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How to Participate in Meetings from Business Communication of SMU MBA

Monday, December 26, 2011

It is very important that one attend meetings. There is a mixed feeling about attending meetings among people. Some members are happy to just attend the team meetings. It is as though they are physically present in the meetings without contributing anything constructive.

Meetings are only way of passing time for them. Others feel as though their opinions aren’t valued. They have a lot to contribute but go unnoticed. There are still others who just can’t get a word in. Unequal participation reduces the outcomes of the meeting and can be frustrating for all the participants.

Any meeting to be successful needs careful attention of honing of communication skills. The success or failure of a meeting can be attributed to the way it is conducted as well as the way how people have participated in its proceedings.

If people make the effort to attend a meeting, it is in everyone’s interest to have thoughtful contributions from all. For the success of a meeting, the participants should follow certain regimen. They are –

  • Arrive on time
  • Be prepared to discuss the agenda items
  • Keep their contributions relevant to the subject under discussion
  • Present their ideas clearly
  • Listen carefully and with an open mind to points raised by others encourage good ideas from others
  • Keep their interests in check

Some participants are responsible for the failure of the meetings. The outcome of the meetings is reduced because of their typical character. They could be compulsive talkers, never contribute, digress or carry on private conversations while the others are busy discussing important issues.

The chapter of participating in meetings has been taken from Business Communication book of SMU MBA. Meetings decide the future of any projects. So, to make it effective there should be a deep understanding about the participating in meetings. You need to understand above mentioned topic to make yourself best. It is the sequel of How to Prepare Minutes chapter.

How to Prepare Minutes from Business Communication Book of SMU MBA

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Practice note taking exercises well to master the skill. When writing minutes, keep the following key points in mind:

  1. They are key points only
  2. They are a summary except motions, which are verbatim
  3. They must be entirely accurate – what was said, not how you interpreted what was said or what you would have preferred was said. Your point of view should not be given here, whether you agree/do not with the speaker’s statement.
  4. Keep a record of every motion and vote; who said what and who moved and passed motions
  5. Use simple, short words and use simple sentence construction
  6. Use consistent grammar and use past tense eg. It was concluded, the matter was
  7. If something is important and you are unsure what was said or who said it, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification

As soon as the meeting has concluded, begin to work on the minutes. The notes taken during the meeting act as a memory prompt and will be more reliable if the meeting is fresh in the secretary / minute taker’s mind.

The minutes that are taken down during the meeting must be transcribed into the style that was previously followed. It is best to keep the minutes in the same style as they were recorded in the previous meetings. There are three basic styles of minutes:

  1. Report – this is a full record of all discussions that includes the names of all speakers, movers and seconders of any motions, written in a narrative style.
  2. Minutes of Narration – these include some of the discussions that took place and important details. This style of minutes is considered a legal document.
  3. Minutes of Resolution – these are limited to the recording of the actual words of all resolutions that were passed. Movers and seconders are not recorded. Each resolution that is made commences with the phase, ‘resolved that’.

The chapter has been taken from Business Communication book of SMU MBA in the sequence of Styles of Meetings, Agenda of Meeting and Minutes of Meeting.

Minutes of Meeting for SMU MBA from Business Communication Book

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The minutes of meeting are the official record of the key points of a meeting. They are recorded instantly at the moment of hearing the discussions.

The minute taker of the team takes responsibility for the writing up for the minutes. The minutes may be first taken down and then typed. The copies of the minutes should be sent/given to all participants of the meeting. Alternatively, the proceedings of the meeting may be audio-recorded, later typed, and then issued to the participants.

Generally, minutes begin with the organization name, place, date, list of people present, and the time that the meeting was called to order. Minutes then recorded what actually happens at a meeting, in the order that it actually happens, regardless of whether the meeting follows any written agenda.

Since the primary function of minutes is to record the decisions make, any and all official decisions must be included. If a formal motion is made, seconded, passed, or not, then this action and the vote tally must be included. If a decision is made by calling votes, then all of the individual votes must be recorded by name. If it is made by unanimous agreement, without a formal vote, then this fact is recorded.

