Graphics Aids in Business Communication
-The most common types of graphic aids are bar graphs, pictographs, line graphs, pie graphs,
organization charts, flowcharts, line drawings, cutaway drawings, and photographs.
-presenting numerical data.
-presenting lots of data and for giving absolute values when precision is very important.
Abar graph uses bars of equal width in varying lengths to represent
• a comparison of items at one particular time;
• a comparison of items over time;
• changes in one item over time; or
• a comparison of portions of a single item.
-horizontal and vertical axes-two elements
-useful to understand overall trends and comparisons.
-either a vertical or horizontal direction.
-appear on both sides of the axis to indicate positive and negative quantities.
-cannot represent exact quantities
-a variation of a bar graph that uses symbols to illustrate specific quantities of items.
-shows the changes in particular items over a period of time.
-cannot adequately represent exact figures or fractions.
-uses a line between the horizontal and vertical axes to show changes in the
relationship between the elements represented by the two axes.
-useful for illustrating trends.
-Three or four lines appear on the same graph for comparison
-distinguished by colour or design, and a key must identify them.
-segments of the circle, or pie, representing portions of the whole used to indicate distribution trends
-good at providing a quick visual impression of a particular item
-difficult to represent exact quantities.
-Colours and shading are used to highlight segments of special importance, or separate one segment
used for scheduling and tracking the key events
steps complete a project. shows the steps involved in a project and their relationships over time.
A resume is a summary or inventory of your qualifications and experience.
Contains of resume
• training and skills
• experience; and
-should not include personal information-marital status- date of birth
Resumes help employers
• become familiar with a potential employee's work and education prior to the interview
• by serving as a reminder, after an interview, of an employee's assets; and
• screen out unqualified applicants in a highly competitive marketplace.
38 Jalan Hang Lekiu
75200 Melaka, Malaysia
Stanley Tong 11 November 2006
Lot 5, Industrial Estate
40200 Shah Alam,
Application for the post of Customer Service Representative
Dear Mr. Tong,
A motivated worker with a strong foundation in business administration and
customer service is the background that I would bring to your organization. I am goaloriented,
able to focus on the task, and have proven reliability to get the job done.
I believe that I meet all your requirements as listed in the advertisement. In my present
firm I have had exposure to a wide variety of duties as a customer service
representative. Over the years I have developed excellent interpersonal skills and
gained extensive experience in mediating problems to find acceptable solutions. In
addition, I excel at writing clear understandable reports or letters. I have also become
proficient in using all major office software as well as internet software. I was also
involved in setting up the on-line customer service Web page.
My present post is satisfying and the environment is pleasant, but I feel that my career
would benefit now from a change.
I would like to meet with you to discuss the valuable contributions I could make to
your company. I can be reached at 06-7053266.
Your consideration and time is most appreciated.
Claire Lopes (Miss)
examples of language expressions that can be used at different stages of meeting or discussion
(a) Starting a meeting
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I think we should begin
If everyone is here, we can start
Shall we start?
(b) Introducing the agenda
Today we need to talk about
Let us look at the first item on the agenda…
The first item on the agenda is….
(c) Stating objectives
The purpose of this meeting is, first, to ... and secondly to... .
The main objective of our meeting is ...
(d) Keeping the meeting moving
Could you tell us more about
Shall we continue?
(e) Closing the meeting
Does anyone have anything else to add?
If that’s all, we can stop here.
part of meetings -asking and giving opinions. You can
number of ways an opinion can be expressed in:
• a forceful way;
• a neutral way; or
• tentatively (with some hesitation or reservation).
Asking for opinions
Would you mind telling me what you think of…
What do you think of/about….
What’s your opinion of….
What do you feel about….
What are your views on…. ?
Giving an opinion
I think that…..
I feel/ believe that…..
In my opinion / view…
My opinion is that…..
My point of view is…
Ways of Expressing Agreement
I quite agree.---Yes, definitely.----I’m in complete agreement.---Exactly.----Precisely.
agree.-----You’re right there----.think you are right.----That’s true.----That’s right.
I disagree completely.---That’s out of the question.On the contrary.----Of course not!
I don’t agree.---That’s not how I see it.----I wouldn’t say that.---I think you are wrong.---I disagree.
CHAPTER 4 MAKING A PRESENTATION
sort out your ideas and the relevant information
plan your talk carefully
--Plan A—the structure of content, that is, the arrangement of the
ideas and facts
--Plan B—the structure of the presentation, that is, how you are going to present your
techniques to structure your ideas.
-mind mapping,-- outlining --- using specific organisational patterns.
