How to Draft Letters

You write letters to request information, request action, provide information or describe an event, decline a request, and express appreciation.

The tips to write good letters are:-

Know when to write a formal letter.

Write a formal letter when addressing someone you only know in a professional capacity. This includes letters written to government departments or businesses, instead of a known individual. These letters should be typed, then printed. You can use any text editing software to do this, such as Microsoft Word, Open Office, or Text Edit. If the letter is urgent or the recipient prefers email, you can send an email instead.

Write your address and date at the top of the page.

Write your name and address at the top of the page, on the left. If you are writing a business letter, use the company name and address instead, or just write on company letterhead. Either way, skip two lines and write today’s date. Write out the full date. 4 November 2015 (British) or November 4, 2015 (American) are both preferable to Nov 4,2015 or 04/11/15. Skip the date when writing an email.

Write the name and address of the recipient.

Unless you’re writing an email, skip another two lines and write the contact information for the person you’re writing to. Write each of these on a separate line:

  • Full title and name
  • Company or organization name (if applicable)
  • Full address (use two or more lines, as needed)

Write the salutation.

Skip a line again, then greet the recipient with “Dear” followed by their name. You may use the last name, or the full name (first and last), but never the first name alone. Include an abbreviated professional title if applicable. If you know the job title but not the person’s name, you may write “Dear Health Inspector:” or a similar phrase. It’s usually possible to find the name with an online search, so try that first. If you don’t have a specific contact, write “Dear Sir or Madam:” or “To Whom It May concern:”. These sound a little stiff and old fashioned, so try to avoid it when possible.

Write the letter.

Formal letters should open with a clear statement of purpose. Do not use contractions (write are not instead of aren’t), and phrases questions formally (Would you be interested in…? instead of Do you want to…?). Proofread the letter for spelling and grammar when finished, or ask a friend to help you.

Use a complimentary close.

A complimentary close ends your letter on a good note and establishes a connection with the recipient. Make two hard returns after the last paragraph of the letter, then write the complimentary close. For formal letters, stick to “Sincerely yours,” “Kindest regards,” or “Best wishes.”

Prepositions

Definition of a Preposition

 

A preposition is a word that links a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase to some other part of the sentence.
There are approximately 80 to 100 prepositions in the English language. Prepositions are words that introduce information to the reader. This information can include where something takes place (such as ‘at’ the store), when or why something takes place (such as ‘before’ dinner), or general descriptive information (such as the girl ‘with’ the cool tattoo).

The book about the wizard

The book by the wizard

The book near the wizard

The book behind the wizard

The book under the wizard

Here is a list of common prepositions:

above, about, across, against, along, among, around, at, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, by, down, during, except, for, from, in, inside, into, like, near, of, off, on, since, to, toward, through, under, until, up, upon, with and within.

The Role of a Preposition

 

A preposition precedes a noun (or a pronoun) to show the noun’s (or the pronoun’s) relationship to another word in the sentence. In the examples above, the preposition preceded the noun wizard to show that noun’s relationship with the noun.

Here are some more examples:

It is a container for butter.

(The preposition for shows the relationship between butter and container.)

The eagle soared above the clouds.

(The preposition above shows the relationship between clouds and soared.)

He is the President of the United States.

(The preposition of shows the relationship between the United States and President.)

 

A preposition is used to show direction, location, or time, or to introduce an object.

Few examples are:-

to the office

at the desk

on the table

in an hour

about myself
Here are a few common prepositions and examples.

On

 

Used to express a surface of something:

I put an egg on the kitchen table.

The paper is on my desk.

Used to specify days and dates:

The garbage truck comes on Wednesdays.

I was born on the 14th day of June in 1988.

 

At

Used to point out specific time:

I will meet you at 12 p.m.

The bus will stop here at 5:45 p.m.

Used to indicate a place:

There is a party at the club house.

There were hundreds of people at the park.

We saw a baseball game at the stadium.

 

In

 

Used for unspecific times during a day, month, season, year:

She always reads newspapers in the morning.

In the summer, we have a rainy season for three weeks.

The new semester will start in March.

Used to indicate a location or place:

She looked me directly in the eyes.