Minutes in business and other private organizations are normally submitted by and over the name of an officer of the organization at a subsequent meeting for review. The traditional closing phrase is “Respectfully submitted,” name, and his or her title.

The minutes are approved only if the participants of the meeting agree that the written minutes reflect what happened at the meeting. Their approval is recorded in the minutes of the current meeting. If there are errors or omissions, then the minutes will be re-drafted and submitted again at a later date. If there are minor changes, then they may be made immediately, and the amended minutes may be approved “as amended” in the current meeting. Minutes of meeting is the next chapter of agenda of meeting.

Agenda of Meeting from SMU MBA of Business Communication

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The word ‘agenda’ is derived from Latin, meaning the actions to be taken. Note that it was a plural word. Originally the singular term was ‘agendum’. In modern days however, we accept ‘agenda’ to refer to the list as a whole and the plural is ‘agendas’. Every meeting should have an Agenda. It was a document, which provides an advance outline of the business of the meeting, thereby allowing participants to prepare themselves. In other words, agenda refers to a list of points that needs to be discussed at a meeting.

In business meetings of deliberative bodies, the agenda may also be known as the ‘orders of the day.’ The agenda is usually distributed to the participants of a meeting prior to the meeting, so that they will be aware of the subjects to be discussed, and are able to prepare for the meeting accordingly.

An agenda helps the chairperson to structure the meeting and the secretary/minute taker to keep track of what is being discussed. It needs to include the most important items and be sent out in advance. This allows the participants to research agenda items before the meeting. An agenda can be a list of items to be discussed at the meeting or may include more information advising the members on action related to the topics.

Planning and designing an agenda before a meeting is very important. It should give as much information as possible in advance. It should list not only the topics to be discussed during the meeting, but also the proposed goals of the meeting.

Circulate the agenda to the members, who have to attend the meeting; and supply any relevant background information before the meeting but keep it brief. Consider the approach you will take as a meeting leader, any opening remarks you will make and how will introduce each topic on the agenda.

Agenda of meeting is the sequel chapter of a note on types of communication and styles of meetings from business communication book of SMU MBA.

Styles of Meetings from Business Communication Book of SMU MBA

Monday, September 26, 2011

In any organization, meeting is an important vehicle for human communication. In a meeting, two or more people come together for the purpose of discussing a predetermined topic, often in a formalized setting.

Styles of Meetings:

Formal Meetings:

These are the meetings that are governed by a set of rules or standing orders, which are agreed earlier. These rules determine how the meetings should be conducted. If you have to participate in a formal meeting, you should find out about the set of rules and procedures that you have to follow and act in accordance. These rules which are formulated many vary from one organization to another.

Semi Formal Meetings:

Not all meetings require a formal setting. Nevertheless, even semiformal meeting benefits from well chosen surroundings and a basic structure or protocol. Small semiformal meetings are ideal for problem solving, brainstorming, discussion of local issues giving feedback and appraisal workshops. They include mealtime meetings, such as breakfast, lunch or dinner meetings.

Informal Meetings:

Informal meetings are the meetings which mark the immediacy of the problem. These types of meetings are useful for resolving issues or problems quickly and easily. Informal meetings can take a range of difficult forms.

Thanks to the new media technology, a virtual meeting can go on either in real time for an agreed time period as a digital version of a face meeting. It can also go on over several days or weeks where people can join in at any time to chat to each other about agreed topics. It also allows them to leave messages on a bulletin board and gather opinion from across a range of participants. However, the limitations of this type of meeting are that it depends on restrictions of access.

The chapter has been taken from Organizational Communication of SMU MBA book after a note on types of communication.

A Note on Types of Communication from Business Communication Book of SMU MBA

Friday, September 16, 2011

Organizations can’t operate without communication. Communication can take various forms; but all forms involve the transfer of information one party to the other. In order for the transfer of information to quality as communication, the recipient must understand the meaning of the information transferred to him. If the recipient does not understand the meaning of the information conveyed to him, communication has not taken place.

