Communication for Business

Shirley Taylor  
Pearson Longman
Total pages
July 2005
Related Titles


The fourth edition of Communications for Business is a comprehensive textbook, workbook, and reference book rolled into one. This book will help readers to develop confidence and expertise in composing effective business communications.

This book will be helpful to anyone who is working or training to work in an administrative, managerial or secretarial role which demands good communication and business English skills.

This book should prove useful to students wishing to take the following examinations:

  • Pitman Qualifications English for Business Communication
  • LCCI Examinations Board English for Business
  • RSA Examinations Board Communication in Business


The book is filled with robust pedagogy, including new and updated illustrations, and features such as:

  • Let's Check - Put your new knowledge into practice by answering some quick questions which test the theory you have just learned.
  • Did you know? - This provides an interesting tidbit of information to enhance knowledge.
  • What's Wrong? - ‘What's Wrong?' gives you an opportunity to criticise answers to some assignments. You can then rewrite the documents more appropriately.
  • Checkpoint - Suggestions for readers to do something either as a group or as additional research

Prepare for your exam with confidence with superb End-of-Chapter materials which include:

  • Help yourself - This offers simple tests to reinforce learning and build confidence.
  • A-Z of Bloopers, Blunders, Common Errors and Cliches - Avoid pitfalls and embarrassing business situations by studying these points.
  • Weblinks

New to this Edition

  • Revised and updated Unit 1- The Nature of Communication, in particular discussion on communication in a changing workplace, intercultural sensitivities, and steps to effective communication.
  • Revised and updated Unit 3- The Use of English, with extra examples of poor business language and how to put it right.
  • Unit 5- Rule of Good Writing, now offers an expanded discussion of all the rules and examples, including an article discussion great-grandfather language and modern business writing.
  • Unit 8- Electronic Mail, has been completely revised and updated and now offers comprehensive coverage of the topic.
  • Unit 10-Reports, now contains information about Proposals.
  • New! Unit 18- Oral Presentation Skills providing the reader with an extra dimension in communications.
  • New features in the Appendix include: Frequently confused words, Commonly misspelled words, and Plain English Campaign's A-Z of Alternative Words.

Table of Contents

About the author
Preface to the fourth edition

Section One: The nature of communication

Unit 1. Business communication basics
Unit 2. Speaking, listening and non-verbal communication
Unit 3. Use of English

Section Two: Business letters

Unit 4. Introducing the business letter
Unit 5. Rules of good writing
Unit 6. Recruitment correspondence

Section Three: Telecommunications

Unit 7. Fax messages
Unit 8. Electronic mail

Section Four: Internal communication

Unit 9. Memos
Unit 10. Reports
Unit 11. Meetings

Section Five: Persuasive communication

Unit 12. Circulars and sales letters
Unit 13. Publicity material
Unit 14. Notices, advertisements and leaflets

Section Six: Visual and oral communication

Unit 15. Forms and questionnaires
Unit 16. Visual presentation
Unit 17. Reformulating and summarising
Unit 18. Oral presentation skills



Back Cover

“Communication is probably the most critical skill we need in today's fast-paced business world. Shirley's tips and techniques are excellent models to follow for successful and effective communication. Well done on a great fourth edition.” Vanessa Yuen, Senior HR Executive (Training and Development), Chevron Oronite Pte Ltd, Singapore


Looking for an all-in-one package containing all the techniques, guidelines and examples needed to ensure effective oral and written communication skills throughout your career? Look no further. Shirley Taylor's Communication for Business, 4th edition, addresses all aspects of business communication in clear and simple language. With its tried and tested successful formula, the book places emphasis on basic business writing and rules of good writing. Features include:


  • Illustrations throughout add a fun, humorous element to reinforce key points
  • Examples of all documents with annotation clarify the main points
  • Checkpoints provide helpful suggestions for readers
  • Weblinks guide readers to useful additional resources
  • What's wrong? illustrates documents with errors and provides opportunities for discussion and re-working
  • Key points, Help yourself and Test yourself are listed at the end of each chapter to reinforce the main concepts
  • A-Z of bloopers, blunders, common errors and clichés help readers clarify uncertainties in business language
  • Frequently confused words, commonly misspelled words and A-Z of alternative words help readers avoid common mistakes


“I teach Business English and Communication Skills and recommend [Shirley's] book to many of my students….[the] clear, practical approach and straightforward language is ideal for my non-native learners and the guidance in structure, style and tone of business documents is excellent.” Martin Jack, Aarhus Business College, Denmark


An ideal text for beginners to professionals, Communication for Business, 4th edition, meets the needs of students on a wide range of business and secretarial courses, especially LCCIEB Diplomas in Secretarial and Business Administration, LCCIEB English for Business, Oxford Cambridge and RSA examinations, and City & Guilds English for Business Communications.


“Shirley's clear writing style and examples of business documents have made this book popular for almost 15 years. Once again, Shirley has used material that is topical and timeless, with eye-catching graphics and up-to-date realistic assignments. Her fourth edition is sure to be another winner.” Marion Goldacre, Programme Leader, Office Administration, Lincoln College, UK


Shirley Taylor is an accomplished author of several successful books in the area of business. A trained teacher from the UK, Shirley took up her first teaching post in Singapore in 1983 and spent many years in the Asia Pacific region as a Training Consultant and Lecturer on secretarial and business studies courses. Shirley has become a leading authority in modern business writing and communication skills. She is well-known for her dynamic business training workshops and is also a popular speaker at international conferences.