I am currently staying in a hotel.

My hometown is Los Angeles, which is in California.

Situational Vocabulary – Presentations

Unlike the other situations, presentations also require certain jargons that justify situations and various speeches.

Some of the suitable vocabularies are:-

Audience rapport – relationship of presenter with audience, esp. when good

Body language -non-verbal communication through facial expressions, body movements etc

Finally . . . Typical word used to signal the last of several points or subjects

Flip chart  – a pad of large paper sheets on a stand for presenting information

For example . . . Typical phrase used to signal an illustration or sample of a particular point

Handout n. anything (report, sample etc) handed or given to people at a presentation

In conclusion . . . Typical phrase used to signal the summing up or final part of a presentation

Ladies & gentlemen – Polite phrase often used to address an audience of men and women

Marker  -  whiteboard marker a pen with a broad, felt tip for writing on whiteboards

Microphone – an electrical instrument that one speaks into for amplification of the voice etc

O.H.T.  -  overhead transparency; sheet of film with image for overhead projector

Overhead projector  – device that projects an o.h.t. onto a screen – O.H.P. abbr.

Pointer - device (rod or electric torch etc) for indicating things on a map, screen etc

Screen – large, flat, reflective white surface on which films, slides etc are projected

Signal - to help the audience understand where one is in a presentation signalling

Slide -  small (usually 35mm) photographic transparency – slide projector

To start with . . . Typical phrase used to signal the beginning of a particular subject or topic

Turning now to . . . Typical phrase used to signal a change from one subject or topic to another

Visual aids – things that one can look at in a presentation [eg: films, maps, charts etc]

Whiteboard -  large, flat, white surface or board on which to write or draw with markers

Alliteration – Repetition of the beginning sounds of words.

Analogy- resemblance in some respects between things that are other wise disfimiliar.

Anecdote- a short account of an incident

Antithesis – balanced juxraposition of two contrasting ideas.

Some easy presentation vocabularies are:-

Team, Teamwork, Teleprompter, Television, Tendency, Theme, Thorough, Threat, Time, Tip, Tone, Topic, Treatment, Truth, Two sides, Type, Type

Unclear, Understanding, Unintended, Unscripted

Vehemence, Viewer, Vital, Vitriol, Vocal, Voice, Volume

Wander, Weak, Weighty, Well done, Well-meaning, Well-spoken, Willingness, Win, Wow, Written

Accept, Acclaim, Ad lib, Aggressive, Allusion, Ambiance, Ambiguous, Anecdotal, Animosity, Answers, Argue, Argumentative, Articulate, Assert, Audience, Audio, Authoritative, Avoid, Award

Basics, Beat, Belief, Blunder, Boring, Brief, Butterflies

Candid, Careful, Casual, Caution, Cautious, Charismatic, Churn, Clarity, Class, Classic, Clever, Coach, Combative, Comfortable, Commentary, Communication, Compete, Competition, Compose, Composed, Comprehensive, Concise, Conclusion, Confidence, Conflict, Confusion, Content, Controversial, Convincing, Course, Credible, Cue

Debate, Declaration, Deliberate, Delivery, Description, Development, Difference, Disagreement, Discourse, Discovery, Discuss, Discussion, Disorganized, Dispute, Diverse, Duration

Ease, Educate. efforts, Enthusiasm, Exaggerate, Exchange, Expression, Expressive, Extemporaneous

Non-verbal Communication

You’ve been waiting a very long time for this day to come. It’s Monday, and you are going to listen to a speech about ‘Why People Should Not Wear Skinny Jeans.’ All cozied up in the audience, you anxiously await the speaker’s arrival. And does he ever arrive!

With a loud drum roll, the speaker rushes the stage with a great big smile, bows down and gives the audience a slap on the hands, points randomly at certain individuals and even gives a thumbs-up to others. But most importantly, he looks directly into your eyes and winks! Wow, it’s as if he knew each and every person in the audience.

That, my friend, is nonverbal communication, and it really sets the tone for the rest of the speaking event. It is the use of body movements to send a message to the audience. A dazzling smile, high-fives and waves probably make the audience feel very special. There are several ways in which the speaker can connect with the audience without ever saying a word.

