People are always faced with situations that may require that they convey a message to other parties. This may be done through verbal, written, or other non-verbal means. Irrespective of the method one may choose to apply, the most essential aspect is to ensure that efficiency has been upheld especially in the process of delivering a certain message. In the business environment, the same case applies, with emphasis being laid on written types of communication.
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The application of this is so diverse; for instance, potential employees may be required to apply for their interested positions in a given organization, where most managers demand that they must do it through written application letters comprising specific aspects that may play a bigger role in determining as to whether one may be considered for the applied position or not. A common qualification among them is normally excellent written and oral communication skills.
A business manager may also deem it fit to communicate to the employees through writing, to pass across some timely relevant information that may, for example, outline an employee’s new job description, appeal for change in behavior, information on promotion and dismissal among other reasons. There is always information flow in written form between an organization and its clients concerning its achievements, new products or services and other relevant updates.
Moreover, there is an often inter – business communication from among organizations that coordinate in a given way. For example, there could be interdependence among an organization that supplies, one that manufactures, and one that retails, which calls for effective written communication among all these organizations. Written communication also takes place among employees of a given organization.
This written communication is mainly currently conducted through wireless technology such as internet and email, cellular telephones, Global positioning System (GPS), personal digital assistants, among many others.
Regardless of the setting in which the communication is being effected, it is imperative to consider the purpose of the message and audience being targeted among other factors. This ensures effective communication as well as achievement of the intended purpose. Moreover, this calls for attention to details in the process of preparing any written message as discussed in this work.
Analyzing the Purpose
The purpose dictates the interest level of the recipient. In case of messages whose key aim is to inform, the participation level of the audience is low. For messages that are meant to persuade, the interest (participation) level of the audience is equivalent to that of the sender. On the other hand, those messages whose purpose is to collaborate require a very high participation from the audience.
Informational messages are meant to enlighten the audience on certain aspects within the organization. For instance, a manufacturing company may seek to inform a company that supplies it with raw materials that there is a change in date regarding when the raw materials are expected to be delivered. The management of a given organization may also deem it fit to use email communication in informing its customers about a change in the company’s physical address.
There could also be informational communication that is meant to notify employees concerning the arrival of new stock. Banks also use this information to inform their clients about the statements of their accounts. This purpose of communication does not require active involvement of the audience who receive it. However, it should be done in a clear manner and put in a lucid business language that will ensure every one receiving it has fully understood.
The aim of a persuasive message is to convince people into doing something new or rather attempting something different. An analysis of the audience is thus vital to ensure that the message conveyed will be framed in an argument that will inevitably convince them into believing that your proposal will not only fulfill their concerns, but will also bring them benefits as well.
Knowing what the specific needs of a given audience are can take a long time because needs vary from one individual to another, and the response to any given message varies among individuals. Having understood the needs of the audience, the persuasive message should therefore match their respective wishes and welfare. While preparing a persuasive message, it is prudent to maintain ones credibility by ensuring that message to be put across is has been backed with facts (tdaug Para 4).
Sources should also be mentioned. It is also important to have sufficient knowledge about the product or service being described. Since a persuasive message is meant to elicit a response from the audience, it is essential to ensure that there is sincerity and trust in the message.
This is because the expected response from the audience may be ongoing rather than a one-time aspect. Persuasive messages can be used in adverts to convince the existing clients concerning their need to start or to continue using a given product. People applying for jobs in organizations also need to use a language that is convincing enough to let the employers consider them.
After an argument in a persuasive message has been structured, one can then go ahead to support their ideas with statistical data, illustrations, tales, figures of speech and comparisons (Tdoug Para 5). This aspects help to paint a lasting picture in the minds of the audience and continuously provoke and convince them to take action, which may include for example, purchasing a given product from the supermarket or changing to a certain type of mobile phone network.
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Unlike the informational and persuasive messages, collaborative messages require very high degree of participation and involvement from the audience. This may involve for instance, a business appointment between a general manager and a staff member, a hiring manager and an employee or simply a collaborative interaction between two fellow staff members. It can also be applicable in an interview between a potential employee and a recruiting manager.
In a business setting, collaborative communication is important for large tasks, deliberations over agenda with short deadlines or team projects that require the proficiency or agreement of several individuals.
Businesspersons often collaborate on brief documents like memos, letters, circulars, procedures, and policies. On the other hand, groups will tend to collaborate more on detailed documents and presentations. Documents that have been worked on by groups are standard due to the numerous benefits that emanate from collaboration.
A product that has been produced as a result of collaboration is of quality, people working as a team are able to do a better task than an individual will do. Additionally, both members of the team and the general organization derive gains from team processes. Working as a team enhances socialization among the members.
They are able to get more information about the values and procedures of the organization. They have the ability of destroying functional hindrances and they add value to both formal and informal types of communication. Moreover, they buy into a project when they have played a significant role in coming up with it.