(a) Mind mapping
Develop your theme by writing the central idea on the centre of the page.
This technique encourages you to think in a linear fashion, forming a macro
structure, and then filling in details.
(c) Use of organizational patterns
The content of your talk can also be outlined or presented according to a specific
organisational pattern. Some of the different ways of doing this are described as follows.
(i) Chronological order
----useful for narratives, sequences, processes or series of events.
(ii) Spatial order
----used for describing buildings, places or locations.
(iii) Topical order
This is useful when you have a number of specific topics or subtopics for your
talk; you may begin with the most important topic and lead to the least
(iv) Comparison-contrast order
For this, you organize the information according to the similarities and/or
differences between the various subjects you wish to talk about, as well as the
positive and negative aspects of subject or topic.
(v) Cause-effect order
This pattern organizes information according to the causes and effects of an
action or initiative.
(vi) Problem-solution order
For this structure, your talk will focus on a sequence of problems and their
Examine the presentation
4.2.2 Structure of Presentation
(a) Audience awareness
(b) Effective opening lines
(c) Appropriate visual aids
(d) Non-verbal communication
CHAPTER 5 -----THE LANGUAGE OF BUSINESS WRITING
factors will improve the effectiveness of business communication.
5.1.1 Choice of Words
-choose the familiar words
-be concise ---get to the point ---avoid using cliches ---jargon is unnecessary ----use non sexist language.
5.1.2 Sentence Structure
Important part --- readability and punctuation.
--short sentences – easier to read – communicate the message more clearly.
--Using a variety of sentence lengths helps to improve the flow of ideas.
--keep sentences within a length of between 15 and 20 words
--the use of proper punctuation helps the reader pause.
5.1.3 Paragraph Structure
---The coherence and cohesion of your writing will depend not only on your choice of
words and sentence structure, but also on how well you construct your paragraphs
---Business writing generally has three functions, namely:
• to inform;
• to instruct; and
• to persuade.
Therefore, it is important to organize your ideas to suit your purpose of communication.
---Effective business communication depends on choice of words and order of information
in paragraphs to convey the right tone
--It is important to be courteous at all times.
--have your customer’s goodwill at all times
--Avoid using imperatives
--Add please to sound more polite
-- sentences in each paragraph must have a logical development‘---however’, ‘while’, ‘therefore’
--connectors such as, and ‘as’ will help to make a text more coherent.
1.THE FORMAT OF BUSINESS LETTERS
---more formal than other types of correspondence.
---The style of the letter can be varied to reduce formality depending on familiarity with the receiver.
--- The layout of the letter provides the frame for the body of your letter.
2.PARTS OF A LETTER
3 Inside address
4 Attention line
6 Subject line
8 Complimentary close
9 Signature block
3.GRAMMAR: SINGULAR AND PLURAL FORMS
6.3.1 Countable Nouns
Countable nouns have the following features:
• are individual things, people and places: a diary, a memo, a letter, a photo, a
receptionist, a factory;
• are units of measurement such as a metre, a mile, a kilo, a pound, a litre, a gallon;
• are used with a / an;
• can be used in the plural (diaries, memos); and
• follow words such as many, these, several, few, a number of.
6.3.2 Uncountable Nouns
(a) Uncountable nouns include:
• substances: gas, glass, gold, iron, oil, plastic, water;
• many abstract ideas: health, humour, profitability, progress, relevance, safety; and
• verbal nouns: brainstorming, job-sharing, restructuring, shopping, timing.
(b) Uncountable nouns:
• do not take the when used in the general sense (e.g. NOT the travel broadens the
• take the singular form of the verb; and
• are placed after words like much, a little, a great deal of.
6.3.3 Plural Nouns
Here are some rules on how to change a noun to the plural form.
(a) We add –s to form the plural of most nouns. If the noun ends in –s, –x, or –ch or –sh,
we add –es e.g.
letters, minutes, classes, boxes, bunches, crashes
(b) If the final consonant of a noun is followed by –y, it is changed into –ies e.g.
(c) There are nouns which only occur in the plural -- Earnings --- headquarters.—goods-- premises--thanks ---works--outskirts
(d) Singular nouns ending in –s –s but are not plural: news--- Politics--- Economics
The layout helps to create a good impression of the company you are
representing. The three main types of layout are:
(a) Full block layout.
(b) Modified block layout.
(c) Modified block layout with indented paragraphs.
There are two styles of punctuating a business letter, namely:
(a) the open style; and
(b) the mixed style.
The open style does not use punctuation except in the body of the letter (see Exercise 6.2).
