Messages

Materials to Read

  1. Preparing 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.
  2. Audience Profiling – Making sure you understand who is your audience and what are their anticipations and backgrounds. Whenever you are prepared and whenever you have done Audience Profiling you are gaining insight on how to adjust your messages which in turn leads to better and more efficient communication.
  3. Primary & Secondary Messages – Pay attention to the types of messages you are delivering – what are primary messages, – what are secondary messages? You should try to have no more then 3-4 primary messages in any single communication instance and then you build a good story with good arguments via secondary messages – that all help you make key points and make sure those are remembered and understood better.
  4. About the language – Use language wisely, so as to avoid cliches, jargons, slang, language of hatred, euphemisms, and doublespeak. Try to speak with as simple and commonly spoken sentences as possible.
  5. General principles for preparing messages for work/business – 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)

Task Requirements

For this task the teams will not have to do any presentation. Instead this module is all about writing a business letter . This letter should have the same content as your last presentation, but now you will have to transform the messages you had on powerpoint into the format of a letter.

To start with, choose a letter template on your system – feel free to use any ready business template from WORD, etc. Address it to the investor – Joe Stern 9as per previous tasks) and do the proper signature at the end. So if you follow the template then you will have some nice form with proper salutation and ending. Salutation is how you address the investor, – name, – Mr. Stern, etc. And Ending is just the team member names that are put on the letter at the end preceded by Yours Truly, or other relevant ending.

The most important part is the so called “BODY” of the message where in several paragraphs you will have to put information about your business idea, but you cannot just copy and paste info from the presentations, as you will need to re-word those into a letter format. In contrast to presentations, the letters have all clear finished sentences and they are not based on only bullet-point messages and visuals as in presentations.

  • Intro/Salutation
  • What We Stand For – Describe your business idea
  • Business Model – Describe how you are planning to make money
  • How We Work – Provide more information how your business idea works
  • What’s In It for the Investor – Discuss potential benefits and risks for the investor
  • Investment Needs – Discuss how you will use the investment funds
  • Ending/Team Member names

This is a task where team members are NOT presenting but they are just showing the letter on the screen and then the instructor is going through the letter and is engaging students in question & answer sessions where feedback is provided on the work done.

You don’t need to send or upload anything for this. All you need is to have the letter ready before the lecture and show it on screen in class.

Please ensure the following guidelines are met:

  • NO MORE THAN 2 PAGES – longer letters will not be considered; try keeping it within one page even maybe – even better;
  • PROPER PARAGRAPHING – starting a new point/topic with a new character;
  • PROPER MESSAGE SELECTION – ensure the messages/paragraphs are clear and that readers can easily identify which are primary messages and ensure all the primary messages are supported by secondary messages.

Looking forward to seeing you in class!