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Business Report Writing Skills

Best practice report and business writing, minute-taking and e-mail communication skills, principles, tools and process

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Business Report Writing Skills

  1. 1. BUSINESS AND REPORT WRITING – BEST PRACTICE WRITING PRINCIPLES AND PROCESS CHARLES COTTER EMALAHLENI 30-31 JANUARY 2017 www.slideshare.net/CharlesCotter
  2. 2. TRAINING PROGRAMME OVERVIEW – DAY 1 • REPORT WRITING SKILLS: 20 FUNDAMENTAL, BEST PRACTICE BUSINESS WRITING PRINCIPLES THE “LOOK AND FEEL” COMPONENTS OF AN EFFECTIVE BUSINESS REPORT (PRO-FORMA) THE 6-STEP, REPORT WRITING PROCESS
  3. 3. TRAINING PROGRAMME OVERVIEW – DAY 2 • OTHER FORMS OF BUSINESS WRITING SKILLS: Minute-taking E-mail communication Business letters Memorandum
  4. 4. CAKE-BAKING ANALOGY
  5. 5. CAKE-BAKING ANALOGY • BEST PRACTICE BUSINESS WRITING PRINCIPLES - INGREDIENTS • THE “LOOK AND FEEL” COMPONENTS OF AN EFFECTIVE BUSINESS REPORT – PICTURE OF THE CAKE • THE 6-STEP, REPORT WRITING PROCESS - RECIPE
  6. 6. DOES THIS LOOK FAMILIAR?
  7. 7. INTRODUCTORY ACTIVITY • Individual activity: • Complete the following statement by inserting one word only. In order to be an effective business report writer at your organization, I need to/to be……………………………………………… • Jot this word down and find other learners who have written down the same word. Write this word down on the flip-chart. • Each learner will have the opportunity to explain their choice of word.
  8. 8. THE FUNDAMENTALS OF EFFECTIVE BUSINESS WRITING • Defining effective communication • The merits and value of effective business writing • The implications of poor business writing: For the writer For the reader For the organization
  9. 9. COMMUNICATION CYCLE/PROCESS
  10. 10. LEARNING ACTIVITY 1 • From your experience and perspective, as both a writer and a reader, identify ten (10) common errors that you’ve observed with Business Reports at your organization. • Match each of these 10 errors with a set of 10 best practice criteria/guidelines to counteract/improve these errors, thereby promoting effective business report writing.
  11. 11. 20 FUNDAMENTAL, BEST PRACTICE WRITING PRINCIPLES • #1: A – B – C (ACCURACY – BREVITY – CLARITY) – “BE ON POINT AND TO THE POINT” • #2: A – I – D –A (ATTENTION – INTEREST – DESIRE – ACTION) – “TELL THE READER WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO TELL THEM; TELL THEM AND THEN TELL THEM WHAT YOU TOLD THEM.” • #3: “THINK BEFORE YOU INK” – USE 80 (THINKING)/20 (INKING) PRINCIPLE • #4: HARMONIZATION OF THE BEST FIT METHODS – FIT FOR PURPOSE/MESSAGE/READER • #5: BE STRATEGIC AND SELECTIVE - PROVIDE ONLY VALUE ADDING AND RELEVANT INFORMATION
