. However.. Further. Install more capacity. 2. 1. conceptual design of writing Once this is completed begins a three-stage process: 1. Correct Formulation 1. 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. Brainstorming would give rise to a host of ideas. it would take on the following shape: 2. 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. Increase promotional efforts. some of which would form main points and others ancillary points. 3. Changing the size of tins. Incorrect Ordering 1. Once these questions have been satisfactorily tackled should begin the process of brainstorming. Who are the competitors? 2. at a later stage. the general or specific connotations should be the same. 2. Inventory backup 2. Installing more capacity. Deductive Approach The automobile sector in India seems to have made tremendous headway in the last ten years. Change the size of tins. It can easily be concluded that: 1. Company X has produced three models of cars. In other words. he should follow it consistently. Promotional strategy 162 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Point Formulation Parallel Ordering of Points Within an outline the headings should be expressed in a parallel form. In case the writer decides to follow the format of using the noun or verb or verb +ing. Organize Group Related Ideas Together Together with putting all the headings in a grammatically similar pattern. 3. and the readers are less receptive in such instances.

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

2 1. Tables 2. Leave-taking b. More mass indicates solidity.2 It should be kept in mind that as various sub-sections are being exemplified. Well-wishing 4.2. 3. There should be a happy balance between the two so that report-reading procedure is not tedious. It is a judicious discretion on the part of the report writer as to which points he would like to present visually. Depending upon the requirement the report with its verbal and visual support can be balanced. 2. 2.1 2.2. i. e. 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.2. Bar Graphs a.. There is no stop or period at the end of the numeral.234 . which of the charts or table would be most suitable at this juncture. 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. 2.2. It is difficult to present all ideas through graphics.1.0 1.e. The raw material or data that the individual possesses has to be given a structured ordering. II A B 1. 1.1 1. b. c. if one was to take up the comparison between the sales figures of two consecutive years.1 1. Confirm reader’s needs and thought pattern. 1. Visualize the presentation of the same points in graphic form. There should be a systematic ordering by which the writer decides which part of the 164 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. 1.g. Probably the following points. 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.1. d. Once the sorting out of the points or ideas is done the next stage happens to be the imaginary conceptualizing of the same points. 3. Clarify which ideas would be best represented in visual form. care should be exercised from the point of view of presentation of the same. for instance. Visual aids by way of charts and graphs cannot be included at any juncture. 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. The steps that enable the writer to proceed at an easy pace are 1. One could make use of these strategies effectively at the time of indicating contrast or showing comparison. if kept in mind.1 2.2 2.. Justifications 3.0. e.1. This is the first stage. Roman Numeral and letters I A B 1. the same pattern is not followed in the decimal system. Some ideas would definitely have a greater impact if presented through charts or tables. Repetitions a. comparison between the sales figures of two consecutive years. A badly presented visual can have a negative impact.2.g. Further subdivisions may be done by different typography using the computer setting facility. A.g. Bold color implies emphasis. Further subdivisions may be done by capitalization and different typography (as computer setting facility is available today) Arabic Numeral and Decimal 1. e. one could use both the tabular form and the comparative bar diagram.1. they keep getting indented. While it may seem rather exciting entering the domain of visuals. Establish balance between the verbal and the visual. There are a number of ways through which graphic presentations can be done 1. which should be adhered to before conceptualizing the use of visual aids. there is always a period or a full-stop after indication of the letter or numeral. etc. However. can improve the quality of presentation.0 2. it is essential to note that in the Roman numerals and letters. It is now for the report writer to decide what format he would like to incorporate in his report. Too much of visual and too little of verbal or the other way round adds to the monotony of the text. Thick line implies more power. 2. 1. . Further. 4.2 2.

However. numeric and nonnumeric data can together be depicted.4. it also has certain disadvantages: While it is part of the visual depiction yet. two colors or designs are used so as to highlight the difference between two variables. Flow Charts and organization charts 8. stacked or comparative and horizontal (Exhibit IV. If these graphs depict more than one variable. These tables are mostly numerical but word tables are also used. If there is a need to emphasize a particular segment it is detached from the pie and referred to as the floating wedge. 11. Exhibit IV. for example. However. Pie-Charts 5.6). 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. Occasionally the writer might. make it too detailed and complicated.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. has both advantages and disadvantages. The greatest advantage of these bar diagrams is that they can also be used with a three-dimensional effect (see Exhibit IV. The pie chart captures the attention of the reader at a much faster pace than probably any other presentation would. A lot of figures can be depicted.6 Three Dimensional Stacked Vertical Bar Diagram Bar Graphs These are the simplest to construct and make for easy comprehension by the reader. visually the details are not evident at a glance. 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. Finally the visual appeal in these charts is missing. in the process of putting in too much data. Within one chart itself segments can be highlighted. Line Graphs 6.5). 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. Drawings. women and children the following results can be presented as follows Exhibit IV.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. Pictograms/Pictorial graph 7. In addition to the color pattern used the categorization of the segments can be © Copy Right: Rai University 165 . The other segments are demarcated by lines or differing colors in a circular form. while simple for the report writer. The color and schematic designs added to the bars lend visual appeal to these charts.4). They could be of various types: Vertical with singular or multiple bars (Exhibit IV. In a survey concerning TV viewing habits of men. A number of combinations are possible in this tabular form. 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.

care should be exercised to indicate the points of omission.the mind of the reader. human figures could be used thus exemplifying the point being made by the report writer. Further. However. 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.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. problems could arise if too many variables are plotted preventing fine distinctions from being evidenced or noticed. 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. This chart is self-explanatory. e. They are normally used when we wish to illustrate processes. procedures and relationships. 166 11. Most of these are added to make the report colorful and decorative. Preferably if there are crisis-crossing lines only three variable should be plotted as more than these might lead to erroneous conclusions. be exercised if the lines cross each other at points as this might create confusion in.7 Pie-chart with a Floating Wedge Relative Customer Value of Facilities and Ambience Exhibit IV. However. However. Most of the communication channels in an organization are described with the usage of these kinds of charts. Drawings. In this example a cluster of the figures or pictures would indicate an excessive number at that period. The pictures are chosen in accordance with. This chart is not used extensively for business reports. However. © Copy Right: Rai University Various drawings and diagrams can be used in business reports. Pictograms/Pictorial Graph These are more in the nature of bar charts with figures or small pictures plotted instead of lines. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Exhibit IV.234 . 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. Organization charts illustrate the various positions or functions of the organization. Diagrams and Maps Sales of Nilgiris shopping complex A lot of trends over a specific period can be depicted by the line graph. Exhibit IV. A little caution should however. the topic or the -subject matter. though their usage is definitely limited.g. Time is normally plotted on the x-axis or the horizontal axis and the variable on the y-axis. for example. However.5% may become too small to notice. Both the scales begin at zero and proceed in equal increments. it is not very useful for business reports as they are more concrete and not based on pictorial depiction of the problem. if a chart were to be prepared indicating the population boom in the last five years.within. a segment depicting 0.8 Line Graph Flow Charts and Organization Charts Flow charts present a sequence of activities from start to finish. outside or alongside the chart. if the patterning of the segments has not been done imaginatively they might merge into one another and may become too small to notice. Several variables can be plotted indicating trends over time allowing easy comparisons. 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. occasionally on the y-axis there might be a small break immediately after the zero point. there could be occasions when the difference is very minor and it might get blurred. = 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.

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

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

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

• Avoid making negative statements For example: ”Calling firms directly should not be discouraged”. what is the most logical way in which data can be grouped. say. and. 2002 Most of us have been involved in writing a report at some time. routine reports. will have to report to members. Someone who is instructed to do so by a superior usually writes a report. suggestions you wish to make as a result of the investigation and so on. • 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. it is very important for any report to effectively communicate information to the report user. events. Effective Report Writing By Mustafa Muchhala Article added on December 27. The managers receiving the reports will not have commissioned them specifically. Some reports arise out of a particular event. but they will be expected to act on anything out of the ordinary that the report tells them. you will need to know how to put information together effectively. might be required because they are a part of established procedures. • Avoid using abbreviations and contractions On the other hand. and a clear conclusion that will draw everything together for them? You could use the above questions as a checklist for planning your report. A manager. and for what For example: ”they’re” for “they are” ”etc” and “ie” should also be avoided. Before you can even begin to think about what information you will need and where you will find it. a director’s report or simply an insurance claim report. This can obscure the meaning. the board of directors of a company might call for a report on the financial viability of a new product or investment. Be it an audit report. or write a message in a letter or a memorandum informing. actions you have taken. ”Calling firms directly should be encouraged”. • Writing numbers in text purpose? • How much information is required. recommendations and so on (or just information)? • If you know who the user is. Instead write positive statements.‘There are 134 websites on this topic’ • Try to avoid making sentences overlong and cost? • Do you need to give judgments.234 . • Who is the user? • What type of report will be most useful to him/her? • What exactly does he/she need to know. For example. • Do not start sentences with linking words such as: but. such as performance reports. complicated as wordiness and padding can obscure meaning. who will then expect to make a decision on the basis of what the report tells him. The formal headings of standard 170 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. you can ask yourself some or all of these questions. either in our working lives or our personal lives. So. on which regulations prescribe the writing of a report. or the secretary at a meeting. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Planning a Report Whether you are writing a report in an exam or compiling a report at work. you are ‘reporting’. time and money. may commission a special ‘one-off’ report. Individual responsibilities often include the requirement to write reports — a representative on a committee. 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. you will have a good framework for going on to plan the structure and content of your report. or yet. or other committees. For example. to make my reasoning clear? • Do I need to include my own personal views? If so. 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. a leaving or exit interview report must be written following an employee’s resignation. what he or she wants and why. It may present itself in a wide range of formats. your manager of facts. the procedures and decisions taken. and sequenced.• 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 constitutes an effective report? A report is a general term that simply means ‘telling’ or ‘relating’. If you give someone a verbal account. When you then come to plan a report in detail. any accident in the workplace must be reported. you need to consider the following. 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’ . 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.

