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Chamber seminar urges concise communication

By Maria Jose Subiria

msubiria@news-daily.com

Written communication is one of several factors that are key to a business' success, Pam Wood, a training manager for Fidelity Bank, told a group of business people during a seminar hosted recently by the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce.

"If you want to be perceived as a professional, you have to be able to write as one," Wood said. "I pity anybody that has to learn English as a second language, because it's very complex, and this language is important. We need to deliver our message quickly and clearly these days."

The Clayton County Chamber of Commerce conducted the seminar, on effective business communication, as part of its quarterly Member to Member Professional Development Series. The writing workshop, the second of the series, was held March 18, and attracted about 25 attendees to the Career Resource Center, at 3000 Corporate Center Drive in Morrow. The cost for the remaining two seminars is $15 per session.

The way in which a business communicates with its audience and its partners can have an impact on its success, Wood told seminar participants.

She said planning, drafting, and revising are key to delivering a concise, clear message.

"When you plan a written document, figure out whether it's to inform, direct, or persuade your audience," she said.

Wood said business letters should begin by introducing a topic, then explain the topic in more detail. A document, she said, should end by re-introducing the topic along with a possible call to action.

"The type of error people in business do normally is being too wordy," said Wood.

Wood emphasized the importance of revision, and proper spelling and grammar.

"When you are finished with the document, step back and look at it," said Wood. "Does it look good? Does it say what you wanted to say? Does it have the correct tone?"

Attendees said the session was useful, and that they plan to apply the information they learned.

"I found this to be very informative," said Mario Kimball, chairman of the Clayton County Fatherhood Initiative Partnership. He said Wood's tips will help his group "reach the fathers in the community in a positive manner, and communicate with children."

"These are the topics I am relatively proficient at, and it's nice to get justification that I am doing the right things," said Mike Simpson, airport-area sales manager for Print Graphics Services, Inc. "But it's nice to pick up those gold nuggets that will help me get better along the way."

The next workshop will be "Speech, Dress and Attitude: Three Non-Negotiables of Professionals," on June 17. The final session of the series will be "Beyond 9 to 5: More than Just a Paycheck," on Dec. 16. Both are scheduled to be held at the Career Resource Center.

The first session, "E-mail Etiquette," was conducted on Jan. 21.

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On the net:

Clayton County Chamber of Commerce: www.claytonchamber.org