  12. 12. 20 FUNDAMENTAL, BEST PRACTICE WRITING PRINCIPLES • #6: “LESS IS MORE” – HAVE AN EFFICIENT AND ECONOMICAL WRITING STYLE • #7: EMPATHIZE - “CUSTOMIZATION IS KING/QUEEN” – CONDUCT A READERSHIP ANALYSIS TO ACCOMMODATE THEM AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE – “SPEAK THE LANGUAGE THAT YOUR READER UNDERSTANDS” • #8: INTEGRATE RATIONAL (LEFT BRAIN) AND CREATIVE (RIGHT BRAIN) THOUGHT PROCESSES • #9: MARRY BEING METICULOUS (“EYE FOR DETAIL”) WITH FINDING CREATIVE WRITING SPACE (PSYCHOLOGICAL, EMOTIONAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL) • #10: USE OF VISUAL STIMULI AND TECHNIQUES TO COMPLEMENT, SUPPORT AND PROMOTE A HIGHER LEVEL OF UNDERSTANDING
  13. 13. 20 FUNDAMENTAL, BEST PRACTICE WRITING PRINCIPLES • #11: ENSURE QUALITY ASSURANCE E.G. PROOF-READING; EDITING; SPELL CHECKING AND VERIFICATION OF INFORMATION • #12: USE THE PURPOSE AS YOUR WRITING “GPS” – TO CONCENTRATE/DIRECT FOCUS TO THE ACHIEVEMENT OF OUTCOMES/OBJECTIVES • #13: “DON’T WRITE TO IMPRESS, WRITE TO PROMOTE A HIGHER LEVEL OF UNDERSTANDING.” – BE A AGENT OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION • #14: EMPLOY A “COMMUNITY OF WRITERS” APPROACH – THE VALUE OF CONSULTATION AND ENGAGEMENT • #15: PROPER STRUCTURE - USE THE PYRAMID (CASCADING) METHOD – INITIALLY PRESENT LESS IMPORTANCE INFORMATION AND CLIMAX WITH MOST CRITICAL INFORMATION
  14. 14. 20 FUNDAMENTAL, BEST PRACTICE WRITING PRINCIPLES • #16: APPLY THE WATERFALL APPROACH – VERTICAL ALIGNMENT AND SYNERGY BETWEEN THE REPORT FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS • #17: “TOUR GUIDE” MENTALITY – DIRECT; NAVIGATE; ORIENTATE, INFORM; ADVISE, ENLIGHTEN AND CAPTIVATE THE READER • #18: ADOPT A STORY TELLING MODE – LOGICAL AND COHERENT FLOW OF INFORMATION – NO SURPRISES! • #19: THE REPORT SHOULD GENERATE BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE – ENABLING SMART OPERATIONAL AND STRATEGIC DECISION- MAKING • #20: ADOPT A STRATEGIC MIND-SET – DEVELOP STRUCTURED, HOLISTIC AND WELL-PREPARED BUSINESS WRITING HABITS
  15. 15. THE BEAUTY OF SIMPLICITY
  16. 16. ROLES OF AN EFFECTIVE REPORT WRITER • Simplifier • Clarifier • Facilitator • Distiller
  17. 17. BEST PRACTICE REPORT WRITING (COMPETENCE) CONTENT CONTEXTPROCESS
  18. 18. EFFECTIVE REPORT CONTENT
  19. 19. TYPES OF REPORTS • Informative “Telling” Examples • Evaluative “Selling” Examples
  20. 20. APPROACHES TO REPORT WRITING • Dash-boarding Data-driven and derived Report-generating MS Excel • Key-boarding Narrative Report-writing MS Word
  21. 21. OBJECTIVES OF BUSINES REPORT WRITING
  22. 22. THE KEY DRIVER OF PERSUASION?