Headings — Spaced out or enlarged CAPITALS may be used for the main title. Sub-point (a). There are certain stylistic requirements to bear in mind. a summary of the history may be provided in the appendix. language and complex sentence structures for non-technical users. it should indicate clearly what the report is about and should be as short as possible. Confidentiality If the report is confidential or ‘secret’ this fact must be printed at the top of the report and possibly on every page. IV. it should open with a list of contents.business reports may be useful to help you to organize your thoughts — but may not be necessary. For example. 1. 11. the nature of the factfinding should be explained. You can use different labelling for each type of heading or alternatively a decimal system may be used as shown below. You should not use expressions like ‘blew his top’. Report User and Date Reports should indicate in a clear place.. Point 1. and the title should be explicit and brief. the board of directors might call for a report so that they can take a decision by a certain cutoff date.1 Subheading 1 Subsections 1. X found that…” or even “Investigation revealed that…” • Colloquialisms and abbreviated forms should be avoided in Identification of Report Writer. For example. ‘we’ etc. Any bias. II. 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.1. in a situation where a customer has invited tenders which must be submitted by a certain date. • Various display techniques may be used to make the content of a report easy to identify and digest.1. which carry personal and possibly subjective associations. and the body of text should be broken up to be easy on the eye.1 (a) Sub-heading 2. may be in CAPITALS. Figures and diagrams should be used with discretion. 3.. (ii).2. C. and also makes a large block more attractive and ‘digestible’. if recognized. In a report designed to persuade as well as inform. a uniform code should be used to refer to letters in the summary. e. In other words. 1 Heading 1 A. Point 2 1. E etc. Point 1 1. Alternatively. whom they are directed at. the terms of reference of a management accounting report might be to investigate the short-term profit prospects for a particular product. subjective value judgments and emotions should be kept out of the content a and style as far as possible. These terms of reference would exclude considerations of long-term prospects for the product. Similarly. impersonal constructions should be used rather than ‘I’. When timescale is important. Main Section Headings I. possibly before the title itself. They will help you further develop your report writing skills. 2 Heading 2 Spacing — Intelligent use of spacing separates headings from the body of the text for easy scanning. avoid saying “I/We found that….1 Sub-heading 1. Generally Accepted Principles of Effective Report Writing The purpose of reports and their subject matter vary widely. perhaps in an appendix to the report. can undermine the credibility of the report and its recommendations. and so place a limitation on the scope of the report. e. (iii) etc. or even advisable. formal written English. V etc. especially if it is leading up to a conclusion or recommendation. Colloquial (informal) words such as ‘I’ve’.g. who has written them and the date of their preparation. 2. Terms of Reference The introductory section of the report should explain why the report has been written and the terms of reference.2 Sub-heading 2 Points and subpoints (a). If there is an extensive series of documents referring to one matter. If the literature includes a lot of correspondence. • Make the report easy to understand by avoiding technical Contents Page If the report is extensive. (c) or (i). In more formal reports. The material will have to be logically organized. the relative importance of points should be signalled. 4.2 Sub-heading 1. if the report is based on primary research. 5 etc.” Instead the sentence can be framed as “It became clear that…” or “Mr. 1. this should be specified in the terms of reference. Underlining or Italics may be used for subheadings. and it might be helpful to highlight key figures that appear within large tables of numbers. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Title The report should have a title. These aims may be achieved as follows. whether to put in a tender for a major contract and if so at what price. For example. B. and how you want to ‘shape’ it. Relevant themes should be signaled by appropriate headings or highlighted for easy scanning. if they simply act as a constraint on what you actually want to say. References — Each section or point in a formal report should have a code for easy identification and reference. Bear in mind that all these principles may not strictly apply to all reports but can be used as necessary. such as ‘showed considerable irritation’. whether writing formal or informal reports. In other words. • Emotional or otherwise loaded words should be avoided. instead formal phrases should be used. each point may be referenced. with a view to establishing whether the existing internal checks are adequate. (b).234 © Copy Right: Rai University 171 . D. of sections of the report. these sources should be acknowledged in the report. Important headings. with a view to recommending either the closure of the product line or its continued production. III.g. first person subjects should be replaced with third person. but there are certain generally accepted principles of report writing that can be applied to most types of report. For example. Sources of Information If the report draws on other sources for its information. The terms of reference will explain not only the purpose of the report but also any restrictions on its scope. ‘don’t’ and so on should be replaced by ‘I have’ and ‘do not’. • The layout of the report should display data clearly and attractively. 1.

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

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

if the respondent answers “no”. If the information you are collecting is of interest to the respondent. be present while a respondent is completing the questionnaire and tell her that it is okay to ask you for clarification of any item. A good question asks for only one “bit” of information. Has mutually exclusive options. Pages often accidentally separate. The qualities of a good question are as follows: 1. There should be only one correct or appropriate choice for the respondent to make. Can accommodate all possible answers. One way to keep a questionnaire interesting is to provide variety in the type of items used. or both. 2. Provide incentives as a motivation for a properly completed questionnaire. 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. or both were unsatisfactory. Envelopes with postage stamps get better response than business reply envelopes (although they are more expensive since you also pay for the non-respondents). We want the respondent to complete our questionnaire. The easier it is for the respondent to complete the questionnaire the better. Be creative. Anonymous questionnaires that contain no identifying information are more likely to produce honest responses than those identifying the respondent. “Were you satisfied with the quality of our food and service?” Again. The questions she asks are indicative of problems in the questionnaire (i. The purpose of a survey is to find out information. they almost always show up here. 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). All items should flow smoothly from one to the next. 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. Asking a question that does not accommodate all possible responses can confuse and frustrate the respondent. Whatever you choose. Try different colored inks and paper. By putting the most important items near the beginning. If your questionnaire does contain sensitive items. For example. The object is to make your questionnaire stand out from all the others the respondent receives. If a questionnaire is more than a few pages and is held together by a staple. Varying the questioning format will also prevent respondents from falling into “response sets”. If there are problems with the questionnaire. 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.e. there is no way to know whether the quality of the food. A good question leaves no ambiguity in the mind of the respondent. At the same time. a researcher investigating a new food snack asks “Do you like the texture and flavor of the snack?” If a respondent answers “no”. What does the respondent get for completing your questionnaire? Altruism is rarely an effective motivator. it must make the respondent want to complete the questionnaire. Qualities of a Good Question There are good and bad questions.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 179 . the partially completed questionnaires will still contain important information.Leave adequate space for respondents to make comments. there are many problems with this question.. Leaving white space also makes the questionnaire look easier and this increases response. For example. One criticism of questionnaires is their inability to retain the “flavor” of a response. consider the question: What brand of computer do you own? __ A. This is the preferable method because it provides more information than the previous method. offering a free summary report is also an excellent motivator. there is a good possibility that the answer will not be truthful. Attaching a dollar bill to the questionnaire works well. Another questionnaire asks. Country BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 3. then the researcher will not know if the respondent dislikes the texture or the flavor. Make it convenient. it is important to group items into coherent categories. What brand of computer do you own? (Check all that apply) __ Do not own a computer __ IBM PC __ Apple __ Other 4. A question that asks for a response on more than one dimension will not provide the information you are seeking. service. include some identifying data on each page (such as a respondent ID number). An obvious example is: Where did you grow up? _ A. IBM PC B. Questions must be non-threatening. Use professional production methods for the questionnaire— either desktop publishing or typesetting and keylining. Place the most important items in the first half of the questionnaire. Always include a selfaddressed postage-paid envelope. The first way is to make each response a separate dichotomous item on the questionnaire. The final test of a questionnaire is to try it on representatives of the target audience. When a respondent is concerned about the consequences of answering a question in a particular manner. be sure to clearly state your policy on confidentiality. Hold the respondent’s interest. Respondents often send back partially completed questionnaires. If possible. Apple Clearly. Leaving space for comments will provide valuable information not captured by the response categories. Asks for an answer on only one dimension. 11. Evokes the truth.

The wording of a question is extremely important. We are striving for objectivity in our surveys and. Write your questions so they apply to everyone. and the respondent will feel more comfortable. For example. Write short sentences. 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. If a question does not produce variability in responses. Does not presuppose a certain state of affairs. very little information is learned. As another example: Are you against drug abuse? (circle: Yes or No) Again. If you ask a question similar to this. Grouping questions that are similar will make the questionnaire easier to complete. This question would not provide meaningful information. Among the most subtle mistakes in questionnaire design are questions that make an unwarranted assumption. It is important to look at each question and decide if all respondents will be able to answer it. City A person who grew up on a farm in the country would not know whether to select choice A or B. 8. Industry surveys often contain very specific questions that the respondent may not know the answer to. include a “don’t know” response category. Branching in written questionnaires should be avoided. Is not dependent on responses to previous questions. As examples: Wouldn’t you like to receive our free brochure? Don’t you think the Congress is spending too much money? 9.234 .. Design your questions so they are sensitive to differences between respondents. Abbreviations are okay if you are absolutely certain that every single respondent will understand their meanings. It is important to understand that these adjectives mean different things to different people. Does not imply a desired answer. When a question produces no variability in responses. it will not be possible to perform any statistical analyses on the item. do not use the abbreviation. least. This is one of the areas overlooked by both beginners and experienced researchers. 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. The following question might be okay if all the respondents are accountants. we are left with considerable uncertainty about why we asked the question and what we learned from the information. 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. 6. must be careful not to lead the respondent into giving the answer we would like to receive. It’s somewhere between the worst and best C. This often means simply adding an additional response category. it could frustrate the respondent and the questionnaire might find its way to the trash. Farm Direct mail advertising? ____ Very few people would know the answer to this question without looking it up. 5. Leading questions are usually easily spotted because they use negative phraseology. What was your AGI last year? ______ 11. Be careful not to assume anything. there would be very little variability in responses and we’d be left wondering why we asked the question in the first place.g. 10. For example: What percent of your budget do you spend on 7. but it would not be a good question for the general public. It’s the worst report I’ve read B. it should not be used in written questionnaires because it sometimes confuses respondents. Quantifying adjectives (e. For example: What do you think about this report? __ A. majority) are frequently used in questions. it is important to understand that the responses are rough estimates and there is a strong likelihood of error. Does not use emotionally loaded or vaguely defined words. Questionnaires that jump from one unrelated topic to another feel disjointed and are not likely to produce high response rates. Remember who your audience is and write your questionnaire for them. Worse than that. Does not use unfamiliar words or abbreviations. Follows comfortably from the previous question. and very few respondents will take the time and effort to look it up. Transitions between questions should be smooth. An example of branching is: BUSINESS COMMUNICATION C. If there is any doubt at all.B. the following question assumes the respondent knows what Proposition 13 is about. therefore. It’s the best report I’ve read Since almost all responses would be choice B. Writing a questionnaire is similar to writing anything else. Produces variability of responses. 180 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. While branching can be used as an effective probing technique in telephone and face-to-face interviews. most. Do not use uncommon words or compound sentences.

There are no definitive answers whether or not to personalize cover letters (i. Justify why the respondent should complete the questionnaire. 2. Encourage prompt response without using deadlines.S. In order to successfully complete this task. altruism is not sufficient justification. How much did you spend last year for life insurance ? ______ 12. Explain why the person receiving the pre-letter was chosen to receive the questionnaire. Other investigators. They are an excellent (but expensive) way to increase response. 1. This becomes especially problematic when asking respondents to assign a percentage to a series of items. have reported that personalization has no effect on response. however. If an incentive will be included with the questionnaire. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION These questions could easily be rewritten as one question that applies to everyone: 1. Traditionally. These rates are too low to yield confident results. but more often. It is important to maintain a friendly tone and keep it as short as possible. thereby contributing to a respondent’s trust. Mention inclusion of a stamped.. Ethnic sounding names and the status of the researcher (professor or graduate student) do not affect response. Questions asking respondents to rank items by importance should be avoided. Some researchers have found that personalized cover letters can be detrimental to response when anonymity or confidentiality are important to the respondent. It is commonly believed that a handwritten postscript (P. Flattering the respondent in the cover letter does not seem to affect response. 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. Altruism or an appeal to the social utility of a study has occasionally been found to increase response. For most people.e. If the questionnaire can be completed in less than five minutes. the respondent must mentally continue to re-adjust his answers until they total one hundred percent. 4. A low response rate can be devastating to the reliability of a study. A meta-analysis of these studies revealed an aggregate increase in response rate of 7. opportunity to persuade the respondent to complete the survey. 4. Some researchers have found that personalized cover letters with hand-written signatures helped response rates. Do you currently have a life insurance policy ? (Yes or No) If How much is your annual life insurance premium ? _________ no. This is impressive and lends credibility to the study.1. Pre-notification Letters Many researchers have studied pre-notification letters to determine if they increase response rate. between 10 and 60 percent of those sent questionnaires respond without followup reminders. When sample sizes are small. self-addressed return envelope. 3. The signature of the person signing the cover letter has been investigated by several researchers. and the answers become less reliable. One investigator found that a cover letter signed by the owner of a marina produced better response than one signed by the sales manager. mention the inclusion of a free gift without specifically telling what it will be. 2. however. The importance of the cover letter should not be underestimated. This becomes increasingly difficult as the number of items increases. while another reported that hand-written signatures produced better response. One of the most powerful tool for increasing response is to use follow-ups or reminders. 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. the response rate can be increased by mentioning this in the cover letter. Pre-letters are seldom used in marketing research surveys.234 © Copy Right: Rai University . Give the name and phone number of someone they can call with questions. 1.7 percent. Describe why the study is being done (briefly) and identify the sponsors. the respondents name appears on the cover letter). it is not an effective motivator. The literature regarding personalization are mixed. Limiting the number of items to five will make it easier for the respondent to answer. The researcher needs to weigh the additional cost of sending out a pre-letter against the probability of a lower response rate. 3. The justification must be something that will benefit the respondent. every response really counts and a pre-letter is highly recommended. Two researchers reported that mimeographed signatures worked as well as a hand-written one. The literature is mixed regarding whether a hand-written signature works better than one that is mimeographed. 5. It provides an 11. more recent studies found no significant difference. Mention the incentive.) in the cover letter might increase response. Describe your “confidentiality/anonymity” policy. Another possibility is that a prenotification letter builds expectation and reduces the possibility that a potential respondent might disregard the survey when it arrives. so the need to follow up on nonrespondents is clear. the cover letter will affect whether or not the respondent completes the questionnaire. 181 Cover Letters The cover letter is an essential part of the survey. Pre-notification letters might help to establish the legitimacy of a survey. Explain how the results will be used. go to question 3 2. (A good incentive is a copy of the results). Does not ask the respondent to order or rank a series of more than five items. To a large degree. One older study did find an increase in response. 6.

