Business Communication Final Exam
A) Goodwill messages serve the purpose of enhancing inter-personal relationships at the workplace as they show that people care about, appreciate and recognize the efforts of each other. Good inter-personal relationships are important because they create a good working environment which leads to the success of a business.
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The focus of the message should be on the receiver of the message, if sending a recognition message only talk about the efforts of the receiver without including others as this will water down the message and not fulfill its purpose which is building interpersonal relationships.
The specific actions of the receiver should be mentioned, when writing a thank you message for a gift, describe the gift for example, “ thank you for the yellow lilies and red carnations that you sent me when I was sick, they are my favorite,” this shows genuine appreciation.
The message should be genuine, meaning that the language should be simple and not flowery, the way it would be in a normal conversation, when one is sending a sympathy message they can say, “ am really sorry about the death of your mother, she was a kind and generous lady.”
Language of the message should be original, normal and straightforward, it should be devoid of buzzwords and common phrases such as “ it is with great sorrow and grief that I received the news of Tom’s demise” because they lack a personal touch, which is what goodwill messages are really about.
The message should be brief and precise; ideally it should be the length of a note.
B) Thank you Messages
These messages are used to show appreciation; it may be for a gift received, when hospitality is offered or when a favor is extended.
For a gift received;
Thank you Amber for the book “ 7 habits of highly effective people” by Steven Covey at my promotion party I love reading motivational books and the book will be a good addition to my library. It will be very instrumental in preparing me for my new role as the department manager and every time I read it am grateful for your kindness and thoughtfulness.
When hospitality is offered;
I would like to thank you for hosting Hillary and I at your home to celebrate our successful presentation at the trade fair. Your lovely house provided a good location and the macaroni and cheese dinner was very delicious, it was a great evening filled with joy and laughter thanks, Anthony for being a wonderful staff mate.
When a favor is extended;
Thank you so much for standing in for me when my child was hospitalized and I was unable to attend the meeting with the investors. Without your effort the company would have lost the investors and that would have reflected negatively on my work appraisal. I am very grateful for your efforts and am glad that I have a genuine friend in you.
These messages identify and appreciate the efforts of others, they may be sent when one has graduated from university, has made a significant accomplishment or when one has published a book.
When one has graduated;
Congratulations Jill on earning your masters diploma! I know that you worked very hard to get it, going to night school, revising and still arriving at work before everyone else. You are truly deserving of the diploma!
When one has made a significant accomplishment;
I would like to congratulate you on getting the Fairview account, your thoroughly researched presentation and excellent oratory skills enabled you to convince those clients. All the best Emma as you begin serving the client.
When one publishes a book;
Congratulations Sean on publishing your first book! The hard work that you put in when conducting research and carrying out interviews has paid off; you are a great example of how diligence and following one’s passion are important, all the best in your upcoming book tour.
These messages show concern and care when sent to a person who is grieving, has been a victim of an accident or a misfortune has befallen them they offer comfort and a reassurance of support.
When someone is grieving;
I was very shocked to receive the news of the death of your mother, she was a very kind and nice lady who baked cookies for the entire department during end of year parties, and she will be dearly missed. I will be glad to help with any work while you are making funeral arrangements. May the grace and peace of God be with you during this difficult time.
During a misfortune;
I was deeply saddened to hear that your lovely home, which you remodeled yourself torn down by the recent hurricane. I am ready to help you find a new home as my husband is a real estate agent, the please accept my deep sympathies.
When someone has been a victim of an accident;
I received the news of your accident with a lot of shock and sadness; I am however glad that you survived the accident though you broke your arm. Am willing to offer you any help you will need especially in doing floral arrangements since it will be difficult with one arm. I wish you a quick recovery and please keep in mind that the entire staff is going to help you with anything that you need.
Types of Interviews
The aim of this type of interview is to weed out applicants who are not qualified for a particular job, it involves questions about the qualifications that one has listed in their resume and also about the experience that they have. This type of interview is normally carried out at job fairs but it is increasingly being carried out via the phone or using virtual interview software, for one to succeed in this interview they have to be able to give a clear account of their qualifications and experience.
One on One Interview
This type of interview involves a face to face meeting with a company representative such as a human resource manager or a hiring who then proceeds to as the interviewee questions regarding themselves, the company and the specific post that they are applying for .
This type of interview is conducted by a group of people who are already working in that company, they take turns asking questions about the post being applied for and qualifications. Interviewees are advised to maintain eye contact and take notes during the interview.
In this type of interview several candidates applying for the same post are interviewed at the same time, the aim of this type of interview is to gauge the communication and leadership abilities of the interviewees, they are advised to focus on the interviewer and be kind to the other candidates.
