Good morning boys and girls. It is a privilege to be able to speak to you this
morning. I am sure most of you know how to use computers and communicate
electronically. This is essential for all of us nowadays so I assume most of you
are familiar with Cut, Copy, Paste, and other basic word-processing functions. I
would like to give you some advice on an additional computer skill, namely
writing electronic mail or e-mail, as it is commonly known. In my talk, I shall
cover e-mail basics such as composing and sending messages, responding to
messages and, observing Internet etiquette.
Let's begin with some essential features of an e-mail message. Before you can
contact a person electronically you should first enter his or her e-mail address
in the To or Recipient field. Make sure you type the address exactly: an
incorrect symbol or letter will send the message astray. Once that's done, give
the message a subject heading that describes its content. This helps the reader
to know what priority to assign the message. If you intend to send copies to
others as well, then you should include their addresses in the Cc field. When
you have done that, compose a suitable message. It should be concise and
relevant to your recipients' concerns.
What if you wish to respond to an e-mail message? Use the Reply feature of
your e-mail program, keeping the following in mind. You need to check that the
response addresses the appropriate person. When you use the Reply feature it
will prompt the email program to provide a message screen with the original
sender's address inserted in the To field. Your address will be inserted in the
From field, and the addresses of the recipients of the original copy, in the Cc
field. If a message is only for a single person, delete any additional
addresses. Finally, you should check that the reply still has an appropriate
I shall now tell you how to communicate effectively online. To do this,
you'll need to abide by some simple courtesies. Not everyone observes this
netiquette, or Internet etiquette, but let me assure you that those who do
observe it receive thoughtful and considerate replies. When sending online
messages you should not scold or be rude to your reader. Some users tend to use
capital letters only in their messages, which is equivalent to a SHOUT. This is
not a good idea. When composing a message, remember to address your reader by
name if possible, and sign off with your own name. It helps your reader if you
use short, well-spaced paragraphs. This makes reading much easier. It also helps
if you take the time to read and edit your message before you send it off.
Proofreading helps get rid of errors (in grammar, punctuation and spelling).
Also, try to condense and clarify your ideas as well as moderate your tone. A
good way to indicate emotions, for example, is to use emoticons, such as the
smiley, which can help to moderate your tone.
Finally, when, reading and responding to messages try to be less critical.
For example, you should avoid nitpicking
over spelling or other surface errors. Always keep in mind that attitudes are
sometimes difficult to convey, so give authors an initial
benefit of the doubt. It is important not to be judgmental. Before
I close, let me remind you to always exercise courtesy and consideration just as
you would in any communication. In this way you will be able to e-mail more
effectively. Thank you.