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Discover the secrets to effective business writing and crafting messages that others want to read and act on. Judy Steiner-Williams, senior lecturer at Kelley School of Business, introduces you to the 10 Cs of strong business communication and provides you with before-and-after writing samples that give you the opportunity to apply each principle and sharpen your communication skills. Judy also points out common grammar and writing mistakes and shares special considerations for formats like emails and reports.
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- [Voiceover] Practice makes perfect. Whether you want to improve your golf, yoga, cooking or writing skills, you need to practice. Each time we practice the techniques or principles, we are reinforcing the correct process or procedures. The more we practice correctly, the better we become. With enough practice and effort, we eventually become proficient and may even excel. So let's start practicing, so that you can become that business writer who gets noticed. Even though the following example is only 61 words, with normal average sentence lengths of about 20 words, it needs to be revised.
At this point in time, we are in consideration of changing the holiday choices, so we are sending you this email to ask you a question. We would like to know if you prefer regularly scheduled holidays or floating holidays. You can give us your choice on the form that we have attached and send it back to us by Friday. Look at the wordy phrases.
Once we decide on the actual purpose of the message and revise it to make it concise, we end with two sentences, for a total of 22 words. Here's another example to revise. At our last meeting we discussed company morale. During that meeting we decided that having more company-sponsored activities is one way that we could try to improve the morale.
Lots of us like to bicycle. Has anyone scheduled a pitch-in lunch for next month? Flex time was another idea that was suggested. Lots of us have children and need dependable child care facilities. The paragraph has six different ideas. The writer knew how the ideas connected, but the reader sees no obvious connection.
Transition needs to be added to connect the ideas, and the message needs to look easy to read. Here are the suggestions from our last meeting to help improve company morale. 1: Sponsor more company-wide activities such as a bicycle club. 2: Have pitch-in lunches once a month. 3: Consider the possibility of flex time. 4: Investigate the cost and benefits of providing on-site child care facilities. Now listen to these sentences.
Firstly, enclosed please find the materials related to your request. Per your request, we have also enclosed the latest newsletter. Are these words ones you normally use when having a face-to-face conversation? Firstly, enclosed please find, per your request... Or would you be more likely to say, I've included a worksheet that has additional exercises on each of the C's that will help you continue to practice these concepts.
The worksheet is available to all members in the exercise files.
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