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Chapter 5. Say It Right—Write It Right > When the Communication Is in Writing - Pg. 50

Say It Right--Write It Right 50 Team Builder Be precise. Be concise. Think of your memo, e-mail, or fax as a cable for which you must pay a dollar a word. The Three C's Once you've thought out the message, begin to formulate the way you'll write it. Keep in mind the three C's of good communication. Anything you put in writing must be Clear:Easy to read and understand Complete:Cover all the points Concise:Keep it brief and to the point For example, if you're writing a memo concerning the status of an order, be sure to respond to any specific questions. Include the order number, date of the order, identification of materials, and other pertinent information. Avoid going into extraneous details. FYI Lincoln's Gettysburg Address contained only 272 words--each word a gem. Get to the Point Steer clear of complex sentence constructions or extravagant phraseology. Keep it as brief as pos- sible, but make it punchy. One way of making your points stand out is to write the item in the form of a bulletin: · Headline your main point--use bold print. · Break the body of the letter or memo into separate sections, one for each subsidiary point. · Use an asterisk (*) or bullet ( ) to highlight key points. · Where appropriate, use graphs, charts, or other visual aids to augment the impact of your words.