Video:Learn ESL: Tips for Writing a Business Memowith V. Victoria Shroff
If you're entering the workplace, being able to properly write a business memo is an important skill to have. This video from About.com will offer some tips on writing a business memo.See Transcript
Transcript:Learn ESL: Tips for Writing a Business Memo
Hello, I'm V. Victoria Shroff in Vancouver, BC with Shroffcommunications@yahoo.ca for About.com. In this video, you will receive tips for how to write a business memo.
This topic is for intermediate to advanced students who have achieved at least moderate proficiency in business English.
"Memo" is a short form of the word "memorandum." Generally speaking, a memo is an inter-office or internal written communication for a company or institution. It is prepared by a partner or employee.
Questions Before Writing a Memo
Before sitting down to write a business memo you need to ask yourself two questions:
- What is the intended purpose of the business memo that I plan to write?
- Who is the intended audience? In some cases, not everyone in the company will be a recipient of the memo.
Preparing to Write a Memo
Once you have gathered the necessary facts and thought about and answered the above two preliminary questions, you can begin composing your memo. Keep in mind that a memo is not a business letter nor does it follow the format of a letter. Rather, it needs to be written in short, succinct sentences so that the points you need to make are made quickly and clearly. Keep in mind at all times, the K.I.S.S. principle, which stands for keep it short and simple.
You will likely prepare several drafts of your memo. It is a good idea to have someone else in your office proofread your memo for punctuation, flow, grammar and general overall appearance before you present the final memo.
Business Memo: Heading
Generally, there are 3 basic components to memos:
1. The Heading - the top of the page should have the word "Memo" written on it. Under the word "Memo" will be four separate lines. The first is the "To" line. Here you list all of the recipients within your office who will be receiving a copy of the memo. Next is the "From" line. Here you list your name or initials. The third line is the "Date" line. Put in the date you complete the memo. The fourth line is the "Re" or "Subject" line. Here you list what your memo is about. Be specific as to what topic or issue you are writing about. The more specific you are, the quicker a recipient will be to grasp the issue you are trying to communicate.
Business Memo: Main Body
2. The Main Body - This is the core section. List your key concerns first. Put in some details as to what is in issue, but keep the KISS principle in mind. Business writing is about communication, so make sure that every sentence is concise.
Business Memo: Closing
3. The Closing - List your recommendations for how to address the core issues or problems. List the steps that need to be taken, by when and by whom.
You may choose to put back-up information such as a chart or statistics in another document that can be attached to your memo, but if you do so, be sure to make reference to this fact in the closing. Once you have completed writing the business memo, ask yourself if you have fully answered the preliminary questions clearly. Who was the memo intended for and was the purpose fully met.
Final Memo Tips
As a memo is not a letter, salutary remarks are not needed. Make good use of formatting by underlining sections and key points. Spell check and thoroughly proofread the document before it leaves your desk. You may want to include your email address and phone number in the closing for the convenience of your colleagues.
Thank you for watching. For more information, go to About.com.