Effective Business Communication

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Information about Effective Business Communication
Business & Mgmt

Published on December 2, 2008

Author: DrKeelyKillpack

Source: slideshare.net

Description

This slideshow also has audio. I talk for 30 minutes about top-shelf professional writing and professional email usage. Using these tips will give you competitive advantages in the workplace and enhance your ability to communicate effectively.
Contact me if you want a copy of the file with audio - I'm happy to share with proper copyright protection.

Clarity = Credibility getting to the core of your thoughts A Podcast By Dr. Keely Killpack Increasing your effectiveness in communication.

Outline of Topics “ The Power of Words Still Matters.” – Bob Schieffer (On the election of Barack Obama, 2008) Direction & Purpose Common Grammar Hang-Ups Acronyms Run-On Sentences Ending with a Preposition Spell-check & Proofreading Successful Formatting Concise Sentence Structure Appropriate Use of Email Impact of Effective Communication

Common Grammar Hang-Ups

Acronyms

Run-On Sentences

Ending with a Preposition

Spell-check & Proofreading

The Value Proposition BENEFITS OF BEING AN EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATOR People listen to you more Easier path to leadership roles Ability to deliver concise thoughts Being understood by others Improved performance Ability to be a Change Driver A Core Competency Business Professionals are required to effectively master certain core competencies to be successful. Communication skills are among these critical talents. The ability to influence people to change or improve demands effective communicate in various mediums.

BENEFITS OF BEING AN EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATOR

People listen to you more

Easier path to leadership roles

Ability to deliver concise thoughts

Being understood by others

Improved performance

Ability to be a Change Driver

Direction & Purpose Direction – You need to be absolutely 100% clear about the messages you are trying to get across to your audience. If you don’t know exactly what you are trying to say, your audience won’t know either. Creating drafts is a surefire way to improve your talent and sharpen your messages Being a concise and direct communicator increases your credibility as well as the readability of your work # 1 Purpose – Knowing why you are sending a message and that you have chosen the appropriate medium are critical success factors that are often overlooked. Carefully framing the messages you send and the medium you choose to send them can both increase the consistency of your content and ultimately your ability to influence your audience # 2

Common Grammar Hang-Up #1 Common Grammar Mistakes ACRONYM USAGE WITHOUT DEFINITION Using an abbreviation or acronym that is not OBVIOUS to your audience completely diminishes the message. Avoid ANY confusion by ALWAYS spelling it out first, following it with the acronym or abbreviation. Continuing using the acronym, the reader can always refer back to the original meaning. EXAMPLES CSR – Is it Corporate Social Responsibility OR Customer Service Representative? How does CSR contribute to the company’s overall business strategy? The Customer Service Representative (CSR) contributes to the strategy by... ISR – Is it Individual Social Responsibility OR Inside Sales Representative? Does the ISR have anything to do with the bottom line? Individual Social Responsibility (ISR) does impact the bottom line. ISR can influence talent retention, HR practices, Sales team incentives and company culture when the majority of employees have common ideas. MGMT GOOG YHOO GHG CHGE

ACRONYM USAGE WITHOUT DEFINITION

Using an abbreviation or acronym that is not OBVIOUS to your audience completely diminishes the message. Avoid ANY confusion by ALWAYS spelling it out first, following it with the acronym or abbreviation. Continuing using the acronym, the reader can always refer back to the original meaning.

EXAMPLES

CSR – Is it Corporate Social Responsibility OR Customer Service Representative?

How does CSR contribute to the company’s overall business strategy?

The Customer Service Representative (CSR) contributes to the strategy by...

ISR – Is it Individual Social Responsibility OR Inside Sales Representative?

Does the ISR have anything to do with the bottom line?

Individual Social Responsibility (ISR) does impact the bottom line. ISR can influence talent retention, HR practices, Sales team incentives and company culture when the majority of employees have common ideas.

Common Grammar Hang-Up #2 Common Grammar Mistakes RUN – ON (WAY TOO LONG) SENTENCES A run-on sentence consists of two or more main clauses that are run together without proper punctuation OR are sentences which are technically correct, but would be easier to read if they were made into shorter sentences. We often speak in run-on sentences, but we make pauses and change our tone so people can understand us. But when we write, no one can hear us, so sometimes we must break our sentences into shorter units so that they do not read as run-on. (www.englishplus.com) EXAMPLE Sometimes reading textbooks can put you to sleep or really energize you depending on how many pages you have to read, the tone of the author and the time of day. Better: Sometimes reading textbooks can really energize you or put you to sleep. It depends on how many pages you have to read, the tone of the author, and the time of day. Hint: Read your written work aloud before you use it as communication. This will help you identity sentences that are too long, ways to be more concise and what messages you are really sending to the reader.