The mixed style places a comma after the greeting and after the complimentary close, e.g.
“Dear Mr. Devadas” and “Yours sincerely,” (
CHAPTER 7 --- Business Letters
A good business letter should be well planned
An effective letter expresses its purpose clearly, is well organized and meets the needs of
1. DECIDE ON PURPOSE OF LETTER
Ask yourself why you are writing this letter and stay
focused on this purpose
Figure 7.1: The seven steps for
2. DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY
Only include information relevant to the purpose
3. NOTE DOWN ALL IDEAS IN POINT FORM
This is to ensure you have included all relevant
points and are not relying on memory alone
4. ORDER ALL IDEAS IN POINT FORM
Arrange according to the order of information
appropriate for the purpose
5. WRITE THE FIRST DRAFT, USING PLAIN
Avoid jargon, clichés, unfamiliar words and long
6. READ THE LETTER TO ENSURE THAT YOU
WILL ACHIEVE THE PURPOSE
The receiver should be able to respond in the
7. REWRITE IF NECESSARY
Check against the appropriate order of information,
details, including grammar and spelling
TYPES OF LETTERS
Letters generally fall into three categories. They are:
(a) Good news letters
(b) Neutral letters
(c) Bad news letters
The purposes of good news letters and neutral letters
• reply to an inquiry/request;
• acknowledgement of receipt of letter;
• introduction of self and organization;
• information about organization’s services and activities;
• granting a loan or extending credit;
• confirming success at an interview; and
• special offer for valued customers.
the direct order of information of good news and neutral letter
• Identify the letter’s purpose in the subject line or opening paragraph.
• Place the good news in the opening paragraph.
• State the details that support the good news in the middle paragraphs.
• Close with a statement of goodwill.
(a) Letter of Inquiry
Aletter of inquiry is written when we need to ask for more information concerning a
product or service that interests us.
2520 Visita Avenue
45320 Bukit Jalil,
12 September 2006
34 Jalan 22/14B,
41200 Petaling Jaya,
To Whom It May Concern:
With reference to your advertisement in yesterday’s New Johor Times, could you
please send me a copy of your latest catalogue? I would also like to know if it is
possible to make purchases online.
(b) Letter for Placing Orders
A letter of order is written when you are certain about the items or service you
Sample Letter – Placing an Order
23 September 2006
Mr. Jack Chia,
New Jersey, WA 98795
Dear Mr. Chia
Would you please send me the following books via COD? According to your web site,
orders are to include the title, author and publisher.
Title Author Publisher
“Driving Home” Peter Lawford Jaber and Co.
“Christmas Myth” Margaret Smith New York Press
“Landscaping for Fun” Janet Patterson Skylight Ltd.
Please contact me if you have any questions. We look forward to doing business with you.
Head, English Department
(c) Letter of Reply to an inquiry
A Letter Replying to an Inquiry
Thank you for taking an interest in our bank. As one of the leaders in this industry,
we can assure you that our products and our services will not disappoint you.
I would like to take this opportunity to briefly set forth our terms and conditions for
maintaining an open account with our firm. Invoices are payable within 30 days of
receipt, with a 2% discount available if your payment is remitted within ten (10)
days of receipt. We consider this incentive an excellent opportunity for our
customers to increase their profit margin, and therefore encourage the use of this
discount privilege whenever possible. We do, however, require that our invoices
be paid within the specified time for our customers to take advantage of this 2%
At various times throughout the year we may offer our customers additional
discounts on our products. In determining your cost in this case, you must apply
your special discount first, and then calculate your 2% discount for early payment.
As the credit manager, I will be happy to answer any questions you may have
regarding your new account. I can be reached at the above number. Welcome to
our family of customers.
7.4.2 Bad News Letterconvey bad news to the reader
written for the following reasons:
• refuse credit;
• refuse a request;
• decline to speak at a function;
• notify an unsuccessful job applicant; and
• explain inability to fulfil an order.
You may use the following order of information:
• Open with a courteous opening.
• Explain the situation fully.
• State the bad news.
• Close with a positive paragraph.
7.4.3 Persuasive Letters
--written to influence the reader in some way. It aims to persuade the reader to buy a product, pay an overdue account, or to consider an application for work.
Writer’s strategy Reader’s response
1. Use attention-getting devices Pays attention to the topic
2. Appeal to the reader’s self-interest Expresses interest in the topic
3. Raise awareness of the need to Has the desire to take action
take the action
4. Show how to take action Takes the desired action
CHAPTER 8. ----Memos,E-Mails andFaxes
-A memo — or memorandum— is a form of written business communication.
