Communication Tips

10 Tips for Email Etiquette
 

  1. Use a clear, professional subject line. Your recipient should be aware of what the email will entail. Remove the “FWD:,” it is a deterrent for people to open your emails. Take the extra minute to make the email relevant to the recipient. Many people will decide whether they will open an email depending on the subject line. Clear subject lines are also important for finding messages later.
     
  2. Use the appropriate level of formality. For instance, begin with “Dear _____”, use “please” and “thank you” where necessary, and always end your email with the appropriate phrase, “Kind regards”, and “Thank you,” “Sincerely,” etc.
     
  3. Tone Matters! Remember that we are all different, even in how we interpret emails. Read your email as the recipient might, make adjustments as necessary.
     
  4. Keep emails brief and to the point. No one wants to read an enormous chunk of text, and it often puts people off. You can always follow up on the matter later, or suggest for them to give you a call if they have any questions or concerns.
     
  5. Proofread. Make sure there are no grammatical or professional errors. Have you spelled the recipient’s name correctly? Are there spelling errors? Are you using appropriate sentence structures, including correct capitalisation and punctuation? Not ensuring these things are met compromises the professionalism and potentially the credibility of your email.
     
  6. You don’t always have to “reply all.” Think about who needs to read your response and only respond to those individuals.
     
  7. Enter the recipient email address LAST. In case you accidentally send the message too early, it is always best practice to write the contents of your email first to avoid any premature sending. Make sure you have the correct recipient.
     
  8. Remember the distinction between “To” and “CC.” Put those in the “To” field if you require a response from them, and those in the “CC” field if you are just simply “informing” them. Ensure you CC all relevant recipients.
     
  9. Keep your signature block clean. Signature blocks are important. Keep them professional by including your full name, title, AVC and your contact number. Avoid adding any campus organizations, personal graphics, etc. The AVC logo is appropriate. You DO NOT need to include the legal line about confidentiality as we are a public entity and most documents are public. Contact Marketing if you need a template.
     
  10. Reply to your emails. Most people at some point have felt swamped by the large amount of emails they have to sift through, making it difficult to give a response to every single one. At least acknowledging you received the email, but will get back to the sender at a later time, is the professional alternative to ignoring or avoiding certain emails.

 

10 Tips for Effective Use of Zoom
 

  1. Dress in accordance with the premise and for the intended audience for the meeting.
     
  2. Be sure to mute your mic (lower-left corner of your screen) as soon as you sign on and whenever you are not speaking. This is important and perhaps the most critical tip on this list to avoid background noise and distractions for others.
     
  3. Consider muting your video (also on the lower left of the screen) if you are eating, talking with someone else in the room, or anything else that might be distracting to others.
     
  4. If you want to speak, pause and proceed with caution to avoid talking over fellow attendees or use the “raise hand” feature that is available at the bottom center of your screen. You might want to use a headset with an external mic for best hearing and speaking capabilities.
     
  5. When you are speaking, let others know that you are finished by saying you are finished, that is all, etc.
     
  6. You can ask questions and make comments silently if desired using the “Chat” feature (also on the bottom and center of your screen). Carefully use this tool in conjunction with the choice to speak, particularly in larger size meetings.
     
  7. Be mindful of your background lighting. Windows and internal lighting can affect the camera’s functionality or clarity. Close unneeded applications on your computer to keep the video optimally functioning.
     
  8. Be sure that there is nothing visually distracting (e.g., pets, people, cars) in the background.
     
  9. Stay engaged and focused, others are deserving of your time and attention, even if the meeting is not in person.
     
  10. Remember to sign out or “leave the meeting” when the session is finished.
Last updated: September 22, 2020