RUN – ON (WAY TOO LONG) SENTENCES

A run-on sentence consists of two or more main clauses that are run together without proper punctuation OR are sentences which are technically correct, but would be easier to read if they were made into shorter sentences. We often speak in run-on sentences, but we make pauses and change our tone so people can understand us. But when we write, no one can hear us, so sometimes we must break our sentences into shorter units so that they do not read as run-on. (www.englishplus.com)

EXAMPLE

Sometimes reading textbooks can put you to sleep or really energize you depending on how many pages you have to read, the tone of the author and the time of day.

Better: Sometimes reading textbooks can really energize you or put you to sleep. It depends on how many pages you have to read, the tone of the author, and the time of day.

Hint: Read your written work aloud before you use it as communication. This will help you identity sentences that are too long, ways to be more concise and what messages you are really sending to the reader.

Common Grammar Hang-Up #3 Common Grammar Mistakes ENDING SENTENCES WITH A PREPOSITION With very few exceptions, it is more effective to rephrase a sentence so it does not end with a preposition (at, for, on, with, of, in, etc). We often speak with prepositions at the end, but in written form, it diminishes the power and emphasis of a sentence. It also reduces the credibility of the author to an audience of skilled writers/seasoned executives. EXAMPLES 1) Market strategies don’t really tell you anything about a company because all companies have them regardless of what they are trying to focus on. Better: Regardless of their focus, companies have elements of each market strategy. 2) I have seen a lot of market strategies in the companies I have consulted with. Better: I have experience with various market strategies. Hint: Ending with ‘at’, ‘for’, ‘of’, ‘on’, ‘in’ or ‘with’ can be a glaring flag for a recruiter reading a cover letter, an editor considering a book proposal, a manager viewing an email from a subordinate up for promotion, etc…Always try to rephrase the sentence or change it completely. Ask yourself, “What am I really trying to say here?”

ENDING SENTENCES WITH A PREPOSITION

With very few exceptions, it is more effective to rephrase a sentence so it does not end with a preposition (at, for, on, with, of, in, etc). We often speak with prepositions at the end, but in written form, it diminishes the power and emphasis of a sentence. It also reduces the credibility of the author to an audience of skilled writers/seasoned executives.

EXAMPLES

1) Market strategies don’t really tell you anything about a company because all companies have them regardless of what they are trying to focus on.

Better: Regardless of their focus, companies have elements of each market strategy.

2) I have seen a lot of market strategies in the companies I have consulted with.

Better: I have experience with various market strategies.

Hint: Ending with ‘at’, ‘for’, ‘of’, ‘on’, ‘in’ or ‘with’ can be a glaring flag for a recruiter reading a cover letter, an editor considering a book proposal, a manager viewing an email from a subordinate up for promotion, etc…Always try to rephrase the sentence or change it completely. Ask yourself, “What am I really trying to say here?”

Common Grammar Hang-Up #4 Common Grammar Mistakes SPELL CHECK AND PROOFREADING Misspelling in a communication ALWAYS sends the wrong message. It makes the reader question the content of your work, as well as your credibility overall. This is the most costly mistake you can make, especially considering today’s technology. ALWAYS type with Spell-check enabled Set your email settings to automatically Spell-check before sending your emails If your software application can’t check spelling (like Excel tables), consider writing the text in a word document first or proofread your writing very carefully Your – You’re Its – It’s There – Their – They’re PROOFREADING 1) Proofreading can solve most of your grammar problems. It is also quick and free. 2) READ ALOUD – Everything you expect someone else to read should be proofread. Reading it out loud can help you identify confusing sentences, misspellings, poor pronoun choice, ambiguity, etc. Read it out loud before you send it out. 3) SLEEP ON IT – Creating a draft a day or two before it’s due is the best case scenario. Write it, get away from it for a period of time, and then re-visit it for proofreading. This is ideal for writing powerful, concise statements and reducing grammar errors and misinterpretations.

SPELL CHECK AND PROOFREADING

Misspelling in a communication ALWAYS sends the wrong message. It makes the reader question the content of your work, as well as your credibility overall. This is the most costly mistake you can make, especially considering today’s technology.

ALWAYS type with Spell-check enabled

Set your email settings to automatically Spell-check before sending your emails

If your software application can’t check spelling (like Excel tables), consider writing the text in a word document first or proofread your writing very carefully

PROOFREADING

1) Proofreading can solve most of your grammar problems. It is also quick and free.

