First, be definitive

Don't over-qualify statements, make them definitive. Don't say 'I was wondering if...', or 'I was thinking that we should...' Say what you want to say, particularly if it is contentious. Softening the blow of your opinions or demands is counter-productive, introducing an element of equivocation where none exists.

Only if the outcome is genuinely up for debate should you offer it as a question. Even if you are making a request, make it direct - 'I need your help' rather than 'I was wondering if you could help me'.

In a similar vein, don't project your demands and needs into the future: "'I was going to ask you if...", "When you get the chance, could you...", "I want to tell you..." Make the demand, raise the point, ask the question; don't say you are going to do something which you are already in the process of doing.


Second, eliminate constant self-deprecation

Don't use the word 'just', as in "I was just going to ask you...", "I just wanted to say..." and "If I could just have a word..."

Third, make a better connection

Consider your personal introduction when you email someone for the first time within your company. For example "I'm Sandra Stevens, Coordinator for Marketing. I'm the one who sends you our monthly e-newsletter."
Fourth, don't BCC, personalise (using Outlook)

If you are sending out a newsletter or marketing email or even doing an interoffice email to several, don't send one email with everyone's names in the carbon copy (CC) or blind carbon copy (BCC) field. Instead, create a personalised email merge. You can send separate emails to everyone with one push of the button, each with their own name. In other words instead of 1 email to 100 it's 100 emails to 100, each personalised. How?

You simply have to have the individuals in your Outlook contacts. Then you have two choices. In Contacts, select the people you want to email, then hit Tools>Mailmerge (2003/2007). A wizard will walk you through it. In 2010 it is the mail merge option on the home ribbon.

Alternatively, In MS Office Word, personalised email merge is one of the distribution options in Tools>Letters Mailings in 2003/7. In 2010 you have the mailings ribbon. You select contacts as the list source.

Both options use Word to type out the email. Rest assured, it's sent as an email, not a Word document attachment. I know your next question. Sorry, the answer is no. You cannot add attachments onto a personalised merge.