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Learning Outcome 1: Understand the purpose of planning communication
Explain why different communication methods are used in the business environment.
Effective communication is vital to the smooth running of a business and various methods of communication are used within a business environment to achieve this. Each form has various benefits to communicate effectively to their designated target audience. When communication is carried out properly it means the sender and receiver both correctly obtain the same information. Each form of communication will be chosen to which is applicable to the situation for example for a one-to-one/ team meeting will be best carried out face-to-face as it is the most effective way to make sure a point is understood properly, as it is a lot more personal and professional. Whereas if a company wants to distribute a monthly newsletter, this wouldn’t need to be as personal as a face to face, it could be carried out over email. Therefore this wouldn’t mean a employee would have to take time out of work and the messages can be sent on a large scale without taking much time to process.
Describe the communication requirements of different audiences.
Communication styles need to be adjusted and adapted depending on the target audience and situation. This is determined by considering which mean of communication is most effective whether it be written or verbal. The various requirements that may need to be catered for include age, gender and ethnicity and special needs. For example, younger people have shorts attention spans, while older people are more patient and are able to sit for longer period of time. Another example is making the visual communication more accessible such as large fonts for partially sighted people. When preparing verbal presentations people with special needs should be considered, such as people who lip read, so they can be positioned appropriately in the room. People with mobility problems such as wheelchair users may require wide aisles for easy access. If arranging group activities you will be required to consider the group of people so that a special needs member can cooperate.
Explain the importance of using correct grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, spelling and conventions in business communications.
The aim of having correct grammar is to ensure what is written is correctly understood. A sentence that contains grammatical errors can be difficult to read and can cause misunderstandings. It is important to use correct grammar whether writing or speaking to communicate effectively to help people get a better understanding and to express your communication more precisely and clearly.
It is important to use correct sentence structure in business communications so your writing has variation and isn’t all the same. Using a variety of sentence types can help emphasise different points and ideas. A good sentence structure allows the communication to be correctly interpreted whereas a poor sentence structure can be misinterpreted.
It is essential to use correct punctuation to enable the communication to be readable and easy to understand. Punctuation is used in writing to separate sentences and clarify meaning. An error in punctuation can convey an inaccurate meaning to the one intended.
It is important to use correct spelling in business communications as standardising spelling makes it a lot clearer to understand the text. Incorrect spelling can lead to confusion, mistakes being made and communications being misinterpreted. One misspelled word can change the entire meaning of a sentence giving the reader the wrong message or impression.
It is important to use conventions in business communications to ensure the writing is in a easier format which the reader will be comfortable with. Conventions are the spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar and paragraphing making writing more understandable. This enhances the readability for the audience so they can fluently read the communication without having to stop and try figure out what was actually intended. The use of proper grammar and vocabulary is appropriate in business documents, such as emails and letters, as it is important in a working environment to form a professional respectable relationship with colleagues and customers. If sending an email or letter professionally for business use this would be in a very formal format, whereas if the email was getting sent to a friend the language would be very informal with possibly the use of flag or text talk. The use of conventions always needs to be adjusted depending on the audience, purpose and context.
Explain the importance of using appropriate body language and tone of voice when communicating verbally.
A large part of face-to-face communication is made up of non-verbal information and is expressed by body language and tone of voice. The tone of your voice includes the volume which you speak, the type of emotion you use and the emphasis placed on the words you use. The same sentence could have various meanings depending on which word is emphasized so it is important to us the appropriate tone when placing emphasis on words to draw the listener’s attention.
Doing this incorrectly could mislay the wrong information and impression. Body language portray subconscious messages when communicating. Examples of body language include eye contact, facial expressions, composure and gestures. Body language is recognised instinctively, without having to be told what it means. When relaying messages a lot of the time it isn’t what you say it is how you say it and if your body language contradicts this, the message will not be clear to the audience.