After you’ve created an audience profile, you have the tools to determine the tone you want to take in your communication. But what tone should you use?Historically, most business writing is formal. When in doubt, it’s wise to lean toward a more formal tone — being too formal will get you in less trouble than being overly familiar. But using tone to your advantage is more complex than simply formal or informal.
* If your audience is small, you may want to strike a personal tone, addressing them as “you.”
* If you have longstanding relationship with your audience, you may want to take a collaborative tone, using “we” to refer to your common goals and challenges.
* If you want a tone of urgency, you may want to keep not only your communication brief, but also your sentences and words. The abrupt, choppy rhythm of this short approach will send a message that speed is the need. Active verbs will also ratchet up the urgency.
* If your audience is knowledgeable, you may want to take the assumptive tone mentioning information and benchmarks that you don’t fully explain — because you’re assuming your audience already knows the information.
* You can swing up and down the formal scale simply by changing how you use contractions. Good rule of thumb, if you imagine your audience in formal business attire use formal language and loosen it up in accordance with their dress code.