ball-point pens. However. Questions that use the same response formats.1 percent and 7. Others have reported that responses became more distorted when subjects felt threatened that their identities would become known. it is believed that question-order effects exist in interviews. and that late respondents do not provide a suitable basis for estimating the characteristics of nonrespondents. A subject is more likely to respond if they are involved and interested in the research topic. order to avoid response contamination. A few researchers have reported that question-order does not effect responses. Others have found that late responders answer differently than early responders. More important than length is question content. It is important. or a donation to a charity in the respondent’s name. The Length of a Questionnaire As a general rule. Other researchers have reported that when specific questions were asked before general questions. one study used extrapolation to estimate the magnitude of bias created by nonresponse. Questionnaires that jump from one unrelated topic to another feel disjointed and are not likely to produce high response rates. The only way to do a follow-up is to mail another survey or reminder postcard to the entire sample. It is not clear whether or not question-order affects response. The promise of an incentive for a returned questionnaire was not effective in increasing response. where increasing the amount of the incentive would have a decreasing effect on response rate. Another group of researchers argue that nonresponse should not be viewed as a continuum. respectively. The average increase in response rate for monetary and nonmonetary incentives was 19. Some researchers have reported that people who respond to surveys answer questions differently than those who do not. trading stamps. Grouping questions that are similar will make the questionnaire easier to complete. It is difficult to conduct an anonymous questionnaire through the mail because of the need to follow-up on nonresponders. postage stamps. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Anonymity and Confidentiality An anonymous study is one in which nobody (not even the researcher) can identify who provided data. education. long questionnaires get less response than short questionnaires. who examined a volunteer organization. and the respondent will feel more comfortable. Incentives Many researchers have examined the effect of providing a variety of nonmonetary incentives to subjects. Generally. and that the differences may be due to the different levels of interest in the subject matter. Questions should be meaningful and interesting to the respondent. participation in a raffle or lottery. identifying numbers on questionnaires are generally preferred to using respondents’ names.234 . Most researchers have found that higher monetary incentives generally work better than smaller ones. key rings. One researcher. but not in written surveys. 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. Writing a questionnaire is similar to writing anything else. However. or those that cover a specific topic. Nonresponse Bias Many studies have attempted to determine if there is a difference between respondents and nonrespondents.5 percent. and a meta-analysis revealed an aggregate gain of 3. When designing the follow-up procedure. Demographic characteristics of nonrespondents have been investigated by many researchers. The postcard serves as a reminder for subjects who have forgotten to complete the survey. Each question should follow comfortably from the previous question.9 percent. Transitions between questions should be smooth. Some researchers have suggested that it may be necessary to present general questions before specific ones in 182 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. In fact. Most investigators have found that the order in which questions are presented can affect the way that people respond. 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. while others have reported that it does. Some studies have shown that response rate is affected by the anonymity/confidentiality policy of a study. One study reported that questions in the latter half of a questionnaire were more likely to be omitted. Most studies have found that nonresponse is associated with low education. however. it is important for the researcher to keep in mind the unique characteristics of the people in the sample. ranging from fast responders to slow responders (with nonresponders defining the end of the continuum). and contained fewer extreme responses. should appear together. However. The most successful follow-ups have been achieved by phone calls. to explain why the number is there and what it will be used for. One researcher proposed a diminishing return model. Others have found that anonymity and confidentiality issues do not affect response rates or responses. where those conducting the study promise not to reveal the information to anyone. one researcher reported that demographic characteristics such as age.Researchers can increase the response from follow-up attempts by including another copy of the questionnaire. For the purpose of followup. Generally (although not consistently). it is possible to guarantee confidentiality. Many researchers have examined whether postcard follow-ups are effective in increasing response. These include token gifts such as small packages of coffee. and employment status were the same for respondents and nonrespondents. Most researchers view nonresponse bias as a continuum. Another study found that nonrespondents were more often single males. The vast majority of these studies show that a follow-up postcard slightly increases response rate. some studies have shown that the length of a questionnaire does not necessarily affect response. nonmonetary incentives have resulted in an increased response. 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 best advice is probably to use a “don’t know” option for factual questions. A meta-analysis of these studies revealed a small. or special delivery mail to send the questionnaire. 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. 11. therefore. Furthermore. Another possibility is that a business reply envelope might be perceived as less personal. The middle option of an attitudinal scale attracts a substantial number of respondents who might be unsure of their opinion. Researcher have also studied the “don’t know” option for factual questions. often. offering respondents a middle alternative in a survey question will make a difference in the conclusions that would be drawn from the data. Some investigators have suggested that people might feel obligated to complete the questionnaire because of the guilt associated with throwing away money—that is. but not for attitude questions. 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. Reply Envelopes and Postage A good questionnaire makes it convenient for the respondent to reply. “Undecided”. and $1 increased the response by 31 percent. Question Wording The wording of a question is extremely important. Many investigators have confirmed that slight changes in the way questions are worded can have a significant impact on how people respond. Therefore. Many researchers have reported increased response rates by using registered. This writer could find no studies that examined whether gummed labels would have a deleterious effect on response rate. 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. only to find a questionnaire. Surprisingly. Respondents are more likely to choose the “undecided” category when it was off to the side of the scale. respondents might legitimately not know the answer to a factual question. the effects of question wording are one of the least understood areas of questionnaire research. there is generally no difference in response rate depending on the inclusion or exclusion of the “don’t know” option. aggregate difference of 1. While a deadline will usually reduce the time from the mailing until the returns begin arriving. First impressions are important. It is not clear whether a typed or hand-addressed envelope affects response. Words like usually. Envelopes with bulk mail permits might be perceived as “junk mail”. or less personal. There is still a controversy surrounding the “don’t know” response category. and thus will be reflected in a lower response rates. 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. must be careful not to lead the respondent into giving a desired answer. Several investigators have looked at the effects of modifying adjectives and adverbs. an aggregate effect of 6. Several authors have reported that minor changes in question wording can produce more than a 25 percent difference in people’s opinions. conducted at the University of Minnesota. Unfortunately. 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.8 percent. and the respondent’s first impression of the study usually comes from the envelope containing the survey. we might predict that color would have a positive impact on response because of its uniqueness. and may even reduce the response. Unlike attitude questions. Notification of a Cutoff Date Several researchers have examined the effect of giving subjects a deadline for responding. Mail surveys that include a self-addressed stamped reply envelope get better response than business reply envelopes. but significant.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 183 . the postage stamp. A meta-analysis of these studies revealed that the aggregate difference was slightly less than one percent. unimportant. Researchers strive for objectivity in surveys and. One study. This writer could also find no studies that examined whether the color of the envelope affects response rate.incentive of 25¢ increased the response rate by an average of 16 percent. the research suggests that the “don’t know” option should not be included in factual questions. In another meta-analysis on nine studies. The results of these studies suggest a small increase in response favoring a stamped envelope. Questions that exclude the “don’t know” option produce a greater volume of accurate data. Several researchers have found that the physical location of the middle alternative can make a difference in responses. Frequently. The “don’t know” option allows respondents to state that they have no opinion or have not thought about a particular issue. while professors responded better to typed addresses. and “Neutral” Response Options Response categories are developed for questions in order to facilitate the process of coding and analysis. Many studies have looked at the effects of presenting a “don’t know” option in attitudinal questions. A few researchers have also examined whether metered mail or stamps work better on the outgoing envelope. There are also different response patterns depending on whether the midpoint is labeled “undecided” or “neutral”. sometimes. reported that students responded better to handaddressed postcards. it appears that it does not increase response. Others have pointed out that using a business reply permit might suggest advertising to some people. certified. or separated from the scale) can change response patterns. The wisdom of using these techniques must be weighed against the consequences of angering respondents that make a special trip to the post office. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION The “Don’t Know”. The physical placement of the “undecided” category (at the midpoint of the scale. One possible explanation is that a cutoff date might dissuade procrastinators from completing the questionnaire after the deadline has past.

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

written or oral communication from individual study participants • Its intended function is to obtain meaningful responses from study participants.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 185 .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. • Survey item or question measures such as: • Attitudes • Beliefs • Behaviors • Demographics The Questionnaire Development Process 11.

• Question should be brief.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.234 . • Question should not ask the respondent to recall specifics when only generalities will be remembered. • Question should use respondent’s core vocabulary. No “double-barreled” questions. • Question should not require the respondent to guess a generalization. you do the math. • Question should be interpreted the same way by all respondents. • Question should be a grammatically simple sentence if possible. no ambiguity in word meaning. Developing Questions “Should Nots” of Question Wording • Question should not assume criteria that are not obvious. 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. also. Keep wording simple. • Question should not be beyond the respondent’s ability or experience. • Question should not use a specific example to represent a general case.

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. • Pretest the entire survey process. 10 percent or more. change order of Q’s • Less than 10 percent change no new pretest. “10 percent change pretest rule” • Changes: add Q’s.).BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Precoding the Questionnaire Computer-Assisted Questionnaire Design • Precoding: placement of numbers on the questionnaire to represent answers. 2. etc. file building. data gathering (mail. pretest again 11. You work at The Taj Mahal Hotel. 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. sample draw. 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. coding. phone. online. Design a feedback form to be completed by visitors to any of your many coffee houses/ restaurants. New Delhi as a Sales and Marketing Executive. editing. data entry. including the questionnaire: sampling frame. modify Q’s. delete Q’s.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 187 . and preliminary analysis • Questionnaire pretest: 20-40 questionnaires. Prepare a suitable questionnaire.

I am sure you are very familiar with this term ‘meeting’. To report on some activity or experience 3.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. association meetings. Indian executives too. it is to be noted. spent half of their time in meetings. Promotions Committee. Informal Meetings Informal meetings are not restricted by the same rules and regulation as formal meetings. For example the marketing manager. 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. Like their Western counterparts. sales manager. They facilitate exchange of information.000 a year. In the United States. Similarly. Annual General Meeting (AGM) AGM’s are held once a year to assess the trading of the organization over the year . They facilitate direct. Such meetings may take the form of brainstorming or discussion sessions where strict agendas may not be necessary and minutes may not be kept. However. making suggestions and proposals. in many organizations spend a large part of their working day in company meetings. Booz. Companies are required by law to hold these statutory meetings Board Meetings Board meetings are held as often as individual organizations require. as reported in the press. In addition to these. Similarly. can be cleared through meetings with the people concerned. report of progress reports. meetings with the computer or EDP personnel facilitate detailed and effective planning of the Y2K or any such contingency planning and preparedness strategies. To obtain assistance 6. etc. To give information to a group of people 5. These meetings are attended by a group of managers who may need to discuss a specific matter. To coordinate or arrange activities 2. More importantly. Man-agement Committee. review meets. 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. clarifying concepts and clearing confusion. they help in elaborating ideas. in India too. circulars. business meets. All shareholders are invited to intend the GM but they must be given 21 days notice. directives. Recovery Committee. at an average salary of$50. Allen and Hamilton. Meetings enable face-to-face contact of a number of people at the same time. and Legal Committee which take decisions and that is why it becomes necessary to organize many meetings. And that a large proportion of this time was wasted on useless discussions. targets. and so on. face-to-face communication and are essential at various levels in all organizations. politi-cal maneuvering Need and Purpose of Meetings 1. Systems Committee. if any. the consult-ants advised organizations not to call a meeting that costs $10. Meeting at What Cost A recent study conducted by the American management consultants. They are attended by all directors and chaired by the Chairman of the board. staff meetings. it is usually considered good business practice for an 188 and personal conflicts.000 for a deci-sion that is worth $1000. They provide a useful opportunity for sharing information. To put forward ideas or grievances for discussion 4. Audit Committee. there can be customer meets.e the minimum number of people who should be present in order to validate the meeting. Statutory Meetings Statutory meetings are called so that the directors and shareholders ca communicate and consider special reports. i. But in business meetings is an effective and efficient tool in the communication process. With such meetings a quorum must be present. Based on their study. taking decisions and obtaining instant feedback.234 . concluded that 299 managers. dealer meets. decisions are made by groups of managers or executives rather than by individual top management functionaries. we have various committees in organizations like the Credit Committee. Misunderstandings arising from unclear memos. © Copy Right: Rai University 11. created on account of ambiguous and incomplete verbal and vocal messages. managers meets. usually by the company secretary. fostering of team spirit and commitment to common goals and objectives. production manager and research and development manager may meet to discuss the launch of a new product being launched soon. A formal record of these meetings must be kept . These are just two examples of the ways in which meetings can be of use to serve a vital communication need in an organization. Meetings Meetings are the most popular method of interactive communication. 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.

