Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Spreading the love

Business writing skills are intricately linked to proving professionalism, proving employability and creating a positive or negative image about the writer. Lesley told us how extremely important it is to send the right message out there in everything we write. I really felt the impact that bad writing can have on any business.

Our lovely presenter had some slides that showed examples of bad versus good writing. Some people get turned of by bad writing. Lesley gets really pissed off when you send her a document with just ONE spelling mistake. I’m not sure what state she goes in when she sees two but I am positive it’s not good.

I used to get really frustrated when I started working with her and she would point out spelling errors in some of my emails. I thought “oh God I have acquired a nasty teacher”. I understood that her intentions were good when she explained to me that we are judged by what we write. I have realised too that Lesley is not all bad, when you have done something good, she does not waste time in telling you so.

Today Lesley told me that my blogs are very good. One problem, my paragraphs are too long. She says this may discourage people from reading thinking that they are not interesting. I have to package them in smaller pieces that are kinder on the eyes. So you the reader will be seeing improved blog appearance from now own because I don’t want to lose you yet. I am going to be more generous with the white space too.

Bad writing as Lesley put it gives a negative perception that either you are a con artist/careless/not serious or that one obtained the degree fraudulently. It also gives a negative image to people out there in the industry who may not be holders of postgraduate degrees to think that they did themselves a favour by not going for the qualification. For them the sloppiness will be enough justification. I have decided I do not want to bring this qualification into disrepute by mistakes that I can easily avoid such as grammar and spelling errors.

During the presentation I was given a gift which I heartily received with two hands from Lesley. She sure knows how to spread the love. Instead of being vague about what we need to know about business writing skills she let us all in on the secret. I am going to share Lesley’s love with you and open up the secret. It’s in a word called SPRAT meaning:

Situation
Problem
Resolution
Action
Thanks

If you want to try it you can write a letter to say your head of department highlighting a particular concern. Just follow the method step by step, afterwards you will be kick yourself wondering why you never knew about it all along. It’s an effective way of communicating without getting that irritating email asking you to clarify certain points.

I am positive that with this new skill I posses my transition from academic writing to business writing is now easier. I am throwing away those long phrases I used for my research report writing like “it is hoped that this study will stimulate further research in this area” when all I want to say is “I quit”.

2 Comments:

Blogger Lesley Emanuel said...

Dear Pascalia

Thanks for the positive feedback. And so glad of the shift in your perception of me! he he.

Lesley

10:55 am  
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