Legalese Vs Plain English


By Seth Heyman

Have you ever seen a contract that has this type of language?

"In the event that the Party of the First Part undertakes any act or effort whatsoever to extend such Party's rights hereunder beyond that reasonably contemplated by the Party of the Second Part under a restrictive interpretation said Party's understanding of their respective rights, duties, and obligations hereunder, the Party of the Second Part shall, upon provision of prior written notice to the Party of the First Part, be excused from any performance obligations hereunder to the extent that such performance obligations may indicate or express an agreement on the part of the Party of the Second Part to accept such extension of rights."

This bizarre, convoluted language has rightfully earned the name "legalese." Like any other language, it is rarely understood by anyone other than its native speakers (and sometimes not even then). Unlike any other language, however, the use of twisted legalese can lead to a costly court battle.

A Brief History of Legalese: How is it that people who are brought up speaking the same language as anyone else in their country come out of law school writing sentences that cannot be understood by anyone other than themselves? Many experts believe that legalese has its roots in the Battle of Hastings in 1066, which lead to the Norman conquest of England. After the conquest, Norman French found its way into English courts. English lawyers were unsure as to whether a French word had the same meaning in English, and thus began to include both words in contracts to be on the safe side. This lead to phrases still in use today, such as "right, title, and interest," where "right" and "title" are English, and "interest" is French, and "breaking and entering," in which the English word "breaking" is paired with the French word "entering." This cross-channel linguistic mashup begat ever more convoluted phraseology as it was passed from generation to generation of lawyers.

The Rise of Plain English: Although legalese is a language unto itself, it was still widely used in contracts until the mid 1970's. Then, in 1975, attorneys for Citibank created the first "reader-friendly" consumer loan agreement by eliminating legalese and replacing it with shorter, more precise language, while at the same time adding numbered paragraphs and other aids to understanding. In the ensuing decades, contract law professors began to adopt the "Plain English" concept and taught it to their students. By the time the 90's rolled around, Plain English was even adopted as a requirement for certain consumer agreements in some states.

The benefit of using plain English is abundantly clear. When contracts are written in pure legalese, the parties that actually need to perform them may not understand their obligations. This results in an ambiguity in which one party to a contract interprets a confusing term differently then the other party, which in turn results in contractual disputes and litigation. So why do many lawyers still continue to incorporate legalese in contracts, despite the rise of plain English? There are basically three reasons why this practice continues:

- Tradition: The legal profession has a long and colorful history. Legalese is as much a tradition as the wigs and robes still used in English courts, and, like English lawyers, American attorneys are reluctant to abandon their treasured traditions.

- Laziness: When drafting contracts, many lawyers simply copy the language of earlier contracts. This practice has been undertaken by attorneys from the year 1066 to the present day, which means that some elements of legalese are simply passed on.

- Self-importance: It's important for an attorney to appear more educated and intelligent than the clients who hire them. Many continue to include legalese to impress their clients and justify high bills.

Here's a parting lesson: Read every contract before you sign it. If your contract includes bizarre and convoluted legalese that you can't easily understand, ask your attorney what it means. If he or she can't readily explain it, don't sign the contract, and hire a new attorney.

Avoiding legalese will not only help you understand your contractual obligations- it may also help you stay out of court. For more guidelines on contract law, visit http://www.bizlawcenter.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Seth_Heyman

Ten Tips to Legal English Writing For Paralegals

Ten Tips to Torture-Free Legal Writing For Paralegals
By Lisa Newman

Traditionally, the task of legal writing has been assumed by the attorney. Increasingly now, however, paralegals are being asked by their supervising attorneys to prepare a variety of legal documents. Some documents are created for internal purposes, relied upon by the attorney in preparation for litigation or an appeal. Other documents are reviewed by the attorney, revised, and ultimately filed with the court. In law offices of all sizes, it is not uncommon for experienced paralegals to write case briefs, research memoranda, motions, memoranda of points and authorities, and even appellate briefs.

Legal writing can be intimidating for the most seasoned legal professional. Approaching your next legal writing assignment does not need to be a daunting experience if you can remember this pneumonic device:

Every Outstanding Paralegal Knows How to Write Well and Effectively.

The first letter of each word corresponds with a tip to help propel your legal writing skills. If you follow these ten tips, you will be well on your way to torture-free legal writing!

Tip #1 - Establish a G.O.A.L. for your writing project.
Before you put pen to paper or fingertips to keyboard, you must first gather some essential information. This information is the GOAL of your project.

* G stands for the ground rules for your project. Whether you play golf, Monopoly, or checkers, a thorough understanding of the rules of the game is paramount. The same principle holds true in legal writing. Familiarize yourself with the document format that should be followed, the type font and font size that are required, and the margins that are acceptable. If you are writing a document that will be used internally, be certain to follow the format preferred by your attorney. Use samples of previously submitted work as a guide in completing your assignment. If you are preparing an appellate court brief, you should know the procedure for incorporating references to the record and the transcript. If you have any questions about the technical requirements for your document, ask your attorney or consult the local rules of the court where the document will be filed. Or, call the clerk of court. Because failure to follow the court rules may be grounds for the clerk to reject your filing, it is always prudent to ask questions and get it right the first time.

* O stands for the objective of your project. Now that you know the ground rules, you need to know how to "win" the game. What is the purpose of your assignment? Are you writing to inform or to persuade? Are you writing a research memorandum to inform your attorney about the client's viable defenses under state law? Or, are you writing to persuade the court to deny the opposing party's motion for summary judgment? Understanding the objective of your project enables you to better approach the way you conduct your research. Keeping the objective in mind also helps you focus and structure your writing, safeguarding against the likelihood that key information will be overlooked or omitted.

* A stands for your audience. Whether you are writing to your attorney, another paralegal, opposing counsel, the client, or to the court, it is important to tailor your writing style, tone, and formality in a manner appropriate for your intended audience. For example, the use of contractions is generally considered too informal when writing to the court, but may be acceptable when writing a research memorandum to your attorney.

* L stands for the limitations for your project. When your attorney gives you an assignment, you should confirm the due date. If you are preparing a document that will ultimately be filed with the court, you should also know the filing deadline. Depending upon the type of document you are preparing, it will be important to know the applicable statute of limitations for the cause(s) of action being asserted. Additionally, you should consult the court rules for any restrictions on the number of pages your document may include and the number of exhibits that may be appended.

Tip #2 - Organize your research materials.
Hours of research are meaningless if that seminal case you need is buried somewhere under the piles of paper and stacks of folders on your desk. For easy organization and worry-free retrieval, hole-punch your research materials and file them by category in a three-ring binder. Use color-coded tabs and specially marked dividers to separate your materials into primary and secondary authority, mandatory and persuasive authority, and federal and state authority.

In the upper right-hand corner of the first page of each case you pull, note the client-matter number, the date you retrieved the case, and the legal principle(s) for which the case is important. When you file the case and need to pull it later, you won't have to re-read it to recollect why you printed it out in the first place. Create an index or table of contents of your research materials and update it as necessary. Save the document on your PC and place a hard copy in the binder.

Tip #3- Prepare an outline.
After you've completed your research, but before you begin writing, prepare an outline of the information you will include in your document. Use the required format for your document as a tool in creating your outline. For instance, if you are writing an appellate brief, your outline should mirror each section of the brief, including the statement of the issues, statement of the facts, and argument components. In your outline, for each issue you intend to discuss, include an IRAC (Issue-Rule-Analysis-Conclusion) breakdown.

