Whether speaking or writing the following key points apply for effective business communications:
Tailor your message to your audience
If you’re trying to create a dialogue with another individual, consider the interests of the person you’re interacting with: are they receptive to what you have to say? Do you need to capture their interest? What expectations will they bring to your message?
Be clear and direct in your language
Choose your words carefully to carry your message. Consider the different ways some words can be misunderstood: semantics matter! If you mean to convey a humorous tone, make that clear by the words you use. Avoid sarcasm which can easily be misunderstood and taken negatively.
Unless you intend to use a “breezy” tone, utilize standard English words that will not be misunderstood, especially if you are conveying serious information. In casual conversation slang expressions may be more appropriate, but generally not in business communication.
Use the technical vocabulary of your field
If you want to be perceived as knowledgeable in a particular area, learn the terms specific to the field and use them appropriately in your message. Avoid generic terms if you can use more specific vocabulary.
Avoid flowery, verbose language
Your audience will appreciate language that gets to the point and doesn’t waste time. Remove ambiguity that can occur with extra words or sentences that are vague or repetitive.
Always be socially appropriate
Be gracious in your communications. Thank people for their time and attention and make it sound like you mean it by choosing socially appropriate language. Try to personalize your communication by avoiding overused (throwaway) phrases.
In face to face speech, match body language with your words
As specific as you may be with your words, be sure you “look” like what you are saying by showing appropriate affect in your facial expression, gestures and posture. Body language conveys meaning all by itself and can enhance “what” you say. “How” you say it counts as well!
Polished language in business communication creates successful interactions — the key to success!
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