Some Tips on Tone in English Business Writing

WritingSkills.my.id - The following are some tips on Tone when using English in business writing. 1. Prefer positive to negative words.  D...

Tips on Tone in English

WritingSkills.my.id - The following are some tips on Tone when using English in business writing.

1. Prefer positive to negative words. 
Description and examples:
Instead of "John has neglected to show up at the last three meetings," try: "John has not attended..."

2. Put negative news first in a sentence that has both positive and negative news.
Description and example:
By putting the "good news" last, the reader ends with it and the thought lingers (e.g. "Although I can't hire you, I'm sending your résumé to someone who can.")

3. Don't write when you're angry.
Description:
...You'll probably regret it in the morning. You have no control over who your communication will be shown to and what consequences might develop.

4. Don't use value judgments designed to make readers feel bad about past mistakes.
Description and example:
Instead, try to motivate your reader to improve behavior in the future. So, don't write, "Your problems stem from improper management of your time" when you can write, "You could benefit from improving your time-management skills," or "I suggest you improve your time-management skills."

5. Use contractions to warm up your message.
Description:
It's perfectly fine to use contractions in memos and letters. After all, we use them in speech.

6. Give your reader a reason to comply before making a request.
Example:
Don't just say, "Send me the check today," give a reason: "To make sure you get your order by Christmas, send me your check today."

7. Be courteous, but don't overdo humility.
Description and example:
"Thanks for taking five minutes from your schedule" sounds like pleading. You're putting yourself down when you use this. Instead, write "I enjoyed meeting with you."

8. Apologize completely.
Example:
Don't write, "I'm sorry about what happened, but you shouldn't have..." Instead, apologize without ifs, ands, or buts.

9. Empathize before stating an opinion.
Description and example:
Spend a sentence or two reflecting the customer's feelings, empathizing with what the customer is experiencing: "It sounds as if you're worried about your staff's lack of computer literacy."

Also read the theory of Tone in Business Writing: Style in Writing Business Letter: Tone.

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My Writing Skills: Some Tips on Tone in English Business Writing
Some Tips on Tone in English Business Writing
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