Beginnings and Endings of Messages
This section discusses the beginnings and endings of messages in the professional and business world.
Beginnings and endings of messages are of high importance in written communication. Hence, what one reads first causes a permanent effect, and what one reads last is always remembered. In view of the special significance of the opening and closing section of a written piece of communication, it is advisable to frame them with care and consideration.
The opening paragraph of a written message determines the results. It decides whether the reader continues reading, puts the message aside, or rejects it. It is, therefore, imperative for the writer that he makes it attractive enough to persuade the reader to go through the message with sufficient interest and enthusiasm. The following suggestions can be helpful in this context.
Choose an appropriate opening for the message and the reader. Follow the following guidelines!
- Begin with the good news if your message contains direct request, neutral, or good news.
- On the contrary, if your message contains some bad news, begin with buffer—a moderating and softening expression or sentence.
- Similarly, begin with some attractive and attention-grabbing statement if your message is a persuasive request.
Be considerate and courteous throughout your message
- Focus on positive aspects only.
- Use courteous, friendly, and pleasant expressions.
Make your opening concise and interesting
- Compose short paragraphs as compared to the other one.
- Use easy words. Too technical and complex words are liable to defeat your objective.
- Do not unnecessarily repeat the things that the reader has already told you.
Check for accuracy and completeness
- Check if you have left something in your sentences.
- Also, double check the date of sent and received letters.
Closing paragraph is very important. It gives a final force to the whole message. The closing paragraph of a business message is used to make the reader ready for action. Thus, the message fails in its purpose if it does not bring to the writer the desired response. Therefore, it is imperative to make the closing paragraph strong, clear and polite. At the same time, the message should leave with the reader a message of goodwill and courtesy. To achieve the goal of giving more force to the purpose of the message, follow the following:
Make the action/request clear and complete keeping in view the five ‘Ws’
- What and Who: clearly state what action you desire and from whom.
- Where and How: make the action easy. Tell the place where to take the action and the procedure of how to take it.
- When: Always mention the desired date and time of action.
- Why: tell the reason why you desire the particular action. Refer to reader’s benefit, if possible.
End the message with a positive, courteous note
- Do not include apologies and negative ideas in the closing paragraph
- Show friendly attitude
- Be thoughtful and appreciative
- Add a personal note occasionally
Keep the last paragraph concise and correct
- Avoid overused and trite expression.
- Omit discussions and unimportant details.
- Use short but complete sentences.
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