Seven steps to modern business writing
Egal ob Sie einen Geschäftsbrief, eine Bestellung oder einen Beschwerdebrief schreiben. Mit diesen sieben Tipps von Secretary Today ist Ihre Geschäftskorrespondenz immer professionell und zeitgemäß ohne altmodische Floskeln.
The language of business has become very informal. In meetings and at conferences we use much more relaxed language than two or three decades ago. Then why do so many people still use old-fashioned language when they write business letters or emails?
Follow the Seven Steps for professional, up-to-date business correspondence.
1 Be brief
Use short sentences, don’t repeat yourself, don’t waffle. Write as much as necessary and as little as possible.
2 Be natural
Use the same language as you would in a conversation
|We have |
informing you …
|I am pleased |
to tell you …
|I should be |
grateful if you
would tell us …
|Please let us|
3 Use modern language
Old-fashioned words and phrases add nothing to your meaning and they may be difficult for non-native speakers of English to understand.
at this moment
|now / at present|
4 Find the right tone
Whether you are complaining about bad service, asking someone to pay a long overdue invoice or telling a customer you can’t help them, never be rude, aggressive, tactless or curt.
|We cannot help you.||Unfortunately, we are unable to help you with this problem. |
|You can solve the problem yourself|
by assembling it properly.
|The problem can be solved by|
re-assembling the unit as shown on page 15 of the handbook.
|I am writing to complain about the|
dreadful service in your shop.
|I was very unhappy with the service.|
I received in your shop yesterday.
5 Be sincere
If you are answering a complaint, show a genuine interest in your reader and their problems.
|I can understand that you are an-|
gry about the problems you are
having with the printer you bought
|I am very sorry to hear that the|
books you ordered have still not
6 Be consistent
Do not mix forms, for example when you write the date or a list of names, and when you use punctuation.
|I confirm my reservation of |
a double room on 1/7 and a single room on 2 July.
|I confirm my reservation of a double room on 1 July and |
a single room on 2 July.
| Our team includes John Preston, Mr Albright, |
Mrs Margaret Smith and P. J. Lewis.
|Our team includes John Preston, Brian Albright, Margaret Smith and Paul J. Lewis|
7 Be active
Avoid the passive voice wherever possible. It is impersonal and old-fashioned.
|The cause of your complaint is |
|We are looking|
into your complain.
|Arrangements have been made to have a car meet you at the airport.|
We are sending a car to drive you from the airport.
| The contract is being |
sent to your address.
|We are sending the contract to your address.|