This month’s ‘Workplace Writing Power Point’ deals with the Tone of your Words. We all learned about Tone of Voice in freshman speech class – the way your words sound can overshadow their meaning and have a profound impact on your listener or audience. Good stuff – hope you still use it.
Well, written words have a ‘tone’ too and can influence your readers as much as tone of voice influences your listeners.
The reader analysis you should perform for every major written document will tell you a lot about what type of words would be most appropriate for your outcomes. Consider readers’ educational levels, organizational levels, backgrounds and culture when choosing the best words you can think of.
With an appropriate tone of your message, your words, structure and syntax all influence how your message ‘feels’ to your readers and the emotional or connotative reactions they might have to your word choices.
Let those decisions impact your word choices. Every word you write should be on purpose and for a purpose. So, go beyond the ‘first word you thought of’ or ‘the word you usually think of’ approach to the ‘best word you can find’ that consistently and clearly conveys your intended meaning to your specific readers with the appropriate tone. And it’s not that long a trip.