Friday, May 1, 2015

Watch Your Tone--Part 4

Focus on the Positive
Your writing will be more successful if you focus on positive, rather than negative, wording and tone. Writing positively is more likely to produce the response you want, be more persuasive, and generate goodwill. In contrast, negative words may generate resistance.
Negative example: You are 2,000 points short of the requirement for an upgrade.
Positive example: You only need 2,000 points to qualify for an upgrade.
You will appear more confident and assertive by stating what something is and what you can do, rather than what something is not or what you cannot do.
Negative example: I cannot process your enrollment without the proper form.
Positive example: I can process your enrollment when I receive the proper form.
You will naturally write either positively or negatively. I tend to write negatively, so if you are like me, take a few minutes to change your negative statements to positive ones and improve your writing and the response you get.
Use the Right Tone
Most people prefer a conversational tone. This doesn't mean to write the way you speak. Spoken words are processed differently than written words. It means to use a pleasant tone, a variety of short and long sentences, and strong nouns and verbs.
Unsure if you have the right tone? Read it aloud and listen or have someone else read it. I caution people to start soft and firm up the tone when appropriate. For example, a first request for payment should be softer, and the third request, much firmer. If you start with too firm a tone, you have nowhere to go!
Check out my onsite Business Writing for Results workshops.

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