If you are writing a legal memorandum or appellate brief, list the major points you will address in your argument section and the subheadings that will go under these points. Remember that stronger arguments should appear before weaker ones. After you have prepared a preliminary outline, break it down further into paragraph levels. Briefly identify the topic of each paragraph and list the information that will be included in the paragraph along with the applicable references to authority you will cite. This process may sound laborious, but investing significant time to prepare your outline will actually save you time in the long run.

Tip #4 - Keep your writing simple and short.
With apologies to your college English instructor, legal writing ain't about using flowery phrases or melodic prose to convey your ideas. On the contrary, legal writing is about reducing the complex to the simple. The abstract to the concrete. And the superfluous to the necessary. The line in Rudyard Kipling's poem "If", where he writes of walking with kings but not losing the common touch, sums up what should be your approach to legal writing. Even though you may be addressing attorneys and judges with multiple advanced degrees and countless years of legal experience, you should write your document in such a way that the average person can understand your message. Assume the person who will read your document has never attended law school or graduated from a paralegal program. Keep your writing simple, but don't sacrifice precision. State the facts, raise the issues, support your argument with the authority, and end with an appropriate "call to action." In other words...get to the point!

Good legal writing is also short, or concise. Avoid using multisyllabic words when a shorter word choice will prove just as effective. Substitute a single word for a lengthier phrase. "Filed an action against" becomes "sue" and "with regard to" becomes "concerning." Write in short sentences (25 words or less) to heighten your reader's understanding. Likewise, shorter paragraphs help your reader better digest your message. You don't eat a steak all at once. Rather, you take your time, savoring it piece by piece in several bites. Similarly, you don't want to overwhelm the reader with a paragraph that extends three-quarters of the page. Divide longer paragraphs into more palatable two or three short paragraphs.

Tip #5 - Hold the reader's interest.
Good writing captures the reader's interest at the beginning, builds upon that interest throughout the middle, and satiates that interest at the end. Effective legal writing is no different. As you construct your document, remove all barriers and roadblocks to holding your reader's attention. I suggest you include a built-in navigation device. At the beginning of your document, give your reader a roadmap of where you are going and explain how you intend to get there. Throughout your document, insert mile markers to orient your reader as to how the section he or she is reading fits within the bigger picture.

Prevent reading-induced hypnosis by varying the length of your sentences and paragraphs. Use headings and subheadings as appropriate to break up huge blocks of text on the page. Incorporate sufficient white space to give your readers a visual (and mental) resting place. Emphasize key points or phrases with special formatting such as italics and bold, but be careful not to overdo a good thing. Use bulleted lists as appropriate. Strategically placed graphs, charts, and tables add substantive value to your writing and also help further engage your reader.

Tip #6 - Tie it together with topic sentences and transition bridges.
The previous tip discussed the importance of providing your reader with direction at the outset of your document and guideposts along the way. An effective way to accomplish this is to start each paragraph with a topic sentence to introduce the subject you intend to discuss. End each paragraph with a transition bridge to the next paragraph. Words such as "however," "moreover," and "in addition" can help create a seamless transition between independent, but related, thoughts. Using transition language as you move from one point to the next contributes to the overall cohesiveness of your writing.

Tip #7 - Write in active voice.
It is always a good rule of thumb to use active voice in any kind of writing. To do this, arrange your sentence so that the subject performs the action expressed by the verb. In the majority of instances, a sentence written using active voice is more clear and direct than one written using passive voice. Notwithstanding this general principle, there may be times when the facts in your case dictate the use of passive voice. For example, in a criminal case where your attorney represents the accused, you certainly would not want to write, "The defendant assaulted the victim." Instead, you would write, "The victim was assaulted."

Tip #8 - Write in positive voice.
Use a glass half-full approach in your legal writing by using positive voice. Change negative statements into affirmative statements. Compare "The defendant should not be prohibited from asserting a contributory negligence." with "The defendant must be permitted to assert a contributory negligence defense." Notice how the second sentence reads better and is more direct.

Tip #9 - Avoid legalese and legal jargon whenever possible.
As creatures of habit, we often find it challenging to embrace new ways of doing things. We have a tendency to fall back on the familiar. Thankfully, the foothold this kind of resistance has gained in the area of legal writing is going the way of the pet rock. Law school professors and legal practitioners alike are eschewing the use of archaic legal jargon and legalese. So should you. Legalese and jargon only function to obscure the meaning of your message. Include them only if absolutely necessary. (If you come across an "absolutely necessary" instance, let me know.)

Tip #10 - Edit your writing for the 7 Cs.
After you complete your first draft, carefully review your work and edit for the following:

* Clarity - Aim for specificity. Add information if needed to clarify your point. Remove information that makes your point muddy. Rephrase or re-work passages to ensure your point is conveyed clearly and meaningfully.

* Completeness - Use the outline you prepared from Tip #3 as a checklist to determine if your document is complete. Review your document to see if you included the required elements and necessary information.

* Conciseness - Eliminate unnecessary words and fillers. Remove redundancies. Remember to keep your sentences and paragraphs simple, short, and to the point.

* Concreteness - Eliminate lengthy legal phrases and substitute shorter concrete words and phrases. "Apprehended the suspect" becomes "arrested Mrs. Johnson."

* Consistency - Read through your writing to ensure your use of tenses and pronouns is consistent from beginning to end. Check to see that you used the same word or phrase each time you referred to the same concept. For example, if you use the word "terminated" to characterize what happened to your client in the first section of your writing, you'll want to change any references to your client being "dismissed" or "fired" that appear later in your document.

* Continuity - Review your work for organizational continuity. Sentences and paragraphs should flow logically from one to the next. Read the first and last sentences of each paragraph. If you are able to glean the major points by reading these sentences alone, your writing has excellent continuity.

* Correctness - Verify the legal authority you cited is still valid. Double-check your citation format. Review your work to see that you have accurately stated the facts. Finally, carefully proofread your work for spelling, grammar, typographical and other kinds of errors that will detract from your message.

After you have made these revisions, ask a friend or family member who does not have a legal background to read your work. Then, listen to the feedback. Make a second round of revisions as necessary. And then? Breathe easy because you are done. Congratulations.

Copyright © 2009 MARIGOLD CONSULTING. All rights reserved.

Lisa M. Newman is the Founder and CEO/President of Marigold Consulting in Atlanta, GA. The firm offers interactive personal growth classes, professional development workshops, and corporate training seminars on a variety of topics designed to help participants bloom out of proportion.

For additional information on these services or to schedule a session for your group, please visit http://www.marigoldconsulting.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Lisa_Newman

Business Law - Drafting Legal Contracts


By Rebecca McLellan

The whole point of writing a contract is to offer protection between you and the person that you are making the contract with. It is thus very important that the contract is written well and in effect water tight so you will be fully protected should anything go wrong.

As for small businesses, you may not have the time or money to be able to get a solicitor to draw up a contract for you every time you need one. This article will offer some tips and advice on how to write up a good legal contract.

You should always volunteer to make the first draft of a contract. It will be more cost effective and you will be able to draw up terms which a more preferential to you.