Types of Communication:

Internal/Organizational Communication: The communication that takes place between the members of an organization – within themselves, is internal communication. It takes place across the organization. In addition to the usual face-to-face, telephone, fax or mail, modern organizations may use technology to communicate internally.

External Communication: External communication is communication between the organization and those outside the organization. Modern organizations may design technological systems so that they can communicate with customers and undertake e-Commerce. Alternatively, they communicate with other business through the internet or similar systems and undertake e-Business. The communication is carried out through letters, fax, direct mail, internet, video telephone, advertising and websites.

Formal Communication: Formal communication is defined as communication, which occurs through the official channels. It is undertaken by an employee to do his job. Official meetings, letters, circular, memos and a manager asking an employee to carry out a particular task, are considered as formal communication.

Informal Communication: Informal communication is that which occurs outside the recognized communication networks such as talking in the canteens or hallways between employees. Informal communication can be productive or negative. Since the employees are in the relaxed atmosphere, the informal communication has the potential to build teams, improve working relationships and generate innovative ideas. Too much of informal communication in the work space may also prove negative. It may lead to negligence of work or disobedience. The chapter is in the continuation of style of writing.

The Top MBA Books Everyone Should Read

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Those looking towards getting their MBA either by going to regular classes or doing their MBA online will need to get the latest skills on how the new economy is working. Since not all MBA's are the same, it is a matter of skills and insight acquired that will dictate whether they will get the best jobs out there.

There is only one way to get the knowledge needed to compete at a global level and that is by reading the most concise books out there that cover the most current material.

The following are just a few of the best MBA books to read:

Capitalism and Freedom- was penned down by Nobel Prize winning Laureate Milton Friedman. This document which was released in 1962 attested to the fact that the greater freedoms a person had the stronger the economy was . In essence the more government interfered with the way people conduct business with one another the more harm it did for the market. While people do try to protect others with the best of intentions the free market is the best protection for both seller and buyer.

The Competitive Advantage Of Nations- This book highlights how various nations have inherent advantages over others. Since we live in a global economy, the economic advantages and disadvantages become very apparent. Also, this is where some governments try to enact protection measures by charging fees on imported goods in the hope of giving the local firms an advantage over foreign suppliers.

Made In America- Is the story of Sam Walton who built the largest retail empire in the world. We all know his business as Walmart ® Which now has become a multinational force that shows no signs of slowing down. Walton understood the need for consumers to have a place to go and find all the products they needed at the lowest prices possible. He started off with the five and ten stores and grew a global brand from humble beginnings.

The reason all prospective MBA graduates must read these and other books is to take the lessons from the past that were learned the hard way and apply them to real world solutions. By taking action and reading these books a person will be able to be more informed and better equipped to compete for the top jobs in the market.

Style of Writing from Business Communication Book of SMU MBA

Sunday, August 7, 2011

There are some important instructions about style of writing from Business Communication Book of SMU MBA. We already have shared some other topics also from the book like writing of press release and writing of resume.

Style of Writing:

Take much care of what you say and how you say it.

Avoid shortcuts or pop-conventions of e-mail culture like lower case letter at the beginning of a sentence: ‘i’ instead of I, ‘ur’ instead of your, etc. will make a poor impression.

If you know the person to whom you are writing you may begin with his/her name followed by a colon.

If you don’t know the person or are in very formal terms, start with the conventional format that is discussed earlier. Close with the corresponding closing.

The content should be structured in the same way as you would, in a formal letter.

Confidentiality: Keep your formal mails confidential by avoiding any message that you would not want others to read.

Permanence: Since the networks are not fail-safe, don’t consider the files that you have sent or received as ‘safe.’ Print out hard copies of anything that is very important.

Commercial Sensitivity: Don’t send commercially sensitive material by e-mail.

Contractual Material: Avoid sending contractual material by e-mail. Even if you have to send it, follow it up with hard copies.

Attachments: While sending and receiving, scan for virus. If files are large, zip them.

