Writing & Speaking at Work / Edition 5

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The practical advice needed to improve writing and speaking skills for the workplace.

Writing & Speaking at Work
delivers practical insight and instruction to help readers become effective communicators no matter where their careers may take them. Instead of detailing the various communications theories, this text focuses on the two critical communication needs of business people: writing and speaking.

The fifth edition features a new chapter on how to prepare executive summaries.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780136088554
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 7/15/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 340,592
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Part I: Writing
Chapter 1: What is Good Writing?
Chapter 2: Developing a Good Style
Chapter 3: Using Examples and Comparisons
Chapter 4: Making Your Page Look Inviting
Chapter 5: Making Your Main Point Easy to Find
Chapter 6: Preparing Executive Summaries
Chapter 7: Illustrating Your Ideas
Chapter 8: Getting Beyond Periods and Commas
Chapter 9: Learning Common Sense Rules
Chapter 10: Making the Most of Email
Chapter 11: Writing for the Web
Chapter 12: Preparing a Résumé and Cover Letter
Chapter 13: Documenting Your Sources

Part II: Speaking

Chapter 14: What is Business Speaking?
Chapter 15: Using Good Techniques of Delivery
Chapter 16: Developing a Clear Structure
Chapter 17: Designing Visual Aids
Chapter 18: Giving a Presentation Using a Computer
Chapter 19: Rehearsing, Setting Up the Room, and Overcoming Nervousness
Chapter 20: Preparing an Annotated Presentation
Appendix A: Final Project: Learning Computer Techniques
Appendix B: Final Project: Creating Reports
Appendix C: Commonly Confused Words

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A famous adventure writer once said, "When I write, I try to leave out the parts people skip."

I've tried to do the same thing in this book. You'll find this book is shorter than most other business communication texts, but it's full of practical advice. That advice comes from my years as a college teacher and as a frequent consultant to business and government.

Instead of dealing with various theories of communication, this book focuses directly on the two most important communication skills that people in business need: writing and speaking. The first half of the book covers writing; the second half, speaking.

While writing this book, I've pictured myself as actually talking to my readers, as though they were my students in the classroom. As a result, I've adopted a straightforward, spoken style with—I hope—an accessible tone.

My goal is to help students dramatically improve their ability to write and speak- so they can be confident rather than self-conscious or embarrassed. The target audience is anybody in college at whatever level. The majority of my students are graduates in our MBA program. They're successful adults who want practical help they can apply today and every day in the future. Most of the examples in the book are from their work.

But undergraduate students want the same thing graduate students do: a book that really helps them.

It's my hope, then, that students using this book will understand what good writing is—and can do it. And that they will understand what good speaking is—and they can do that, too!

If you want a quick overview of the book, Chapter 1 is a short introduction to writing and Chapter 12 is ashort introduction to speaking. They're good places to start.


This new edition, in addition to updates throughout, has added two important new chapters:

  • Chapter 11, "Making the most of e-mail"
  • Chapter 19, "Preparing an annotated presentation"

Instructors may be interested in looking at the new final project (Appendix A).

Edward P Bailey
Marymount School of Business Administration
Arlington, Virginia

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