You don't have to make your contract unnecessarily complex. Use terms that you and the person you are making the contract with understand. Your contract will be more enforceable if it is clear what you are trying to say. If your contract is not clear, then it may be used against you if anything were to go wrong.
You need to ensure that you use all the correct business names when drawing up your contract. This means that if you were doing business with another company, you would use the businesses name in the contract as opposed to the individual that you have been dealing with to arrange the deal.

The most important thing when writing a contract is to make it as detailed as you possibly can as to leave no margin for interpretation. You should not leave anything up to assumptions but instead make sure that you have got down in writing what you expect to happen. You should include all the rights and obligations of the parties involved and write down anything that has been agreed on verbally in order to make it official.

If you need to make any changes to the contract you will need to make a separate amendment to attach to the contract, you cannot rewrite the contract from scratch. You will need to make sure that any amendments are initialed by all the parties involved in the deal. You should also make sure that you include all the details surrounding payment and make sure that you use explicit amounts, you must be very clear. You should also include what the method of payment will be, the date of the expected payment and what will happen if the payment is late. You will also need to include clauses in which the contract may be ended. It is also important to include a section on how disputes will be dealt with if they arise.

If the person or company that you are doing business with is based in another country, you will need to decide which countries laws will govern what is written in the contract. This will be the place in which legal action will take place in the event of any problems.

For more legal advice and information, and for free legal resources visit lawontheweb.co.uk

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Rebecca_McLellan

Legal Drafting in English - 10 Tips

Legal Drafting - 10 Tips
By Michael Carabash

I thought it would be worthwhile to outline some tips when it came to legal drafting that I often educate my clients on. This shows why legal kits aren't as good to protecting your rights and promoting your interests as an experienced lawyer is - particularly when you need to negotiate the terms and conditions of an important agreement. So, without further adieu, here are my 10 big tips:

1. Organize your thoughts. I have a general rule about this: 1 idea per sentence, 1 idea per paragraph. Keep things simple and make sure it flows naturally.

2. Use clear language. I can't say this enough. If you have the option of using lots of words to get your thoughts across, it's likely going to get confused. You'd better cut up your sentence into clauses and then make those clauses separate sentences, each expressing only 1 idea.

3. Know your audience. At the end of the day, your contract - for it to mean anything - must be capable of being enforced through litigation. Therefore, write your contract with a judge in mind.

4. Anticipate concerns. There are lots of things you may not realize could impact the interpretation of your agreement at the time you write it. Try to anticipate those situations by looking for precedents and asking around.

5. Use precise language or wishy-washy language to suit your needs - just realize when to use it! If you're a commercial tenant, you may want to use very loose language when it comes to the types of businesses you can operate in the leased premises (to give you flexibility); you may also want very broad language when it comes to an exclusivity clause which restricts te landlord from leasing out adjacent premises to competing businesses (so more types of businesses are captured).

6. What are the consequences? If your intention is to create an enforceable agreement, then you should spell out the consequences of breaching the agreement or a specific provision therein. Also, you should - when it is to your benefit - indicate WHO is the decision maker when it comes to things like breaching the document. By this, I mean: if there is an alleged breach, then under the agreement, final decision-making authority for making that call is Party X. This puts the power in that party's hands.

7. Less is more. You've heard it before, but it's still worth repeating: use smaller words, smaller sentences, smaller paragraphs, smaller everything to get your message across. Too many words and things get messy. Also, if you have the option of using smaller words to get the message across, use them!

8. Don't use legalese unless you know what it means! Legalese is comprised of archaic words and phrases that only lawyers should be bothered with deciphering. They often have specific meanings which are beyond the knowledge or understanding of the lay person.

9. Leave room for amendments later on. Sure, you might not get everything you wanted down in one shot, so just make a provision in your agreement that things can change through mutually agreed upon (in writing) amendments.

10. Keep learning! There are always new techniques to better legal drafting so research them by reading books, articles, etc.

http://www.DynamicLawyers.com - Need a Lawyer? Make a Post (it's free and anonymous!). Get FREE Quotes!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_Carabash

Plain English

The purpose of writing is to communicate information i.e. transferring your ideas to someone else clearly. Plain English could also be called "understandable and uncomplicated English" or "user-friendly English".

Ten Tips For Clearer Business Writing



  • Have you ever read an email or memo you did not understand? Have you had to read and read again the same paragraph to grasp its meaning? Do you worry that others may not be able to understand what your writing is about?
  • The purpose of any piece of writing is to communicate information to your readers. Here are 10 top tips to make your writing clearer and more understandable:
  • Plan your writing for your readers
  • Put the most important information at the beginning
  • Use short, understandable modern words instead of long, complicated old ones
  • Use short sentences
  • Get rid of unnecessary words, information and sentences
  • Avoid using jargon and technical terms
  • Don't use clichés such as "Please be advised that"
  • Use active verbs instead of the passive voice
  • Format information in lists and use bullet points
  • Insert tables and graphs into text rather than writing lengthy descriptions.

Also know your target audience. Who is going to read your writing and why? Do you know what is important to them?

Learn Business English Writing in Hong Kong - Apply Now

Ten Tips For Better Business Writing

Ten Tips For Better Business Writing

Have you ever read an email or memo you did not understand? Have you had to read and read again the same paragraph to grasp its meaning? Do you worry that others may not be able to understand what your writing is about?

The purpose of any piece of writing is to communicate information to your readers. Here are 10 top tips to make your writing clearer and more understandable.

1. Plan your writing for your readers
2. Put the most important information at the beginning
3. Use short, understandable modern words instead of long, complicated old ones
4. Use short sentences
5. Get rid of unnecessary words, information and sentences
6. Avoid using jargon and technical terms
7. Don't use clichés such as "Please be advised that"
8. Use active verbs instead of the passive voice
9. Format information in lists and use bullet points
10. Insert tables and graphs into text rather than writing lengthy descriptions.

Also know your target audience. Who is going to read your writing and why? Do you know what is important to them?
 
Click for more information on how to write better business English

What are Soft Skills and Why are they so Important?

What are Soft Skills and Why are they so Important?  by: ILead India

Most people are still not clear about what soft skills mean. Frankly, the term itself was coined just a few years ago. In any job, the sole importance was given to the candidate’s resume and what his qualifications were. But nowadays, a lot of stress is being laid on the candidate’s soft skills and if he is properly trained in them.

So what are soft skills? It is hard to be exact in this case, but it essentially is a method to judge a person’s performance, leadership ability, and team spirit. Hard skills constitute your educational qualifications and previous job experience. In fact, a lot of recruiters are now paying more attention to soft skills rather than the hard ones. A lot of candidates with impressive resumes but poor soft skills have been rejected in the final rounds of interviews.

That is why you should enroll in soft skills programs in order to develop these skills better. Soft skills can be classified into these categories:

• Negotiation – This is a very crucial soft skill that you need to possess. The art of negotiating a deal with a client or even negotiating with a co-worker is something that you need to master effectively. There is no hard and fast rule about mastering this aspect but you will be trained to negotiate to the fullest of your capabilities.

• Team building – Instilling team spirit in the members of a team is perhaps the most difficult task ever. Ego, personal rivalry, office politics, and various other factors come into play and you have to overcome all these hurdles and utilize all the resources efficiently. This is known as team building and it requires some training beforehand.

• Communication – Last but not the least, you need to communicate well with your superiors and peers. If you can’t express your thoughts or grievances in the proper manner, then it will soon begin to affect your performance. Honing this particular soft skill is all the more important when you are talking to clients of the company.

