George Nico Communication in BTM (Notes)
- 5-7 minute presentation
- Mature topic (do not choose a topic that requires a lot of research)
- Do not read off a piece of paper
Communicating at Speed – The Writing Process
- Steps to the writing process:
o 1: Prewriting (assess the purpose, audience, channel)
Identify the primary purpose (inform, persuade)
Estimate the scope of the subject (breadth and depth)
Determine your reader’s needs
Select the appropriate channel (accuracy, speed, cost,
permanence, detail, formality, privacy…)
Collect the necessary information
The reader’s responsibilities and position?
o Determines how the info will be used
o Determines level of formality and the right tone
The reader’s attitude, interests, questions?
o Determines message’s level of importance
o Anticipates the reader’s questions
Your experience with the reader?
o Determines possible areas of conflict
o Determines issues of credibility
How much does reader know?
o Determines amount and type of detail
o Determines level of jargon
The reader’s likely response?
o Anticipates need for persuasive strategies
More than one reader?
o Determines primary and secondary audience
Revising and Editing tips
Work from a paper copy of the draft
Reduce your reading speed
Review the document from the reader’s p.o.v.
Review more then once
Read the draft aloud.
Don’t rely only on grammar and spell checkers
o 2: Organizing and outlining (the most strategic and logical
arrangement of ideas and details)
o 3: Drafting (precise wording and organizational style)
o 4: Revising and editing (from the reader’s perspective)
- Plain Style: George Nico Communication in BTM (Notes)
o Clear, understandable
o Use reasonable sentence lengths (8 words: 100% comprehension, 15
o Use active voice verbs. (The subject performs the action: ‘Bob selected
new computers.’ Vs. ‘new computers were selected by Bob.’)
o Use personal pronouns: I, you, and we.
o Use unambiguous language (‘I cannot recommend this solution too
highly.’ Or ‘Our division needs more effective writers.’)
o Place the subject as close as possible to the verb.
o Plain style doesn’t mean oversimplifying or “dumbing down” your
content. It gives routine communication anger, impact and precision
that sustains readers’ interest and lets them easily grasp complicated
ideas and activates.
- Avoid using words ending in –ize and –ization.
- Use familiar Words:
o Use only job related jargon. Be sure your reader understands it.
o Avoid buzzwords like synergy, globalize, paradigm shift- they get old
o Eliminate slag and replace clichés
- Keep language specific and precise:
o Avoid ambiguous phrasing
Good technical writing ideally has one meaning only and
allows for one interpretation.
“All managers are not required to submit reports (Are some
o Avoid ambiguous pronoun references.
Each pronoun (He, she, it, their, etc) must refer to one clearly
o Avoid ambiguous punctuation.
A missing hyphen, comma, or other punctuation mark can
obscure your meaning.
o Revise to eliminate ambiguities:
Call me any evening except Tuesday after 7 p.m.
Visiting colleagues can be tiring
Janice dislikes working with Claire because she’s impatient.
- Business Style
o Use plain, precise and familiar language to get the point
o Identify strategies for concise messaging
o Concise writing conveys the most information in the fewest words.
o But it includes the details necessary for clarity and courtesy.
o Use fewer words whenever fewer will do.
o Eliminate long lead-ins. Start directly. Unless extreme politeness is
required, delete any opening phrases ending in that or because.
o Strategies for concise writing:
Reach a conclusion: Conclude
Make the assumption: Assume George Nico Communication in BTM (Notes)
Make a decision: Decide
o Cut wordy phrases: Just one word will often do.
The majority of: Most
On a personal basis: Personally
Would be able to: Can
At this point in time: now