  23. 23. ARISTOTLE’S RHETORICAL TRIANGLE
  24. 24. “LOOK AND FEEL” COMPONENTS OF AN EFFECTIVE BUSINESS REPORT (PRO-FORMA) • STRUCTURE • STYLE AND TONE • READABILITY • CONVENTION
  25. 25. LEARNING ACTIVITY 2 • Develop the best practice criteria and convention (rules) of an effective business report at your organization. Focus on the following elements:  Structure – refer to pages 16-24 in the Learner Manual  Style and tone – refer to pages 24-25 in the Learner Manual  Readability – refer to pages 25-28 in the Learner Manual  Convention – refer to pages 16-28 in the Learner Manual (embedded)
  26. 26. STRUCTURE • VARIES DEPENDENT ON WHETHER INFORMATIVE (“TELLING”) OR EVALUATIVE (“SELLING”) TYPE OF BUSINESS REPORT • EXTERNAL STRUCTURE – FRONT-END AND BACK-END • INTERNAL STRUCTURE
  27. 27. EXTERNAL STRUCTURE – FRONT-END • TITLE PAGE • TABLE OF CONTENTS • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  28. 28. EXTERNAL STRUCTURE – BACK-END • GLOSSARY OF TECHNICAL TERMS AND ACRONYMS • LIST OF SOURCES/REFERENCES • ATTACHMENTS – APPENDICES AND ANNEXURES
  29. 29. INTERNAL STRUCTURE • INTRODUCTION • BACKGROUND/CONTEXTUALIZATION • RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCESS • FINDINGS • CONCLUSIONS • RECOMMENDATIONS
  30. 30. STYLE • STYLE IS REGARDED AS THE DEGREE OF FORMALITY • THE APPROPRIATE STYLE IS: FORMAL (NOT INFORMAL) FACTUAL (NOT OPINION-BASED) RATIONAL (NOT EMOTIONAL) – “Connect intellectually with your reader, disconnect your emotions and personal feelings.” OBJECTIVE (NOT SUBJECTIVE)
  31. 31. TONE • TONE IS REGARDED AS THE WRITER’S ATTITUDE – DIRECTED AT READER AND SUBJECT MATTER • TONE SHOULD BE: RESPECTFUL (NOT PATRONIZING) PROFESSIONAL ASSERTIVE (NOT PASSIVE OR AGGRESSIVE)
  32. 32. APPROPRIATE TONE OF A BUSINESS REPORT - ASSERTIVE
  33. 33. READABILITY • REFERS TO ALL THE ASPECTS THAT MAKE A BUSINESS REPORT MORE NOTICEABLE AND EASY TO READ - “SOFT ON THE EYE AND SOFT ON THE MIND” • MUTUAL DEPENDENCE - THE WRITER RELIES ON THE READERS' ABILITY TO READ EFFICIENTLY AND TO UNDERSTAND THE (INTENDED) MESSAGE. • WRITER NEEDS TO DO EVERYTHING IN THEIR POWER TO ENABLE AND FACILITATE A COMMON UNDERSTANDING • TECHNIQUES TO ENHANCE THE READABILITY:  LAY-OUT  USE OF WHITE SPACE  HEADINGS/SUB-HEADINGS  NUMBERING
  34. 34. CONVENTION • USE OF TABLES AND FIGURES – LABELLING, NUMBERING AND REFERENCING • APPENDICES AND ANNEXURES - LABELLING, NUMBERING AND REFERENCING • CITATION AND REFERENCING – HARVARD METHOD – ALWAYS ACKNOWLEDGE SOURCE AND AVOID PLAGRIASM AT ALL COSTS • FORMAT, DESIGN AND LAY-OUT – INDUSTRY AND ORGANIZATION- SPECIFIC GUIDELINES AND TECHNIQUES • USE ACTIVE VOICE (AS OPPOSED TO PASSIVE) – WRITTEN IN THIRD PERSON
  35. 35. CONVENTION • GRAMMATICAL AND LANGUAGE RULES • USE OF ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS • AVOID JARGON AND UNFAMILIAR BUSINESS TERMINOLOGY • AVOID USING ELLIPSES….. • SENTENCE AND PARAGRAPH STRUCTURING
  36. 36. PROPER SENTENCE AND PARAGRAPH STRUCTURING • VARY THE LENGTH OF SENTENCES • EASY TO UNDERSTAND CONCEPTS – SHORTER SENTENCES. COMPLEX CONCEPTS – LONGER SENTENCES TO ENABLE EFFICIENT ASSIMILATION OF INFORMATION • DON’T SUBSTITUTE A FULL-STOP FOR A COMMA – “IF YOU CAN USE A FULL-STOP USE IT!” • ONE CONCEPT/KEY POINT, ONE PARAGRAPH. DIFFERENT CONCEPT, DIFFERENT PARAGRAPH. “DON’T MIX ‘N MATCH – AVOID LIQUORICE ALL-SORTS WRITING STYLE” • CREATE A MEANDERING AND MESMERIZING WRITING STYLE AS YOU TRANSITION FROM ONE PARAGRAPH TO THE NEXT. AS YOU EXIT ONE PARAGRAPH START INTRODUCING THE NEXT ONE.
