No one wants to be known as the king or queen of boring conversations. One way to prevent tedium is to avoid predictable speech patterns. Are you guilty of overusing “per our conversation?” Grab your listener’s attention with five fresh variations!
If you want to give credit for an idea
1 As mentioned
When you say “per our conversation,” your listeners understand that a conversation took place. But who said what? If you insert the name of the speakers, you minimize the possibility of confusion. “As mentioned” allows you to specify the speaker. Here are a couple of examples:
If you want to give a reminder
2 As agreed
Often, the motive behind a “per our conversation” email is to remind others of something they said they would do. The best phrase for the job is “as agreed.” If you made a contract, this expression is especially useful for reminding different parties of their obligations.
To explain the results of a conversation
3 Following our conversation
“That changes everything!” Have you ever made that exclamation after a conversation reveals surprising information? “Following our conversation” is a handy phrase to show the effect of new details. Take a look at these examples published online:
If the above examples seem too formal, you can easily replace “conversation” with a more casual term such as “chat,” “talk,” or even “convo.” However, in a legal context, you may encounter an even more formal way to say “following our conversation.”
4 Pursuant to our conversation/in pursuance of
Do pursuant and pursuance remind you of a verb? If you said pursue, you have found a clue to understanding these terms. Pursuant means “in accordance with” and pursuance refers to the execution or carrying out of something. “Pursuant to” and “in pursuance of” our conversation are used when an action follows as a result of a discussion. Notice the following example:
Note: According to the Entrepreneur’s Guide to Writing Business Plans and Proposals, these two phrases are too formal for nonlegal correspondence. In a section on clichés, K. Dennis Chambers challenges “pursuant to our conversation”: “Would you ever say that in real life? Would you sit down with a colleague over coffee and say, ‘Hey, Joshua, pursuant to our last conversation . . . ?’” Most people wouldn’t. If you are an exception, you might want to risk trying these two controversial options for the sake of variety.
Summarizing a conversation is an essential practice if you want to create a record for reference or to make sure that both parties understand each other. In this case, the simple “according to” is the most appropriate phrase to recap a conversation.
5 According to
(1) The new webpage will go live. (2) Employee discounts will increase from 10% to 15% of the sales price. (3) We will implement casual Friday.
Did I miss anything?
Here’s another reason to avoid using “per our conversation.” The Handbook of Technical Writing classifies the word “per” as jargon when it’s used to mean “according to.” What do you say? Will you freshen up your vocabulary with one of these five fresh phrases today?