2) READ ALOUD – Everything you expect someone else to read should be proofread. Reading it out loud can help you identify confusing sentences, misspellings, poor pronoun choice, ambiguity, etc. Read it out loud before you send it out.

3) SLEEP ON IT – Creating a draft a day or two before it’s due is the best case scenario. Write it, get away from it for a period of time, and then re-visit it for proofreading. This is ideal for writing powerful, concise statements and reducing grammar errors and misinterpretations.

Successful Formatting THE GAME There are 3 rules to the game. 1 – Introduce yourself, 2-take only 3 cards, you must always have 3 cards in your hand, 3-take turns, start with the northernmost person. GAME INSTRUCTIONS - The first person starts by taking 3 cards. He reads his cards and decides which one to execute. He does this action, discards the card, then takes another card. Then the next person goes and repeats the process. This cycle repeats until the game is over. The PURPOSE of the game is to perform the actions on the cards until someone draws the “ You Have Won !” card (but without knowing that is how you actually win the game) THE GAME Rules: Introduce yourself Take only 3 cards Players must have 3 cards in hand always Take turns Start with the player to the North Directions: The first person starts by taking 3 cards He reads his cards & decides which one to do He does this action, discards the card, then takes another card to finish his turn with 3 cards The next person goes and repeats the process This cycle repeats until the game is over Formatting is You Best Secret Weapon The Purpose of the game is to do the actions on the cards. Careful use of CAPS , bold , italics, underline , bullets & whitespace can really enhance any communication. Overkill or absence make it harder for the reader to know what is important in your communication. Consider these examples:

THE GAME

Rules:

Introduce yourself

Take only 3 cards

Players must have 3 cards in hand always

Take turns

Start with the player to the North

Directions:

The first person starts by taking 3 cards

He reads his cards & decides which one to do

He does this action, discards the card, then takes another card to finish his turn with 3 cards

The next person goes and repeats the process

This cycle repeats until the game is over

Concise Sentence Structure Purposeful Thought and Intention This is the standard you should have for your own writing; emails, work products, school assignments, social documents. Communication should always be worth the reader’s time. If you can’t bother to format, proofread or edit, why should the reader take time to read it? The Reader should clearly understand the points you are trying to make. Think of all the professional/published newsletters, textbooks, biz literature, magazines, etc.. that you read in a given week. How many times do you read something of that caliber and scratch your head trying to figure out what the author meant? EXAMPLE: Thinking back on vision statements of my employers, the market strategy is often unclear. Many companies try to embrace all three strategies: exceed their customers' expectations, and do this efficiently through innovative products and effective processes.* *Adapted from Tiina Seppalainen (2008)

This is the standard you should have for your own writing; emails, work products, school assignments, social documents.

Communication should always be worth the reader’s time. If you can’t bother to format, proofread or edit, why should the reader take time to read it?

Appropriate Use of Email Flyer Bulletin Email & Memos Telephone Video Conference Face to Face Adapted from Lengel & Daft (1988) Media Richness Theory. Baron (2008) Behavior in Organizations (9 th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson / Prentice Hall. When using email to communicate, consider its effectiveness. Although email is fast & simple, you can easily complicate an issue or generate much more work for yourself. Consider what you are trying to accomplish and use these tips: Can I just call or Instant Message (IM) and talk about this? Will the email be longer than half a page? Is it for reference or does it require action by the recipients? Who REALLY needs to be included or copied? Really. If its more than 3 people; strongly consider having a meeting instead. If you need that many minds in the discussion, talk it out. Media Richness Theory Richness of Communication Medium Rich Lean Clarity / Complexity of Message Ambiguous Clear

Can I just call or Instant Message (IM) and talk about this?

Will the email be longer than half a page? Is it for reference or does it require action by the recipients?

Who REALLY needs to be included or copied? Really. If its more than 3 people; strongly consider having a meeting instead. If you need that many minds in the discussion, talk it out.

Summary of Topics “ The Power of Words Still Matters.” – Bob Schieffer (On the election of Barack Obama, 2008) Direction & Purpose Common Grammar Hang-Ups Acronyms Run-On Sentences Ending with a Preposition Spell-check & Proofreading Successful Formatting Concise Sentence Structure Appropriate Use of Email Impact of Effective Communication

Common Grammar Hang-Ups

Acronyms

Run-On Sentences

Ending with a Preposition

Spell-check & Proofreading

Call to Action Which tools will help you be a better communicator? Is the power of words more evident to you now? Coaching, Training and further instruction available.

Which tools will help you be a better communicator?

Is the power of words more evident to you now?

Coaching, Training and further instruction available.

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