  37. 37. REPORT WRITING PROCESS
  38. 38. REPORT WRITING PROCESS • STEP 1: PLANNING • STEP 2: RESEARCHING THINKING (80%) • STEP 3: ORGANIZING • STEP 4: WRITING THE FIRST DRAFT • STEP 5: QUALITY ASSURANCE INKING (20%) • STEP 6: SUBMIT FINAL DRAFT FOR APPROVAL AND ADOPTION
  39. 39. STEP 1: PLANNING (7-W’S) • DEFINE THE PURPOSE (WHY?) • FORMULATE THE OBJECTIVES (WHAT?) • SUBMISSION TARGET DATE (WHEN?) • SUBMISSION AND APPROVAL PLATFORM/COMMITTEE (WHERE?) • SCOPE OF THE REPORT (WIDTH?) • ESTIMATED LENGTH/VOLUME OF REPORT (WEIGHT?) • CONDUCT A READERSHIP ANALYSIS (WHO?)
  40. 40. READERSHIP ANALYSIS (RELATED TO A-B-C) • LEVEL 1 READER/S: APPROVING AUTHORITY (NON-TECHNICAL) – INFORMATION NEED: BREVITY • LEVEL 2 READER/S: TECHNICAL/SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT – INFORMATION NEED: ACCURACY • LEVEL 3 READER/S: IMPLEMENTER/FUNCTIONARY – INFORMATION NEED: CLARITY
  41. 41. BUSINESS REPORT WRITING PHASES • Crafting (Conceptualizing) • Drafting (Writing) • Shafting (Submitting)
  42. 42. STEP 2: RESEARCHING • METHODS – TO ACHIEVE THE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH PRINCIPLE OF VALIDITY • PROCESS – TO ACHIEVE THE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH PRINCIPLE OF RELIABILITY • COLLECTIVELY: VALIDITY + RELIABILITY = CREDIBILITY
  43. 43. RESEARCH METHODS
  44. 44. RESEARCH METHODS • QUANTITATIVE – NUMERIC E.G. STATISTICS - DEDUCTIVE • QUALITATIVE – SUBJECTIVE E.G. SURVEYS AND FOCUS GROUPS - INDUCTIVE • SOURCES OF DATA:  ELECTRONIC  DOCUMENTARY  EXPERIMENTAL  HUMAN
  45. 45. RESEARCH PROCESS • STEP 1: DEVELOP A DATA COLLECTION PLAN/STRATEGY • STEP 2: DATA COLLECTION • STEP 3: DATA COLLATION • STEP 4: DATA ANALYSIS LEADS TO FINDINGS • STEP 5: DATA INTERPRETATION LEADS TO CONCLUSIONS • STEP 6: VERIFICATION • STEP 7: PUBLICATION LEADS TO RECOMMENDATIONS
  46. 46. STEP 3: ORGANIZING – 3-S FORMAT • STRUCTURE (OF REPORT) • SEQUENCE (OF REPORT) • SPACING (POSITIONING OF TABLES, FIGURES, ATTACHMENTS TO THE REPORT) • RECOMMENDED ORGANIZING TOOL: MIND-MAPPING • OBJECTIVE: TO ENSURE FLUENCY AND EFFICIENCY IN WRITING WHEN TRANSITIONING FROM THINKING (STEPS 1-3) TO INKING (STEPS 4-6)
  47. 47. MIND-MAPPING EXAMPLE
  48. 48. LEARNING ACTIVITY 3 • By following steps 1-3 of the report writing process, develop a framework/skeleton of a business report for your organization. Step 1: Planning Step 2: Research methodology and process Step 3: Organizing the report structure
  49. 49. STEP 4: WRITE FIRST DRAFT • APPLY THE BEST PRACTICE WRITING PRINCIPLES • USE THE APPROPRIATE REPORT STRUCTURE AND FORMAT
  50. 50. STEP 5: QUALITY ASSURANCE • PROOF-READ AND EDIT THE REPORT • PERFORM A SPELLING AND PUNCTUATION CHECK • CONSULT WITH LANGUAGE AND SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS AND RECEIVE FEEDBACK • MAKE THE NECESSARY REVISIONS • REFER TO THE EVALUATION CHECKLIST (PAGES 42-44 IN THE LEARNER MANUAL)
  51. 51. STEP 6: SUBMISSION AND APPROVAL OF FINAL DRAFT • MAKE THE NECESSARY AMENDMENTS AND WRITE THE FINAL DRAFT • SUBMIT TO HIGHER MANAGEMENT TO AUTHORIZE, APPROVE AND ADOPT THE REPORT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
