Preparing Business Messages 

It all starts with planning. And in order to make sure it is heard, you need to: analyse the situation, define purpose, profile your audience, gather information, determine audience needs, select the medium (oral, written, visual or electronic), organise the information for the selected medium, outline the content, sequence the message, define the main idea and classify your message according to its type, anticipated reaction and means of communication.

Pay attention to the types of messages you are delivering – what is a primary message, – what is a secondary message, what auxiliary messages, if any are we communicating? 

Use language wisely, so as to avoid cliches, jargons, slang, language of hatred, euphemisms, and doublespeak. 

And carefully plan for the message having in mind its parts: attention, introduction, body, conclusion and residual.

General Principles of Writing Business Messages

Just like in any other form of communication, here you focus on your audience. Adopt the “You” attitude. Keep in mind:

  • Business etiquette: Courtesy, Diplomacy, Promptness
  • Emphasise the positive (i.e. high-calorie vs high-energy)
  • Use bias-free language (age, gender, disability, race, etc)
  • Control style and tone (conversational tone, plain language, )
  • Compose carefully (strong and clear words, effective sentences, coherent paragraphing)
  • Use technology (experiment and select best templates)
  • Aid with visuals as and if they simplify the message (Photo, Video, Bar Chart, Pie Chart, Line Graph, Actual Object, etc)

Rapport and Credibility

  • Understanding 
    • Building rapport
    • Building relationship 
  • Credibility    
    • Honesty and objectivity
    • Awareness of audience needs
    • Credentials, knowledge, expertise
    • Endorsements
    • Confidence and performance
    • Communication style
    • Sincerity

Understanding Key Terms

  • Situation analysis
  • Purpose definition
  • Audience profiling
  • Information gathering
  • Audience needs identification
  • Selecting the medium
  • Oral media advantages & disadvantages
  • Written media advantages & disadvantages
  • Visual communication advantages & disadvantages
  • Electronic communication advantages & disadvantages
  • Defining main idea
  • Classifying message
  • Outlining and sequencing
  • Language traits
  • Message types as primary, secondary and auxiliary
  • Message parts
  • Language symbolism
  • Abstract vs concrete language
  • Cliches, Jargons, Slang, Hatred, Euphemism, Doublespeak
  • “You” attitude
  • Emphasising positive
  • Making it simple
  • Use of visuals
  • Building rapport
  • Building credibilityAssignment

Sample Case Assignment

Dear Teams, 

Thank you very much for the thoughts on the initial ideas that we have discussed during the previous class.

You are now required to do the following:

  1. Summarize your idea in a Letter to Investor to be fit into a single page. 
  2. The letter should include a brief description of the idea and reiterate the financing request. No need for too much details – just make sure it is clear and structured properly.
  3. The format to prepare letter is MS WORD; FONT 10; Spacing 1.5; Language: ENGLISH
  4. Convert your WORD into PDF Document and prepare for showing it ON-SCREEN at the next class meeting.
  5. You need to present the summary of what you have written to the class. Each team member will have about 1 minute to speak about the idea. Each team will speak no more than 10 minutes. No need for any slides or any other materials – only the letter. You will just be speaking and later on after your speech, we will review your letter.

Thank You and Good Luck!