In this interview, the interviewee is interviewed by more than one interviewer over a period of time. These interviews are more in depth and focus on the specific skills that the interviewee has, they are advised not to leave out any important information on the assumption that they had already said it in a previous interview.
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These interviews are meant to gauge the reactions of the interviewees in high pressure situations; the stress factors include unresponsive interviewers, rude interviewers, impossible tasks and rapid fire questions. The secret to passing these interviews is remaining calm, being polite and showing initiative.
8 Steps to Prepare for an Interview
Gathering Information about the Company
It is important for an interviewee to research about the company so as to look knowledge able, they should know the company’s history, the products and services that they provide, its mission and vision and the top management team. This information can be found on company websites and also on their social media pages and blogs. Being informed is a sign of seriousness and initiative.
Gathering Information about the specific post
An interviewee should be conversant with the roles and responsibilities that come with the position they are applying for, though the roles may not be exactly similar in all companies there are some functions that are common. This knowledge will help the candidate when calculating the expected salary and it shows seriousness and initiative.
Rehearsing Success stories
These are stories that demonstrate the abilities and qualifications of an interviewee, they include stories of how one dealt with a difficult situation or presented results that were over and above expectations, they should include figures and statistics such as 30% increase in sales after a social media campaign. They should be short and precise and prepared to correspond with the required set of qualification and skills. They should be well practiced so that they can come out naturally.
Practice answers to possible questions
Whereas the exact questions in an interview cannot be predicted there are routine questions such as salary expectations, previous experience, academic qualifications and availability that are always asked. Preparing correct and exciting answers to these questions can increase the chances of success in an interview and confidence levels. The answers should be practiced regularly and presented in front of a friend who will give an honest opinion.
Clean up any Digital Dirt
Today everyone is on social media and employers are increasingly using these profiles to find out about their potential employees. It is therefore important to remove any lewd, criminal, negative or false items from social media pages, interviewees are also advised to refrain from joining lewd groups and causes and having unprofessional friends. The aim should be to have a professional online image that is focused and positive.
Expect to explain problem areas in the resume
There are bound to be issues in a resume such as being fired from a previous job, lack of experience or poor grades in certain courses. It is important to have honest answers that will reflect positively on the candidate, candidates should avoid taking ill of their former employers and instead take responsibility for mistakes made while pointing out the lessons learnt.
Decide how to dress
It is important for candidates to wear attire that projects seriousness and professionalism regardless of the dress code that a company has, this means avoiding provocative attire such as short skirts and tight pant, having minimal make up, covering up tattoos and wearing clean clothes that are well ironed.
Gather Items to bring
All the required items such as resumes, samples of previous work and reference letters should be gathered the night before and placed in a document folder so as to get a professional look. It will be very embarrassing if a candidate forgets their resume or does not have enough copies to pass around, this could cost them the job.
A)Four types of audiences
This is a warm kind of audience, they are interested in the topic and also in the presenter an example of this type of audience are people who pay to see their favorite author speaking at a conference, and they are conversant with the topic and eager to hear from the presenter.
This audience is calm and rational though they come with made up minds and think that their opinion is the only correct one. They maybe student listening to their teacher while he is giving them advice on life or the importance of education while they think that they have their lives already planned out for themselves and they do not need anyone’s advice.
This type of audience has a short attention span and they may have been compelled to listen to the presentation. Again a good example is students whine the teacher is teaching, most of them would rather be doing other things like playing or surfing the internet and are therefore not interested in what the teacher is saying.
This audience is emotionally charged; they are very defensive and passionate about their opinions and are potentially violent. They may ridicule the speaker or want to take charge of the presentation. This type of audience can be found in debates especially political ones where emotions ran high and everyone thinks that they are correct.
B)Presenting for each type of audience
For this type of audience any approach can be used since they are friendly and interested, the presenter should involve then through asking questions, he/she should be fun, smile a lot and maintain eye contact; the presenter can also use personal experiences and examples such as their life history so as to enrich the presentation.
Since this audience already has its mind made up it is important to present both sides of the story such as the pros and cons and provide comparisons. The presenter should provide credible facts, statistics and expert opinion as this is the only way to convince a rational audience there should also be time for the audience to ask questions. Since the audience is calm the presenter should avoid flashy presentations and showy gestures, they should instead use small confident gestures.
The presenter should avoid lengthy presentations as this audience has a short attention span and they make the audience zone out. The most challenging aspect is keeping the audience interested; this can be done using colorful presentations, cartoons, powerful quotations and startling statistics. The presenter should be entertaining, use large gestures and funny. The presenter should avoid darkening the room, being motionless or asking the audience to participate as this will only bore them.
