Speak With Confidence

Unforgettable Email

In CC Manual, Speech #4: How to Say It, Speeches on August 12, 2010 at 7:55 pm

by Doris Wong

Doris is sharing a speech that had the Richmond Toastmasters audience on the edge of our seats. Her speech objectives were to choose the right words and sentence structure to communicate her ideas clearly, accurately, and vividly. Her delivery was stellar.

E-mail is fast, efficient, and flexible.

You can send it any time you want; there is no time restriction.

You can send it anywhere you want; there is no distance limitation.  It will be delivered in a minute.

But all these good qualities will turn into nightmare if we do not use it carefully.

Tonight I am going to share an unforgettable e-mail with all of you.

Think twice before you click

We had been developing a potential customer for 2 years and it was coming down to the final stages of securing his business.

On one special day, I typed a detailed e-mail with costs, detailed product spec sheets, and pictures.  When I finished, I moved the cursor to the top row right beside “TO.” I typed in “Jo” and John popped out, then I moved the cursor up a little to “SEND” and clicked.  Simultaneously, from the corner of my eye, I saw that I’d sent the e-mail to John the potential customer. BUT the e-mail was supposed to go to John, the competitor of potential customer.

My heart stopped beating.

My right hand index figure froze in the middle of the air.

My left hand reached out to the screen, trying to get it back desperately.

Of course, the e-mail would be delivered in a minute.

What I got from my boss was a 10-minute lecture with only 4-letter words in it.

I deserved it.  It was a fatal mistake and we lost the customer for good.

After the incident

I reorganized my address book so that all addresses started with the company name followed by first name.  It took some time to reorganize it and get used to it.  Once I had it set up, I could search a person by his company name or by first name.

I also went online and found out “How to recall an e-mail.”  You have to open the e-mail you want to recall. Under tool, action, customize, you will see a recall e-mail icon.  Click on it. The screen will prompt you to delete the message or delete with a 2nd message.  Why do we need to delete with a 2nd message?  When you recall a message you can only recall the content; no matter what, the e-mail was delivered.  You need a 2nd message to set it straight why you sent somebody a message and recalled it later.

You can recall a message from Outlook XP to Outlook XP, or MS Outlook to MS Outlook.  You cannot recall a message from Outlook XP to MS Outlook.  Also, you cannot recall a message send from Gmail or Hotmail.  You will get an automatic reply about whether the recall was successful or not.

Now that I have my address book reorganized, I still rethink before I release every single e-mail.

  1. Great speech, Doris. Excellent use of imagery and strong opening. I love the line “think twice before you click”. I think this would have been an excellent opening line instead of after a few sentences. I love how you said your finger was stuck in the air and you wanted to go into the screen and grab the email you sent. I can picture this so well!
    I can use this example of imagery for my speeches since I struggle with writing.

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