Unnecessary Messages: Don’t send unnecessary messages, while forwarding to large groups. It can cause irritation to the receiver, who is not concerned with your massage.

Content of Auto Signature:

Your auto-signature should contain your name, address of your institution, telephone/fax numbers. You can also include the URL of a personal website.

You need to follow these instructions as style of writing while writing a letter, message or email. This must be followed for the better impact.

About the Writing of Fax and Telegram from Business Communication Book of SMU MBA

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Now we shall focus our attention on writing smaller messages. These depend on the technical instruments that are used while sending the message. Hence concentration should be on writing short messages. Avoid all words and phrases that do not add significantly to the message that you want to send. Brief reference to the context should be provided to make your message complete.

So you may skip writing salutation, complimentary close, etc. But don’t forget to include your name at the bottom. Fax and e-mail used to send formal business letters.

While composing a telegraphic message (telegram), only key words and phrases are used. Function words such as articles and prepositions should not be included. If essential, they may be used to a minimum.

Fax: You should take much care while writing faxes.

Use fax template for cover document. This will have the layout of recipient’s name, institution, fax no. etc.

In formal faxing,

Do not hand-write

Use the formal conventions for starting and finishing as explained in formal letter writing

The content should be structured as you would structure a formal letter


Fax from: Oberoi Shereton Towers

22 Alma Street

Sampangi Park 575222

Fax: 650 325 8723

Fax to: Sanjay Memon, Manasvi Inc.

Fax no: 235 266 3122

Date: 17 July, 2011

Subject: Remittance of draft for registration of classes

No. of pages including this one: 1

From: Ashis Jain, Registration Manager

Refer to our telephonic conversation on 15 December. The bank draft for Rupees Seventeen thousand has not yet been received. Please send by return post or by courier.

Ashish Jain


Training Manager

Cool Lounge Restaurant

10, Janpath

New Delhi – 110001

Sixty five copies of Registration form Books sent today by courier.

Buvan Patel


Not to be telegraphed:

Bhuvan Patel, Manager Logistics

Accord Company Pvt. Ltd.

24, Akashganga Marg

Kolkatta – 432001

The chapter has been taken from Business Communication book of SMU MBA. We already have discussed about writing of press release and writing of resume. Now, you have a chance to learn how to write fax and telegram in this chapter.

A Theory on the Writing of Press Release from Business Communication Book

Monday, May 23, 2011

A press release is pseudo-news story, written in third person that seeks to demonstrate to an editor or reporter the newsworthiness a particular person, event, service or product.

It is an effective form of publicity for any organization. It can be used to announce events, developments, meetings, appointments, promotions and the like. It should be prepared meticulously and concisely with the exact information you wish the public to receive. It must be interesting, newsworthy, and timely. Accuracy and completeness are essential, or it probably will not be used. Releases should be written like the best of all possible “stories” coming out of your event. You want reporters to use the information it contains to write stories of their own.

Another form of writing effectively publicity material is written a media advisory. It is written to announce an event, which you want the media to attend. A press advisory is designed to bring an event to the media’s attention and entice journalists to attend. It should be written in a simple form, including all pertinent information – the what/topic, where, when, and who speakers for the event. It should not be more than one page. You should clearly written what the journalists can expect to take place. A contact name and number for questions should be written at the top. These advisors are printed on the sponsoring group’s letter head.

The Press Releases should be sent to:

Beat reporters who cover your issue, e.g. environment, education, etc.

Assignment editors at television or radio stations

Radio and TV producers or bookers who schedule for shows that may cover your matter

The chapter has been taken from MB0023 Business Communication book of SMU MBA. We already have shared a note on the writing of resume in this series.