It is important for the speaker to be calm and to speak evenly; they should also avoid controversial patterns of presentation and only use topical or chronological patterns to avoid controversy. The presenter should provide objective data and give expert opinions while avoiding humor and personal experiences, they should also avoid question and answer sessions as they are likely to cause chaos, if this is not possible a moderator should be used or the audience should be asked to submit only written questions.
A proposal is an offer presented in written form to sell products, solve problems or provide services. A company may write a proposal to sell point of sale software or to offer cleaning services and present it to other companies
A proposal can either be solicited or unsolicited. A solicited proposal is one that is written for firms or agencies that know exactly what they want and they submit an RFP (request for proposal) which is replied to by proposals from firms that are interested in supplying the product or service. This is mostly done by governments and firms as a way of inviting people to submit tenders and bids.
For unsolicited proposals an individual or firm might recognize a problem and formulate a solution for it and then submit proposals to companies that they think require those services.
B) The parts of an informal proposal are;
The purpose of writing the proposal is explained in this part, it should contain a hook that captures the attention of the reader so as to convince them. The amazing qualities of what is being proposed should be explained such as high quality at cheap prices , the problem that the proposal is going to solve should be mentioned such as no more slow internet connection, the outstanding characteristics of the proposal should also be mentioned.
Background, problem and purpose
This section points out the problem and provides the objectives of the project, if the proposal is unsolicited for, this section should convince the reader of the existence and severity of the problem such as inability to file tax returns properly leading to expensive lawsuits and heavy fines. For a solicited proposal the aim should be to show mastery of the problem and the required solution as has been requested.
Proposal, Plan and Schedule
This part explains the proposal in detail and how it is going to solve the problem; it also includes a timeline of when the problem will be solved. For the proposal to be adopted this part should contain the benefits that are going to be acquired and an explanation of how the proposal will be solved without revealing all the secrets of the proposals methodology. It should be presented in an interesting manner so as to convince the audience.
This section explains the expertise and skills of those that are going to carry out the project; it determines whether the proposer has the capability of delivering on the promises made. A list of the equipment and facilities possessed should also be included plus the number of staff members that are going to carry out the project. It is advisable to include a longer and more detailed explanation of the qualifications such as resumes in the appendix.
This section outlines the amount of money required for a company to carry out a proposal, it should be prepared carefully, allowing for rising costs and factors such as inflation as it is indeed a contract and the prices quoted cannot be raised. The budget can be presented in the form of an outline or just quote the lump sum price only depending on the type of proposal it should also contain a deadline for acceptance.
This section concludes the proposal by requesting for approval while reminding the reader of the numerous benefits that they will gain from accepting the proposal.
C) A business plan is a business proposal that outlines what an existing or startup business is about, it offers insights on who the business owners are, the type of business, how it is going to do business and the various products or services that the company is going to offer.
A business plan is important when a company needs to secure funds for its day to day activities either from banks or from venture capitalists; this applies to both existing businesses and startups. For most existing businesses it also serves the purpose of bench marking, business use to as a guide to see if they are still on track with their goals and mission.
The components of a business plan include;
Letter of transmittal and/or executive summary
This component states the purpose of writing, it should contain the contact information of all stakeholders and this includes names, telephone numbers and addresses. It should have a description of the business and a mission statement and conclude by giving an overview of the entire plan and requesting for financial help.
Provides an overview of the plan; it should contain a list of all the topics covered and the page numbers of where each topic is found.
This includes information on the type of business whether it is a merchandising, manufacturing or service business and also contains information on the form of the business, whether it is a partnership, sole proprietorship or a corporation. If the business already exists it should contain information on the founding of the company, how it has been growing over the years and the profit it has been making.
Product or service description
Using simple and clear language this part explains the product or services being offered, their benefits and the niche that they are going to occupy. This part explains how and why the business is going to be successful, which is especially important for startups.
This part should explain the market characteristics, the trends that exist, and the growth that is foreseen, an analysis of customer behavior, their identification, how the business plans to attract them and keep them. The complimentary services and products should be described plus the barriers to market entry. Direct and indirect competitors should also be analyzed and a report on their strengths and weaknesses should be provided.
Operations and management
This section provides information on the day to day activities of the business such as location, the staff and the management team whose experience and qualifications should be highlighted.
The budget of the business is provided in this section, legal and professional costs for items such as licenses, permits and insurance, it should also include recurrent expenditure such as salaries and wages, insurance, rent, loan repayment and taxes. The amount of money that the proprietors have, the startup costs and the costs required to run the business should be included.
This final section contains extra information such as the resumes of the management team, tables and charts that forecast sales and a balance sheet.