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

Also. air conditioners. some advance planning and enqui-ries will certainly help better attendance at meetings. 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. 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. etc. As we have seen in the earlier chapters. projectors. etc. hinders effective communication. extraneous sounds. lunch. etc. While it may not be possible to totally avoid overlapping in all cases. microphones.234 . While reasonable advance intimation for any meeting facilitates better atten-dance. 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. 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. A notice in advance will ensure that participants get adequate opportunity to schedule or reschedule their en-gagements. any notice sent months in advance or much earlier will have to be necessarily followed up with subsequent reminders. physical barriers such as non-availability of sound systems. The meeting room should lave all the physical facilities-fans. With so many meetings taking place there is bound to be considerable demand for meeting halls and conference rooms. The venue of the meeting should be fixed up obviously well before the meeting notices are dispatched. need to be mentioned. cramped seating. The date and time should be fixed taking into account holidays. day.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 190 Company name and committee name AURORA HODDINGS plc SOCIAL CLUB Notice states place. that ensure minimum comfort for the members and facilitate uninterrupted deliberations. details such as arrangements for breakfast.

ensure cost effectiveness. conveyance. Sometimes. listen and interact in a responsible manner. or personal clash. 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. They can be very cost effective means of intensive interaction. etc. When participants learn to talk. room bookings. projectors are functioning. • Refreshments and catering as are appropriate to the meeting • Checking flight arrivals. 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. Role of the Chairperson The Chairperson. reminding the Chairman and other members. If. air conditioners. the following items: • Venue arrangements such as ensuring that the meeting hall is ready and open well in time. It is common fact that sometimes discussions in meetings tend to revolve too much on insignificant or irrelevant topics. When meetings are either long or very frequent. physical facilities and other arrangements for refreshments. Meetings. some of the participants may tend to dominate the deliberations. A little extra care will avoid much embarrassment at the time of meeting. and table items are placed. it should be reiterated that meetings. 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 mayor may not speak out freely and contribute to the deliberations. change of venue. The checklist should include. etc. At the same time. during and after the meeting. obtaining approval for the same and their dispatch • Timely intimation of postponement. end on time and provide adequate time for proper deliberation of all listed items. fans. A situation where the convenor is still in consultation with the chairman of the meeting. all the agenda items slated for discus-sion are duly taken up for deliberation. The chairperson or the convenor who should play a complementary role in conducting the meetings. meet-ings that start with undue delay. leaving much less time for deliberating on the most important topics. Time Management Time management is of essence in ensuring the effectiveness of meetings. checking whether all equipments such as mikes. The Chairperson ensures that as far as possible. meetings can be really result-oriented. Through his experience. Also the participants’ time is important and cannot be taken for granted. ensuring that all papers have reached the participants. To conclude. He or she has to ensure punctuality and effective time management. during the course of delibera-tions. members get into a war of words. special invitees. It would be desirable to maintain a checklist of items to be checked at various stages Le. 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. Partici-pants in all the meetings are the people and people management will have to be done smoothly. 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. should intervene and bring in the much needed sense of proportion. which start on time. wit and wisdom. he brings in authority and decisiveness to the deliberations. 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. well past the scheduled start-ing time. Checklist For Meetings The convenor or the secretariat for the meetings will have to take responsibility for the success of the meetings. when conducted effectively. the chairperson will have to use his or her skill in resolving such conflicts without hurting the people concerned. In other words. They have to invariably give attention to details and ensure that everything is in order. On the contrary. • Changes to be effected in the composition of the members or participants.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 191 . among others. the convenor or the secretary and senior members have a vital role to play in conducting the meetings effectively. etc. Keeping the venue open. secretariat brings in the much-needed professional approach in conducting meetings. before. the chairperson ensures that discussions do not stray. it should be borne in mind that although the people participating are knowledgeable. could bring in substantial benefits in resolving even sensitive matters through collective wisdom.venue to another.. not giving an opportunity to others to express themselves. some time may have to be spent in warming up 9r refreshing the participants or what may be called unwinding. • 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. While providing the freedom for expressing views on items taken up for deliberation. providing pens and pads. cancellation. etc. On_ tan “assess the efficiency level of an organization in terms of effectiveness of the meetings conducted at various levels. • 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. it takes conscious efforts and attention to details in ensuring that meetings are effective. 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.

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

list them. 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. time. .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. or individuals are appointed to carry out the Same main headings as the chosen action. Point out error in 4. 8 ANNUAL DINNER AND DANCE Discuss date and venue. departments. 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.234 193 .1 . “I think this is what should be done. You might begin your statement of the conclusion by saying “You have agreed. 7 PURCHASE OF TENNIS EQUIPMENT Aileen Forster to report on new tennis equipment needed for July tournament.Two functions after the meeting are distribu-tion of the minutes and-most important-seeing that responsible committees. .200 should read £ 12. Appointments may be made then or announced later in a memo regarding the action. Reference and date © Copy Right: Rai University 11. this section during the Copies of the minutes your secretary or assistant prepared should be sent to the meeting participants soon after the meeting.” or It’s my interpre-tation that we have approved” rather than..£1.. ideas for programme and appoint person in charge.(conclu-sion) clearly and definitely. Make some statement about how the solution the group decided on will be carried out. Also future match schedule.. 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. They usually should include: • Name of the organization. preferably in order to importance.. 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.”or “You have suggested. Follow-up after the meeting . if any. 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.. department.” If the group arrived at several conclusions. or group • Date. 7.

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

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

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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a line of reasoning. If you do not have such help. In addition. The mindset of the reader must be changed before they can be successful. we should note that they are a most controversial area of business communication. We can only suggest that you follow your conscience and practice good business ethics in whatever you do. and usually they are blessed. You will need to consider these objections any time you use this sales medium. Called ‘ junk’ mail. And you must do it convincingly. color. With the use of artwork. If time does not permit you to do 11. and culture. you must present facts and logical reasoning that supports your case. you must know about the product or service you are selling. then. You must persuade the reader that he or she should grant the request before making the request. separate listings. 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. Our goal in the following paragraphs is to show you how to write sales messages. Moe specifically. • Compose sales messages that gain attention. the resistance is real. education. develop convincing reasoning and close with goodwill and action. and what it will not do.LESSON 30: SALES MESSAGES UNIT 3 CHAPTER 7: PERSUASIVE COMMUNICATION Upon completing this lesson. and the other pieces carry the supporting details.real ones. there are steps reputable advertisers can take to minimize this resistance. Typically. Especially will it help you in writing other business messages. You will have to decide whether and when sales mes-sages should be written. and effectively drive for action Persuasive messages generally are written in the indirect order. age. foldouts. they must be successful. perhaps broken down into distinct subtopics in boxes. In business. you should see why. Sales techniques are more valuable to you than you might think. you might ask. After you have stud-ied the remainder of this lesson. In particular. deliberate approach. and so on combine to. what it will do. Such a presentation requires that you begin by developing a plan. for in a sense most of them involve selling something-an idea. Why. But usually a letter is the main piece.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 201 . Maybe the rage results from the fact that mass mailings place a heavy burden on Internet providers. We take no stand on the issue. Even so. and such the total email package can be as complete and attractive as the comparable direct-mail package. brochures. form a coordinated message. persuasively present appeals. After you have studied the following material. how it works. driving up costs to the users. Probably you know from your own experience that direct-mail sales literature is not always received happily. that is. email sales messages have generated strong resistance among email users. Angrily referred to as “spam” unsolicited. As we shall note later. These professionals achieve their status by practic-ing long and hard. Sales efforts by email also use support information. You simply cannot sell most goods and services unless you know them and can tell the prospects what they need to know. It carries the main message. Achieving this change require indirectness. Planning the Structure As you probably know from experience. To reach this goal. a marketing research department or agency typically gathers in-formation about prospective customers. most direct-mail sales efforts consist of a number of pieces. Before prospects buy a product. for the direct mail business has survived for over a century. Requests that are likely to be resisted require a slow. customers. Sales messages sent by email appear to be creating even more hostility among intended. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION indirectly. usually enough to give the reader all that is needed to complete a sale. you should have a general idea of how to sell by the written word. their goals run contrary to the reader’s wishes. 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 . Anything else you know about them can help their economic status. you will need to gather this information on your own. Perhaps it is because these messages clutter up inboxes. Or perhaps the fact that they invade the reader’s privacy is to blame. they may want to know how it is made. the better you will be able to adapt your sales message. with a special talent for writing. Sales Messages Questioning the Acceptability of Sales Messages As we begin our discussion of sales messages. 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. or such. Clearly. you should know about their needs for the product or service. yourself. Knowing the Product or Service and the Reader Before you can begin writing.” Whatever the explanation. you will able to use persuasion effectively in making requests and composing sales messages. The information may be in the basic mes-sage. leaflets. font selection. profes-sional writers usually write them. you should know your readers. While they do not necessarily involve bad news. nationality. The more you know about your readers. your company. a letter. these mailings often go into the wastebasket without being read. Or it may be in links or attachments skillfully arranged by subtopics. In large businesses. a first step in sales writing is careful study of your product or service.

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

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

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

234 © Copy Right: Rai University 205 . q As logical follow -up. Copyright © 2002 by The McGrawHill Companies. All rights reserved.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 3 5 5 Preliminary Considerations à Writing Persuasive Requests q Your Goal: Ask for something reader likely to oppose. - 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. Inc. q Present strategy (persuasion). - 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. All rights reserved. using persuasive language & you-viewpoint. Copyright © 2002 by The McGrawHill Companies. Inc. Inc. q You must develop strategy that w/convince reader to comply. - Closing 11. All rights reserved. Inc. - 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. make request clearly & without negatives. Copyright © 2002 by The McGrawHill Companies.

hearing) q Rational: Appeals to thinking mind (save money. 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. All rights reserved.234 . make money. All rights reserved. - Copyright © 2002 by The McGrawHill Companies. Inc. All rights reserved. - 206 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. - 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.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 7 7 9 9 Determining the Appeal 2-Broad Categories: q Emotional: Appeals to the senses (feeling. All rights reserved. Inc. smelling. 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. tasting. do better job. Inc.

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

and illogical or unsubstantiated claims. etc. 208 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. newsworthy and impartial 2. Appeal to human interest 3.avoid the padded quotes by company officers. they come across as biased. even if they are experts. 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. as the name suggests. • Honest . Reporters. On of the aims of PR is to influence the general public through the mass media. here are some guidelines to follow.234 . much of what you read in newspapers. company trends. information . and they often depend on releases to tip them off to new and unusual products. stick to the facts. the average editor receives as many as several hundred press releases each week. consider Public Relations The public relations (PR) function in any organization is usually carried out by staff who have specialized in this sector. 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. magazines.editors receive hundreds of press releases a week (perhaps more) and appreciate releases that are brief and to the point. 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. The job of the PR person in nay organization is to constantly on the lookout for newsworthy events.stick to logical and substantiated claims. If used. and other developments. 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. A press release is not an advertisement but it can result in useful publicity for the company issuing the release. Public relations. 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. Unfortunately.a good way to ensure your press release ends up in the wastebasket is: bad spelling. which a company sends to the press and other media about anything. the cheapest. sponsorship. and producers are hungry for news. Be factual. services . is all about the relationship between the organization and the general public. Public relation is a part of the marketing function and press release is a part of the PR activity. statements of belief: we’re the best. • Well-written . there are things you can do to improve your chances. The biggest obstacle to most press releases is the release itself. Effective PR material will: 1. products. you must have studied about the role of public relations in marketing. hear on the radio or see on television originated in press release form. exhibitions. • Timely .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. In fact. which it considers to be newsworthy. television. e.g newspapers. it should be • Concise . Be appropriately distributed 5. poor grammar. radio. • Factual . Contain up-to-date information 4. tips and hints. avoiding Students.if your press release isn’t topical. or trade publications. editors. A press release is an announcement.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 11.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 223 .

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

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

an affordable. The paper is then heated until the plastic powder melts leaving a raised ink which you can feel. Time. Raised Ink Versus Engraving Ordinary printing simply stamps ink rolled on lead type onto the paper. that’s for people with no taste. Similarly. This is a custom invitation. the finest invitations are engraved. Type of event (birthday party. and engraving? Consider this. (Such invitations are often in the region of tens to hundreds of dollars each. These are simply the traditional assets from the old days. you can print all of these things on your computer. even with moveable layouts. while adhering to all the ‘old stuff’. Date.The first appearance of the printed invitation was probably for large events hosted by wealthy industrialists wishing to exploit ‘new technology’. But today’s engraving plates are made by first producing a photographic plate of the wording using a typesetting machine. By printing your own. tissues. with guest. Is raised ink or engraving important? No. hand written invitation? You can see that over the years. Your invitation is mass produced and is not directed to the recipient. The plastic powder absorbs the ink color. pop-ups. commercially printed invitation. Even better. What is not so apparent is that raised ink is a cheap alternative to engraving. etc. Unlike ordinary printing. again tried to mimic the quality open only to the very wealthy. . But wait . Gradually. these can be three dimensional with multiple layers of paper. Place. . So if you are upper-crust. 5. or with spouse and children. these factors coalesce to give you and I. Contents 1. This served a second purpose. you are about as close to truly following the original intent of the invitation as you will ever be. technology on has given you the ability to mimic the old traditions. Be specific about who is invited. engraving actually cut the surface of the paper. what about emailing those invitations? Sorry. 4. outers. Else why would we stick with inners. It permitted the printed invitation to emulate hand writing since engraved copper plates were made by hand. 2. Since printer’s ink took some time to dry. Was it simply a mark to clearly show that the invitation was printed using a new and fascinating technology . the most important aspect of the invitation has been ignored. 226 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Movable lead type is replaced by computers with a wide variety of lettering styles. whether addressee only. Rain date (if any). 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. engraving was a less time consuming way to mimic true handwriting.) BUSINESS COMMUNICATION The Tissue Technological advances in the design of the printing press increased the speed at which paper could be printed. custom or hand-drawn artwork. as each invitation was removed from the press. 8. you can go the full circle. . 9.234 . envelope seals. Along comes a cheap version of engraving called Thermography or ‘raised ink’ printing. requires an artisan to “hand write” in reverse into a metal plate using a carving tool. You can print invitations each including the Guest’s name as part of the wording and you can do this with your computer. 3. Us lesser folk. To this day. Any special dress requirements from black-tie to bathing suits. these were just technological innovations. Some fonts even mimic calligraphic lettering styles. Engraving. the inclusion of the tissue continues to this day. Typically. is a method of printing which retains a very high quality replica of drawn or sketched artwork. The calligrapher will hand write your wording and address your envelopes. . as opposed to the ‘old fashioned hand written’ invitation? In any event. The thermography process. you must purchase the finest paper and hire an artist and a calligrapher. envelope seals are the mass produced equivalent for replacing the hot wax seal. When the printed paper is removed from the press with wet ink. or doors. They then elected to have their invitations “engraved”. It produces very sharp and distinctive inking. your invitations are engraved and printed on only the finest paper stock. The artist will personalize your invitation with a hand drawing on each. This plate is then used to expose a sensitized copper plate which is then acid etched. If you and I could afford ordinary printed invitations. called fonts. Mimic the Elite and Stick with Tradition Now you know why there are inner envelopes and why there are tissues. Their name is MISSING!!! Today. But consider this. raised ink. a tissue was place over it so that the next invitation laid on top would not pick up the ink from the one below. business networking meeting. there is one more form of the invitation. 6. 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. It is a messy process and does not produce very high quality lettering. on the other hand. a plastic powder is sprayed on the wet ink and then blown off. not to be outdone. One could guess the answer. If you want the finest invitations possible. then the socially elite needed to distance themselves from such an abomination. as the name implies. 7. One might ask why it became common place to send invitations with this ‘protective’ tissue still in place. Three Dimensional Hand Made Invitations To be complete. Names of party hosts or sponsoring organization. unlike engraving used ordinary lead type washed with ink. RSVP date and phone number. hand made and assembled. Or are there New Technologies What of the truly old fashioned.). Lithography.

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

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

1999 Time: 11:30 am to 3:00 pm Where: 345 Eastern Avenue New Delhi Call Tania at (307) 555-1234 to RSVP 11. May 22. 1999 New Friends Colony club New Friends Colony. games. 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. Calcutta Food.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 229 . Date: Saturday June 12. and entertainment will be provided. drink.Business Invitation Longman's Transportation Services Cordially invites you to the 15 Annual Employees Appreciation Picnic.

. an RSVP is not included. Mr. and Mrs. Allen Johnson • If a widow: Mrs.” “Grandmother..” • If the couple lives together. • Print names with the appropriate titles: Mr. whether you want them or not. and Mrs.e. or a married couple with different names.Dr. Katrina Ross Mr.).M. Susan Smith (as opposed to using her ex- Reverend. • Use full addresses with no abbreviations. Mr..” You may also choose to write “three o’clock in the afternoon” or “seven o’clock in the evening” etc. etc. such as the case may be in a large city.” “Road.Messrs. Eliza Tondon) • Print the list of names with the appropriate titles: Mr.Reverend . such as titles. and Mrs.. worship unless the guests are unfamiliar with it’s location.” for married guests. .234 . except for commas after the day of Envelopes and Addressing Addressing the Inner Envelope Write the guests’ names only.. • Spell out the addressee’s middle name if you are going to include it.Captain .Wording Etiquette When writing wedding invitations keep these rules close in mind: • There is no punctuation.” are never used. 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. Use “Mr.. use both full names: Dr.Miss . have family and friends spread this message.” etc. If you do not want gifts. and Mrs.Ms. “Aunt Mehra.. John Smith • If divorced: Mrs. address the envelope to both parties: people’s names and titles. • For children over 13 and living at home. . otherwise leave it out. Mr. 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. Doctor is usually written in full unless the name following is quite long. including Mr.) ________________________________________________ (day and date written out) _______________________________________________ at (time. use their full names and join BUSINESS COMMUNICATION the week and periods after abbreviations such as Jr. • “A. Amit Rai and Ms. Mr. Honorable. . Melissa Shaw • Under 13 Mr. • Avoid the expression “and family. Complete times with “o’clock.Lieutenant . written out) ________________________________________________ (place. Messrs.Rabbi Fr. living at home with parents: Mr. Bernard Shaw Melissa • If inviting two people sharing a home or living together. .Honourable . • Do not mention anything about gifts on your invitations.Mrs. and names of the day and month.M. Rabbi.” “Drive. Lieutenant.e. Matthew and Kate) . Always spell out “Street.” and “P. Addressing the Outer Envelope • Avoid the expression “and family. • All dates and times are spelled out. and Mrs.” • For a married couple. Doctor. and family names for relatives (i. etc. and Mrs. Bernard Shaw Ms. . Miss. they receive their ceremony only.etc. • When sending invitations to guests invited to the wedding husbands first name).. Ms. • No words are capitalized except proper nouns.e. Fr.. first names for children under 13 years old (i.” • Do not include the address of the church or place of them with an “and” (i. Peter Campbell 230 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. Captain.” and “Boulevard.. place names. Mrs.

earache. Your company. Here is an invitation which I received. Student’s this will be a very interesting class where in you need to use your creativity in designing invitations and leaflets. Practice Nurses and Health Visitors = role developed to bridge the gap between medical and nursing care. Delhi . Design either a leaflet (either A4 size. Unfortunately Dr Long cannot attend the cocktail reception as he will be overseas on a business trip. Follow my instructions and prepare a reply.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. 3. To help to meet this aim there is a team of fully qualified and trained practice 11. They see anyone with minor illnesses (some throats. Nursing Team always works closely with Doctors to ensure best possible care for all. Arora Holdings.30 pm at the Park Royal Hotel. diarrhea and vomiting. Practice Nurses are available Mon – Fri 8. Write a letter to be signed by the Managing Director – Harshvardhan Sharma – to one of your customers (make up the details). 6. minor traumas. of Temple House. 1.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 231 . Temple Street. Tues/Thurs 4. Mon/ Wed/Fri 2. sticky eyes) Doctors = more time for more serious consultations. Prepare a reply from Doctor Anthony Long of Orchard Medisave Pte Ltd. 2. You work at a local health center where the aim is to provide a high standard of service for all patients. or fold A4 into three to make a six sided leaflet) to issue to patients at the health center. has recently appointed a new office manager – Mr Anurag Purie – who will replace Mr Abhishek Mehta. coughs / fever / asthma. 4.00. Your company will be opening its new branch in a nearby town next month and is arranging a cocktail reception to mark the occasion.00-6.00-6. It is to be held on 14 October at 7. New Delhi . Prepare an invitation. 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.15. Prepare a reply accepting the invitation from one of the clients.00. which can be printed to send to a number of special clients. Invite the customer and his partner to a reception to mark Mr Purie’s retirement and to introduce Mr Mehta to them. Akbar Lane. Calcutta RSVP by 15 th May 1998 5.30-12. You have been asked to design a leaflet to highlight the work of the nursing team.

I must prepare the list of items to be discussed at the meeting. These are all exercise in summarizing. Provide synonyms for each of the following words (remember that very often more than one word could be used): 1. 3. As a result (1) 7. 12. In modern times (1) 6. form or flow chart Complete ’reformulation’ tasks involving expanding. 14. 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. an article for the staff newsletter. which are long winded and could be expressed in a simpler or shorter way. 4. 18. 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. Equipment should be checked (2) 14. Use the number of words shown in brackets: 1. 4. Summaries in business may be written in the form of an advertisement or notice. 10. 8. 1. It is to this type of more realistic exercise. 5. 9. 19. The next meeting of the board is coming up soon. which took place and the decision made.LESSON 36: REFORMULATING AND SUMMARISING • • • • UNIT 4 CHAPTER 9 : REFORMULATING AND SUMMARISING Complete ‘look and write’ production tasks involving labeling a diagram. Always bear in mind (1) 9. When goods have been purchased. it is used to send out an itemized statement informing the buyer of the quantity. It is something most of us have done throughout our school days. The written summary will not be new to you. 232 5. it is very rare in business to be asked to do a straightforward continuous prose summary. which an employee may very well be asked to perform in the business world. Make a record of all appointments (3) 15.234 . A lot of (1) 10. a handout for issue to trainees. She is not interested in work – only in tennis. At all times (1) 11. It appears that (1) 3. The same amount of (1) 5. you must produce the accurate transcript of the accurate transcript of the main discussions. 3. This type of ‘business summary’ will be discussed in more detail later. Put up with (1) 4. Because of this (1) 8. This exercise will help you be aware of such expressions and spot them. Reduce the expressions shown without changing the meanings. which many examiners are now turning in order to provide realistic tasks. hockey. When the meeting is over. One Word for Many Summarizing means saying the same thing but in not so many words. golf – anything requiring physical activity. 7. The person who greets visitors to an organization must portray a good impression. Huge Afraid Regularly Retain Impression Accurate Honesty Specimen Common Immune 11. 15. Certain Vital Price Desire Apparent Inquisition Objective Reluctant Inadequate Terminate 2. In these sentences replace the section in italics by providing just one word. Owned by private individuals (2) 13. 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. This exercise is designed to give you practice in choosing synonyms for words. picking out relevant and important information and then presenting it in an appropriate manner. 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. when summarizing. However. description and price of the goods which were bought. and others like them. swimming. 6. 16. 20. Reducing Phrases There are many expressions in the English language. 13. 2. At the beginning of each day (2) 12. © Copy Right: Rai University 11. 17. In the near future (1) 2.