What does this actually mean?

Your words, the content of your presentation, are clearly very important. Try giving a silent presentation using only non-verbal communication (visual and tonal cues) and you’ll find it very difficult to convey a clear message that everyone understands. Words convey meaning.

Non-verbal cues compliment or accent the words and provide information about emotion and attitude. Good presenters understand the importance of this and bring their words to life in how they tell the story.

Gesture                      

What you do with your hands. Common gestures include waving, pointing, and using fingers to indicate numeric amounts

Facial Expression      

Facial expressions are responsible for a big proportion of non-verbal communication. How many business presentations have you sat through where the presenter didn’t smile once. Expressions can vary dramatically between cultures, yet facial expressions for happiness, sadness, anger and fear are similar throughout the world.

Eye Contact                

It means levels of eye contact, staring and blink rates. Sometimes a nervous presenter will stare at a fixed point at the back of the room to avoid getting eye contact with their audience.

Posture & Movement 

How you stand and move gives information to your audience about your confidence and levels of control among other things.

Touch                         

You may not have physical contact with your audience members, but you will be constantly touching yourself or other objects around you.

Personal Space         

In a crowded space this might be quite small, but for a typical presentation situation it is likely to be around 10 to 12 feet (3 to 4 metres)

Appearance               

Our choice of colour, clothing, hairstyles and other factors affecting appearance are also considered a means of nonverbal communication.

Paralanguage            

How we sound. The loudness, pitch, modulation, speed, rhythm, intonation and emphasis of our voice

So finally we can conclude that Non-verbal communication plays a vital role in the success of any presentation. It has the power to engage your audience with crystal clear messages or confuse your audience, leaving them doubting what you have said and distrustful of your message.

Communication Channel – Choosing the best medium!

Whatever our technological advances, the essence of good communication is the same. Your emotional intelligence and self-awareness are important in communicating with others. You need to think through not only what to say and how to say it but also how your message is influenced by the technology you use.

When choosing a media of communication, the most important decision is to consider who are the respective audience and the objective of the message itself. To help such decision, one may roughly refer to the list of mediums below.

Team meetings

It can make communication personal and relevant to the team involved. It can also give opportunity for discussion, feedback, questioning and ideas and can help build understanding and involvement

Email

It can reach mass audiences fast. It is cost effective and simple to use. Also consistent and controlled message reaches the recipient directly. It is good for information, awareness or instruction

Video

It is creative and entertaining as it shows real people talking about their experiences. The camera never lies so it can show proof or progress

It is also consistent, controlled message

Print magazine

It can reach the entire company with a consistent message. Even time-pressured staff can read in coffee breaks, on trains, etc. It can address/reflect staff feedback and respond and can show how everything fits together and reinforce company brand.

Audio

It is good for remote workforces and also effective for information and instruction.

Notice boards

It is visible and may catch people’s eye when too time pressured to read anything else and also good for instructions and information

Text messaging

It is good for reaching remote workers and crisis communication. It can be used to direct people to further sources of information. It can be used to update senior managers on important news whilst on leave

Events/ road shows

It acts as an opportunity for key people to reach mass audiences face-to-face. It is flexible and responsive. It can include Q&A sessions, break-out groups and involve people. It can build team spirit and motivate and also used to address controversial issues

Open forum

It gives opportunity to raise and discuss the real issues and also helps leaders to understand how things really are. It also enables people to feel heard.

Voicemail

It is helpful for remote workers. It also provides opportunity to hear about issues from senior leaders.

The communication options you choose will depend on what you want to accomplish and what you and your clients find comfortable. In our opening examples, you could leave your question in a voice mail if it is short, specific, and factual. Otherwise you could suggest some good times for a return call.

How to Develop Listening Skills

Listening is imperative for proper communication.  An important part of communicating is listening.  Listening involves more than what you hear with your ears.  It involves what you hear with your mind.  You may hear the words, but unless you really listen to what is being said, you won’t be able to respond to anyone.

Difference between Hearing and Listening

 

Hearing is a physical act.  Hearing acknowledges sounds. Listening is an intellectual and emotional act.  Listening requires that you understand what is said.

