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Pen an opening line with the 3 R’s

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in Workplace Communication

How well can you capture the attention of someone receiving your memo? Test your skill by picking the best opening sentence:

  1. Mark Johnson and I recommend postponing the quarterly meeting.
  2. Mark Johnson and I met yesterday to discuss the quarterly meeting.
  3. Mark Johnson and I recommend that we postpone the quarterly meeting for three reasons.
  4. I’ve been asked to reply to your request for more information on the quarterly meeting.
  5. You’ll be glad to know that we finally know what’s happening with the quarterly meeting.

Best answer: Your memo will capture readers if it includes one of the three R’s in its opening line: It should recommend something, reveal information or request that someone act.

Nos. 1 and 3 both recommend an action, making these two your best bets. But No. 3 is slightly better, since it also mentions that there are “three reasons” for the recommendation, which encourages the audience to continue reading.

The other choices are too vague or dull to make a strong opening line.

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