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

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

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

Some people like the idea of there being no – one in authority over them. 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. as well as the chore of often having to get sown to work that you do not feel like doing at that particular time. if only you were your own boss. their effects can be far more upsetting. and as a pleasant way or earning extra money from work they like doing. Some are attracted to the idea of starting a small gardener tends his plot and makes a number of creating further growth. Main Points No – one to give you instructions Choose own hours/ working arrangements Self – employed status – directory? Independent. too. This is almost entirely misleading. Work becomes easier. If right for you – immeasurable benefits. Step 6 Produce your final summary by linking up the notes into full sentences. 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. If necessary. together with misconceptions. while at the same time. many of the petty irritations of life. say some people. I hope this helps you in giving your talk next week.Step 3 Read the passage carefully several times. like employees – wrong! Irritations also when you are boss – more often? Effects more upsetting! Conclusion Consider drawbacks carefully.Running Your Own Busines I have summarized the leaflet you gave to me. As with so much else in life. These occur just as much when you are your own master. worked is so much more pleasant. or days. others are based on completely false ideas. and that your income – is in your own hands. Running your own business gives you the status of being self employed perhaps also of being a company director. Some have good sense behind them. Many others want to set up a little business of their own ot occupy their spare time. Step 5 Get through your draft/ notes and make marginal notes regarding amendments / synonyms / rephrasing. Enc Step 4 Produce a rough draft or notes from the original. There is the general feeling of independence. Make sure your summary reads smoothly and is correct in spelling and punctuation. Step 7 Don’t forget to produce a brief covering memo for summaries of this nature. because you can get someone else to do the more difficult tasks. Count the words. yet this is an essential first step for anyone thinking about whether it is even practicable for him to be his own boss. though for the right kind of person. Finally. of works. make further amendments. no annoyances. There is a feeling that. 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. You can get someone else to do the less interesting jobs and you are not bogged down in annoying details. they tend to happen much more often. This is attached. ask yourself if your summary is a satisfactory condensed version of the original. immeasurable benefits also. There are all kinds of reasons for wanting to be your own boss. 236 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. highlighting the important points. 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. missing the bus when you are in a hurry. telling them what to do. turning down their ideas. listing the main points about being your own boss. Being the boss seems glamorous – thinking that life would be better if no mundane chores. Memorandum To Ref Mrs Anita Sharma. If your are your own boss. feeling tired or in other ways not really up to working hard At the moment. referring to the instructions again to ensure you are picking out what is required. Managing Director GS / ST From : Rakesh Singh Date 12 july 19 . and so on.234 . Others are attracted by the thought of deciding their own hours. life would immediately become infinitely pleasurable and free from irksome details. In fact. and also if your summary could be used for the purpose mentioned in the instructions. saying their work is not up to standard. There are very real drawbacks to running your own business. These are just a few of the reason commonly given. running an enterprise of your own entails disadvantages as well as advantages. become associated with being an employee. or insisting on methods that seem pointless. It is surprising how rarely people stop to consider in real detail just what the drawbacks are. Remember that your summary should be expressed in your own words wherever possible.

including working hours. A simple picture of boxes or a spider diagram can often be helpful. outline the writer’s argument. What and When to Summarize Many student writers tend to quote when they should summarize material. 4. No wonder spectators fight amongst themselves. You obtain pleasure from seeing your company grow. client) wants to read it. 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. use complete sentences to describe an author’s general points to your reader.or make a diagram. [9 words] Further Readings Purposes of the summary Before you write the summary. If you quote. 16. general version of the original information. 17. standing. How to Summarize 1. damage stadiums. 6. 5. Use a pencil to highlight or underline what you take to be the main point of the original text. 15. 13. Summaries also show readers that you have understood the general point of a text. This proves that you can understand it. 14. You have no one to answer to. Some do not consider the drawbacks – a vital preliminary step. Write a sentence. 2. 4. Conclusion Consider the disadvantages carefully. Use a summary to present information. 3. In any case. If you’re summarizing an entire essay. Why shouldn’t the reader just read the original? Summaries benefit the reader because they offer a concise. most of such aggravations occur to employers as well as employees. Now tell your audience what the original source argued. It can fill your spare time and create income formwork you enjoy. Remember that it should be in your own words. 5. They sometimes challenge the rulings of the referee or linesmen in an offensive way which often deserves punishment or even sending off. 3. The summary should be written in your own words. A summary is a short version of a longer piece of writing. 11. rather than copying out parts of the original. 11. Summary is more economical than quotation because a summary allows the writer more control over the argument. you are plagiarizing material (presenting another person’s information as if it were your own). 10.in more detail. 1. and have self-employed may be director. Summary Conventions 1. However. 7. 2. Delegations is possible – of the simple and the laborious jobs. ven one word that the author used. boss. 9. or make notes in the margins or on another sheet of paper. Summarizing Tips 1. or take the law into their own hands by invading the pitch in the hope of affecting the outcome of the match. consider why your audience (professor. Quote only when the author expresses a point in a particularly telling or interesting language. and in this way. (115 words) Here is an Example Original At a typical football match we are likely to see players committing deliberate fouls. 3. Otherwise. You might need to summarize a passage as a ‘comprehension’ exercise. Some feel life would improve without the aggravations often encountered as an employee. Read the original passage or text very carefully. 6. summaries allow you to introduce knowledge within a research context: you can summarize someone’s argument in order to analyze or critique it. often behind the referee’s back. Don’t quote extensively. but puts them more briefly. You make your own choices. Look up any words or ideas you don’t know. Summarizing is a very useful skill when gathering information or doing research. the rewards are limitless. Then read it again . accountable for your own income. but with more disagreeable consequences. teachers can test your knowledge. Then write a paragraph which combines all the points you have made. Make a list of the main topics . which states the main idea of the original writing. summaries provide quick overviews of material. 8. 4.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 237 . It’s better to re-write. Use a summary to restate an entire argument. Finally. Summaries can range in length from two sentences to several pages. If it is for you. Underline or make notes of the main issues. [100 words] BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Misconceptions Summary Unsporting behavior by footballers may cause hooliganism among spectators. 2. If you fail to document the quotation. 2. You are self reliant. For a busy reader. The final summary should capture the main point of the original. The process of summarizing someone else’s material enables you to better understand that material. simply summarize. Read the original quickly. and try to understand the main subject. use quotation marks and document the quotation.Running Your Own Business Benefits 1. Use a highlighter if this helps. It contains all the main parts of the original. 12.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

but generally of 75 to 150 lines. Engerman. biological sciences and physical sciences. 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..f. For questions asking you to give the passage a title. The influence of Herbert Gutmanon Historians of Slavery in the US B..... And Genovese. But unlike these historians.. Herbert Gutman. based on its content? A. Gutman's explanation of how slaves could maintain a cultural Heritage anddevelop a communal consciousness C. one that correctly emphasizes the resources that slaves themselves possessed. like Fogel.. The passages are of varied lengths. Slavery in the US: New Controversy about an old subject D.. Gutman's study is significant because it offers a closely reasoned and original explanation of some of the slaves' achievements... Music. has rightly stressed the slaves‘ achievements. Sample Passage: In his 1976 study of slavery in the US.. social sciences.In sum. Which of the following is the most appropriate title for the passage.234 . look at the first and last lines of the passage for clues. Would supplements of minerals be harmful to someone who eats a balanced diet? BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Reading Comprehension Passages are taken from the humanities.(rest of the passage) . The Black family and extended kinship structure: How they were important for the freed slave 248 © Copy Right: Rai University 11.. The number of questions pertaining to a particular passage could range from 3 to 5. The Black heritage of Folklore. and Religious Expression: It's growing influence E.

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

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

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

. Production surpasses 2. If you cannot find the correct answer for negative specific details. Then read the passages whose topics are less familiar. London) a.and LEAST.. Two northeastern states. recognize examples. therefore. Description of the types of questions tested in the comprehension passages • Main idea questions test your understanding of the whole b. Sample Passage 1.5 million gallons.or is there just too much work? Well. who have made the transition with resounding success’? (4 marks) f. d. • Vocabulary questions ask you the meaning of a word or phrase within the context of the passage. The correct answer is usually a restatement of what is said in the whole passage. The sugar maple is commercially valued for its sap. in addition Emphasis words — more important.ever thinks we need encouragement . a degree of skill. In Canada. Quebec’s annual syrup 5. What effects is new technology having on the role of the secretary now? (6 marks) (Total: 30 marks) passage rather the individual parts. Making of maple syrup. To what phenomenon is the writer referring when she says’. To locate the correct answer to these types of questions. which is used in the 3. It can grow as tall as 100 feet and as wide as 2. a terrifying paragon who can speak five languages. • Language expression questions include pronouns and vocabulary questions. To what ‘transition’ is the writer referring when she Says ‘. and a few well-tried life’ saver tips .. • Pronoun questions ask you to spot the correct antecedent or Helpful Testing Hints More than 50% of the time. therefore Time words — meanwhile. on occasion.concentrate on the sentence(s) before and a few sentences after the pronoun appears. 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. Understand definitions. simply and clearly. the options that have the same words from the reading are almost always incorrect.. Vermont and New York. • Specific detail questions are based on the supports presented in the reading. find similar or unlike characteristics of two things or whatever. Some specific detail questions are negative and are singled by the words NOT. Superseded Inter alia Status quo iv) liaison (4 marks) Cause-and-effect words — as a result. EXCEPT.. Why does “the writer believe the secretarial workforce is made up mainly of women? (6 marks) e. not just a portion of it. Make a habit of reading the opening and closing statement of each paragraph. Sometimes the main idea or topic sentence comes at the end of the paragraph and. • Questions about the organization of the passage. They help you understand the relationship between the ideas within a paragraph(s).which is what this two-day seminar is all about. To make pure maple syrup. 4.. the phenomenon has been developed to a high degree’? (4 marks) c. The answers to these types of questions are not explicitly stated. The writer refers to a ‘secretary’ in one context as ‘. some firm priorities held well in view. in your own words. MOST . • Go over the passages with familiar subjects. Made in the trunk of the tree at the end of the winter or in early spring. or the following paragraph are not as common as the other types. take shorthand at 300 wpm while piloting a VC10 and run a press reception for 1000 before breakfast. learn what produces a result and what its effects are. Scan the passage to spot the key words for the specific details. the author’s point of view.with the aid of a philosophical acceptance of what you probably can’t change. the main idea of a passage is stated in the first sentence of the paragraph. 4 feet. The answers that cover specific details are either too narrow or too broad. Rank as major producers of maple syrup. • Inference questions ask you to draw a logical conclusion from what you read in the passage. I hope you enjoy it and I wish you luck! (Adapted from Super Secretary by Sally Denholm-Young. analogy. 252 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. ii. anywhere in the paragraph. holes are 6. Explain the meaning of the following. They may not be stated at all. iii. but simply implied. conversely Addition words — also. The most effective way to answer the main idea question is to ask yourself what the whole passage is about. eliminate the choices given in the reading and choose the choice that remains as the correct response.234 . (6 marks). you can take a deep breath and get cracking .’ Explain what you think her meaning is. before Contrast words — in contrast. remember • Watch for questions that test your knowledge of the BUSINESS COMMUNICATION relationships between the topic and the supporting ideas. published by Settle Press. understand explanations.. The sugar maple is a hard maple tree. as used in the passage: i. noun to which the pronoun refers to.