Listening is much more intricate and complicated than the process of hearing. Hearing is done with the ears while listening is an intellectual and emotional process that integrates physical, emotional, and intellectual inputs in a search for meaning and understanding.

Being a good listener is beneficial in many ways.  For example, it:

  • Improves communication
  • Puts you in control of the situation
  • Lessens arguments
  • If you have misunderstood, the talker can immediately correct your impressions.  You learn more about people.
  • Shows that you care
  • Shows respect to the speaker

Four types of listening:-

Inactive listening: You hear only the words, not the meaning.  “Goes in one ear and out of the other.”

Selective listening: You hear only what you want to hear. You filter—although usually unconsciously—the message.

Active listening: You make a conscious effort not only to hear the words but also to listen to the complete message the customer is sending.  Active listening takes into consideration the intent and nonverbal communication of the customer.  Active listening also uses empathy and is nonjudgmental.

Reflective listening: You listen for the whole message.  This is particularly important when dealing with a complicated issue or resolving a conflict.  Reflective listening is used to clarify what is being said and to convey mutual understanding.

 

Ways to improve Listening

Stop Talking

Don’t talk, listen.  When somebody else is talking listen to what they are saying, do not interrupt, talk over them or finish their sentences for them.

Focus on what is being said.

Avoid unnecessary interruptions.  These behaviors disrupt the listening process and send messages to the speaker that you are bored or distracted.

A pause, even a long pause, does not necessarily mean that the speaker has finished.

Be patient and let the speaker continue in their own time, sometimes it takes time to formulate what to say and how to say it. Never interrupt or finish a sentence for someone.

Try to be impartial.

Don’t become irritated and don’t let the person’s habits or mannerisms distract you from what the speaker is really saying. Everybody has a different way of speaking – some people are for example more nervous or shy than others, some have regional accents or make excessive arm movements, some people like to pace whilst talking – others like to sit still. Focus on what is being said and try to ignore styles of delivery.

You need to get the whole picture, not just isolated bits and pieces.

Maybe one of the most difficult aspects of listening is the ability to link together pieces of information to reveal the ideas of others. With proper concentration, letting go of distractions, and focus this becomes easier.

Purpose and Importance of an Interview

Job interviews can be a struggling experience for the applicant and a time-consuming exercise for the hiring company. Still, they play a key role in determining whether the company and candidate will make an effective match.

Job interviews typically precede a hiring decision and often form part of the assessment centre process. Most graduate job interviews last for about one hour, although telephone interviews and technical interviews are usually shorter.

A bad hiring decision can be immensely expensive for an employer. The costs associated with hiring a candidates, training, severance pay, loss of productivity, impact on morale, cost of re-hiring, and other factors can be very large.

Too many people, including a good chunk of corporate recruiters and hiring managers, view the interview primarily as a means to disqualify people. In the process, they miss a golden opportunity to attract stronger candidates, demonstrate the professionalism of the company, overcome errors made by weaker interviewers, and most important, hire top people who are more interested in career growth opportunities, rather than big compensation increases.

A job interviews enable a company to learn more about an applicant, while the candidate has the opportunity to become familiar with the demands of a given position. The process allows both parties to exchange information, ask questions and evaluate the potential for establishing a professional working relationship. Both parties have an opportunity to get a “feel” for one another other and determine if the chemistry is right

A thorough understanding of the job opening and the ability to articulate what you bring to the position is a major asset. Also, the manner in which the employer approaches the interview will offer insight into the day-to-day realities of the work place. If the interview is light, conversational and includes a good back-and-forth discussion, that’s an indication that the workplace is relaxed. If the interview feels formal or impersonal, it’s likely to be a reflection of a more conservative culture.

The interview gives the employer its first impression of you and provides you with a crucial opportunity to “sell” yourself. The manner in which you present yourself often determines if you are offered the job. You want to establish yourself as a highly competent individual who is well suited for the position — as well as a competitive salary. The interview also sets the stage for your long-term relationship with the company, establishing your potential for advancement.