A Note on the Writing of a Resume from Business Communication Book of SMU MBA

Friday, May 6, 2011

When you apply for a job, you should always remember that your application is not the only one which is seen; but your aim is to see that you write a resume that makes you really stand out as a superior candidate for a job you are seeking. So, even if you face fierce competition, with a well written resume, you should be invited to interview more often than many people more qualified than you. Such a resume needs conceptualization of your accomplishments and experiences all into one document. Your focus should be on the requirements of the employer. Therefore, your resume should contain:

Your aims, goals, work experience, achievements, qualifications

Your projects or researches if done

Your skill sets

Your objectives


Your experience in the previous company

Your strengths and weaknesses depending on what is the requirement of the job. Be careful while writing the weaknesses; they should appear as if the long run they are, after all, your strengths!

Your detailed contact information where the employer can reach you

Any other information that you fee can be relevant for you to portray yourself to get the job based on your experience and qualification.

All these matters that are the requirements of the vacancy you are applying to should be written in a precise and concise manner. Remember that no employer has enough time to go through extensive and detailed resumes. So your resume should be easy to read and should impress the employer at the first glance.

A note on the writing of resume topic has been taken from the chapter of Writing Skills. The chapter is the most important in Business Communication book of SMU MBA. It is introduced in the sequence of how to write a job application.

How to Write Job Application from Business Communication of SMU MBA

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Advancement in the career front is the most desired aspect of an individual’s life. Writing a job application is the first step towards such goal. A job application is nothing but a medium to sell your services. So it should show all qualities that are required by the buying agent i.e. the employer.

Normally a job application contains two parts: a converting letter and a Resume. It is also known as Bio-data or Curriculum Vitae. We will learn in detail the method of drafting in the covering letter and a Resume.

i) Covering Letter: This is the first paper that is read by a Personnel Manager which suggests to him whether you are fit or not for the requirements of his company. The covering letter will have the following elements.
a) The position you are applying for. You have to give the reference of the post that you have applied for. It is important to indicate where you came across the advertisement of the job vacancy. Your opening paragraph should be very effective to attract the employer’s interest in you.
b) Your interest in the job. You should indicate your keenness to get the job.
c) Your suitability for the job. Here you can give a brief about your experience and skills that make you fit for the job. Your most impressive details from the Resume may be included here.
d) A statement of your availability for interview.
e) Make sure you use good English and do the proof reading before you send the letter with the resume.

Structure of the Letter:

1) Address of the applicant and date: This is written on the top of the letter flush with the right margin. It may also be written on the left margin. The address is written first and after two line spaces the date is written. However, some may start with the date and then after two line spaces the address is written.
2) Salutation: Even if you know the name of the person whom you are addressing to, it is better to keep the salutation as ‘Dear Sir’ or Dear Sirs.’ If you know that you are writing to a lady, make it ‘Dear Madam’. This is typed two line spaces after the last line of the address written above.
3) Subject: It is better to write the subject which contains the vacancy you are applying for. This is written immediately below the salutation. Make it bold if you are printing it, or you should underline it in the case of written application.
4) Body: we have already discussed how to write a covering letter. You may follow those hints while writing the job application. Leave two line spaces after writing the subject to start the body of the letter.
5) Complimentary Close: You can follow the rules given in the unit ‘structure of business letter.’ Leave four spaces to sign in your name after the complimentary close.
6) Structure: After your signature don’t forget to write your full name clearly below it.
7) Enclosures: This is written two line spaces after writing your name. Write clearly all the documents that you are enclosing with your covering letter.

Check out this sample covering letter which may help you to make a start in writing impressing covering letters!

The chapter has been taken from SMU Business Communication book in the sequence of How to Write Accepting and Declining Invitations.

How to Write Accepting and Declining Invitations from Business Communication Book

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It is good business etiquette to write any acceptance or declination of an invitation. This helps the host in arranging the seats for the invitees or makes any other business arrangements. As a rule, you can decide the formality or informality of the letter depending on the style of the invitation. You should be gracious when accepting the invitation. In the first paragraph you should thank the person/organization that has invited you. In brief, identify the subject of the invitation. In other words, write in short that you are accepting. If you are accepting an invitation to a social event, express your anticipation that the event will be a success. Clarify any details about the event, if needed, such a date or time, location, dress, etc.