-Memos are passed internally, within a company.
-They rarely go out to clients.
-A government department may use them to communicate with other government
departments or authorities.
-It is less formal than a letter but is still regarded as a serious document,
and is almost always carefully filed.
8.1.1 Advantages of a Memo
There are several advantages of a memo as detailed by the following.
• The same message is communicated accurately to many people at the same time.
• It takes little time to construct because it is informal yet provides a written record for
filing and reference.
• It allows the writer to convey detailed or difficult information logically and accurately.
• It can indicate, by a company letterhead, that it is an internal piece of communication
and part of company procedures.
8.1.2 Overview of Parts of a Memo
• Headings (To, From, Date, Subject).
• Body (written in short paragraphs, blocked to the left margin).
• Reference initials (Optional).
• Attachment notation.
8.1.3 Distribution List
• Included when memo is sent to a group rather than an individual.
• Names listed at the bottom of memo.
(i) Alphabetical order or rank order.
(ii) Indented to the first tab.
TO: Lorraine Chin, Office Manager
FROM: Oliver Smith, OA/CIS Consultant
DATE: March 16, 2006
SUBJECT: Memorandums for Internal Correspondence
A memorandum is an internal form of communication that is
sent within the organization. It is a means by which managers
correspond with employees and vice versa. Memos are filed
as records of announcements, requests for action, policies
Templates, or preformatted forms, are often used for
keying memos. Templates give a uniform look for company
correspondence and save the employee the time to construct
and format each memo. Word processing software also has a
customized memo template.
xx REFERENCE INITIALS
Attachment ATTACHMENT NOTATION
(Items clipped or attached to a memo.)
The names of the recipients are
listed in alphabetical order or
according to rank.
Merican bin Mohd. Noor
Dinah binti Abdul Samad
FIVE TYPES OF MEMO
The five types of routine memos are:
(a) Instruction memo
(b) Request memo
(c) Announcement memo
(d) Transmittal memo
(e) Authorization memo
Electronic communication is one of the fastest growing communication trends in the
world today. The electronic mail is a facility which enables an individual to create a
message within a mail application on a computer, and then, with the push of a button,
send it to the electronic mail box of another individual. It is sent via intranet (LAN) and
via the World Wide Web (www).
Netiquette refers to etiquette on the net. It maintains and promotes goodwill between the
writer and the receiver. A professional e-mail message should be courteous and
8.4.2 Net Addresses
Each part of a net address has a specific purpose appropriate to the writer and the reader.
Net addresses must be accurately written.
8.4.3 Addressing E-mails
By pointing and clicking the mouse, or by using arrow keys and then pressing the “enter”
key, one or more names can be selected and automatically entered into the ‘to’ field.
NOTE: E-mails generally take the format of a standard memo.
The layout of an e-mail message is the frame from your message. The acceptable
minimum parts for an e-mail message are as follows:
• Receiver’s name
• Sender’s name
• E-mail address
• At least one other way, apart from the e-mail address, of contacting the sender
8.4.5 E-mail Abbreviations
These abbreviations are sometimes used in e-mails. AFAIK stands for As far as I know
and HTH stands for Hope this helps. Other common abbreviations include: btw (by the
way), fwiw (for what it’s worth) and imo (in my opinion).
--well-established ---- widely used because of their speed, convenience and flexibility.
---as fast as a telephone---- speed ---relatively cheap--- more convenient than e-mail
---paper can be put through a fax machine ----
--- can be used by companies with no computers or Internet connections.
1. cover sheet: the
first page of a fax
showing who it is
things that others
should receive the fax
4. advise the sender:
tell the person who
CHAPTER 9 --Cover Letters and Résumés
9.1- Cover letter
---The letter of application is the covering letter for your job application.
---Should be 1–2 pages in length and be accompanied by a resume or curriculum vitae (CV).
The cover letter serves to:
• draw attention to relevant qualifications and experiences listed in the resume;
• make a match between what you have to offer and the potential employer’s needs;
• persuade your potential employer to consider the application carefully; and
• introduce yourself and ask for an interview.
9.1.1 Guidelines for Writing a Cover Letter
When writing a cover letter, the following should be taken into consideration.
(a) Opening paragraph
Use one of the following to draw the reader’s attention to what you want to offer and
the job you are applying for.
• Summarize the opening.
• Name the opening.
• Request an opening.
• Question the availability of an opening.
(b) Middle paragraph(s)
Use one of the following in each of your middle paragraphs to persuade the reader to
invite you to an interview.
