Below is an abbreviated summary of the key takeaways for each section of this chapter.
- Before beginning to draft a document, let your purpose for writing and anticipated audience reaction determine whether to take a direct or indirect approach, and choose an appropriate organizing principle to help structure your message.
- The best times to use the direct pattern of delivering information are when you know that your reader is anxious for the information you are providing, will be pleased by or indifferent to the information, or is at least mildly interested in what you have to say.
- A message that uses the direct pattern effectively will frontload the essential information, ensuring that the most important information comes first.
- One of the most important benefits of the direct pattern is that it saves time for the reader.
- The successful use of the direct pattern depends on reader receptivity. If you are too hasty in delivering sensitive or unwelcome information, it is very possible that your reader will respond in a negative way.
- The best time to use the indirect pattern of delivering information is when you want your reader to understand the reasons behind your message in order to avoid tension or conflict that may be caused by the purpose of your message (which is to deliver unwanted, unexpected, or sensitive information).
- A message that uses the indirect pattern effectively will begin with a buffer that creates positive feelings but does not allude to the bad news, goes on to provide reasons and explanations for the bad news, then uses cushioning techniques to soften the blow of the bad news.
- The most important benefits of the indirect pattern is that it prepares the reader for the information that you are about to impart.
- The successful use of the indirect pattern depends on appropriate audience analysis. If you send a message to a busy reader who is only interested in the main point, it is possible that your reader will respond in a negative way.