Even if you have to decline an invitation don’t forget to thank the person who was invited you. Be clear while stating that you are not accepting the invitation. Also, briefly write the reason for declining the offer. Given below is a sample letter where the writer declines the offer made in the previous letter. Note that though the letter is declining the business offer, it is written in a positive note suggesting chances of business in the future.

Date: 20th April, 2011

Dear, Mr. Keith

Thank you for inviting us to The Conference Room of your prestigious hotel, Valley View, for review and evaluation.

Though we were impressed with the quality of your service, our marketing review committee has made the decision not avail the benefit of this type at the present time. Should our policies change in the future, we will consider your service as an advantage for our business.

Should you develop or wish to submit other services in the future that you feel may be of interest to us, please feel free to contact us.

Again, thank you for considering Sikkim Manipal University as a potential guest.

Thank You

Yours sincerely



The chapter has been taken from SMU Business Communication book. We already have shared our opinions about structure of business letter.

Learn Writing Complaint Letter and Apology Letter from MB0023 of SMU MBA

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Complaint Letter: Writing a complaint letter is often an undesirable task. But if it is done well, the end result can be very rewarding. Complaint letters can be used for the purpose of having products replaced or money refunded, for changing company policy or government legislation, for influencing the media, and so forth. Often a complaint letter is more effective than a simple phone call or e-mail message. Furthermore, in many cases, the formality of a complaint letter can add seriousness to the situation that will bring results. When writing your complaint letter, identify a definite purpose and outcome that you want to achieve, and indicate those ideas clearly in your letter.

Points to keep in mind while writing complaint letters:

Be sure that the complaint you are making is legitimate. Check out the facts of your complaint. Check out the facts of your complaint.

Let your language be diplomatic. Avoid being sarcastic, angry of threatening even if your complaint is genuine. Remember that the person to whom you address your letter may not after, all be the person responsible for the problem.

Let your letter be concise and limit to one page if possible. However, include important dates or places and include any additional relevant information you can.

If you have to enclose any documents do so but remember to send only the photocopy and keep the originals with you. Also keep a copy of your complaint letter for your records.

Apology Letter: Now that you have learnt to write a complaint letter, you should also learn to write an apology letter. An effective apology letter is an important part of the business correspondence that would make your life in work place easy. To err is human, so instead of dwelling on the mistake committed, it is better to act quickly in order to resolve the problem.

Points to keep in mind while writing apology letters:

While writing an apology letter, concentrate on the rectification of the error committed than on the problem that you have caused the receiving person.

If possible along with the apology, state any compensation that you can give to the person who has suffered the damage.

Take full responsibility on the problem caused.

Don’t be dramatic while apologizing. Your words should express your feelings clearly and simply. The tone of your letter should be considerate and respectful.

From the chapter you have already learned about structure of business letter and principles of writing letters. Now, there is a great example of writing a complaint and apology letter.

Structure of a Business Letter from Business Communication MB0023 of SMU MBA

Saturday, February 19, 2011

We already have discussed about the writing letter. Now, let us come to the arrangement of a business letter. To make your letter effective remember that your presentation of the letter also to be effective. Usually, the letter is drafted in two styles – Blocked and Semi Blocked.

Blocked – Every line in this style begins flush with the left hand margin. Paragraphs are differentiated by leaving a blank space in between them.

Semi Blocked – The first line of each paragraph is indented in this style of writing letters.

The structure of letter contains the following elements:

Heading: Many organizations use their letter head for writing business letters. This covers one fifth of the total space of the page.

Date: This is very important as it might act as a proof that you wrote on a particular date. Type the date two spaces below the last line of the heading at the left hand margin of the letter.

Reference: The advantage of writing a reference is that it helps to trace the letter at a later date. Writing reference number is of two types – one indicates the reference number what you allot for the letter that you write; the other indicates the correspondent’s previous letter to which you are replying now.

Inside Address: The complete address of the person whom you are writing to should be written. You should place it two line-spaces after the date.