  52. 52. LEARNING ACTIVITY 4 • By using the following format (as a guideline), write the first draft of a business report on the identified, work-related topic/subject. (step 4 of the business report writing process) • Step 5: Review the report (Submit this report to a fellow learner to get feedback). Readers should use the checklist on pages 42-44 to evaluate the business report. • Step 6: Writing and submitting the final draft (Based on the feedback from the fellow learner, make the necessary amendments and write the final draft)
  53. 53. MINUTE-TAKING FUNDAMENTALS • The definition and scope of minutes • The implications of not recording minutes • Tips and warnings • The criteria of effective minutes • Generic meeting terminology
  54. 54. DEFINING MINUTES AND THE SCOPE THEREOF • Minutes are a detailed record of a meeting. The minutes record topics of conversation, actions needed and decisions made. • Minutes ensure that there is an official record of the meeting, also documenting who was at a meeting and who was absent. Normally, one person is elected to keep the minutes, usually a secretary or treasurer. • Minutes are checked at the next meeting as a true record of the proceedings and signed by the chairperson. Minutes should cover a number of basic things:  Where and when the meeting took place?  Who was there and who was not?  Who was the speaker and what did he/she say?  What has been decided for the group (resolutions)?  Who has agreed to do what?  Who is responsible for implementing it?  When should it be implemented?
  55. 55. THE IMPLICATIONS OF NOT RECORDING MINUTES • Without minutes: Nobody can be exactly sure what has been decided at meetings Nobody can be sure about the various actions of Committee Members Nobody can be sure who did or did not attend meetings The group is at the mercy of more organized bodies who take the trouble to record decisions very carefully The group is vulnerable to take-over by any member of the group who wants to take it over
  56. 56. TIPS AND WARNINGS • You do not need to record topics irrelevant to the business at hand. Taking minutes is not the same as taking dictation. • Consult only the chairperson or executive officer, not the attendees, if you have questions. • The person taking minutes does not participate in the meeting. • Write in a concise, accurate manner, taking care not to include any sort of subjective opinion. • Focus on capturing and communicating all important actions that took place. • Make sure all attendees sign the minutes before they are filed to demonstrate their agreement with the contents of the minutes
  57. 57. THE CRITERIA OF GOOD QUALITY MINUTES • #1: Be factual and accurate • #2: Be short and to the point (concise) • #3: Clearly indicate the meeting proceedings and discussions • #4: Concentrate on resolutions and decisions taken at the meeting • #5: Show decisions clearly marked “agreed” by the Committee Members • #6: Follow the agenda headings so that they are easily understood
  58. 58. THE CRITERIA OF GOOD QUALITY MINUTES • #7: Be written in full sentences • #8: Indicate how many members attended the meeting or list their names • #9: State the time the meeting was opened and closed • #10: Be written in the past tense • #11: Be written in plain, easily understood language • #12: Be consistent in their format and content
  59. 59. FORMAT OF GOOD MINUTES
  60. 60. GENERIC AGENDA FORMAT • Opening and Welcome • Attendance register • Apologies • Personalia • Approval of Minutes of the previous meeting • Matters arising (from previous meeting): • Points of discussion (new matters): • General (AOB): • Date of subsequent meeting • Closing