Personal interviews are used by all employers and companies for selecting their staff. Interview is one of the most important step in the staff selecting procedure. Interview proves important because it connects both the employers as well as job seekers. It assists employers in selecting a right person for a right job. It also helps job seekers to present their job skills and acquire a desired position on merit.

Memory Power is essential to learn English

A strong memory is important to remember things we have learnt and it totally depends on the health and vitality of your brain. Whether you’re a student studying for final exams, a working professional interested in doing all you can to stay mentally sharp, or a senior looking to preserve and enhance your grey matter as you age, there are lots of things you can do to improve your memory and mental performance. Similar to other studies English is also similar to a subject that needs to be remembered. Without remembering the correct vocabularies, or grammatical structure, you’ll not be able to respond effectively in the same. Here are some tips for improving memory when learning English.

Think In English To Develop The Basics

Trying to think in English will not only help you to recap on the language that you have learned already; it will also help you to focus on the language that is important in everyday life. Most people want to learn a language to be able to communicate on an everyday basis with common people within an English-speaking country. Also focusing on daily tasks and commonly used vocabulary will help you to develop your memory of the most used areas of the English language. Learning more specific terms will become easier once you have developed an in-depth knowledge of the basics.

Reading Is essential

One of the best ways to learn new words is to read. Reading allows you to learn about the general meaning or perhaps the nuances of a given word in any given context.

When you are reading, it is also easy to keep a learning diary, in which new words that you have learned can be recorded and recapped at a later date.

Use Memory Triggers

Vocabulary calendar, post-it notes, scraps of paper or storing words within your mobile phone are all great ways of triggering reminders for words that you are struggling to remember. Post-it notes are especially useful; try sticking the English word for a house-hold item to the item. Once you have used the item a handful of times, the repetition of reading and reciting the post it note will establish the English version of the word in your long term memory.

Watch Subtitled Movies for Pronunciation

Although watching sub-titled movies is not necessarily the best solution for learning specific meanings of words, there is an opportunity to establish and revise pronunciation outside of lesson time.

While you are watching the movie, be sure to keep a notepad nearby and try to jot down any words and sayings that you do not understand; you can then research these later.


Imagery
 helps those with a ‘visual’ memory.

It can be used to stimulate the brain by creating vivid images of the items to be remembered and then linking them together using a mental visualization. Startling or amusing images can really help.

There’s nothing intrinsically different about the brains of people with good memories, they have just trained them well.

Excellence in Public Speaking & Presentation Skills

Good public speaking skills are equally important in life. You might have to deliver a speech at a friend’s wedding, prepare a note for a loved one, or inspire a group of volunteers at a charity event. In short, being a good public speaker can enhance your reputation, boost your self-confidence, and open up countless opportunities.

However, while good skills can open doors, poor ones can close them. For example, your boss might decide against promoting you after sitting through a badly-delivered presentation. You might lose a valuable new contract by failing to connect with a prospect during a sales pitch. Or you could make a poor impression with your new team, because you trip over your words and don’t look people in the eye.

Ways to Improve Your Presentation Skill

  • If the first two parts of successful public speaking are caring and preparing, the third part is practicing and improving your presentation skills.
  • If you have a tape recorder or, even better, a video camera, record yourself giving the talk from beginning to end. Then listen to it or watch it, and make notes on how you could make it better.
  • If you’ve a video camera, look into the camera and use the same facial expressions and the same body gestures that you would use if you were speaking directly to someone. When you critique yourself, be very hard on yourself. Remember, the more honest and objective you can be about how you come across to others, the faster you will build effective communication skills for success.
  • Practice makes perfect, and perfect practice makes it even more perfect.  If you practice consistently, you will find that your presentation skills have dramatically improved over time.

Remember, your ability to speak effectively in front of people can do more to advance your career and your life than perhaps any other skill you can develop.

Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

It’s normal and natural for you to be nervous about public speaking, but you must overcome that fear to improve your presentation skills. Most people become nervous and uneasy at the very thought of standing up to speak in front of an audience, and their hearts pound.

When you speak, try to engage your audience. This makes you feel less isolated as a speaker and keeps everyone involved with your message. If appropriate, ask leading questions targeted to individuals or groups, and encourage people to participate and ask questions.

