Tone tips: A collection to bookmark

Lesley Hanes | December 10, 2020

Want to improve the tone of your writing at work? In this collection of tips, you’ll find techniques, examples, and advice to help you achieve a warm, inclusive, and professional tone.

Tone tips

Your writing tone is more important than you think
View an email before and after it gets a tone makeover. Find out what didn’t work in the ‘before email’ and see which techniques fixed the tone.

An easy way to think about tone is to think about the feelings you get when you read a communication sent to you. Take a moment to think about an email you got in the last week that stood out to you because of its tone.

Image, woman sitting at a desk looking at her laptop in misery

Who hasn’t received an email that made their heart sink? Image by Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels licence

Three reasons to focus on the positive in your writing
Learn from detailed examples that show you how to write positively rather than negatively, so you can create a positive tone in your writing.

In writing, tone relies heavily on word choice. Negative words can create a negative tone, even when you’re trying to be helpful. To phrase your writing more positively, focus on what’s needed or what’s possible, rather than the opposite.

Man sitting in front of laptop looking pleased with what he is seeing onscreen

Positive phrasing is often clearer and more enjoyable to read. Image by Sora Shimazaki /Pexels licence

Five ways to show respect with language
Understand why it’s important to use more inclusive and respectful language, and avoid microagressions and bias in your writing.

Showing respect with language is part of creating inclusion. That’s because using language with respect shows we see each other as people — not as problems, symbols, or inferiors.

Group of people laughing together while they work sitting at a table with laptops

Respectful language helps us to connect better and build understanding. Image by Brooke Cagle / Unsplash licence

Breathe life into your work emails with a human-sounding tone
Understand how to craft emails that build relationships, keep your readers interested, and move them to action.

People are busy. But the best way to get their attention is by writing emails that are compelling in a personable way.

Help! My tone is polluting my writing
Read tips on achieving a tone that connects with people, sends the right message, and builds trust between you and your readers.

Your tone can be the difference between getting the outcomes you want and getting offside with the world.

A man and a woman sitting at a work table high-fiving and laughing

The right tone can be a big part of your success at work. Image by krakenimages / Unsplash licence

Help to get your tone right

Our online course gives you a safe place to learn from experts and practise your tone skills before you try them out at work.

A New Year’s resolution perhaps?

Check out Tone Matters

Insights, tips, and professional development opportunities.