Looking for an institute that offers soft skills training in Kolkata There are quite a few reputed ones that are providing such training for extremely reasonable fees so it should not be difficult for you to register your name. Just make sure that the institute has a good name in the market and also if it offers good job placements after the completion of the course.
About The Author
iLead India has prolific writers who write on a wide range of topics pertaining to education, including higher studies, post graduate courses, academic institutions, MBA education and more.

The author invites you to visit:
http://www.ilead.net.in

Article Source:
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How to Write an Excellent Business Letter

How to Write an Excellent Business Letter

By Jean Taylor
Although the layout of a letter is important and familiarity with the standard layout helps us to get down to work quickly and methodically, the actual letter we write is the most important activity. We have to say what we want to say as clearly and concisely as possible. If this is the first letter we have written on the matter, we want to start with the maximum impact. If it is one in a chain of letters, we want to recall to our correspondent's mind all that has gone before and update him/her by a further piece or pieces of information.
It is advisable before starting the letter to jot down the points to be made and to number them so they are in the best order. If the letter is to be dictated, it is particularly important to be well-organized, with all the bits of information you need to dictate. A secretary will not be impressed by an executive who does not know the surname of the correspondent, or his/her initials, or the address, and who hesitates over the dictation, searching for odd scraps of paper in pockets, handbags, etc. If dictation is to a machine, the machine has to be told everything, so that the audio-typist can get on with the letter without delay. While a secretary can perhaps look at past correspondence for missing details, the audio-typist is remote from the scene of operations and possibly in a completely different building.
The opening paragraph
The opening paragraph tends to be short and often continues the greeting begun in the salutation if we are on familiar terms with our correspondent. In more formal situations it outlines the subject matter of the letter, reinforcing the subject-heading. It may refer to earlier correspondence, and it always sets the tone of the letter. Thus a letter was intended to make the strongest possible protest about the products or services supplied by the correspondent would not begin in a light-hearted way, but would start seriously and formally. By contrast, a letter acknowledging a large order and anticipating a long and fruitful course of dealings with a customer would begin pleasantly and keep a friendly tone throughout.
The main subject matter
The body of the letter would consist of one or more paragraphs, each dealing with a topic that is an element in the subject matter to be dealt with. Paragraphs should not be too long, unless the subject matter is particularly serious and can sustain the reader's interest because of its urgent nature. If a series of important points is being made, they may be listed (a), (b), (c), etc,. Or if they have a paragraph each, the paragraphs may be numbered. It is in this part of the letter that the writer must explain what he/she feels about the matter, and what he/she feels the next step should be. If detailed recommendations are being made, they may be listed in the final paragraph so that the correspondent can deal with them item by item. Generally speaking, a final paragraph that shows the way ahead (even if the best way ahead is to do nothing) leaves your correspondent with a clear guideline for the future.
Jean Taylor More FREE sample business letters visit
http://www.101businessletter.com
Article Source:
http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jean_Taylor

Writing Business Emails

Writing Business Emails

By David P Smit
There's something final about an email. Once it's gone, you can never get it back. So if you are composing an important business email make sure that you have got everything right and have covered all the basics.
A business email represents you and the kind of impression you make on your business contacts. So, be sure of your email before you hit the send button. You need to keep some important things in mind while composing a business email. It will greatly affect your future prospects and how well things turn out. Yes, a simple email has so much power, so it's a wise idea to be careful before you compose your email. Here are some pointers that should keep you on the right track.

  • Formal tone - A business email is not like a business letter. Even so, you have to maintain a certain amount of formality when writing it because this is what conveys your professional attitude. With a business letter, you have to make sure that the addresses are correct and aligned and the date is in the right order. With an email, you could probably skip all these things and head straight to the important stuff. However, how you write a successful business email largely depends upon who it is addressed to.
  • Salutation - Getting the salutation right is another important facet that is common to both business letters and emails. Mixing them up is a typical faux pas that immediately lends the wrong kind of impression about you and implies that you have not done your research before writing in. In addition, if the person you are sending the email to is someone you know, starting off with Hello isn't a bad idea at all.
  • Concise - While business emails do lend themselves to a certain way of writing which is convoluted at best, avoid this tendency when writing a business email. This is because the person reading on the other end may simply not have enough patience to read through the lines. Use bullet points if necessary to convey what you have to say effectively.
  • Subject line - The subject line is not there just for decorative purposes. It's useful because it helps the receiver understand what your email is about. Moreover, it's very important because it helps the receiver search for your email from hundreds of others. In addition, the subject line will prevent them from dumping it into their trash thinking that it's spam. Keep it short and to the point.
  • Sending attachments - Sending attachments is a big no-no unless it is specifically requested. Most business people are paranoid about getting viruses in their email attachments and might straight away delete your email thinking that it could be potentially dangerous.
  • Avoiding capitals - Surely, everyone knows now that writing in capitals in an email is tantamount to shouting in the real life. If you want to emphasize something that's important, use different methods. Use italics, underline the sentence or simply use a different color. However, never use capitals.
  • Proof read - Just as you would with a business letter, go over your email a few times to make sure that everything is perfect and there are no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors that could portray you in a wrong light.
  • Contact details - Always include your contact details at the end of your email, most particularly your cell phone number because it will make it easier for the recipient to call you if required.
  • Think and then write - The biggest drawback with email is that it often fails to convey tones. In informal emails, we might use emoticons to suggest what we're feeling as we write something, but this can't be done in a formal email. Nevertheless, think carefully before you write something because there's no saying what the recipient might perceive in your email.
  • Email only when required - Some people don't hesitate before picking up the phone and calling but most business people prefer emails because they are non-intrusive and give them time to compose their thoughts before they can answer you. Even so, email only when it's required.

Hitting the send button on your email is a final move. Before you do it, make sure that you've ensured all these elements are in place and your email is as perfect as possible.
Some useful English language reference sites include the
online dictionary at Datasegment and the synonyms database at Synonyms360.
Article Source:
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Business Writing: Common Grammar Mistakes

Business Writing: Common Grammar Mistakes

Author: Nicole Dean

Some of the most common grammar mistakes in business are the easiest to avoid. Whether speaking or writing, correct grammar and spelling are important to your credibility and the impression you leave upon others. Here are a few of the most common grammar mistakes with examples as to the correct usage. Subject/Verb Disagreement: When speaking or writing in the present tense, both subjects and verbs must be either singular or plural. A combination of singular and plural is incorrect. Incorrect: The directions is confusing. Correct: The directions are confusing. Incorrect: One of these flowers bloom in the spring. Correct: One of these flowers blooms in the spring. Past Tense Errors: Past tense regular verbs end with the suffix "ed" such as laughed and walked. Past tense irregular verbs change form completely. Be careful not to leave out the "ed" ending when using a regular past tense verb. Incorrect: During the movie, she talk a lot. Correct: During the movie, she talked a lot. Incorrect: The water is freezed. Correct: The water has frozen. Sentence Fragments: A sentence fragment lacks a verb, subject, or both and cannot stand alone as a sentence. Incorrect: The performers who visited our school. Correct: The performers who visited our school were amazing. Incorrect: Playing all day long. Correct: We played all day long. Apostrophe Errors: An apostrophe is used to show possession. You should add an 's after a plural or single nouns that does not end in s. After a plural noun ending in s, you would only use an apostrophe alone. Incorrect: Your parent's car is parked in the driveway. (2 parents) Correct: Your parents' car is parked in the driveway. Comma Errors: Be cautious of missing commas in a series of items, missing commas after dependant introductory clauses, and missing commas in nonrestrictive clauses. Incorrect: Sea animals fascinate him so he wants to be a marine biologist. Correct: Sea animals fascinate him, so he wants to be a marine biologist.
Incorrect: Because she is ill she will not attend school today. Correct: Because she is ill, she will not attend school today. Incorrect: My car is small so it gets good gas mileage. Correct: My car is small, so it gets good gas mileage. Errors In Verb Tense Shift: A verb tense shift happens when the speaker or writer switches from past to present or present to past without reason. Incorrect: We drove to the pool, and the dog dives right in. Correct: We drive to the pool, and the dog dives right in Also correct: We drove to the pool, and the dog dove right in.

 Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/careers-articles/business-writing-common-grammar-mistakes-57542.html
About the Author: Nicole Dean of http://www.LadyPens.com doesn't pay for advertising - ever. She uses Article Marketing to get free advertising on websites and in newsletters worldwide. You can use articles to get free traffic, too. Visit http://www.EasyArticleMarketing.com to find out how.

Public Speaking - Ways to Deliver Your Speech

Public Speaking - Ways to Deliver Your Speech

By Edward Hope
The 4 ways to deliver your speech are:
1. Read it to the audience
In this way the speech is written out and read aloud word for word to the audience. When giving your first speeches this method is attractive because the speaker does not rely on their memory due to the security of the speech. This does ensure that nothing is forgotten and the speech is accurate. The disadvantage is that you lose your personal appeal because your head is bowed reading. And it is difficult to talk expressively and maintain a conversational aspect to your delivery. However it is useful in political and highly controversial speeches to read aloud to prevent misquotes or being sued.
2. Memorize and deliver to your audience
The advantage of this method is that you can employ phrases that you wouldn't normally use and you are not tied down to reading your speech. You can look at your audience and move around. The difficulty with this approach is if you forget your "lines" and then struggle to determine where you are up to. Also the natural conversational quality of your delivery is difficult to maintain and it is often stiff and stilted.
3. Impromptu Speech
In an impromptu speech the speaker has not prepared a speech and is delivering his thoughts and word on the spur of the moment. This method is very flexible but rarely achieves the quality of a well prepared speech. It is best avoided if you can. But if you think you may be called on to say a few words it is handy to have a few "lines" prepared to avoid any embarrassments. Most experienced speakers have developed some reliable responses to use when they are called upon to make impromptu remarks.
4. Prepare a speaking outline and memorize the ideas
This approach is known as the extemporaneous method. The speech can be delivered with or without notes. When thoroughly prepared (which can include writing your speech in full initially) and practiced there is little need for notes. This is the easiest way for the speaker to achieve the ability to speak in a natural conversational manner. It also gives the ability to adapt the speech for any unexpected events. It does take more time and preparation than the other ways outlined here.
When starting out, it is tempting to read your speech or memorize and recite it word for word. Be careful with these methods because it is difficult to connect with the audience.
When called on for impromptu remarks ensure you have a few memorized responses (an emergency kit). The preferred method is to prepare thoroughly for your speech and memorize the ideas. Your speech has the potential to be more natural and to be more effective in achieving your purpose.
Be more effective in your
public speaking and conversation with "The Art of Great Conversation." To claim your free preview visit http://www.SelfConfidentSpeaking.com
Article Source:
http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Edward_Hope

English Public Speaking Course in Hong Kong - HKEnglish.Com

Public Speaking - How to Write a Great Speech

Public Speaking - How to Write a Great Speech

By Darrell Causey

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The first step to delivering a great speech is writing a great speech. Taking the time to write a quality speech with useful content will do wonders for your confidence and delivering the speech is about confidence.
Choose Your Topic
Choosing a topic you like is probably the single most important step in writing your speech. It is very difficult to write about something in which you have no interest. So, give careful thought to the subject of your speech and choose a topic that will interest you as well as your audience.
Once you have chosen the topic of your speech, write a sentence that clearly states your topic and your position. Remember, that until you can express your subject in one sentence you're not ready to write the speech.
Develop Your Points
You will need to decide on how many points you use to support your main topic. The average number of points in a speech is three. But if your time is less than ten minutes, you may have time for only one or two points. Likewise, if your speech is longer than thirty minutes you need to add more points. The decision is up to you. But remember don't cut the closing, it is far more important than the points.
Once you have determined which points you are going to use, write a paragraph dealing with each point. You should use facts, statistics and stories to develop your content. The best speech will use a combination of stories with facts or stories with statistics. A speech with only facts and statistics will be dry and boring. Don't let that happen to you.
Create Your Opening
You want your opening to grab the audience's attention and prepare them for the message you prepared. If you have chosen your topic and developed your points putting the opening together will be easy. Your opening should state your topic, your position and your points. So your audience knows what to expect.
A great way to get people's attention is to start your opening with a question. A question can get everyone thinking an involved. Another possibility is to open with a quote that pertains to your topic or start with something controversial. Any of these will get the audience involved and keep them with you.
Create Your Closing
The most important part of your speech is the closing with the opening being a close second. Your closing should recap what you were saying in your points, have a story that relates to the audience and have a call to action.
If your speech was important then you will want to end with a call to action. The audience wants to know what they should do next and they expect you to tell them. So, tell them exactly what you want them to do and how to do it.
A powerful technique for ending your speech is to use a well crafted question followed by a moment of silence. This is a powerful technique you should work at developing.
Read It and Rewrite It
Now take your opening, your points and your closing and bring them together in one document. Then read your document and notice the words you have used. Try other words to see if you get a better result. Experiment with words until your document flows smoothly.
Finally, rewrite it. Every time you read it and rewrite it you will improve it. Do this until it flows smoothly and effortlessly for you.
Practice
Now that you have written your speech, read it and rewritten it; you must practice it. Practice it when you are in the car during your commute, practice in front of your family and friends. The more you practice your speech the better it flow and the better your gestures will become.
Follow this formula and you will have a great speech.
Remember:

  • Choose an interesting topic.
  • Develop your supporting points. (body)
  • Write an exciting opening.
  • Create a compelling closing.
  • Read and rewrite.
  • Practice

I invite you to learn more about speeches and presentations at
http://greatpublicspeaking.net/ecourse.html
Article Source:
http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Darrell_Causey

Public Speaking and Business Presentation Skills Course Workshop in Hong Kong (HK) - Expert presentation coaches will propel your public speaking skills to the next level

Business English Training Hong Kong

Business English Training Hong Kong

Part 1 of Our Business English Training Series
Doing business in Hong Kong, China, is getting more and more competitive. English is The International language of commerce and being able to communicate in English is essential in a large number of industries including aviation, medicine, hospitality and Information Technology. Companies in Hong Kong have to compete on the global stage and effective business communication skills are of paramount importance.


English is undoubtedly the worlds "international language. Around 375 million people are native speakers and another billion people speak some English or are currently learning the language. At the corporate level, human resources managers of HK companies are well away of the need for better business English skills for their staff. Multinational corporations as well as medium sized Hong Kong companies are actively developing their staff with workplace English training schemes to upgrade their employees. Business English Skills Training Programs run by reliable training institutes can help businesses move ahead and compete more effectively.


