Enhancing Your Business Writing Skills September – October 2009 Presented by Mosedimosi Business Training - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Enhancing Your Business Writing Skills September – October 2009 Presented by Mosedimosi Business Training

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  1. Enhancing Your Business Writing Skills September – October 2009 Presented by Mosedimosi Business Training

  2. The importance of written communication • When should you be writing in stead of talking? • Writing has the benefit of forcing us to “think the matter through”. • Writing encourages us to gather the facts before we communicate an idea, instruction or message.

  3. Writing requires (p6) • a disciplined mind • taking responsibility • an attitude of “do it now” • being resourceful • understanding needs of the reader • proper planning • a good command of language

  4. Think of the reader! • What • When • Why • Who • Where • How If your writing answers all these questions, you have been successful

  5. Set the objective • what does the reader need to know? • what does the reader need to do? • what answers do I need from the reader?

  6. Purpose and scope • Purpose: “tip of the iceberg” • Compliance with legislation • Scope: width/depth of investigation • Templates: structure, topics, headings, standard wording • Cohesion: purpose, content, form, frequency, recipients

  7. Planning the document You will need to • Define the purpose • Establish due date • Consider information sources • Evaluate info processing results • Consider alternatives • Prepare draft report • Refine and present final report

  8. Consider your audience • Need (to make decisions) • Education level • Position in the organisation • Knowledge of your topic or area • Responsibility to act • Biases • Preferences • Attitudes

  9. Gather required information • Identify information resources • Determine organisational procedures • Conduct research: primary secondary • Manage information

  10. Analyse information • Make sense out of data • Prevent personal bias • Compare and contrast information • Understand significance of facts and figures • Develop fresh ideas

  11. Determine the solutions • Conclusions must agree with findings • Uphold integrity of the facts • Generate several potential solutions • Determine what is feasible • Find the optimum solution

  12. Mind Maps • Improve the way you take notes • Show structure of subject • Highlight linkages between points • Display the raw facts logically • Make concepts easier to remember • Two-dimensional structure • Help us make associations • Easily integrate additional facts

  13. Be organised in your approach

  14. Mind map example

  15. Drawing a mind map • Use single words or simple phrases for information • Print words • Use colour to separate different ideas • Use symbols and images • Use cross-linkages • Key points

  16. Writers Block

  17. Tactics to get rid of writer’s block 1. Start brainstorming 2. Ease into your writing 3. Take some time out 4. Revisit the last few pages 5. Use the tried and true 'carrot' trick. 6. Pressure Cooker Tactics 7. Change the time and venue 8. Meditate or go walking

  18. Writing skills system A clear objective Correct language Proper structure Attractive layout Its foundations are 1.Accuracy 2.Brevity 3.Clarity the ABC of good writing

  19. How many people speak English? • isiZulu • 10 194 787 • isiXhosa • 7 907 153 • Afrikaans • 5 983 426 • Sepedi • 4 208 980 • Setswana • 3 677 016 • Sesotho • 3 555 186 • English • 3 673 203 • Xitsonga • 1 992 207 • Siswati • 1 194 430 • Tshivenda • 1 021 757 • isiNdebele • 711 821

  20. Correct language and words • WIST - Would I Say That? • If not, do not write it! • Do not use a long word if there is a short word • Do not write to impress, write to express

  21. Tenses, dear old tenses • Present • Indefinite – he eats • Perfect – he has eaten • Continuous – he is eating • Past • Indefinite – he ate • Perfect – he had eaten • Continuous – he was eating • Future • Indefinite – he will eat • Perfect – he will have eaten • Continuous – he will be eating

  22. After • I eat breakfast • I go to work • Make this one sentence

  23. After • I eat breakfast • I go to work • After I have eaten breakfast, I go to work

  24. After • I ate breakfast • I went to work • Make this one sentence

  25. After • I ate breakfast • I went to work • After I had eaten breakfast, I went to work

  26. After - had • I had breakfast • I went to work • Make this one sentence

  27. After • I had breakfast • I went to work • After I had had breakfast, I went to work

  28. While • I ate breakfast • I received a telephone call • Make this one sentence

  29. While • I ate breakfast • I received a telephone call • I received a telephone call while I was eating breakfast

  30. Present tense • To describe something that happens in the present • E-mail, letter, notices • Use the indefinite form e.g. “Please submit your reports before 11 October.” • Advantage of present tense – document looks recent and up to date.

  31. Future tense • Still needs to happen • Use the indefinite tense • I shall go to town • We use this when we set deadlines and future expectations • For proposals, recommendations, resolutions, etc

  32. Past tense • Always use indefinite form • Do not use “I was thinking”, use “I thought” • Do not use “it has been decided”, use “The committee decided” • For minutes, reports, letters and e-mail

  33. Do and does • Single – does • She does her hair every day • Everybody does • Everyone does • Plural and I – do • They do their hair every day • I do my hair every day

  34. Plural or single? • Staff? • Staff members have • Manchester United have won a game • The Manchester United team has • Management has or have? • Management has made a unanimous decision • Management have not decided on this yet • Management team has • Management members have

  35. Apostrophy ‘s • Not for plural – tractor’s, bulldozer's for hire (wrong) tractors and bulldozers • To indicate possession • Mary’s lamb • Supervisors’ meetings • Visitors’ parking • To replace a missing letter • don’t • can’t • won’t

  36. Apostrophy ‘s • The dog wags its tail • Possession (his, hers, its) • It’s a beautiful day • It is a beautiful day

  37. Would/could • Would – will (willing) • Would you be so kind as to help me change the tyre? • Could – can (competence)? • Could you help me with Excel?

  38. Wish • I wish I were a rich man • I wish she were rich

  39. The and a • Wrong: • “May I take the message?” • “I take the taxi home.” • A – unspecified • The –specified • Correct: • “May I take a message?” • “I take a taxi home.”

  40. Other problem areas • She is still busy in the phone • He is on his desk • They held a conference in the hotel • She is still busy on the phone • He is at his desk • They held a conference at the hotel

  41. C or s? • Licence • License • Practice • Practise • Advice • Advise

  42. C or s? • Licence – I am allowed to, driver’s licence, tv licence (noun) • License – I allow you to (verb) • Practice – perform – doctor’s practice (noun) • Practise - train/exercise, apply in action (verb)

  43. Borrow or lend? • If you need it, you borrow something from someone • May I borrow your dictionary? • May I borrow R10? • If it belongs to you, you lend • Think of a bank loan • Certainly, you may lend my dictionary

  44. Tautology • Round circle • Have got • Attached herewith please find • Dated 10 October • I personally believe • Reverse backwards • Free for nothing • Always for me as well

  45. Of, off, have got • The manager of the dept • Off course • The lights are switched off • End off • I have got flu (wrong) • I have flu • Have you got the key (wrong) • Do you have the key?

  46. Much • I am very much hungry • I am very much tired • I am very much happy • I love you very much • Thank you very much • I am much happier than I was before

  47. Abbreviations • Is it Mr. or Mr? Mister • Prof. or Prof? Professor • etc. or etc? etcetera • When the abbreviation and the word ends with the same letter, it doesn’t get a full stop – mr

  48. Too or to? • It’s too expensive • Also • Afrikaans – te veel • I am walking to the station • She is two years old

  49. Too tired… • I am too tired…. • I am too hungry… • I am too excited… • I love you too much • I am too tired to drive home this afternoon • I am too hungry to wait another minute • He drinks too much beer • I love you too • The two of us are going to the factory too

  50. American spelling XXXX • Organization - organisation • Labor – labour • Program – programme • Liason –liaison • Traveling - travelling