Salutation: This is the vital part of the letter which is a good as wishing the person. It is important that you address the name of the person if you know it.

Subject: This indicates to the reader of the letter what the letter is about. It saves the time of the reader. The subject of the letter is written two line-spaces after the salutation.

Body: This contains the text of the letter that you write. You should organize the body of the letter into paragraphs depending upon the matter of your communication.

Conclusion: The conclusion is also known as ‘complimentary close’. You should always end the business letter with a firm or positive note.

Signature: You should place your signature below the complimentary close. Four line spaces are left after the complimentary close to write your name in full.

Enclosure: If you have to enclose any documents along with the letter, you must mention it. The word in abbreviated from encl. is typed two line space below the name / position that you had specified after the signature.

Principles of Writing Letters from Business Communication of SMU MBA

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Principles of writing letters can make our letters effective. There are some principles of writing effective letters:

Courtesy and Consideration:

The basis of any relationship is built on the strong edifice of feelings for others. Courtesy is like the oil which removes the friction, it makes life smooth and helps win friends. It softens the sting of an unpleasant piece of information, creates goodwill, and produces a favourable response. Look at the following sentences that help you word your business letter in a polite manner.

Many thanks for your letter of…

Thank you very much for your letter of…

We are glad to note that you are now in a position to pay our bill.

We appreciate your writing to us so promptly.

Conciseness: While writing a business letter it is important that your letter be concise and direct. Avoid old fashioned, stuffy phrases and long winded sentences associated with classic formal letter writing. In the present times, people are very busy and will be easily irritated to read unnecessarily lengthy letters. So you should focus directly on the message to be told. Express your idea in straightforward, plan English.

Clarity and Precision: Whenever you write a letter, be clear about what you want to say and say it clearly. Use short, simple words and language to relate whatever you want to tell in the letter. Use concrete words – two words in English will have similar meaning – in such cases, use the word which is commonly understand. E. g.: if you use the word ‘house’ and it conveys the meaning that you intend, don’t use the word ‘residence’ which will make the message more complicated. Avoid long winded sentences. Spare your reader the tedious task of understanding your letter and try to make smaller sentences.

To make your letter clear, break it into different paragraphs when you have to discuss more than one main point. Finally, you have to understand that writing a good business letter involves a lot of practice which will gradually enable you to be an effective writer.

The theory has been taken from MB0023 (Business Communication) book of SMU MBA. Principles of writing letter are written in the sequence of Business letter writing practices.

Business Letter Writing Practices from Business Communication of SMU MBA

Sunday, January 9, 2011

When you enter any profession, you will come across one task that you have to perform which is of utmost importance, writing letters as a part of your routine work. You will be writing letters to other organizations and institutions, customers, clients, suppliers, government officers, credit agencies, employees etc.

These letters are commonly called ‘business letters.’ Business letters are usually written to inform readers of specific information. However, you might also write a business letter to persuade others to take action or to propose your ideas. Business letters can be challenging to write, because you have to consider how to keep your readers’ attention. This is particularly the case if your readers receive large amounts of mail and have little time to read.

Writing business letters is writing any other document: first you must analyze your audience and determine your purpose. Then you gather information, create an outline, write a draft, and revise it. The key to writing business letters is o get to the point as quickly as possible and to present your information clearly.

While doing this you should always bear in mind the ‘audience’ of your letter, the person who is going to read your letter. So your letter should appeal to the reader. The best way of doing this is to put yourself in the shoes of your reader and foresee his reaction on reading your letter. Ask yourself “How would I react if I received this letter?”

The answer to this question will help you to decide about editing your letter. Sir Ernest has remarked aptly while he was advising about handling official correspondence, if he is rude, be especially courteous. If he is muddle-headed, be especially lucid. If he is pig-headed, be patient. If he is helpful, be appreciative. If he convicts you of a mistake, acknowledge it freely and even with gratitude.”

The business letter writing practices chapter has been taken from Business Communication book of SMU MBA MB0023 in the sequence of Elements of Writing and Cohesion in English Grammar.

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