The ability to communicate well in English at a personal level is also vitally important for career development as well as job interviews and socializing. The most powerful business leaders, CEO’s, CFO's and COO’s are all expert communicators who are able to deliver clear and effective messages in English that get the results that they want. English is also the language of science and, of course, business travel.

Tips for Effective English Business Meetings


In Hong Kong, English is used extensively in the workplace. More and more meetings are being held in English and especially teleconferences with foreigh brach offices or headquarters. Business meetings conducted in English are either formal or informal. The informal variety may involve only a couple of people and take place in the managers, or your own, office. For this type there may not be a set time or agenda.
Formal meetings usually involve larger numbers of people and are often held in a conference room. There will be an agenda and minutes (detailed notes) are taken to record what happened in the meeting.
An agenda lists out the time and place of the meeting and also the points that will have to be covered. Quite often there is also a section of time allocated to “Any other business” (AOB) where ideas that are not listed on the agenda may be brought up for discussion.
Formal meetings may involve a business presentation (sales presentation or otherwise) being given, and details on how to conduct
effective presentations are covered elsewhere on this site. It is good to familiarize yourself with the venue and understand how all of the projection and audio eupiment works. However, should you be asked to present something ad-hoc a white board or flip chart is all that you need.
As in all communication, body language is very important. Don’t smile too much but again don’t look totally bored. Holding a pencil in both hands shows that you are paying attention. Sitting at the corner of a conference table can sometimes give you superiority.
The actual language used in English business meetings is detailed below but is not exclusive. Conceding or partially conceding is a good way to negotiate your point of view into being accepted whereas totally disagreeing, or raising your voice is likely to induce hostility and end up with your standpoint being overturned.
As with written communication such as English emails and reports it is important that you organise the structure of your spoken contributions. Remember to prepare for the meeting in advance and have your notes prepared. Don't fall into the trap of reading out a pre-prepared speech, however, or you may bore your fellow participants.
Meetings – Language
Paula?
Function
Language
Starting
Many thanks for coming, shall we start?
Introducing the subject
We need to discuss..
Asking for an opinion
Any views on this? What do you think about..?
Agreeing
I agree. I totally agree!
Disagreeing
I don't agree
Conceding a point
Yes, you are right there.
Partially conceding
I can see your point but...
Making a proposal
I think we should...
Suggesting an alternative
Why don't we..instead?
Making an opinion
In my opinion.
Asking for participation
Would you mind giving us your views on this,
Presenting alternatives
We can either .. or ..
Bringing back the focus of the discussion
We are drifting away from the subject. Can we concentrate on the main points?
Ending
Many thanks for your participation. Its been a productive meeting.

Business Presentation Skills

Business Presentation Skills

Business Managers, communicate your career to the next level

Top 7 Tips To Talk Your Way To The Top

by Karen Friedman

Not too long ago, I walked into a room where some of the country's top oncologists were preparing to launch a new cancer-fighting drug. The occasion was the group's rehearsal before a big presentation to the Federal Drug Administration. Given that these men and women are some of the best and brightest in their field, I thought the rehearsal would be a breeze. So, I sat down, pen poised to make a few notes so I could help them fine-tune their presentations and be ready for the onslaught of media that was sure to follow.

What a letdown. Five articulate, highly educated, well-dressed presenters, armed with shiny animated slideshows, droned on and on and on and on. It didn't matter what they were saying because the audience wouldn't really hear any of it anyway. Around me, eyes closed, and others pretended to take notes while playing solitaire on their laptops. I wondered how in the world I could help these presenters. I also thought about tripling my consultation fee on the spot.

All presenters believe their words are important, and they are. But if you don't give an audience a good reason to listen, they will quickly tune you out. In an age where sound bite is king, cutting through the clutter is more important now than ever. Consider the following 7 points before stepping into the limelight:

The Take-Home

No matter how many years and dollars you've spent on research and development, no matter the technical complexity of your subject matter, when speaking to a group your entire presentation must boil down to one key point. If you had to sum up your talk in 10 seconds, what would you want your audience to know?

Ask Yourself the Right Questions

What you think a listener needs to know is not always what that listener wants to know. Put yourself in your listener's seat and ask the following questions: So what? Who cares? What does this mean to the listener, reader or viewer and me? Until you frame your messages from your audience's perspective, they won't care. If they don't care, you'll never receive their full attention.

Talk in nuggets

Powerful communicators who can hold attention have something in common with each other. They've learned that speaking is for the ear, not for the eye. Instead of preparing a presentation as a research paper jammed with minutiae, condense complicated information into bite-sized nuggets and present only the information needed to move an audience toward the desired outcome.

Present, Don't Read

Is your presentation written like a term paper? Is it written in sentences? Do you allow room for pauses so the listener can participate? People don't converse in long-winded sentences. We speak in short phrases. So write in phrases or bullet points. You will then find yourself talking more and reading less. Also, take time to pause between key thoughts so your listeners can digest what you're saying.

Paint the Picture

Explaining the features of your product may be important, but explanation without example has no meaning. People can't remember all of the facts, but they do remember impressions. By comparing and contrasting, providing analogies and visual images, your presentation will come to life.

Slideshow or Presentation?

No one comes to a presentation to see a slideshow. They come to hear a knowledgeable person share ideas and talk. Visuals should reinforce what you're saying, not serve as your script. Instead of preparing the slides first, prepare your remarks then create appropriate supporting visuals. Let your words drive the visuals instead of the other way around.

Nix the Jargon

Just because your audience is packed with colleagues or you're providing information for an industry trade publication doesn't mean you should talk jargon. Get rid of the buzzwords and throw away phrases. Rather, look for opportunities to put your words in context by humanizing your material and telling stories or anecdotes.

As I worked with the oncologist presenters and brought many of these points to their attention, they worried that simplifying the information would harm their credibility. Quite the opposite. By making an effort to connect with their audience rather than throw too much information at them, they created a focused, central theme with real-life examples that excited and inspired listeners. And in the end, the cancer drug they believed in made it to market and received a lot of good press!
About the Author

Karen Friedman, a leading communications coach in today's business world has taken her experience as an award winning television news anchor and reporter and has helped thousands of spokespeople around the globe make the most out of every interview, appearance and presentation. Check out her 5 communication survival guides and/or audio programs at Karen Freidman

Business Writing: Commonly Misused English Words & Vocabulary


Author: Nicole Dean

We use writing every day in business. Does your writing make you look more professional or less professional?

There are some words that are commonly used interchangeably, when in fact they have different meanings. Here are a few of the words that are frequently used incorrectly.

You're and Your:

The word "you're" is a contraction for "you are".

Correct: You're a good friend. (you are)

The word "your" is used to imply possession or ownership.

Correct: Is this yours? (possession)

Correct: I like your new car.


Sale and Sell:

The word "sale" and "sell" are not interchangeable. Sell is a verb, used to show what the noun (person, place, or thing) in the sentence is doing. "I am going to sell this."

Sale is most commonly used as a noun, such as in the sentence "There is a big sale at the mall."

Correct use of both words: "I am going to sell this shirt at a garage sale."

Too and Two:

The word "two" is the number 2.

Correct: There are two flowers in that vase.

The word "too" usually means "also".

