Your written communication leaves a lasting impression on those who read your documents. Writing is a large part of your communication and it should be done well. Great written communication will help you demonstrate your value and ability to convey ideas. In this module, you will learn the basic structure of the following types of written communication:
Business letters can be used in many situations. Let’s begin with this form of written communication first.
Effective writing is essential in networking. Many times, you will need to following up with a contact by writing a letter. The business letter is the most basic form of written communication. Understanding the elements that make up a business letter will ensure you are writing at the minimum standard.
There are seven basic elements to a business letter. They are the following:
All these elements should be on the left side of the page and in block format. Using this basic format will ensure your letter will look professional. If you are enclosing an item with your letter, remember to add the word “Enclosure(s)” near the bottom of the page. This will tell your recipient that there is an item included in the envelope.
A proposal is a useful tool in communicating your ideas to decision makers in and out of your organization. There are many reasons to write a proposal. You may wish to resolve an organizational problem or propose a new idea that will help your company be more successful in the marketplace. Perhaps you need to propose your product to a client. In general, your proposal should be detailed enough to make a decision, but brief so busy leaders will not put it aside because it is too wordy.
The goal of the proposal is to evoke a decision to move forward into a project or purchase. Of course, how your organization, department, or client handles projects/purchases is something to consider. The key to writing good proposals is being consistent. A format is the best approach. Here are eight basic elements to a proposal:
Reports are used to discuss findings or results. Reports can range in length due to the complexity of what the report is trying to communicate. Reports are used to communicate to organizational leaders all the information they need about an issue or result. Reports are meant to present as much fact as possible in a concise format. Management may use your report to make decisions.
The goal is to write reports that are compelling and accurate. Proper language, grammar, and spelling are essential. The language in your report should be objective and written in the third-person. Avoid exaggerating the report for effect. The report should not evoke emotions. In fact, your report should be persuasive by the factual content and the level of detail. Reports that appeal to emotion may be discarded.
When writing reports, remember the following elements to a report:
The executive summary is a short report that can be placed at the beginning of a larger report or it can be presented as its own document. The executive summary presents only the most important information to executives, managers, and or supervisors.
In order to be successful writing an executive summary, your document should leave your reading audience with the following understanding:
Here is a brief outline of what should be included in your executive summary:
Here are some recommendations the style of your executive summary:
Tania’s head plopped on her desk. Sadie heard the bang and went running to help. Tania looked up from the desk, her eyes rolling in her head. Tania needed help. Her presentation deadline loomed and Tania didn’t have the words to put it together. Sadie read what Tania had written and stifled a laugh. Tania slumped in her chair, saying that she gave up. Sadie swallowed her laughter and offered to help. Tania gave her the chair and paced while Sadie reworded the presentation, plucking one word at a time. Two hours whizzed by and Sadie created a masterpiece full of eloquent prose and built to withstand any criticism. Tania read over it word for word. Sadie had hit the jackpot. The presentation sounded perfect. Tania thanked her and prepared to make the presentation feeling much more confident than she had this morning.