Members that form effective groups are keen to put their recommendations into practice. In getting ready for large projects, team members convene for purposes of coming up with ideas. They look at critical answers that answer questions about the intention, audience, main details, the business, and the format of their document or presentation. Before getting down to either writing as a team or making oral presentations, some preparations should be undertaken.
Preparations for working together
To begin with, a meeting leader should be appointed or elected to plan and run meetings. A secretary should also be appointed to maintain a record of the group discussion minutes and an evaluator to ascertain as to whether the team is on track and is working towards the attainment of its objectives (Guffey, Rogin, and Rhodes 2009 35).
Secondly, there should be a decision being made as to the kind of governance that will be exercised in the group. That is, whether it is majority rule, consensus or any other. Thirdly, there should be a close comparison of the team members programs to come up with a common suitable meeting time that will not inconvenience any one. In light of this, other duties that may cause disruption and distractions in the course of the meeting should be avoided.
Fourthly, the value of having a team conflict should be addressed. Members should be enlightened to understand that disagreements can enable the group to come up with new ideas apart from eliminating groupthink. The value of differences can be become more evident when group members are allowed to express their opinions openly. Lastly, an agreement should be reached at with regard to how uncooperative group members should be dealt with.
Planning the Article or Presentation
After establishing the foundational regulations, there is now ready room for the deliberation of the ultimate article or presentation. Therefore, a record of the some decisions made by the team should be kept. First, the key purpose for the document or presentation should be established. This can be well achieved by detecting the key issues included.
Second, a decision should be reached regarding the document or presentation’s design. For instance, a report may have an executive summary, main body, figures, and appendix. For a power point presentation, a decision should be made on the number of slides, length of presentation time, and graphics.
Third, the audience characteristics should be discussed including what specific aspects they would like the presentation or document to address.
Fourth, a work plan should be structured. Delegation of jobs and setting deadlines should be done. For oral presentations via power point, sufficient time should be created to allow for both content and innovative establishment and rehearsals.
Fifth, oral presentation may require that each group member be assigned a responsibility regarding looking for content, developing visuals, devising handout matter, creating transitions between slides and turning up for several rehearsals.
Sixth, for a written article, a decision should be made regarding the criteria that will be adopted in composing it. This may include ach member working on a specific part, one individual writing the first draft or the entire group working on the document together.
Prior to making any form of collaborative communication by a team, there is need for collecting and generating vital information, which if not done, may cause otherwise good reports to fail. There are some guidelines that help a team collect information that will help it best accomplish its purposes. First, it is important to brainstorm for different ideas from each team member. To attain this, cluster programming may be suitable.
Secondly, topics should be distributed among team members to help ascertain specific people who will play each role, as far as gathering certain information is concerned. Thirdly, deadlines should be set for information collection. Depending on the length of the information, each member should be given a deadline that will enable him or her do extensive research before reporting what he or she has gathered. Fourthly, the criteria of verifying the accuracy of the information collected should be deliberated on.
Systemizing, Writing and Correcting
As the communication preparation process continues, the team may deem it fit adjusting some of its previous decisions. This can be effectively done by following a series of some steps. First, evaluate the suggested format of the final article or power point presentation and modify it if need be.
Secondly, the first draft of a document or presentation should be prepared. If different portions of the task are being worked on by different team members, then they should use a similar word processing format and same diagram presentation program for effective compiling of files. Thirdly, members should meet to both discuss and modify the drafts apart from conducting some rehearsals on the presentation.
Fourthly, if individuals are compiling different segments of the document, the best among them should be appointed to synchronize all the segments, while ensuring that there is unswerving style and layout. The final draft should be a product of uniformity. Fifth, when it comes to oral presentation, it is important to ensure that each team member creates a link to the next presenter’s topic and does so both logically and accurately (Guffey, Rogin, and Rhodes 36).
Editing, Rehearsing and Assessing
Prior to staging a discussion or presentation of any information resulting from teamwork, some important steps should be undertaken. First, for a written document, one individual can be assigned the role of correcting errors that have to do with grammar (Guffey 172). Secondly, for a report that was done by a team, it is crucial to meet as a group and evaluate it to find out whether it is in line with the purpose and the desires of the audience.
Successful group articles arise from in-depth groundwork, vivid description of the contributors’ responsibilities, devotion to a group endorsed plan, and readiness to be responsible for the end product. For power point presentation, an individual should be assigned to align together the various files, checking for spelling mistakes and assessing the entire work to ensure there is continuity in design, layout, and word usage.
Thirdly, a program allowing for at least five rehearsals should be put into place. One of the rehearsals should be video recorded to enable each of the presenters to analyze their own work and make necessary adjustments. Additionally, a dress rehearsal with the audience should be arranged for within a very short time just before the actual presentation. Fielding questions can then be employed at such a time (Guffey, Rogin, and Rhodes 37).
Generally, in assessing the purpose of any business communication, one ought to critically look at two aspects. One is there a reason for sending a certain message and a second one seeks to address what the sender of that information stands to gain from the same. These two aspects will determine how information should be organized and presented.