Correct: I would like to swim, too. (I would like to swim, also.)

Prefixes Such As "Un", "In", and "Non":

Each word has only one correct prefix.

Correct: Unpleasant

Incorrect: Impleasant, nonpleasant

Correct: Irreversible

Incorrect: Inreversible, nonreversible, unreversible

A Lot and Alot:

The words "a lot" are correct. "Alot" is incorrect and there is never an occasion in which it should be used.

Good and Well:

Good is an adjective. Adjectives are used to describe nouns.

Correct: You are a good dog.

Well is an adverb. An adverb is used to describe a verb.

Correct: You are behaving well.

You wouldn't wear a dirty shirt to a business meeting, so don't let your writing make you look bad, either.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/careers-articles/business-writing-commonly-misused-words-57534.html

About the Author:
Nicole Dean is the owner of http://www.LadyPens.com . She uses Article Marketing to get free advertising on websites and in newsletters worldwide. You can use articles to get free traffic, too. Visit http://www.WebTrafficBasics.com to find out how.



Tips for writing better business documents

Communicating in English effectively is essential in today's global economy.

But conveying your ideas clearly is a skill that needs to be learnt. Too often people simply copy the style of their co-worker and especially their superiors as they think this "good English". In Hong Kong, unfortunately, this is often not the case. You see examples in your in-box every day - emails that are difficult to understand and that you need to read over and over again to get the message.

A big mistake is to pad out your writing with unnecessary words and phrases. Remember that the purpose of your writing is to communicate your ideas clearly.

Always try to reduce the number of words in your sentences and avoid lengthy phrases that can be replaced with a shorter alternative. Here are some examples:

*Instead of "prior to" use *before*

*Instead of "subsequent" use *after*

*Instead of "in order to" use *to*

*Instead of "in the event that" use *if*

*Instead of "with reference to" use *about*

*Instead of "state of the art" use *latest*

*Instead of "due to the fact that" use *since*

*Instead of "in order to" use *to*

*Instead of "not later than 2pm" use *by 2pm*

*Instead of "at the present time" use *now*

Remember about organisation as well. Use topic sentences to indicate what each paragraph is about. In addition, keep your emails short. No one likes to read an email 10 paragraphs long!

By using simple words and easily understood phrases you can improve the clarity of your message no end.



Tips for better business emails in Hong Kong

Email is perhaps the most common form of communication today between friends, between colleagues and with clients. Its convenient, fast and cheap. But how good are your emails? And how can you make them better?

Following a set of simple rules can make your emails not only more effective in their ability to communicate information, but also improve the readers impression of you. Its also easier for you on the other side of cyberspace. When you receive a well written email its so much easier to process the information. Quick question: Are there certain people whose emails you hate to open? Do you want to make sure you are not one of them? If so, read ahead.

Writing effective emails in English is a skill which, like everything else, can be learnt. I could write a book on the subject but here I am just going to introduce the four golden rules are the *4 C's* - Being *Courteous*, having a *Clear* message, being *Concise* and having *Correct* English.

*Be Courteous*

The way in which you phrase, format and write an email has an immense impression on the reader. Firstly, always ensure that you have a subject line which is relevant. Next, address your recipient with his or her proper title just as you would with a written letter. In some organisations if you are on first name terms then the name followed by a comma is considered enough but avoid this at all costs with people that you don't know well or it could be seen as impolite.

Use a font that is pleasing and for business emails and, at all costs, don't use flowery wallpaper or embed your emails with a picture of your cat! DO NOT USE ALL CAPITALS as this can be seen as shouting at the reader. Black text in 12 point Arial font on a white background is a good choice which is easily readable. A proper signature at the bottom on each business email makes it easier for your recipients to contact you, as well as giving your organisation a proper brand identity. Ask your IT guys to help you if you don't know how to do it.

Understand what CC and BCC mean and always use the BCC field for sending to groups of people. Also be very careful with the "Reply to" or "Reply to all" button so as not to unsuspectingly send your comments to unintended recipients.

The tone and style of your email should reflect the recipient. Sending an email within an organisation demands a certain level of formality, whilst this may be dispensed with between friends. At all costs avoid the use of "smilies" and excessive apostrophes within business emails.

Finally, you should always respond promptly. With snail mail letters you had several days to respond and with faxes up to a day or so. But now people expect a rapid response to their emails and in some organisations you may get a telephone call to check if you have received the email if you don't reply quickly enough.

*Be Clear*

Getting your message across clearly is very important. It involves good organisation as well as the use of easy to understand words and phrases. Avoid archaic cliches like "Last but not least" and dated, legalese phrases like "I refer to the above captioned subject" or "I am attaching herewith".

Just as if you were writing a school essay, make sure that you clearly state the reason for writing at the beginning. Also make sure that you make use of paragraphs to separate your ideas. You don't have to use topic sentences for each and every paragraph in a brief email, but it does help for longer ones.

When asking for a response replace "I look forward to your reply" with an action point such as "I would be grateful if you could reply by 5pm tonight".

*Be Concise*

When writing emails in English its always better to use uncomplicated words that are easier to understand. In addition, short sentences with simple construction are easier to read than longer ones with many included clauses. Avoid jargon if the recipient is unlikely to understand it.

Also make sure that you limit the length of each paragraph. A maximum of 60 words per paragraph is a good rule of thumb and for maximum effect, some paragraphs may even have only one sentence.

Sometimes bulleted or numbered lists can serve your purpose much better than multiple paragraphs. They can help condense a hundred words into two or three. But make sure you know how to format and use them effectively.

If you are replying to a previous email consider deleting the older conversations that are not needed. It will make your readers focus on your message and ensure that they are not focusing on the historical ones.

*Be Correct*

In order for you to get your message across clearly make sure that you use the correct vocabulary, grammar and punctuation. Always proof read your emails before you send them to check for these problems. It is time well spent and can improve the English standard of your emails no end. Reading your emails before you send them out will also ensure that your message is clear and that there are no misunderstandings.

I hope this article has been useful to you. If you would like more help with improving your email writing then why not consider a personalised one-to-one English course?

Learn how to write good English emails quickly

When the internet started everyone went "Wow! this is great". But in reality we are all spending more and more time writing and answering emails. If English is not your first language then this can be very difficult and a big headache. What's worse is that everyone expects a reply *instantly*. If you don't reply promptly the sender will either phone you or re-send the email.

Because you don't have so much time in your busy day and since everyone expects a quick response, you usually don't have time to plan or organize effectively. For some emails this is okay - a quick confirmation of a meeting for instance. But for others when you need to communicate more complex information it is important to spend a few minutes planning what you want to say.

How do you do this? Firstly, brainstorm your ideas. Spider diagrams, or mind maps as they are sometimes called, are really good for this as they use the creative, right side of your brain. Using this technique it's easy to get a lot of ideas on paper very quickly.

The next step is to select and organize your ideas from your spider diagram. Now its time to use the logical. left side of your brain. Some of the items you brainstormed will not be relevant so delete them. After this you need to organize the points so write down points you want to include in a numbered list in the order that is most logical. Read through your list and endure that the information flows correctly.

The final step is to start the writing process. This is also complicated and will be the subject of several more articles, but always remember to be *Clear*, *Concise* and *Correct.*

Start improving your English today. And if you need to practice and have expert guidance, then one-to one private tuition is your best bet.

How can I improve my business writing?