Public speaking is a critical, but often underdeveloped, skill among higher education professionals. Your ability to convey ideas with confidence and clarity is essential for articulating the importance of your research, getting buy-in for your projects and obtaining funding from sponsors.

Situational Vocabulary – Interviews

At the time of appearing for a job interview it’s important to use verbs that best explain and describe your duties and responsibilities of your present and past positions. The following list provides verbs that are both brief and commonly used in an English speaking workplace:-

Accomplished, adapted, arranged, assisted, attained, blended, carried out, collaborated,, compared, conducted, constructed, consulted, contracted, corrected, examined, handled, harmonized, harnessed, maintained, managed, mechanized, negotiated, perceived, performed, pioneered, strengthened, supervised, systematized, upgraded, validated, vitalized.

To describe your skills the following adjectives are useful:

Accurate, adept, broad-minded, competent, conscientious, creative, dependable, determined, energetic, enterprising, enthusiastic, experienced, fair
Verbs to describe your experience in your last job:

Carry out: To execute a plan or strategy, to make something happen.
“In my previous position as a researcher, I carried out three different lab experiments”
Collaborate: To work with others cooperatively to produce something
“I collaborated with a group of colleagues to develop a new sales strategy”
Develop: To create or build something
“We developed a new model for evaluating client satisfaction”
Implement: To carry something out
“Along with my sales team, I implemented an inbound marketing campaign and saw excellent results”
Introduce: To bring an idea
“I consistently introduced new ideas in our meetings with the president of our company”
Motivate: To give incentive to do something
“In my position as manager at my last job, I was able to motivate my colleagues to set a sales record in 2010″

15 Words You Should Never Use In A Job Interview

Um…
The biggest problem with this word is that you’re probably unaware of how much you use it.
If you listened to a recording of yourself, you’d probably be surprised (and probably horrified) at the amount of “umming” you do. Unfortunately, this makes you look less polished during a job interview. One of the best ways to remove this filler from your vocabulary is to let your friends and family know that you want their help and they can profit from it. Tell them that you’ll pay a dollar to every person who catches you using it.
Kinda…
Not only does this word make you sound like a teenager, it also introduces vagueness into your answers.
To make sure you come across confident and mature, replace “kinda” with clear “yes” or “no”. Follow your answer with a clear reason why you’ve taken that position.
Hate…
Nobody likes a hater. When a hiring manager or recruiter hears you say that word, they hear “high risk candidate”.
Avoid aiming this word at anyone or anything during your job interview. This includes “pet hates”, as well as feelings towards companies, ex-colleagues and – especially – bosses you’ve had.
Perfectionist
This is the most popular among overused, meaningless cliches.
There was a time when “I’m a perfectionist” was a clever way to get out of a question about your weaknesses. These days, any interviewer worth their salt will see through this ploy and cringe on the inside at your answer (and maybe on the outside, as well).

I
In today’s culture-centric employment world, you’re only as good as your ability to work as part of a team. While competitiveness is a great trait to demonstrate, overusing sentences like “I was the top salesperson in my company” can give off the impression that you’ll take it too far, pushing your colleagues down and aside in order to get to the top.
By all means, brandish your achievements, but let your interviewer know what that meant for the team and/or the company. For example, “I was the top salesperson in my last role during 2013, which meant I was able to exceed my targets by 1.2 crore during that year.”
Amazing
This is a word which is often used as a filler to convey positivity. The hiring manager might say, for example, “We just spent $20 million on a brand new office fit-out.” Instead of blurting out “Amazing!” to validate that choice, take a moment to think about the reasons behind such a move and provide analysis which the interviewer would find relevant. For example: “That must have done wonders for employee satisfaction.”
Learn
Don’t ever tell your interviewer that you’re applying for a job to “learn.”
It’s true that you’re expected to learn, but the primary motivation for applying should be your your ability to contribute something to the company that no-one else can.
Fired
You want to avoid this word at all costs. It can contextualize you in the interviewer’s mind as a troublemaker, and once that context is set, everything positive about you will be diminished and everything negative will be amplified. Having been fired doesn’t automatically put you into the “no” pile. However, not being able to talk about it diplomatically will.

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