1. The correct response is (A). The word “its” in line 15 refers to BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 11. D. the best choice is (A). The passage is non-technical. The production technique is quite straightforward. Also popular for strength and finish of its wood. Lines 10-11 D. These types of questions are relatively easy to locate. For which of the following words does the author provide a definition? A. The answer to the question is not directly stated in the passage. 7. Early November to late December This is a specific detail question. (C) is the most logical choice according to the context. flooring. To examine the economic viability of a tree B. but time-consuming. It enhances the color. It increases the sugar content. Therefore. In lines 13-14. All of the following is true about boiling EXCEPT A. To be solidified This is a language expression question. the sap is ready to be strained and marketed. interior woodwork. (C). The choices (B) and (D) are both specific details but not the main idea of the passage. Has other additives. August to early October D. 8. It improves the flavor. even though mentioned in the passage. the choice (B) is inaccurate. Only the sugar maple (line 1) is defined. Late January through April B. The maple syrup found in the supermarkets. Lines 6-8 B. The choice (D) is incorrect considering the author is not persuading the reader to buy any specific product. are not defined. however. D. therefore. The higher the volume. Furniture (line 16) This specific detail question tests your understanding of a definition. 10. To persuade the reader to buy the product This inference question asks the author’s purpose. Pay attention that numbers are always in ascending order.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 253 . To list a number of the major producers of maple syrup C. B. The choices (B). The best answer is (C). To a tank kept in the sugar house. the collected sap is transferred into tubes that are hooked up 9. Content of the sap is about 65-66%. What can be inferred about the production of maple syrup? A. 6. A tank (line 9) C. 2. Where in the passage does the author first mentions the consistency of the sap? A. To provide a visual description B. sapping takes place at the end of the winter and in early spring. It reduces the shelf life of the syrup. To emphasize the use of the maple lumber in furniture and other products This is a general inference question. To be purified C. To be filtered D. the sugar maple tree 16. What is the main purpose of the passage? A. Additives (line 13) D. It is labor intensive. To illustrate the difference in quality D. is usually not pure and 13. Then the sap goes through the boiling process. 9. The question is based on the closest synonym for the phrase “to be strained. Line 9 C. It is rather simple. 12. B. This specific detail question is negative. This question tests your inference ability.7. 3. The choice (C ) is incorrect because the difference in quality is not a concern of the passage. Boiling enhances the flavor as well as adding color to the sap. According to the passage. Its processing demands complicated equipment. B. To make the reading more technical C. and (D). C. the phrase “to be strained” could best be replaced by A. the less predictable the quality is. In line 11. The choice (A) is inaccurate. and crates. C. Based on the information in the passage. Therefore. (A) is the best answer. The sugar maple (line 1) B. The color of pure maple may range from golden honey to 14. (A) is the best answer. what is the author’s purpose in mentioning “golden honey to light brown”? A. Light brown. 4. Once the sugar 11. eliminate all the choices A. but it takes time. Between 35 to 50 gallons of sap are needed to produce 1 gallon of 15. Like sap seeps through the holes and runs through a plastic spout that is put into 8. 5. therefore. To provide information on how maple syrup is made D. Most of the passage explains the technique used for making maple syrup. (D) is the correct choice. In order to answer it correctly. Maple syrup. Lines 14-15 This specific detail question directs you to the exact line and asks for the first occurrence of the word. Afterward. which of the following periods is ideal for sapping? A.” Even though all the choices are grammatically sound. and C that are used in the paragraph. May to late July C. The producers have to depend on the natural flow of the sap. To be tried B. The hole. Has been put to use in furniture.

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

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

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

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

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

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

’ Or it may be understood in English as the opposite of yes. 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. 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. or such. words have alone. The first translator translates the message into his or her language. This procedure involves using two translators. Some of their more troublesome problems are reviewed in the following pages. that a special dictionary of them has been compiled.not to say that other languages are not used in international business. in fact. Since many of these users have had to learn English as a second language. The best way. Overcoming such language problems is difficult. One of the most difficult problems to nonnative speakers of Eng-lish involves the use of two-word verbs. they are likely to use it less fluently than we and to experience prob-lems in understanding us. documents. break out. ‘Yes’ meaning a polite agreement with the negative question: ‘Yes. the second translation matches the original. “The Chinese yes. By two-word verbs we mean a wording con-sisting of (1) a verb and (2) a second element that. like the Japanese yes. Following are a. I do not agree with the clause. for Ara-bic is their common language. is to know more than one language well. take the verb break and the word up. For the same reason. few of them arranged by the more common words that combine with the verbs: BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Verb Plus “Away" . English is the primary language of international business. However. when an American says to a Chinese counterpart. Thus. For very important oral messages. produces a meaning that the verb alone does not have. Although we can take comfort from knowing that ours is the primary language of international business. For example. one with firstlanguage skills in one of the languages involved and one with first-language skills in the other “language. they are likely to use it.234 © Copy Right: Rai University . Dictionaries are of little help to nonnative who are seeking the meanings of these word combinations. you are right. in the words of one international authority. you might consider using a procedure called back translating. they are likely to use English. for they are. we must keep in mind that it is not the primary language of many of the who use it. of course. and the second translator then translates the message back into the original. “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. But the Chinese yes often means ‘I am listening. This is . 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. If the translations are good. When combined. When business executives from different countries have a common language. And look how the meaning changes when the same verb is com-bined with other words: break away. There are many two-word verbs-so many. 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. break down. ‘I see you don’t agree with this clause.’ the Chinese will usu-ally reply.that has an equivalent in all languages. Two-Word Verbs. when execu-tives have no common language. but the competence required is beyond the reach of most of us. can often be understood by Americans and British as their English yes. an executive from Venezuela would use Spanish in dealing with an executive from Mexico. combined with the verb. For example. break in. an executive from Iraq and an executive from Saudi Arabia would communicate with each other in Arabic. what-ever it may be.

Baseball has given us out in left field. answer the bell. It is apparent that we should use these word com-binations sparingly when communicating. cover-up. keep on put off take off come down go in. balk. a steal. get back. From football we have kickoff. below the belt. Words derived from our culture also present problems. and the like. lookout.with nonnative speakers of English. scram. be back Additional problems result from the fact that some two-word verbs have noun and adjective forms. and go to bat for. we should substitute for them words that appear in standard dictionaries. hobo. show-off. social affairs. and cool. But most are with us for a little while and then are gone. 11. but most are difficult for non-natives to understand. par. and tops of following decades. Exam-ples of such adjectives are going away (a going-away gift). hookup. Some slang expressions catch on and find a place in our dictionaries (brunch. The most apparent are the slang expressions that continually come into and go out of use. The obvious conclusion is that you should not use slang in crosscultural communication. stymie. nonnative studying English learn some of these word combinations. right off the bat. work. feedback. Some of these have similar meanings in other cultures. and takeover). down for the count.’ ace.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. When-ever possible. and sit-in. Similar to these words and expressions are words and expressions developed within our culture (colloquialisms). Following are some two-word verbs and suggested substitutes: Two-Word Verbs give up speed up. lousy. cleanup (cleanup work). 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. and on the ropes.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 261 . Fortunately. 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. More recent ones that are probably destined for the same fate include nerd. from scratch. bogus). Exam-ples of such shortlived slang expressions are the “twenty-three skiddoo” ‘and “oh you kid” of the 1920s and the ritzy. leave explode imagine solve go back. airhead. Examples of such nouns are breakthrough. pig out. couch potato. earth pig. take away remove return Suggested Substitutes surrender accelerate continue defer depart. ballpark figure. hurry up go on. Most slang words are not in dictionaries or on the word lists that non-English-speaking people study to learn English. Perhaps you are not aware of just how much slap we use. cover-up (cover-up tac-tjcs). and turningo f f (turning-off place). and over the top. strike out. remove descend enter Suggested Substitutes exit. Similar to and in fact overlapping slang are the words and expressions that we de-rive from our various activities-sports. come in. soused. you will need to use sparingly those that do not appear in standard dictionaries. You use them in your everyday communicating. off base. In writ-ing to nonnative readers. some nouns and adjectives of this kind are commonly used and appear in standard dictionaries (words such as hookup. natch. . Sports es-pecially have contributed such words. goal-line stand. for they are part of the English language. From boxing we have knockout. They are colorful. come out. many of which are so widely used that they are part of our everyday vocabulary. squid. which is all right. in the groove. and get the ball rolling. drive-in. wimp. touch base. These also tend to confuse nonnatives using English. From other: sports and from sports in general we have jock. blurb. squeeze play. get out blow up think up figure out take out. breakthrough. get in Two-Word Verbs go out. But many of them are not covered in language textbooks or listed in dictionaries. many of these words and expressions are apart of your vocabulary.

You will need to use words that are clearly defined in the dictionaries that these people are likely to use in translating your message. you should be aware of the problems caused by language differences. Continually checking for meaning and using written summaries can help ensure the accuracy of the communication process. The sales campaign was a flop. • For important communications. Summary By Chpater Objectives 1. We would be up the creek without a paddle. • As a result. • Specifically. 'I'll touch base with you on this problem august. in hiring BUSINESS COMMUNICATION good people.234 . 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. You also will communicate better if you carefully word your questions. He -frequently acts before he thinks. We will end manufacturing operations-in November.000. 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. 5. in other cultures the response is directed toward the question being asked. • Like English. to eliminate such words and expressions in communicating with them. however.0000. and today’s technology enables parties to do this on the spot. best of your knowledge Your sales report pleased us very much. Businesses are becoming increasingly global in their operations. • Also. He frequently shoots from the' hip. • People tend to view the But This We were surprised. They couldn't understand the report. they differ in their practices and thinking concerning time.000. Answer this section to the. equivalency in translation is difficult. Language equivalency problems are another major cause of miscommunication in cross – cultural communication. For example. Your sales report put us in orbit We’ will wind down manufacturing operations in November Your prediction was right on the beam. © Copy Right: Rai University 262 11. and such varies from culture to culture. • When people from different cultures attempt to communicate. try to check and clarify your communication through continuous confirmation. • About 3.the words of two highly regarded scholars in the field you should “educate yourself in the use of Simplified English. • They differ greatly in grammer and syntax. Variations in how people of different cultures use body positions and body movements is a cause of miscommunication. • We should not use our culture’s practices as standards for determining meaning • Instead. you should follow one general suggestion: write or talk simply and dearly.000. Be she your questions are not double questions. Take. we should try to understand the other culture. a culture similar to ours. 3. 4. an educated guess op this question. Use more openended questions such as “When would you like to go to dinner?’” Also. They will understand you better if you avoid these pitfalls. avoid negative questions such “Aren’t you going to dinner?” In some cultures a yes response confirms whether the questioner is correct. • Ask questions carefully to make sure you are understood. Normative English speakers are not likely to understand them. consider back translation – the technique of the second to translate back to the original. They couldn’t make heads or tails-of the report.000 whereas the British use it to mean 1. and generally in understanding and satisfying the needs 2.” • Cultures differ. In . it helps in gaining additional business. so you will need.000. most have words with multiple meanings. 6. • Being able to communicate across cultures is necessary in these operations.them. • Specifically. Talk slowly-and enunciate each word. relationships. each may not understand the other’s body movements. smile. We would be in a helpless situation. similar words can have vastly different meanings. frankness. odors. Summarizing in writing also is a good idea. • Check the accuracy of the communication with written summaries. Overcoming the language equivalency problems involves hard and tedious work.000. • The best advice is to master the language of the nonnative English speakers with whom you communicate. Following are some examples: Not This We were caught flat-footed. we use a billion to mean 1. values. and social behavior. 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 sales campaign was a failure. Remember that because most nonnative speakers learned English in school. People in different cultures differ in their ways of relating to people. • How people walk. Even in Britain. I'll talk with you about this problem in August. It allows you to be certain you have conveyed your message and received theirs accurately. Culture may be defined as “the way of life of a group of people.000 languages are used on earth. Finally. Your prediction was correct practices of their culture as right and those of there cultures as peculiar or wrong. space.

