Projecting an Appropriate Tone in Your Business Writing

Your reader will read your communication with their own (sometimes negative) overtone. It is particularly important to take as many steps as possible to project the best possible tone.

Eight ideas to increase your success with an appropriate writing tone include:

1. Focus on the reader by using the “You” instead of “I”. i.e.
Instead of: We have a new program that we think is very interesting.
Write: You’ll find our new program very interesting.

2. Use the dynamic active approach VS passive approach.
Instead of: Careful consideration will be given to your request.
Write: We will give careful consideration to your request.

3. Engage your reader by writing with more verbs and less nouns.
Instead of: I have knowledge
Write: I know
Instead of: I have reservations
Write: I doubt
Instead of: May I make a suggestion
Write: I suggest

4. Take a positive approach.
Instead of: We have written twice and to date you have not replied.
Write: When can we expect your reply?

5. Use specific concrete language.
Instead of: Please send me a copy of the report as soon as possible.
Write: Please send me copy of the report within 10 days.

6. Use words that build goodwill like please; thank you; appreciate; hope.

7. Make the action required by the reader the closing sentence.

8. Deal with one subject in a communication.