  61. 61. BEST PRACTICE, PROCESS GUIDELINES FOR MINUTE-TAKERS
  62. 62. BEST PRACTICE, PROCESS GUIDELINES FOR MINUTE-TAKERS • Preparing (pre-meeting) – refer to page 50 in the Learner Manual • Transcribing (during meeting) - refer to pages 51-52 in the Learner Manual • Writing minutes (after the meeting) - refer to page 52 in the Learner Manual
  63. 63. PREPARATION (PRE-MEETING) • Obtain the meeting agenda, minutes from the last meeting, and any background documents to be discussed. • Prepare an outline based on the agenda ahead of time, and leave plenty of white space for notes. • Prepare a list of expected attendees and check off the names as people enter the room. • To be sure about who said what, make a map of the seating arrangement, and make sure to ask for introductions of unfamiliar people. • If you are an active participant in the meeting, be prepared. • Don't be intimidated by the prospect of taking minutes. Concise and coherent minutes are the mark of a professional.
  64. 64. TRANSCRIBING (DURING MEETING) • Sit beside the chairperson for convenient clarification or help as the meeting proceeds. • Ensure that all of the essential elements are noted • Note who arrives late or leaves early so that these people can be briefed on what they missed. • Don't make the mistake of recording every single comment. Concentrate on getting the gist of the discussion and taking enough notes to summarize it later. • Listen for key words or phrases. Try to capture basic ideas and the essence of what people say.
  65. 65. TRANSCRIBING (DURING MEETING) • Use whatever recording method is comfortable for you • Write down items in the order in which they are discussed. • Write as clearly as possible. Abbreviate words, use initials to save time circle key ideas, statements or decisions. Underline highlights and differentiate important ideas. Use stars, arrows, numbers. • Number all sheets. Note ‘Action’ beside motions or decisions requiring specific tasks. Note who is responsible for the action. • Speak up (via the Chairperson) when the action is too fast. • Record the motions made and the names of people who originate them. • Record whether motions are adopted or rejected, how the vote is taken and whether the vote is unanimous. For small meetings, write the names of the attendees who approve, oppose and abstain from each motion.
  66. 66. WRITING MINUTES (AFTER THE MEETING) • Don't wait too long (procrastinate) to type up the minutes, especially while your memory is fresh. • Use the approved format/template of minutes. • Consider attaching long resolutions, reports or other supplementary material to the minutes as an annexure/appendix. • Consult with subject matter experts and/or attendees to verify the accuracy of recorded minutes. • Proofread the minutes before submitting them. • Be sure to have the minutes approved by the chair or facilitator before distributing them to the attendees.
  67. 67. LEARNING ACTIVITY 5 • Group discussion: • Identify some of the foremost challenges when taking, transcribing and writing meeting minutes at your organization. For each of these challenges develop a viable solution/strategy to overcome these challenges. • Compile a list of 10 best practice criteria for good quality minutes. • Develop a set of process guidelines for minute-taking i.e. preparing, transcribing and writing minutes.