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

• Why are you changing your career? • Explain the gap in your work history. Questions to ask the Interviewer .nevertheless be prepared).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 . • 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. Skills and Requirements • Why should we hire you? .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 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.What skills will you bring? • How do you work best? . • What have you got to offer the company? . 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 . • Given your career plans.how did you find the solution ? You say you have x skills…how did you demonstrate these in your previous position ? Personality • Describe yourself .

Company brochures or website. If going for a marketing/sales/finance position . Plan Ahead . A good agency will always provide you with a detailed job specification. Identify . Make sure you have all the information.• • • • • • 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.research company products and the company potential (e. Most companies today have a Web Site and they expect you to have researched their company.) DURING THE INTERVIEW • Smile and make eye contact. Check Out . dress well. have a few to ask the interviewer. career growth.Get a location map.g. flexibility. have money. relationship to job. • 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. allow yourself a good 30-60 minutes of additional time to arrive. • Relax and be friendly.Prepare for Interview Questions.Who are you meeting? their titles. contact telephone numbers. . 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 .Find out what the job entails. Research . etc. etc. Annual review report. responsibilities) is there within this position ? What is the company’s managerial style/culture ? Questions typically asked of Graduates. mobile phone if possible. • Be positive and enthusiastic. • Think about your body language.

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

choose one that still shows you in a positive light. . such as: getting on well with other people. not ones that you think will improve your score. In any test. give honest answers. Your general attitude to life is one of the most important aspects on which your future employer will assess you. 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.relevant. you may be asked to take a series of tests. If asked about your weak points. etc. Just before the interview. ‘I take on too much work’.g. If you take a personality test. always completing a job properly. Prepare yourself by working through a book of these tests now. e.




Ferdinand is due to attend a hearing on Monday 13th.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. 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. later text messages advised them that their salary had not been paid. Mark Langford. The FA and the players eventually announce that agreement has been reached and the match goes ahead. There were then stories of the company actually notifying staff of dismissal by text message. Your task is to discuss each event in terms of the following: Event 2: Accident Insurance Group Background. Two days later on 25th September he gives a test. they feel his confidentiality has been compromised and that Ferdinand is being branded as ‘guilty’ without any charge being made against him. The press gets hold of this and there are big divisions over the stance of the FA and the players. routine drug test but ‘forgets’ because he is moving house. the England and Manchester United defender. Sven Goran Eriksson. Manchester United and the Football Association. Delays to the announcement of the squad by the manager. The key events of the cases have been highlighted. • 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. he turns up back at the training ground but the testers have gone home. Approximately 2500 staff lost their jobs. In business. The rest of the England team are furious. The Accident Insurance Group was a company specializing in the pursuit of compensation claims for victims of accidents either at work or elsewhere. that he will not be selected from the England Squad to go to Turkey for the crucial European Championship qualifying match on October 11th. 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. Discussions then take place between his club. 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. is due for a random.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 271 . The company pursued claims for compensation on behalf of victims and takes a slice of the compensation award if successful. PriceWaterhouseCoopers. the company ceased trading in late May 2003. Following a fall in the success rates for personal injury claims and the withdrawal of a key financial backer. claimed the decision to tell workers they had been made redundant through text message was not his and blamed the administrators. which proves negative. 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 Chairman of the company.

g. between people at same level Communication • A chain network e.g.g formal contact Communication • A wheel network e.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 272 Communication Communication takes place within networks. sales teams report to head office Communication © Copy Right: Rai University 11.234 . These are some of the types of network: • chain • circle • wheel • all-channel • A circle network e.

g.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 273 . 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.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Communication • An all-channel network e.

© Copy Right: Rai University 11. 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.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 274 Communication Failure • • • • • No matter what medium of communication is used.234 .

There is an imperative need to go beyond the substance. The spirit behind the words counts for a lot. businesses where the ethical dimension co-exist with the pecuniary objectives. In beating competition. They are indeed a pre-requisite for ensuring effective communication and meaningful and enduring customer relationships. This relates to the ethical dimension or the values concerning communication and customer relations that every business should consciously build up and nurture. in today’s context. of needs in a manner that is acceptable to the customers or service seekers. In as such as bottom lines are crucial for sustaining market share. These are. the profit motive governs the rules the businesses follow in pursuing communication and cus-tomer relations. the profit motive governs the rules businesses follow in pursuing communication and customer relations. progressive organizations are value-driven and they affirm their commitment to core business principles. Yet. Progressive business organizations make it a point to articulate values and lay empha-sis on the ethical aspects of business in general. In as much as bottom lines are crucial for sustaining market share. Be that as it may. We have seen the need for good words and nice gestures in communicating with people in business and dealing with customers. implicitly about its competitors and their products.234 © Copy Right: Rai University 275 . There is an imperative need to go beyond the substance beyond the words. which operate with a shortsighted profit-at-any-cost motive. This set of core principles may take many forms. • An organization may decide not to pass on to the customer any loss arising out of mistakes committed by their employees.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 43: RECENT TRENDS concerning communication and customer relations that every business should consciously build up and nurture. Progressive business organizations make it a point to articulate values and lay empha-sis on the ethical aspects of business in general. 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. essential. Business decisions are taken more by applying the head than the heart. they must earn and sustain customers ‘trust and confidence on an on-going basis. in today’s context. businesses have to do much more than the good word and nice phrases bit. In beating competition. Be that as it may. Commitment to Core Business Principles In order to earn and retain custom-ers’ trust and confidence. The spirit behind the words counts for a lot. 11. They will continue to thrive and survive as long as they strive to meet that specific need or a set. Business decisions are taken more by applying the head than the heart. They are very much unlike the fly-by-night type of businesses. ideas and disciplined think-ing”. 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. no doubt. beyond the words. When it comes to advertisement or the vision document or the ‘mission statement. Yet. 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. words and deeds clearly reflect the value system which operates in that business organization. • An organization may decide not to make any adverse comments. 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. businesses where the ethic dimension co-exists with the pecuniary objectives. In their communication and customer relations they are governed by such principles to which they are committed. . it is to be well understood that businesses that really endure are those that show commitment to values. They exist to fulfill a specific need of people in the community. A pre-requisite for ensuring effective communication and meaningful and enduring customer relationships. ideas and disciplined think-ing”. 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. particularly in the corporate world are seen as perpetual entities. for example: • An Organization may decide not to advertise in any politically affiliated newspaper or journal. 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. and look at the spirit in which communication is ef-fected and customer relations are sustained. For this.

. but also in medical and such other professional services. 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. It has to be a win-win relationship. Good customers are hard to come by and should be given fair treatment. Consistency in a sense reflects the core principles. the terms and conditions. the incen-tives and discounts. the code lays down that the Board report should contain a coherent narrative. The sense of fair play. Adequacy b. These aspects of corporate governance are particularly relevant in the context of ensuring good and proper communication and customer relations. the warranties and after-sales arrangements should all be made available. statements and claims made by senior management functionaries and that they speak on the same wavelength. there should be a sincere effort to make the relationship mutually beneficial. which the company stands by over a period of time. and even the goodwill of a section of existing and potential customers. Essentially. Consistency. shareholders. • A doctor giving his patient details about his ailment. business organizations will have to take cognizance of customer expectations and their rights as they perceive them. Among partners there cannot be a win-lose relationship. say you suffer’ days are over. it is realized. the state and employees. 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. beyond the jargon. Adequacy implies that all relevant information is made available by the business and its management to its employees. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Beyond Caveat Emptor Value driven business organizations transcend the ‘Caveat Emptor’ or the ‘buyer beware’ attitude. customers. 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. Cardinal Principles of Communication The three cardinal principles of communication for any. Corporate governance strives to ensure fairness. 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 Rights of Customers In the context of ensuring effective communication and meaningful customer relations. is an important value that should permeate communication and customer relations. if need be • For Airlines services it means giving reasons for the delay in the flight depar-ture. 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. the type of medication and treatment he proposes to follow and may even involve encouraging the patient to seek a second opinion. Business Legal Compliance Businesses have learnt hard way that their relationship with the customer extends beyond the legal aspect. even if it means delay or loss.234 . these relate to the right of information. 276 © Copy Right: Rai University 11. They are partners without whose sup-port no business can hope to survive. 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. statements and performance-related claims. even when the legal grounds favor the business. Legal requirements have to be met. Beyond legal compliance. It supports a business ethic that shuns short cuts and unethical practices. Transparency relates to the degree of openness in the sense that no attempt is made to cover up or hoodwink the shareholders. investors or shareholders as the case may be to facilitate a fair assessment of the state of affairs. particularly when they are favoring the customer. 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. Transparency c. The prices and rates. The term corporate governance has a wide connotation. good business organization is a. creditors. 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. corporate governance is said to encompass the entire range of formal and informal interactions of the corporate sector with the society at large. Among others. honesty and transparency of a business organization in rela-tion to its dealings with various stakeholders viz.Such principles can be many and varied and to proceed legally against any government department for realizing its dues. A business can win the court case but lose the customer. The attempt is not to outwit the customer and make a fast buck. the right of choice and the right of accountability. the right of information is gaining acceptance not only in the financial services and public utilities. In its broader sense. In the services sector. It brings out the accountability of management to shareholders. It means that there is no attempt to contradict the. 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.

mobiles. is a conference or discus-sion that takes place over telephone. especially for small group interactions. without physically meeting at a particular place. People forming part of the business should make conscious efforts to reflect such concerns through communication and customer relations. 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. the video pictures are also available. They resent if the costs of any inefficiency within the company are passed on to them. Numerous technol-ogy-induced developments towards the end of the last century have brought about new dimensions to the range. Customers generally expect to haveadequate choice of identical or more or less similar products or services. 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. Business is going to change more in the next ten years than in the last Fifty years. A typical example of this is the live telecast of budgets and election results. 11. Through transparency. In the process. It is also possible that if an expert speaker cannot be physically present to address the meeting. a live telecast of his message or address can be brought to the assembly of people in a meeting or seminar. Messages have to be brief. To cite examples. the advantage is that people from one group or section can speak to another and have discussions. methods and modalities of personal and business communication. There is much greater choice of channels and instruments. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Right of Accountability Today’s businesses have to be far more accountable to their customers than the businesses in the past.Right of Choice The second important expectation from the customer would relate-to the right of choice. business organizations are laying particular emphasis on the ethi-cal part of business too. for a mutual fund investor. The information access will alter the lifestyles of consumers and their expectations of business. all these developments bring in new opportunities and responsibilities. If 1980s were about quality and 1990s were about re-engineering. Similarly. and not pass them on to the customers. which result in losses. “In telecommunications we are moving to a single world-wide information network. This way. The technology revolution has started impacting the rural areas as well. Even as they commit themselves to the core business prin-ciples. Thanks to globalization . Internet. This facility. it may mean various options for foreclosure. Laptops. so that enduring and endearing relation-ships are built up and sustained across all sections. it may involve the facility of shifting from one scheme to the other without much of a load factor. Telecommunications and computers are driving this change across the world. Businesses are undergoing a metamorphosis. They expect the employees to turn out a day’s fair work and resent gossiping or idling. Transmission leakages can be brought down substantially. As John Naisbitt and Patricia Aburdene ob-serve. whereby apart from the audio messages. developments in one place are rapidly reaching the other parts of the world. however. customers expect the business managements to penalize their em-ployees for any mistakes they may commit. Business Communication and Customer Relations In The New Millennium Newtrends In Business Communication The contours of business communication are changing at a rapid pace.and cross-border flow of ideas and resources. Old ways of doing things are yielding place to the new and more sophisticated ones. It is possible to look at the person speaking. Video Conferencing Video conferencing goes a step ahead of teleconferencing. in their book Megatrends 2000. 2000s will be about velocity. 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. 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. speed. for an airline passenger the right of choice would involve different menus to choose from. It has become necessary to keep ab