Analyzing the Audience
The audience being targeted determines the content to be included in the communication and the channel to be adopted to reach out to them. When one is conversant with a given audience, it is very easy to anticipate the way in which they will respond. However, when it comes to dealing with a purely fresh audience, it becomes tricky to ascertain how they will respond to the message.
In such circumstances, it may there fore be essential for one to take time and learn the type of audience they are so as to help tailor one’s words to the readers or listeners while at the same time avoiding confusion and misunderstanding (Lowe and Plessis 53). To do this, several guidelines ought to be undertaken.
First, detect the primary audience. Being able to take notice of individuals who affect the main decision-making within the audience may indicate success of the communication process. This is because such people often play a vital role in inspiring the rest and may thus reinforce their understanding. Secondly, the audience size should be known before hand, as this will determine the means of communication to be used to reach out to them.
Thirdly, determining the composition of the audience is crucial in knowing their way of thinking, their learning styles, and their expectations. Fourthly, the level of understanding of the audience should be considered to help one use a language that will be easily understood, and hence to avoid use of irrelevant information or words that may impede effective communication. Fifthly, the expectations and first choice of the audience should be projected.
This addresses aspects such as whether the members of the audience will prefer information in complete details or in summary form and the kind of channel that can suit them. Sixth, gauge the probable action from the audience. If a positive response is anticipated, then one can begin by first highlighting the recommendations and conclusion before offering other information that supports it or vice versa.
Moreover, it may be important to consider the perspectives of the audience. This includes putting oneself in the position of the audience to find out how they be thinking or feeling. This will enhance accurate preparation of information that suits their needs. Apart from this, one may need to get extra information from the organization’s records.
Previous data from the Company’s files, memo, and reports may provide adequate information as pertains to the relevance and suitability of data that that may satisfy the expectations of the audience. It may also be useful to in providing a connection between various pieces of information that should be conveyed to the audience.
Besides this, more information about the audience can be gathered by informally soliciting some facts for instance, by chatting with some employees in an organization, holding interviews with some individuals, and making phone calls. Moreover, knowing more about the audience may require obtaining input from them. This works well incase of lack of information of what the audience expect from the message. Input can be obtained from them by via phone call, information survey, or questionnaires.
Selecting the best Channel
Apart from knowing the purpose of the message and understanding the audience to targeted, it is important to narrow down to a channel of communication that will enhance efficacy in message delivery. Some information can effectively be delivered orally, other messages are channeled through writing, and yet others are delivered by electronic means such as email, phone call, power point presentation, video showing, and internet’s wiki. The type of communication channel to be used in delivering a business message is based on several factors.
They include the significance of the message especially to audience the organization as a whole, the level and urgency of response expected, the need for keep the business message for future reference, the cost of using a given means to pass the information, and the level of formality needed. The table below shows some wireless channels of technology and when they are used in business communication.
Choosing the Idea
After having established the purpose of communication and analyzing the audience, the next step is choosing the relevant idea that should be channeled to the audience. By going through previous relevant documents such as letters, memos, files among many other sources of information, one should underline or highlight the main aspects that require clarity, or perhaps there could be a perceived misunderstanding.
Secondly, it is important to come up with ideas based on the available sources. As new ideas strike, it is important to pen them down so to avoid chances of forgetting. Thirdly, while putting down the points, it is crucial to bear in mind the significance of the information to its audience. Now, it is prudent to consider the variables of the audience, be it an individual, a nation, or an organization. This may include some cultural aspects that different groups of individuals may value (Bienvenu 228).
Knowing this will enable one to communicate in such a manner that the language and message put across will not violate the cultural beliefs of the audience. If such a violation occurred, then it will form a very big barrier to communication.
Fourthly, one should consider the specific information that may be required to be included in the message. For example, some statistical information comprising of specific figures may be very relevant in delivering the information. This is especially important when dealing with persuasive business communication.
Effective communication is a requisite in any business setting. In preparing an effective business message, one ought to establish whether the purpose is informational, persuasive, or collaborative. This should be followed audience analysis to ensure that there is efficiency in communication and in response.
In addition, the choice of a wireless channel of communication is based on the importance of the information, feedback needed, need for future reference, the cost and the level of formality required. Finally, proper data can then be collected to enhance accuracy and efficacy in preparation and delivery of business messages.
Bienvenu, S. The Presentation skills Workshop: Helping People Create and Deliver Great Presentations. New York: AMACOM. 2000. Web.
Guffey, Mary E. Business Communication: Process and Product. OH: Cengage Learning. 2008. Web.
Guffey, Mary E., Rogin, P. and Rhodes, K. Business Communication: Process and Product. OH: Cengage Learning. 2009. Web.
Lowe, N. and Plessis, N. Fresh Perspectives: Professional Communication for Business. Cape Town: Pam Sykes and Rolene Liebenberg. 2007. Web.
Tdoug. “How to Write a Persuasive Business Message.” 1999. Web.