How to adopt an appropriate tone of voice

Clare Lynch
A free video tutorial from Clare Lynch
Cambridge University writing tutor & professional copywriter
4.4 instructor rating • 11 courses • 104,870 students

Lecture description

To be seen as professional, it's important your business writing has the right tone of voice - this lecture shows you how to achieve that.

Learn more from the full course

Business Writing For Busy People

Write clearly and compellingly - for colleagues, clients and other key stakeholders

48:28 of on-demand video • Updated November 2020

  • Work out what you want to say quickly and painlessly
  • Craft clear, concise, compelling business documents - from emails to reports
  • Grab and keep your readers' attention with powerful messages
  • Structure your writing for maximum impact
  • Achieve a professional tone of voice in your writing
  • Identify and eliminate tech talk and off-putting business jargon
English If you want to be seen as professional it's vital that your business writing has the right tone. But what exactly does a professional tone of voice look like. To an extent it'll depend on your corporate culture. For example if you're working at an award winning ad agency you can probably get away with a less formal writing style than if you're an executive at one of the big four accountancy firms. The Creative's tone of voice will be no less professional than the accountants. It's just a different context. However and this is something I really want you to understand from early on in the course. The vast majority of corporate writers make their business writing too formal. In my experience most bankers, lawyers, accountants and so on could afford to make their writing just that little bit more human, a little bit more conversational. In fact you tend to find that the more successful or senior someone is the more they have the confidence to cut through all the stiff, unappealing, impenetrable jargon filled corp speak that characterizes so much business writing today. What's more many larger organizations have a set tone of voice guidelines outlining how they expect their employees to write and every single set of guidelines I've ever seen emphasizes the importance of using clear, concise, down to human language. Here's some examples. Coming up next is an assignment designed to tune your ear to a warmer friendlier tone of voice, and in the meantime just remember that old adage. People don't do business with business, they do business with people. So keep your writing warm, friendly, human, and with people in mind.