Are you going on holiday? Don’t make a bad impression with an incorrect out-of-office reply - make a great impression on your clients and colleagues with your perfect English!
These are some mistakes I have seen:
I’m off returning June 20. This one is ok. It’s very short, but I would say I’m out of the office, returning June 20.
For urgent matters, please drop a message on my cellphone. Hmm. Do you mean please leave me a message? Or please send me a text? Probably you’d prefer a text to people calling you on holiday. I’d say: For urgent matters, please text me on….
I’m travelling and attending meetings this next days. Again, it’s not a big error, but it should be I’m travelling and attending meetings over the next few days.
I will answer you when I will be back. This should be I’ll answer you when I’m back.
For urgency, please contact Joan Smith. Again, not a big mistake, but it should be For anything urgent, please contact Joan Smith.
I’m out of the office until 2nd January 2016. I think you need to update your dates!
So here are some complete out-of-office replies you can use for your summer holiday:
Level 1 (you can use this one if you are travelling for work or in training or just away but still checking in):
I’m out of the office with limited access to my emails. I will get back to you as soon as I can.
Level 2 (I’m still available for emergencies and I will read my emails at some point):
I’m out of the office, returning on 3 August. I will answer you when I get back. For urgent matters, please text me on 0612345677.
Level 3 (I’m on holiday and I’m not going to do any work. Also I won’t ever read your mail):
I’m out of the office from 17 July - 3 August. Your email will not be read. For urgent matters, please call John Smith on 012345676.
I suggest you now put your automatic reply onto level 3 and go and enjoy your summer holiday.
You have a message to deliver, you want to persuade your audience to do something or you want to make yourself known. You need your audience to believe you, to see the logic in what you’re telling them and to feel a connection with you and what you’re saying.
You need Aristotle's three proofs (or appeals.) These work for any kind of content, whether it's a presentation, a promotional video or advert.
So what exactly are the three proofs and how can you use them?
Ethos: This is your credibility. Why should the audience believe what you are saying? Make sure the audience knows about your relevant experience and qualifications. Why do people who have written a book so often get asked to do TED talks? Because the book is a sign of ethos, that you are en expert in what you’re talking about.
If you're presenting, don’t stand in front of your audience and reel off your whole CV, but do make sure you drop in some anecdotes about your experience, or that the audience are aware of your background before you start speaking. Highlight any relevant experience or qualifications when you introduce yourself (but keep it short and to the point.)
Logos: this is logic. You need to back up your message with facts. If you are trying to persuade your audience to buy your products, you need to present them with some facts and figures about how this product will help them.
Pathos: This is an appeal to your audience’s emotions. Make your audience feel and they’ll remember what you’re saying. Make a connection with them by making eye contact and smiling. Make them laugh. Make them feel angry about injustice. Make them feel sad. Tell them a story. Speak to their hearts.
Next time you're planning a presentation, or any kind of content, think about how you can incorporate all three of these methods of persuasion and see how much of a difference it makes.
My blog has changed! If you're looking for my English-practice exercises, they're all still here, just look in the archives.
Catherine: blogging about learning, language, culture, France and more...