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Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication

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Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication
CHAPTER 6
Positive
Messages
Instructor Only Version
© 2010 Thomson South-Western
Understanding the Power
of Business Letters
Why are letters still important in business?
 They produce a permanent record.
 Unlike e-mail, they are confidential.
 They convey formality and
sensitivity.
 They deliver persuasive, wellconsidered messages.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 2
Writing Plan for Request
for Information or Action
Opening
Body
Closing
Ask the most important
question first or express
a polite command.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 3
Writing Plan for Request
for Information or Action
Opening
Body
Closing
 Explain the request logically
and courteously.
 Ask other questions if
necessary.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 4
Writing Plan for Request
for Information or Action
Opening
Body
Closing
 Request a specific action with
an end date, if appropriate.
 Show appreciation.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 5
Improving Openers for
Routine Request Letters
Opening
Body
Weak
I’ve been given the task of
locating a convention site
for my company’s meeting.
I’ve checked a number of
places, and your hotel
looks possible.
Closing
Improved
Will you please answer
the following questions
regarding possible
accommodations at the
Hyatt Regency for a
conference in May.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 6
Improving Openers for
Routine Request Letters
Weak
My company is
interested in building a
commercial Web site. I
noticed at your site an
offer to have a
representative visit and
discuss plans. We are
eager to have someone
visit us.
Improved
Please have a
representative
visit my company
to discuss building
a commercial
Web site.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 7
Improving Openers for
Routine Request Letters
Weak
Improved
I am conducting a
training class for students
of photography at the
Lincoln Training Center,
and I saw a picture we
could use in our program.
What is the
procedure for
ordering a copy of
a photograph to be
used for training
purposes?
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 8
Improving Closings for
Routine Request Letters
Opening
Body
Closing
Weak
Improved
Thanks for any
information you can
provide.
We would appreciate
receiving answers to these
questions before April 4 so
that we will have plenty of
time to plan our conference.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 9
Improving Closings for
Routine Request Letters
Weak
Improved
Hoping to hear from
you at your earliest
convenience.
Please call us at (213)
457-2998 before April 4
to arrange an
appointment during the
week of April 10.
Thank you for your
cooperation.
Your answer to my
inquiry will help me make
my printer choice.
Thanks!
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 10
Parts of a Business Letter
 The next four slides illustrate basic
information on proper placement
and formatting of business letters.
 Remember to refer to Appendix A,
Reference Guide to Document
Formats, for more details on this
topic.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 11
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 3, Slide 12
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 3, Slide 13
2 inches from top or
1 blank line below
letterhead
2 – 10 lines between
dateline and inside
address
1 blank line (double
space)
1 blank line (double
space)
Single-space paragraphs; leave 1 blank
line (double space)
between paragraphs
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 3, Slide 14
1 blank line (double
space)
Hit ENTER four times
after complimentary
close to allow space
for signature
1 blank line (double
space)
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 3, Slide 15
Ineffective Information Request
Take note that the letter example you will see on
the next slide illustrates the personal business
letter.
 Prepare on plain paper instead of printed
letterhead.
 Include your home address (street, city, state,
zip) but not your name.
 Note that the rest of the personal business letter
format is the same as other business letters.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 16
Improved Information Request
As you read the improved letter on the
next slide, notice how it
 Saves the reader’s time by starting directly
with the information request.
 Makes it easy for the reader to identify what
specific questions need to be answered.
 Closes appropriately with appreciation and
requesting a specific action with an end date.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 17
Writing Plan for a Direct Claim
Opening
Body
Closing
Describe clearly the desired
action.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 18
Writing Plan for a Direct Claim
Opening
Body
Closing
 Explain the nature of the claim.
 Tell why the claim is justified.
 Provide details regarding the
action requested.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 19
Writing Plan for a Direct Claim
Opening
Body
Closing
 End pleasantly with a goodwill
statement.
 Include end dating if appropriate.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 20
Writing Plan for Direct Replies
Subject
Line
Line
Body
Opening
Opening Body
Closing
 Identify previous correspondence.
 Deliver the most important
information first.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 21
Writing Plan for Direct Replies
Subject
Line
Body
OpeningBody
Closing
Closing
 Arrange the information in a
logical sequence.  End pleasantly.
 Explain and clarify the information.
 Build goodwill.
 End pleasantly.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 22
Writing Plan for Adjustments
Subject
Line
Opening Body
Closing
 Subject line is optional.
 Identify previous correspondence.
