Wednesday, November 02, 2005

B-ME: A Helpful Mnemonic

Last week I had the good fortune of teaching a Business Writing for Results course for a bright and energetic group of branch managers and associates of Investors Savings Bank. One of the course participants, Kisha Rose, Special Projects Assistant, said that she enrolled to work on the “beginning, middle, and end” of her written messages. When I abbreviated her objective on the flipchart as “B – M – E,” Ms. Rose quipped, “That’s right: I want to be me!”

Ms. Rose invented an apt mnemonic—B-ME—for focusing on the three parts of a message:
  • the beginning, which sets up the reader with the purpose of the document
  • the middle, which states the details that support the purpose
  • the end, which transitions the reader from the details to the next steps
During the course, we covered key points to consider about each part of the message; however, it’s one thing to know the elements of a message, and another thing to include them.

Whatever works for you, Ms. Rose, to remember the structure of letters, memos, and even e-mails. The next time you write a message, just say “I’ve got to B-ME!”

To purchase your copy of The Art of On-the-Job Writing by Philip Vassallo, click here: