One of Three Tips to Sound Intelligent in Your Corporate Communication
From THE executive speech coach Patricia Fripp with help from Eleanor Dugan.
Throughout the business community, ambitious individuals who work in highly competitive environments know the impression they give in their business communications often makes the difference between career failure and success.
When you make the following grammar mistakes, you will sound less intelligent than you actually are. Effective communication, both in speaking and writing, make an important and significant impression. Most likely, your English teacher gave you the following advice. In case you have forgotten, here are three business communication tips to improve the impression you make to your prospects, clients, and senior executives.
Tip #1 – Use Pronouns Properly
How often do you hear people say comments like:
The owner promoted him and I. (“The owner promoted I”?)
The client took Sally and he to lunch. (“The client took he to lunch”?)
That’s very important to we commuters. (“That’s very important to we”?)
Pronouns change when they play different roles in a sentence. Note that “you” and “it” stay the same, however you use them.
Pronoun Same Pronoun
Used as Subject Used as Object
For some reason, people who aren’t sure which to use can end up overcorrecting. “I” and “he” sound more elegant, so these people come up with sentences like the first three examples above.
The most confusion seems to arise when there are two people receiving the action. The simplest technique is to eliminate the one that isn’t a pronoun to see if the sentence “sounds right.”
WRONG: The owner promoted him and I. (“The owner promoted I”?)
RIGHT: The owner promoted him and me.
WRONG: The client took Sally and he to lunch. (“The client took he to lunch”?)
RIGHT: The client took Sally and him to lunch.
WRONG: That’s very important to we commuters. (“That’s very important to we”?)
RIGHT: That’s very important to us commuters.
My wish is you found the first of these grammar tips practical, educational, and entertaining. Written and verbal communication should never be boring. Before you send that intelligent-sounding email, letter, or proposal, remember to check it at least once for grammar and spelling errors. My executive clients tell me they continue to be surprise by obvious mistakes in many of the corporate communications they receive.
Here is a bonus tip…you may want to have a secret weapon as I do! Get a Grammar Granny! In my case, it is Fripp editor and author Eleanor Dugan.
Whether you own a business, report to a boss, or search for a job, it is important to sound intelligent in all your corporate communication. Never underestimate the power of your words.
Words and correct grammar give you a competitive edge!