  68. 68. E-MAIL COMMUNICATION
  69. 69. FUNDAMENTALS OF E-MAIL COMMUNICATION • Guidelines to improve e-mail writing skills – refer to pages 53-54 in the Learner Manual • Writing professional e-mails - refer to page 54 in the Learner Manual • Improving your e-mail writing style - refer to pages 55-56 in the Learner Manual • Writing business e-mails - refer to pages 56-57 in the Learner Manual • Golden Rules of e-mail Etiquette - refer to pages 58-61 in the Learner Manual
  70. 70. GUIDELINES TO EFFECTIVE E-MAIL COMMUNICATION
  71. 71. WRITING PROFESSIONAL E-MAILS • Decide who should be included in the email. Include anyone who may be involved in the project or benefit from the information in the e-mail. • Write the subject line. This should be informative and direct, as it is the first thing the recipients will see when sorting through their inbox. To be clear, the subject line should call to attention the main issue in the e-mail. • Attach all necessary documents for the e-mail. • Include a short greeting to the recipients. • Write the body of the email. It is important to be concise with the information given, starting with the most important information first. Ask yourself "What do the recipients need to know?" When writing, be appropriate. Do not include exclamation points, emoticons or unnecessary capitalization as they all come across as unprofessional. • Give your name and contact information for the signature of the e-mail. This will let people know who you are and where they can reach you if they need more details.
  72. 72. IMPROVING YOUR E-MAIL WRITING STYLE • Use full sentences. • Avoid full caps • Slow down • Have a beginning and an end (structure) • Re-read your email before you send it • Avoid overusing adverbs, adjectives and long sentences • Lose the acronyms • Take advantage of punctuation • Use spell check
  73. 73. • Do not, under any circumstances, forward chain letters • Respond to group e-mails appropriately • Use actual English • Don’t use your company e-mail for private e-mails • Utilize CC and BCC properly • Be careful what you say
  74. 74. • Lose the attitude • Don’t be a spammer • Respect laws and regulations • Get clarification • Delete unnecessary content • Keep signatures simple
  75. 75. LEARNING ACTIVITY 6 • Group discussion: • Identify some of the common mistakes made by e- mail senders that cause/create irritation and frustration on the part of the recipients at your organization. For each of these common mistakes identify an improvement strategy. • Develop a Code of Good Practice: Proper and Professional e-mail Etiquette (10 principles) for all e-mail users at your organization.
  76. 76. DRAFTING PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS LETTERS AND MEMORANDUMS • Business Letter format - Block • Refer to Sample Business Letter • Business letter writing guidelines
  77. 77. BUSINESS LETTER WRITING GUIDELINES • Use a professional tone • Write clearly • Organize your information logically • Be persuasive • Proofread your letter • Useful phrases and vocabulary for writing business letters – refer to pages 67-71 in the Learner Manual
  78. 78. WRITING MEMORANDUM’S • Purpose of Memo’s • Written well, business memo’s are an efficient, effective way to communicate within an organization. • Memo Sections Heading Opening Body Closing
  79. 79. MEMORANDUM FORMAT
  80. 80. LEARNING ACTIVITY 7 • Group discussion: • Develop a set of 10 best practice criteria/guidelines for effective business letter writing at your organization. • Develop a set of 10 best practice criteria/guidelines for effective Memorandum writing at your organization.
  81. 81. CONCLUSION • Summary of key points • Final Questions • Training Administration • Summative Assessment
  82. 82. SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT • Compile a Portfolio of Evidence (PoE) in which you demonstrate your mastery and competence of the fundamental business writing principles, practice and process. • Provide evidence of planning, research, consultation, organizing processes and rough notes and drafts etc. • Provide work samples of the following documents that you’ve compiled:  1. Business Report at your organization (approx. 5-7 pages)  2. Minutes of a business meeting at your organization  3. Business Letter OR Memorandum at your organization (approx. 1-2 pages)  4. E-mail at your organization (internal and external) • Submit within four (4) weeks of the completion of this training programme.
  83. 83. CONTACT DETAILS • Charles Cotter • (+27) 84 562 9446 • charlescot@polka.co.za • LinkedIn • Twitter: @Charles_Cotter • http://www.slideshare.net/CharlesCotter

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