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Business communication building critical skill 6th module007

Positive
Emphasis

Module Seven
©2014 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.  All rights reserved
McGraw-Hill/Irwin

Copyright © 2014 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Learning Objectives
LO 7-1 Apply strategies for positive emphasis
use.
LO 7-2 Analyze situations for ethical positive
emphasis.
LO 7-3 Explain reasons for tone, politeness, and
power considerations.
LO 7-4 Identify situations for apologies.

7-2



Some Negatives Are Necessary
 To build credibility
when giving bad
news.
 To help people to take
a problem seriously.

7-3


Some Negatives Are Necessary


To deliver a rebuke with no alternative.



To create a “reverse psychology” to make people look favorably at your product or service.

7-4


How do I create positive emphasis?
 Avoid negative words.
 Focus on what the reader can do.
 Justify a negative—give a reason or link it to a
reader benefit.
 Omit unimportant negatives.
 Put the negative in the middle and present it
compactly.
7-5


Negative Words to Avoid

7-6


Avoid Negative Words and


Words with Negative Connotations
Replace negative words with positive words
Negative:

We have failed to finish taking inventory.

Better:

We haven’t finished taking inventory.

Still better: We will be finished taking inventory Friday.

7-7


Avoid Negative Words and
Words with Negative Connotations
Negative:

If you can’t understand this explanation, feel free to call me.

Better:

If you have further questions, just call me.

Still better: Omit the sentence. (Readers aren’t shrinking violets. They’ll call if they do have questions.)

7-8


Avoid Negative Words and
Words with Negative Connotations
Omit double negatives
Negative: Do not forget to back up your disks.
Better: Always back up your disks.

7-9


Avoid Negative Words and
Words with Negative Connotations
Use the least negative term that is accurate
Negative: Your balance of $835 is delinquent.
Better: Your balance of $835 is past due.

7-10


Avoid Negative Words and
Words with Negative Connotations
Removing negatives does not mean being
arrogant or pushy.
Negative: I hope that you are satisfied enough to
place future orders.
Arrogant: I look forward to receiving all of your
future business.
Better: Call Mercury whenever you need
transistors.
7-11


Avoid Negative Words and
Words with Negative Connotations
Use specifics to be both positive and accurate
Negative: The exercycle is not guaranteed for life.
Not true: The exercycle is guaranteed for life.
True: The exercycle is guaranteed for 10 years.

7-12


Focus on What the Reader Can Do
Rather than on Limitations
Negative: We will not allow you to charge more than $1,500 on your VISA account.
Better:

You can charge $1,500 on your new VISA card.

or:

Your new VISA card gives you $1,500 in credit that you can use at thousands of stores nationwide

7-13


Justify Negative Information by Giving a
Reason or Linking It to a Reader Benefit
Negative:
Loophole:

We cannot sell computer disks in lots of less than 10.
To keep down packaging costs and
lots of 10 or more.

to help you save on shipping and handling costs, we sell computer disks in

7-14


Justify Negative Information by Giving a
Reason or Linking It to a Reader Benefit
Better: To keep down packaging costs and to help customers save on shipping and handling costs, we sell computer disks only in lots of 10 or more.

7-15


If the Negative Is Truly
Unimportant, Omit It
Omit negatives entirely only when:


The reader does not need the information to make a decision.



You have already given the reader the information and he or she has access to the previous communication.



The information is trivial.

7-16


If the Negative Is Truly
Unimportant, Omit It
Negative:

A one-year subscription to PC
Magazine is $49.97. That rate is not as
low as the rates charged for some
magazines.
Better:
A one-year subscription to PC
Magazine is $49.97.
Still better: A one-year subscription to PC
Magazine is $49.97. You save 43% off
the newsstand price of $87.78.
7-17


Bury the Negative Information and
Present It Compactly


To deemphasize a negative, put it in the middle of a paragraph rather than in the first or last sentence, in the middle of the message rather
than in the first or last paragraphs.

7-18


Using Positive Emphasis Ethically
 Don’t omit necessary details.
 Focus on what the reader can do rather than
on limitations only when the situation is
appropriate.
 Presenting information in type large enough
to be read easily.
 Don’t obscure meaning by using less common
terms.
7-19


Why do I need to think about tone,
politeness, and power?


Tone

 the implied attitude of the writer toward the
reader


Don’t use the same tone with a superior as with a peer or subordinate.

7-20


Why do I need to think about tone,
politeness, and power?
 Use courtesy titles for people outside the
organization you don’t know very well.
 Be aware of the power implications of words.
 When the stakes are low, be straightforward
 When you must give bad news, consider
hedging your statement.

7-21


What’s the best way to apologize?


No explicit apology is necessary if the error is small and if you are correcting the mistake.



Do not apologize when you are not at fault.



When you apologize,
do it early, briefly, and
sincerely

7-22



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