 Make a general reference to the
main topic.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 23
Writing Plan for Adjustments
Subject
Line
Opening Body
Closing
Grant the request or
announce the adjustment
immediately.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 24
Writing Plan for Adjustments
Subject
Line
Opening Body
Closing
 Provide details about how you are complying
with the request.
 Strive to regain the reader’s confidence.
 Apologize if appropriate, but don’t admit
negligence.
 Include resale or sales promotion if appropriate.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 25
Writing Plan for Adjustments
Subject
Line
Opening Body
Closing
 End positively with a forward-looking
thought.
 Express confidence in future
business dealings.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 26
The Five Ss
Keep the
message
short.
Be
selfless.
Be
specific.
Tips for Writing
Goodwill
Messages
Be
spontaneous.
MaryMary
EllenEllen
Guffey,
Guffey,
Essentials
Essentials
of Business
of Business
Communication,
Communication,
8e 8e
Be
sincere.
Chapter 6,
1, Slide 27
The Five Ss
Be
selfless.
Discuss the receiver,
not the sender.
MaryMary
EllenEllen
Guffey,
Guffey,
Essentials
Essentials
of Business
of Business
Communication,
Communication,
8e 8e
Chapter 6,
1, Slide 28
The Five Ss
Instead of generic statements
(You did a good job), include
special details (Your marketing
strategy to target key
customers proved to be
outstanding).
MaryMary
EllenEllen
Guffey,
Guffey,
Essentials
Essentials
of Business
of Business
Communication,
Communication,
8e 8e
Be
specific.
Chapter 6,
1, Slide 29
The Five Ss
Show your honest feelings
with conversational,
unpretentious language
(We’re all very proud
of your award).
Be
sincere.
MaryMary
EllenEllen
Guffey,
Guffey,
Essentials
Essentials
of Business
of Business
Communication,
Communication,
8e 8e
Chapter 6,
1, Slide 30
The Five Ss
Strive to make the message
natural, fresh, and direct.
Avoid canned phrases (If I may be
of service, please do not
hesitate...).
Be
spontaneous.
MaryMary
EllenEllen
Guffey,
Guffey,
Essentials
Essentials
of Business
of Business
Communication,
Communication,
8e 8e
Chapter 6,
1, Slide 31
The Five Ss
Keep the
message
short.
Remember that, although
they may be as long
as needed, most
goodwill messages are
fairly short.
MaryMary
EllenEllen
Guffey,
Guffey,
Essentials
Essentials
of Business
of Business
Communication,
Communication,
8e 8e
Chapter 6,
1, Slide 32
Writing Thank-Yous
Cover three points in gift thank-yous.
 Identify the gift.
 Tell why you appreciate it.
 Explain how you will use it.
Be sincere in sending thanks for a favor.
 Tell what the favor means to you.
 Avoid superlatives and gushiness.
 Maintain credibility with sincere, simple
statements.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 33
Writing Thank-Yous
Offer praise in expressing thanks for
hospitality. As appropriate, compliment the
following:
 Fine food
 Charming surroundings
 Warm hospitality
 Excellent host and hostess
 Good company
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 34
Personalized Thank-You Letter
Dear Professor and Mrs. Shelton:
Thanks for inviting the other members of our business club
and me to your home for dinner last Saturday.
The warm reception you and your wife gave us made the
evening very special. Your gracious hospitality, the delicious
dinner served in a lovely setting, and the lively discussion
following dinner all served to create an enjoyable evening
that I will long remember.
We appreciate the opportunity you provided for us students
to become better acquainted with each other and with you.
Sincerely,
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 35
Answering
Congratulatory Messages
Respond to congratulations.
 Send a brief note expressing your
appreciation.
 Tell how good the message made you feel.
Accept praise gracefully.
 Don't make belittling comments (I'm not
really all that good!) to reduce awkwardness or embarrassment.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 36
Extending Sympathy
Refer to the loss or tragedy directly but
sensitively.
 In the first sentence mention the loss and
your personal reaction.
 For deaths, praise the deceased. Describe
positive personal characteristics (Howard
was a forceful but caring leader).
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 37
Extending Sympathy
 Offer assistance. Suggest your
availability, especially if you can do
something specific.
 End on a reassuring, positive note.
Perhaps refer to the strength the
receiver finds in friends, family,
colleagues, or religion.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e
Chapter 6, Slide 38
END
Instructor Only Version
© 2010 Thomson South-Western
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