Business Writing


I am presenting a demonstration lesson at BrainPower on Tuesday with a view to working with them. As part of the presentation I have posted here the formal notes and lesson plan brief.

Business Writing In Five Minutes

Copyright Perry Gamsby 2010

What Is Business Writing?

How Does Business Writing Differ From Other Forms Of Writing?

Business Writing Is All About:~

Communication: Writing is all about communicating ideas, information, directions or instructions between at least two people. By writing it down a record is created of the communication.

Emails Are The Most Common Form Of Business Communication Today

Emails are an intrinsic part of modern business communication, both internally and externally. There has even been a novel published which was written entirely in the form of an exchange of emails between the characters.[1] While there have been other epistolary novels using electronic media such as blogs, this book is particularly noteworthy as it takes place within the business environment of a London advertising agency.

Emails Are The Modern Memo

Emails in one sense are little more than electronic memos. Memos, short for memorandum’ were traditionally notes kept of briefings where decisions were made. Taking notes at a meeting often gives one the appearance of someone who is terribly busy and of course, the notes themselves then substantiate this façade. Memos would be passed around those who had perhaps not been at the meeting but needed to take some action as a result of the decisions made there. So they would be sent a memo.

Writing professional emails is a skill we should all foster. Writing a professional, business email is not hard. It can be learned and it doesn’t take long to cover the basics.

There are five major points to always keep foremost in mind when writing a business email.

First of all the nature of the media is that an email is all about BREVITY. Keep it short and sweet and if you need to convey information that requires more than 200 or so words, use an attachment. Attach a Word document or similar file and use the email body to advise the recipient that the information in question is in the attachment. Then double check you have attached the attachment before hitting send!

Secondly, keep it professional. This starts at the top of the email which is usually where your email address will be found. “Chestlover72″ or “PookyBear5″ are not considered appropriate in my book. Don’t get personal, abusive, sarcastic or try and score points against anyone as these exchanges are often not picked up anyway and if they are noted they rarely add to the value of the exchange or reflect positively on the writer.

Thirdly, plan your email. Think about what it is you want to say, who you are saying it to and who else might read it, (whether you want them to or not, there is always a chance others will read your email). If you are responding to a message or event that has made your blood pressure rise, follow some great advice I was given years ago. Write it, but DON’T send it! Often the act of writing gets it out of your system and then you calm down, think it through and realise sending it might not be the wisest course of action at this time.

Fourthly make sure your email can be read. Use the spell checker, compose in Word if necessary and use the Grammar checker tool if grammar is not your forte. Choose a font that can be read by all systems and readers and this means Arial, Helvetica or Times New Roman in 10 or 12 point. Don’t use colour fills or fonts and never use emoticons or initialisations such as IMHO, LOL or ROLFLMAO.

Finally, read it over again, ask a trusted colleague to proof it for you. You can read the same mistake a thousand times and never pick it up simply because you wrote it in the first place, yet someone else will spot it a mile away. It is not an admission of inability but a sign of professionalism. It is called attention to detail.

Written Communication Is One Dimensional

All written communication is pretty much one dimensional. It lacks the all important elements of verbal tone and inflection or body language and facial expressions. It is all about the words you have chosen and how you have composed them.

Emails are short, to the point exchanges of information that reflect the modern business communication environment. They are prime examples of our gravitation toward instant gratification and communication.              Nevertheless, they are an interaction between ourselves and our colleagues, management or clients and if they are important enough to be written, then they deserve to be written well.


[1] Beaumont, Matt “e: A Novel” (2007) Harper Collins, London. Known as an epistolary novel.


Introduction
What Is Business Writing? ASK AUDIENCE
How Does Business Writing Differ From Other Forms Of Writing? ASK AUDIENCE
Business Writing Is All About:~ Communication: Writing is all about communicating ideas, information, directions or instructions. CREATES A RECORD
What Is The Most Common Form Of Business Communication Today? THE EMAIL. A novel was published using a series of emails between the characters to present the narrative.
Emails Are The Modern Memo MEMO stands for MEMORANDUM and means
notes that wee taken of meetings where decisions were made.
Business Email writing is a skill that can be learned.
Five Major Points For Email Writing Keep It Brief. a more than 200 or so words, use an attachment.
Keep It Professional. “Chestlover72″ or “PookyBear5″ are not appropriate ADDRESSES
Plan your email. Write it, but DON’T send it!
Make sure your email can be read. Use the spell checker,  Arial, Helvetica or Times New Roman in 10 or 12 point. NO colour fills or fonts never use emoticons or initialisations such as IMHO, LOL or ROLFLMAO.
Read it over again, ask a trusted colleague to proof it for you.
Written Communication Is One Dimensional It lacks  verbal tone and inflection or body language and facial expressions. It is all about the words and how you have composed them.
Emails:  if they are important enough to be written, then they deserve to be written well.
Any Questions? ASK AUDIENCE

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