Essentials Of Business Communication | 6 mins read

The Absolute Essentials of Business Communication

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Lauren Christiansen

By Lauren Christiansen

7 Essential Elements of Business Communication

Communication is how individuals acquire and share knowledge, build relationships, and achieve goals. However, communication is about much more than conversing or writing an email to a work colleague.

There are numerous methods to communicate, and many of them don't involve words. Eye contact, body language, facial expressions, and voice inflection are all nonverbal communication methods. Written communication is also a common way in the digital era to present data and collaborate with colleagues.

To convey a message properly one must utilize a specific set of communication skills. Effective business communication is the glue that holds an organization together. In the business environment, staffers need to be professional, calm, concise, and exact in all communications.

If employees fail to communicate in this manner, a critical piece of information may get misconstrued. This can lead to a lost sale, a confused coworker, or an angry customer. Effective leaders must master the art of business communication to run a successful organization. But what exactly are these essential elements and skills? Read ahead for further insight.

1. Essential Elements of Business Communication Structure

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The way a business communication is structured is crucial to how well an audience will comprehend the message. Each business communication should have an opening, a body, and a close. This is true regardless of whether the communication is through business writing, a phone call, public speaking, or face-to-face interaction. Here is what each portion should include -

  • Opening - Enables the audience to know what the main content is about. All openings should be concise and to the point so the audience pays attention. The speaker should remember that time is a critical commodity. The faster the main point is made, the more receptive the audience will be.
  • Body - The central point of the message in which all facts are communicated. The speaker should also convey any necessary actions the audience should take after the presentation is over. Graphs, charts, and reports are useful tools to deliver primary information.
  • Close - Review the primary message and remind the audience of any important information. This will ensure they know exactly what actions they need to take moving forward.

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2. Essential Elements of Business Communication Clarity

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All business communication language should be clear and concise upon delivery. Otherwise, the audience will be confused and unsure of what to do. For example, an HR message about new training procedures should include a list of steps that each employee needs to take. There shouldn't be any information about another required training event that is due in 6 months. A separate email to convey that message will be more effective in this circumstance.

  • Clarify the Pitch - Review the subject line, blog title, catchphrase, etc. First impressions are critical.
  • Clarify the Problem - Hone down and fine-tune the exact problem that needs to be solved, as this is the crux of the message.
  • Clarify the Solution - Explain the solution to the problem in clear and precise manner. Use bullet points, examples, and whatever else is necessary. Review the solution over and over throughout the presentation.
  • Clarify the Call to Action - Explain exactly what the audience needs to do and when they need to do it. This should be throughout the body and closing portions of the presentation.

3. Essential Elements of Business Communication Consistency

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Nothing frustrates an employee more than an inconsistent message. Conflicting information always results in more questions, more work, and more mistakes. Inconsistency also breeds mistrust and conflict between coworkers.

In business writing, all employees should follow basic grammar mechanics, use professional language, and include consistent points. Good writing skills will make the message easier to read and understand.

Effective leaders also understand how critical it is to be consistent when they deliver a message. Inconsistent messaging from leadership results in high turnover, low morale, and a decrease in productivity.

4. Essential Elements of Business Communication - Communication Medium

Speakers should not use the same tool to convey every message. Sometimes it's better to interact face-to-face, while other times it's best to utilize a digital messaging platform such as Slack. The medium should depend on the type of message and the relationship between the speaker and recipient. Some interactions require more professional communication tools, while others do not. Typical options of business communication mediums include -

  • Memos and letters
  • Face-to-face dialogues and presentations
  • Seminars
  • Phone presentation
  • Large or small meeting
  • Email
  • An email with graphics and text
  • Video presentation
  • Press release
  • Instant messaging/text message
  • Phone call
  • Advertisement on social media, TV, or film commercial

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5. Essential Elements of Business Communication Relevancy

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If an audience is uninterested in a presentation, they aren't going to listen or understand the message. Furthermore, if a message is conveyed poorly, people will be less apt to take the speaker seriously. Leaders should not overspend on fancy presentations unless it's absolutely necessary. Fancy presentations are best suited for customers or investors in the form of marketing campaigns or pitch deck presentations.

If a business communication must touch on other aspects that may be interesting to an audience, managers should include a way to access additional resources. For example, an easy-to-remember webpage or list of links is a great way to keep a message relevant but still offer ways to access more information.

6. Essential Elements of Business Communication Recency

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Most people have short-term memories when it comes to work-related information. However, employees tend to remember certain messages more than others. If the opening and close are memorable and catchy, team members will probably still remember it a week later. This phenomenon is dubbed the Recency Effect by business communication experts, such as Mary Ellen Guffey and Dana Loewy.

Openings should include a quote, joke, a loud noise, or a silly statement to capture the audience's attention. A good closing should include a summary of all relevant information, as well as another memorable anecdote or statement.

7. Essential Elements of Business Communication 7 +/- 2

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Business communication experts and psychologists have known for a while that the human brain can only remember so much short-term. Humans are only meant to retain clusters of information, or 7 items at once (plus or minus 2). In other words, employees can only really remember 5-9 pieces of information at any given time.

This is why it's so important to have an effective opening and close when presenting the information. If managers want team members to remember information a few weeks later, a message must be the most memorable among other messages for that time frame.

Key Takeaways of Essentials of Business Communication

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In conclusion, here are the top essentials of business communication -

  • Business communications should be structured with an open, body, and a close. They should also be clear and concise to ensure the message is not misconstrued or forgotten.
  • Business communications should be consistent to ensure the audience takes the correct actions. Leaders should also use an effective medium to communicate the message.
  • Business communications should be relevant and organized in a professional, clear manner.
  • Every message should include a powerful and memorable opening and close so the audience remembers it. Leaders should remember that an audience only remembers 5-9 pieces of information in a timeframe. Therefore, the message must be one of the most powerful and memorable messages in that given period.

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