7 Important Steps to Great Business Communication
AUGUST 26, 2010
Blog About Clients Cases Tribesourcing Video People & Contact Bloggers « The Social Media Policy – not just for the big players Using Social Media Monitoring to Improve Your Search Engine Marketing Relevance » 7 Important Steps to Great Business Communication Posted by Marlene Friis Aug 26th, 2010 Tweet Because of my interest in business communication, I have made some research on some basic, but very important steps within the field. Here, I’m referring to communicating to an audience whether it’s by e-mail, a presentation etc. I would like to share these steps with you, because if you as an employee or CEO want to communicate effectively, it’s essential that you have an understanding of the following 7 elements. 1: Structure If you want to be sure of the fact that your audience understands what you’re saying, it’s crucial that what you’re communicating is well-structured. Good communication should include these elements: an opening, a body and a close. As mentioned, this is also a structural rule that holds true no matter what your communication is; a memo, phone call, an e-mail, speech, personal presentation etc. 2: Clarity To prevent that your audience gets confused, you have to be very clear with the message you want to deliver. Otherwise, the message ends up being ignored. Your message has to be understandable to each person in the audience, which means at a level that everyone is able to follow. 3: Consistency Having consistency in your communication, whether we are talking about a Newsletter or presentation, it’s important always to take the same position on a subject. Something that can really upset a regular reader is inconsistency. Therefore, always keep the same perspective or approach in relation to what you are dealing with. This also makes your audience trust you. Lastly, also make sure that your grammar is correct, and that it doesn’t wander between 1 st and 3 rd person and back again. 4: Medium A lot of ways to communicate and deliver a message exist today, but the trick is to use the right one. Do not always choose a PowerPoint, for example. It is better to have some variety. However, choosing the right medium is the one that communicates your message in the best way: - With accuracy - With the largest likelihood of audience comprehension - At the lowest fiscal cost - At the lowest time cost However, you have to remember that the one you choose must meet all of your criteria. There is no value in spending the least amount of money, if the medium you choose doesn’t deliver any of the other criteria. 5: Relevancy The psychological reality of communication situations is that unless a person is interested in the subject of the message, they are highly unlikely to pay any attention. Therefore, if you force your audience to attend to your message anyway, you will actually turn them against you. A solution is therefore to save your in-depth budget, for example, for those who care, and let the audience know of alternative resources that more fully address each of these additional areas. 6: Primacy/recency It is important to know that a business communication is remembered, subsequently, by following things: - The power and memorability of the opening - The power and memorability of the closing part Psychologists call the effect of remembering the first new items presented as a “Primary Effect”. Similarly, they call the effect of remembering the last few items presented to the audience as a “Recency effect”. For that reason, you really have to give these parts some extra thought. 7: The rule of 7+ or -2 As it is proven by psychologist, you have to remember that your audience is only able to hold on to between five and nine pieces of information at any one time. This also confirms the fact that it is crucial to send out a message of clarity – and also a different and memorable opening and closing part, as mentioned before in this blog post. Do you have some other important points to add? 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