• Work experience
• Ability to work with others and/or alone
• Interest in your field
• Interest in the company
• Responsibilities in previous positions
(c) Closing paragraph
In the last paragraph, you can request for an interview stating that you will be happy
to come to the employer’s office when convenient. Make it easy for the reader to
follow up by providing your telephone number and e-mail address.
NOTE: There are two types of letters of application: Solicited and Unsolicited. A
solicited letter is one where you are responding to a position advertised. An
unsolicited letter is one where you express interest in a position at your
own initiative and take a chance on being hired.
-The résumé is a document that contains
-all your qualifications,
-It is the summary of your personal data,
-include your education,
-skills, qualifications, work experience, references, hobbies and interests.
-It is also sometimes referred to as a curriculum vitae or CV.
There are three types of résumé:
(a) Basic résumé
Includes all normal parts of a résumé, but is simpler and shorter; suitable for schoolleavers
or those who have little work experience.
(b) Functional résumé
Uses a different order of presentation to highlight a wide range of skills and work
experience. Starts with the most recent work experience that matches potential
employer’s needs, followed by subheadings to highlight job functions; uses
advertisement as guide for specific functions; e.g. supervisory, marketing, training.
(c) Specific résumé
Prepared for a specific job, with emphasis on qualifications, skills and experience
particularly relevant to the job; presents experiences in terms of criteria advertised.
Highlight strengths with action words (verbs) such as achieve, adapt, initiate, install,
prepare, report, research, supervise, inspect or make.
CHAPTER 10Business Reports
PLANNING AND WRITING REPORTS
several types of reports. --- long--, short---, formal ---or informal.
Reports can serve various purposes. There are reports which inform, reports which
Aformal report contains the following:
• A title page which includes the title of the report, recipient’s name, position and/or
organization, writer’s name and position (and organization if appropriate), and the date
• An introduction
• Sections with headings in the body
• Recommendations (when required)
• Attachments are included if their information is useful
Ashort report should contain:
• a clear indication of your purpose;
• accurate and objective information;
• a suitable order of information which highlights the main points and leads logically to
your conclusions; and
• appropriate formal short report, letter or memo formatting.
There are three widely used short reports that usually follow the memo format, but may
also follow the formats for a letter or formal report.
(a) Justification report
(b) Progress report (and completion report)
(c) Periodic report
Formal reports are major documents written to provide comprehensive information and
expert opinion. They are written for specific purposes – for example, to investigate the
suitability of a particular site or to analyse achievements over a set period. They are
therefore usually long, and require careful organizing.
10.5.1 Sequence to Follow When Writing a Long Report
(a) Develop an outline with main headings and sub-headings.
(b) Begin with purpose statement and introduction.
(c) Write the main body of the report.
(d) Draw conclusions from the information you have presented in the body of the report
and relate it to the purpose.
(e) Write the conclusions, then your recommendations.
(f) Optional – Prepare the preface, abstract, synopsis or executive summary after
presenting facts and findings.
(g) Include a list of references (bibliography) if you include researched material in your
(h) Include a table of contents and a table of graphics (diagrams, charts, graphs). Each
item is to be placed in the order it appears.
(i) Write the letter of transmittal.
(j) Prepare the title page to complete the report.
Presentation is the arrangement of information on the page. It creates an initial
impression of your organization and it is therefore important that layout is given
attention to project a professional image.
ways you can use for the presentation of your document.
• Numbered lists or sections, as in reports
• Space between paragraphs, left and right margins
• Headers and footers
(a) The front matter
Letter of transmittal
Table of contents
(b) The body (main text)
Discussion and analysis of findings
Development of ideas
(c) The end matter
There must be at least three main parts:
• Introductory Section
It begins with the purpose statement that defines the report’s main task or topic. This
section presents the terms of reference which are the instructions for writing the report.
Finally state the report’s scope (limits).
NOTE: When writing to an expert reader who is familiar with the content, you can
start with the conclusions and recommendations first.
• Central Section: Body of Text
This section usually investigates and analyses the findings, and proposes solutions for
any problem involved.
Present both the advantages and disadvantages.
Use headings to highlight main ideas.
Anumbering system helps if the body of the report contains many ideas.
• Final Section
This section contains the conclusions and recommendations. Set these out as separate
The conclusion summarizes and evaluates the report’s main facts. It is short. Do not
present new information in the conclusion.
Recommendations are the writer’s attempt to provide at least some answers to
questions and issues raised by the report. Clearly state the action required.
Recommendations are not need if the long report is intended as a database for others
who will be responsible for planning and recommendations.
THE LANGUAGE in a report should present facts and information