“The way you use words has an effect on every relationship you have”. - Emily Post
This page is to help you understand the basics of good verbal communication in its best common usage. While the much of this page will refer to how this applies to your time with The Cotillion Club of Sarasota, guidelines explained here can and will apply to all aspects of your life now and in the future, making your communications to others stand out well as those of correct and accepted standards. These guidelines are expected and valued by teachers, prospective employers, future clients and anyone else whose respect you wish to have.
Verbal communications is an umbrella term that applies to ALL communications that involve words in any way whether spoken or written. We will focus first on the written and then on the spoken.
In general, there have been two general letter formats; Business and Personal. BOTH formats should include all of the following:
An example of a generic business format letter is the following:
Ms. Susan McGowan
123 ABC St.
Sarasota, FL 12345
(IF YOU HAVE PERSONALIZED STATIONARY,
YOU DO NOT NEED TO WRITE YOUR ADDRESS AS IT IS WRITTEN HERE)
April 17, 2016
Dr. Sydney Flore, Director of Admissions
777 Maple Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 11111
Dear Dr. Flore,
I thank you for taking the time to interview me recently as a prospective student for your pre-Med program.
I have great respect for Stanford University and was very impressed with everything I saw during my visit. Knowing how busy you are, I especially appreciate you taking the amount of time you did with me in discussing your research project involving hip implants. Your career is inspirational to an aspiring medical student such as myself and being admitted to Stanford would be a great honor.
Thank you again for your time and consideration and regardless of where my college career takes me, I wish you continued success in all your endeavors.
NOTE SOME IMPORTANT ELEMENTS such as:
WRITTEN COMMUNICATIONS TO THE COTILLION CLUB OF SARASOTA:
The specific situations likely to require you write letter for The Cotillion Club of Sarasota would most likely be as a response to an infraction that you may have received, most likely revolving around not adhering to our required procedures or behaviors relative to a dance (improper R.S.V.P., dress code infraction, inappropriate use of an electronic device, etc.).
WHAT TO EXPECT AND WHAT IS EXPECTED WHEN AN INFRACTION IS INCURRED:
Please know that we establish the codes and rules and their enforcement for YOUR education. Please also know that we issue infractions in the spirit of education and for the purpose of refining YOUR understanding of how to navigate your future as successfully as possible. We NEVER intend any shame or embarrassment in the corrective procedures.
Should you incur an infraction, you will first be notified by email by the Secretary of The Cotillion Club of Sarasota. This email is NOT to be responded to electronically but as a detailed “heads-up” that a written letter will be sent to your home as follow up and that a WRITTEN letter of correction is expected promptly. It is ESSENTIAL that the letter be composed and signed by you, minimally adhere to the business letter format and contain:
Ø YOUR INFORMATION (IF NO LETTERHEAD)
Ø CORRECT GREETING
Ø PURPOSE IN WRITING THE LETTER
Ø DETAILED NATURE OF INFRACTION, APOLOGY AND ASSURANCE TO BOARD OF COTILLION THAT IT WILL NOT HAPPEN AGAIN.
Ø HAVE FORMAL SIGN OFF SUCH AS “YOURS TRULY” OR “SINCERELY”
Ø BE IN INK ON A COMPLETE SHEET OF PAPER OR STATIONARY
Ø CONTAIN NO ANGER, SARCASM OR HOSTILITY
Ø BE RECEIVED BY DEADLINE STATED IN INFRACTION NOTICE LETTER
THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF A RESPONSE TO AN INFRACTION LETTER WITH THE COLORS CORRELATING TO THE IMPORTANT ELEMENTS DESCRIBED ABOVE:
September 28, 2017
Mr. Kendrick Lamar
123 Humble Street
Brooklyn, New York, 12345
Dear Dr. Isaac,
I have received your letter stating that I received an infraction for not having sent in my RSVP form for the Fall Senior Cotillion dance. My heavy touring schedule caused me to overlook sending it in. I am very sorry for inconveniencing you and promise to make sure it never happens again. Thank you for your consideration and work.
SOME HELPFUL LINES IN COMPOSING A LETTER:
OPENING LINES: (To reference letter received and state why you are writing)
With reference to your letter of 8 June, I ...
I am writing in response to ...
Thank you for your letter of 8 May.
Thank you for your letter regarding/about ...
In reply to your letter of 8 May, ...
CLOSING LINES: (To make reference to future events and/or repeat apology)
If you require anything further, feel free to contact me
I look forward to future events
Please advise as necessary
Once again, I apologize for any inconvenience
I have enjoyed my Cotillion experience and look forward to future events.
This is a very simple version of a business format letter and meets all the requirements of an infraction correction letter as well as any other letter you may find yourself sending to The Cotillion Club of Sarasota.
You may find yourself needing to leave a phone message relative to a question you may have or a change necessary in an R.S.V.P. you may have already made. If that is the case, please follow the following simple and straightforward guidelines when leaving your message and remember that YOU are responsible for all communications with The Cotillion Club of Sarasota. A message from a parent or others on your behalf will not be accepted unless you are physically unable to make the call yourself.
“Hello Dr. Isaac. This is Taylor Swift and my number is 941/123-4567. I am calling because I am suing a DJ and the trial has gone longer than I thought. I will not be able to attend the dance this Saturday and am sorry for the inconvenience. Again, this is Taylor Swift and my number is 941/123-4567. Thank you”.
Speak clearly, never rush through your message and don’t be afraid to repeat yourself.