English is the most common medium for written communication in Hong Kong.

Although Cantonese is used for day to day work, nearly all emails, memo's, notices and letters are written in English.

The bad news is that people are more likely to spot your bad English when it is written down. They have lots of time to read and re-read your emails and find every single grammar mistake!

What is worse is that the number of emails that employees have to handle is increasing every day. Even low level staff have to respond to emails in English these days.

So what can you do to improve your business English writing? Well, luckily the answer is simple! Study and practice more.

HKEnglish.Com's one to one private tuition is the best way to improve your business English rapidly. You will get 100% attention from the teacher and instant feedback on your mistakes. One hour of customised one-to-one tuition is like 20 hours in a big class!

Financial Turmoil, The HK Economy & English Skills

Is the financial turmoil created by the sub-prime mortgage fallout in the USA having an effect in Hong Kong?

On the surface it would seem that there is little change in day to day life here. There are still lots of people shopping and lots of job adverts in the newspapers. And lots of new cars buzzing around the city.

But the uncertainty about the global economy may be leading to layoffs here as well. HSBC recently axed 1100 jobs in its global banking and markets operations, but most of these were in the UK and only 100 jobs would be lost in Hong Kong. That is good news in this day and age of US and European bank failures and take-overs. But will more job cuts follow? No one really knows. And it is this uncertainty which is most worrying.

However, with the stock markets around the world in turmoil the uncertainty faced by many companies will surely lead to more hesitation in hiring new staff.

A recent survey by the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resources Management also indicated that is is more difficult to find jobs in certain industries. A press release stated that the areas most heavily affected by reduced availability of positions were Manufacturing, Business & professional services and the Wholesale, Import and export trading sectors which had a drop of up to 1.63%. (Second Quarter 2008 Survey of
Manpower Statistics, http://www.hkihrm.org).

All of this leads to the conclusion that employers are likely to be more selective and choosy about who they employ. And one of the areas they will be most concerned about in these areas must surely be English language skills. After all English is the language of global business.

Its a good time to start to improve your business English skills. Since English is so important in the workplace and for career advancement, the best way is to take an English course to gain confidence in speaking as well as improve English business writing skills.



English Business Meetings

Business meetings conducted in English are either formal or informal. The informal variety may involve only a couple of people and take place in the managers, or your own, office. For this type there may not be a set time or agenda.

Formal meetings usually involve larger numbers of people and are often held in a conference room. There will be an agenda and minutes (detailed notes) are taken to record what happened in the meeting. The actual language you use is the same, and this article will explain the proper use of these business English language functions.

Business Presentations

We can swim. We can drive. We can ride a horse. We can sometimes even act or sing! And sometimes we can fly a 747 or a helicopter. For all of these skills we have proper instruction from experienced, qualified teachers. So why, when we go into the business world are we expected to deliver perfect, mind stopping business presentations?

Alright, we have the PowerPoint manual at hand. But a pretty collection of slides is not an effective presentation. The colors may be powerful (and more of that later) but what about the delivery? One of the keys to success is proper coaching by a skilled professional.

And overcoming nerves by building up confidence is one of the main reasons why presentations coaches are so successful in developing their student's presentation skills. Fear is a major obstacle. Remember when you were learning to swim? You said to yourself "I am going to sink to the bottom of the pool". Without your instructors guidance you probably would have done so.

HKEnglish.com provides superlative
Business presentation training and coaching in Hong Kong.

Business English and your path to career success

The term business English covers a variety of topics. in Hong Kong, however, it is the language used to communicate both internally and externally within an organisation.

Currently it is estimated that there are over 1 billion people learning English right now. 250 million of these are in China! Why is this so? Because English is the "global language" of business, politics, culture and entertainment. Your ability to use English well within the workplace will make or break your career success. And the better your English the more relaxed you will be in your daily working life.

The CEO's of the Fortune 500 companies are all great communicators. They can deliver powerful presentations and sell their ideas to everyone they come into contact with. Here I will ask you one question: How good are you at communicating in English in your business life?

Apart from face to face communication in meetings there are the teleconferences where its even more difficult to understand what is being said because there is no body language. No nods indicating "yes" or smiles to say " I agree with you".

And even worse are the business dinner or drinks after the meeting.... What are you going to say? How are you going to understand what they are saying now that they are using so much slang? And or course the loud music doesn't help you listen more clearly either.... Why is that Scottish accent so difficult to understand? Oh dear......

Being proficient in English will also help you in job interviews and enable you to move ahead in your career, or even change direction.

At a lower level you will be able to get away with communicating in Cantonese (or whatever your native language is) with your colleagues, and the grammar mistakes in your emails will be overlooked. But the more senior you become the more you will have to show your abilities in English. Suddenly you have to deal with the big guys from head office in London. And you wouldn't want your staff to criticise your business emails would you?

The most efficient way to improve your English to with a private one to one native English tutor. But not all "native English tutors" are qualified or experienced so beware. At "HKEnglish.com":http://www.hkenglish.com all our tutors are experienced, qualified native English tutors who will customise your English lessons to ensure that you are meeting your learning objectives.

We provides a range of
Business English Courses

Better Business Writing - Be Concise

Today, writing business emails, letters and reports is taking more and more of our time. And with multiple people in your organisation reading your emails you want to be sure that yours are as correct as possible.

To write effectively not only requires a good knowledge of grammar and a wide vocabulary, but also proper organisation of ideas and an understanding of tone.

The most important thing to realise is that "less is better". With less words your writing will be more easily understood. Being concise is one of the most important ways that you can improve your business writing. Here are some ways to reduce word count.

*Avoid Complicated Words*

One of the most common mistakes is to try and use longer, more complicated words and phrases when you could use a simpler alternative.

For instance:

*Replace "endevour" with "try"

*replace "terminate" with "end"

*Replace "at the present time" with "now"

*Replace "for the purpose of " with "for"


*Avoid Cliches*

Another popular error is the use of cliches. You have probably read these hundreds of times in emails/letters you have received and so copy them into your own writing. Cliches just add extra words to the text but don't add any further meaning.

Consider these:

*Replace "at an early date" with "soon"

*Replace "are in receipt of" with "received"

By using simpler words and phrases you will be certain that your reader will understand your message.

The best way to improve your business English writing is to study with a private English tutor. HKEnglish provides the highest quality one-to-one English tuition in Hong Kong, so
Contact Us Now

Advanced Business English Course in Hong Kong

HKEnglish has recently launched a new *Advanced Business English Course* focusing on developing extended communication skills for senior executives, managers and other business professionals based in Hong Kong.

It is is suitable for those students who already have a good grounding in English but wish to extend their knowledge, understanding and practical application of written and spoken English in the workplace.

HKEnglish primarily uses focused _one-to-one_ training, and their native English tutors are also have business experience so they know exactly what business English students in Hong Kong need to communicate at a higher level.

Each course is customised to the student's exact needs taking into consideration their current English skills, their immediate needs and also their ongoing English learning objectives.

*Selected Syllabus Items include:*

* Meetings
* Managing people effectively in English
* Presentations
* Socialising
* Managing Projects
* Pronunciation and Intonation
* Effective email writing
* Grammar focus
* Vocabulary development

We provide a range of
Business English Courses including Oral Business English (speaking and listening), Business writing and grammar Business Presentation Skills, Preparation for Job Interviews.