Yay, you got the job! Now let's prepare you for what the real world is really like. Here, we'll teach you all about the essentials for starting your new position including business writing, presentations, and etiquette.
Professional writing can be tricky especially if you’re just entering the workforce. Here are a few tips we can give to you on how to write in a professional setting:
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
This means that you need to properly set your tone and voice when writing to a specific audience. If you are in the sales industry, you want to communicate with a buyer with as much courtesy and respect. Or if you are communicating internally, it can be less formal compared to communicating with external contacts.
This is the most important tip we can offer. You would want to draft a document first before proceeding to send or finalize it. This gives you more time to edit before finalizing it right away.
KEEP IT CLEAR & CONCISE
In a professional setting, time is money. You do not want to waste your time or your audience’s time roaming around before getting to the actual context of the message you want them to grasp. Remember, you are writing to express, not to impress.
USE THE ACTIVE VOICE
Using the active voice gives more impact and clarity to the reader. Avoid doing a passive voice like, “The meeting was done by them” but instead, use “They did the meeting.”
EFFECTIVE BUSINESS PRESENTATION
Business presentations can be tough especially with the pressure of presenting well, engaging with your audience and exemplifying confidence in your material. We’re here to give you a few tips on how to nail your business presentation:
SET YOUR GOAL
Setting a goal will be much easier for you to construct and flow your presentation. You will have this to revert back in case you get lost while strategizing your presentation.
START & END STRONG
Think of a way to captivate your audience in your opening and closing remarks. This is an effective way to leave a mark with your audience. You can use relevant social issues, an impactful tagline, or even a cryptic joke.
It would be much easier for you to practice prior to the actual presentation so that you know how much time you’ll need to cover the entire deck. It also boosts your confidence since you will most likely know what to say and do next.
IF YOU HAVE NUMBERS, INCLUDE THEM
We have mentioned this before, numbers are a great way to convince your audience. This is actual data to support your statements and arguments.
MAKE IT MORE CONVERSATIONAL AND INTERACTIVE
Imagine if you were just conversing with a friend and talking about the most random topics. It keeps you engaged because of the flow of the conversation. This is the same concept but this time, you have a serious & concrete topic to talk about. Keep your audience engaged at all times to keep their attention towards your presentation.
KEEP VISUALS SHORT AND TO THE POINT
The deck should only contain the key points of your presentation. You want them to listen to you and read at the same time. They will have a hard time doing both if your deck is wordy and you’re explaining it at the same time. Make use of bullet points or short statement to keep it short.
If you are just about to enter the workforce or want to be reminded of the basic business etiquette, here is your guide:
KEEP IT PROFESSIONAL WITH A HANDSHAKE
This is still the standard when it comes to meeting new people in the office or just meetings in general. Practicing a firm handshake will help you establish professionalism.
You are what you wear. Remember that you should dress for your role so that employees and colleagues respect your position.
In regard to this, you should always come on time. It leaves either a positive or negative impression of you depending on which direction you want to go for. It is also important to respect your colleague’s or other people’s time. You need to consider that these people have their own schedule to follow too.
AVOID NEGATIVE GOSSIP
This will startle the dynamic in the office especially if it ends up in everyone’s ear. It will create a toxic work environment that will later on affect the productivity of the employees all together. However, neutral gossip, such as a coworker having a baby, can actually help demonstrate empathy among colleagues. This viewpoint comes from current events rather than negative tales.
Even if you are done in the academic setting, learning will always be constant. Embrace the fact that you will learn different things in your workplace. It is important to have this perspective because there will be a time that you will be challenged. It is easier to complain about it than question yourself, “What is this teaching me?” Always welcome learning and challenge together. Constructive criticism is key to welcoming learning.
Taking ownership of your successes and mistakes is a crucial part of your work ethic. Acknowledging these will help you know what to do next. For a success, how can I retain that momentum? For a mistake, how can I give solutions or rectify my decision?
Know what pieces of information that should be kept confidential. Again, it can ruin the work environment or the image of the company all together. Do not ask your colleague to reveal their salary and don’t discuss what you’ve found out from others.