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Chapter 5 Preparing to Write Business Messages Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Chapter 5 Preparing to Write Business Messages Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5 e Copyright © 2006

Business writing is. . . • Purposeful. It solves problems and conveys information. • Business writing is. . . • Purposeful. It solves problems and conveys information. • Economical. It is concise. • Reader oriented. It focuses on the receiver, not the sender. Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5 e 2

Guffey’s 3 -x-3 Writing Process • Phase 1: Prewriting Analyzing, anticipating, adapting • Phase Guffey’s 3 -x-3 Writing Process • Phase 1: Prewriting Analyzing, anticipating, adapting • Phase 2: Writing Researching, organizing, composing • Phase 3: Revising, proofreading, evaluating Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5 e 3

Analyzing and Anticipating • Analyze the task Identify the purpose • Anticipate the audience Analyzing and Anticipating • Analyze the task Identify the purpose • Anticipate the audience Primary receivers? Secondary receivers? • Select the best channel Importance of the message? Feedback required? Permanent record required? Cost of the channel? Degree of formality? Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5 e 4

Choosing Channels Channel Best use Face-to-face conversation To share personal message, be persuasive, or Choosing Channels Channel Best use Face-to-face conversation To share personal message, be persuasive, or deliver bad news; richest communication channel Telephone call For convenience when nonverbal cues are unimportant Voice mail message To leave message for response when convenient Fax To cross time zones, to produce written record, for speedy delivery E-mail To exchange information conveniently and quickly, but problematic for some messages Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5 e 5

Choosing Channels Channel Best use Face-to-face group meeting When group decisions and consensus are Choosing Channels Channel Best use Face-to-face group meeting When group decisions and consensus are important Video or teleconferencing To disperse data or elicit consensus from geographically dispersed group Memo Letter Report To produce formal, written record for insiders To produce formal, written record for customers and other outsiders To deliver complex data internally or externally Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5 e 6

Adapting to Task and Audience • Spotlight receiver benefits (the warranty starts working for Adapting to Task and Audience • Spotlight receiver benefits (the warranty starts working for you immediately). • Cultivate the “you” view (you will receive your order). • Use sensitive language avoiding gender, race, age, and disability biases (office workers, not office girls). Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5 e 7

Adapting to Task and Audience • Express thoughts positively (you will be happy to, Adapting to Task and Audience • Express thoughts positively (you will be happy to, not you won't be sorry that). • Use familiar words (salary, not remuneration). • Use precise, vigorous words (fax me, not contact me). Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5 e 8

Developing Reader Benefits Sender-focused “We are requiring all staffers to complete these forms in Developing Reader Benefits Sender-focused “We are requiring all staffers to complete these forms in compliance with company policy. ” Receiver-focused “Please complete these forms so that you will be eligible for health and dental benefits. ” Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5 e 9

Developing Reader Benefits Sender-focused “Because we need more space for our new inventory, we’re Developing Reader Benefits Sender-focused “Because we need more space for our new inventory, we’re staging a two-for-one sale. ” Receiver-focused “You can buy a year’s supply of paper and pay for only six months’ worth during our two-for-one sale. ” Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5 e 10

Emphasize the “You” View “We” view We are issuing a refund. “You” view You Emphasize the “You” View “We” view We are issuing a refund. “You” view You will receive a refund. “We” view We take pleasure in announcing an agreement we made with Hewlett Packard to allow us to offer discounted printers in the student store. “You” view An agreement with Hewlett Packard allows you and other students to buy discounted printers at your convenient student store. Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5 e 11

Hidden Negative Meanings Writers are sometimes unaware of the hidden messages conveyed by their Hidden Negative Meanings Writers are sometimes unaware of the hidden messages conveyed by their words. Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5 e 12

Hidden Negative Meanings You overlooked. . (You are careless. ) You failed to. . Hidden Negative Meanings You overlooked. . (You are careless. ) You failed to. . (You are careless. ) You state that. . (But I don’t believe you. ) You claim that. . (It’s probably untrue. ) Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5 e 13

Hidden Negative Meanings You are wrong. . (I am right. ) You do not Hidden Negative Meanings You are wrong. . (I am right. ) You do not understand. . (You are not very bright. ) Your delay. . (You are at fault. ) You forgot to. . (You are not only inefficient but also stupid and careless. ) Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5 e 14

Use Bias-Free Language Gender-Biased Improved female attorney waitress man hours workman attorney server working Use Bias-Free Language Gender-Biased Improved female attorney waitress man hours workman attorney server working hours worker Biased Each employee has his ID card. Improved Each employee has an ID card. All employees have ID cards. Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5 e 15

Use Bias-Free Language Biased We hired an Indian programmer. Improved We hired a programmer. Use Bias-Free Language Biased We hired an Indian programmer. Improved We hired a programmer. Biased Early-bird specials are only for old people. Improved Early-bird specials are only for people over 65. Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5 e 16

Use Courteous Language Less Courteous Everyone must return these forms by January 1. More Use Courteous Language Less Courteous Everyone must return these forms by January 1. More Courteous Please return the forms by January 1. Less Courteous This is the second time I’ve had to write! Why can’t you get my account straight? More Courteous Attached is my previous letter. Please help me straighten out this account. Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5 e 17

Use Simple, Familiar Language Unfamiliar We need to effectuate improvement of our manuals to Use Simple, Familiar Language Unfamiliar We need to effectuate improvement of our manuals to better elucidate our training goals. Familiar We need to improve our manuals to clarify our training goals. Unfamiliar Sales reps generally conjecture when making sales projections for homogeneous territories. Familiar Sales reps generally guess when projecting sales in similar territories. Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5 e 18

Adapting to Legal Responsibilities Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5 e Adapting to Legal Responsibilities Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5 e 19

Adapting to Legal Responsibilities • Avoid litigation by using especially careful language in four Adapting to Legal Responsibilities • Avoid litigation by using especially careful language in four areas: • Investment information • Safety information • Marketing information • Human resources information Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5 e 20

Document for Analysis Revision Solution Activity 5. 1 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process Document for Analysis Revision Solution Activity 5. 1 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5 e 21

Activity 5. 1 TO: All Employees Using HP 5000 Computers Your cooperation is urgently Activity 5. 1 TO: All Employees Using HP 5000 Computers Your cooperation is urgently needed in solving a serious computer security problem. To enable you to keep your files and those of the entire company secure, please follow these two actions: 1. Keep your password private. Please do not share it with anyone. 2. Log on to the computer manually. Avoid using automatic log-on procedures. Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5 e 22

Activity 5. 1 By refusing to share your password, you prevent intrusion into your Activity 5. 1 By refusing to share your password, you prevent intrusion into your private files. Automatic log-on procedures are also dangerous. Although they seem to save time, they give anyone access to the entire computer system--even a person without prior knowledge of your password. Please sign the attached form and return it to me indicating that you are aware of this urgent problem and are willing to avoid these two actions in your computer use. Attachment Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5 e 23

End Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5 e 24 End Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5 e 24