Memos • Objectives • Differences Among Memos, Letters, and E-mail • Criteria for Writing Successful Memos • Process • Criteria for Effective Technical Writing
Objectives of Memos • Written and read only within a company • Represent a component of your interpersonal communication skills within your work environment
Criteria for Successful Memos • Subject Line • The beginning of the memo • Typed in all CAPS • Gives the topic (the what) plus a focus (the what about the what) • More than one word
Criteria for Successful Memos Although the topic stays the same, the focus changes and clarifies the actual subject matter of the memo.
Criteria for Successful Memos • Introduction • One or two clear introductory sentences which tell your readers what you want and why you’re writing • In the third of our series of quality control meetings this quarter, I’d like to get together again to determine if improvements have been made.
Criteria for Successful Memos • Discussion • Respond to the reporter’s questions (who, what, when , why, where, how) • Apply highlighting techniques • Itemization • White space • Boldface type • Headings • Columns • Graphics
Criteria for Successful Memos • Conclusion • Complimentary close • Motivates readers and leaves them happy • If our quarterly sales continue to improve at this rate, we will double our sales expectations by 2000. Congratulations! • Directive close • Tells your readers exactly what you want them to do next or what your plans are (dated action) • Next Wednesday (12/22/00), Mr. Jones will provide each of you a timetable of events and a summary of accomplishments.
Criteria for Successful Memos • Audience • Memos average six readers. • May use more acronyms and internal abbreviations. • Provide parenthetical definitions if your usage differs from what most people will assume. CIA (cash in advance) not Central Intelligence Agency
Criteria for Successful Memos • Style • Use simple words, readable sentences, specific detail, and highlighting techniques. • Strive for an informal, friendly tone. • Reflects your interpersonal communication skills. • Tone is achieved through audience involvement (you usage), contractions, and positive words.
Writing the Memo • Prewrite and review your prewriting. • Determine your focus. • Clarify your audience. • Review memo criteria. • Organize your ideas. • Write the draft.
Writing the Memo • Rewriting • Add new detail for clarity • Delete dead words and phrases for conciseness • Simplify words and phrases • Move information from top to bottom or bottom to top for emphasis • Reformat using highlighting techniques • Enhance the tone and style of the memo • Correct for accuracy • Avoid sexist language
Effective Memo Checklist • Have you used the correct memo format? • Is your subject line correct? • Does your introduction tell why you are writing and what you are writing about? • Does the body explain exactly what you want to say? • Does the conclusion tell what’s next and provide a close?
Effective Memo Checklist • Is your page layout reader friendly? • Is your writing style concise? • Is your writing clear? • Do you answer reporter’s questions? • Do you avoid vague words such as some, several, many, few? • Have you written appropriately to your audience? • Are errors eliminated?
Criteria for Effective Technical Writing • Clarity • Conciseness • Accessibility • Audience Recognition • Audience Involvement • Accuracy