Tone is what you hear when someone speaks to you. It contributes to understanding and the totality of the message--voice, words, inflection, and so on.
You also hear tone when you read because you tend to say the words silently to yourself as you read. However, with written messages, you cannot hear the person speak, nor see their body language. All you have are words on the paper or display.
Have you ever read an email and felt as if you were slapped? That came from the tone of the email. Email is particularly challenging since it is such a cold communication. If the tone is off, we respond negatively.
I have often been accused of writing emails that have an abrupt tone, so I have researched what contributes to tone in a written document. Here are some tips and tools that I teach in my Business Writing for Results workshops to help my participants control the tone of their written communications. I'll give you some tips to control tone in the next three posts.
Check out my onsite Business Writing for Results workshops.