Tag: tone of voice


Be positive, not negative!

Posted on February 23rd, by Thomas Heath in writing. Comments Off on Be positive, not negative!

Failure.  While writing a tender application, I read the instructing letter – it stated “Failure to submit in the correct format will mean rejection”.  Well I panicked!  Failure… what would happen… all my work would be instantly dismissed… I’d be up in front of the head mistress for some terrible punishment…

The word failure, or any negative language for that matter, is enough to scare the reader, put them on the defensive and certainly won’t get the best out of them.  Perhaps “Please use the attached format so we can process your reply quickly and efficiently” would have been more friendly and encouraging.

As a mother of two small boys, I have certainly learnt that an encouraging “oh look, there are your shoes… now let’s see if you can put them on yourself” rather than shouting “PUT YOUR SHOES ON NOW…” has … Read More »



How to write short, shortened

Posted on April 15th, by Thomas Heath in writing. Comments Off on How to write short, shortened


The benefits of sounding like Jamie Oliver

Posted on September 18th, by Thomas Heath in writing. 12 comments

You may not want to resemble Jamie Oliver in any way, but his writing has qualities of energy, confidence and ownership that any organisation can harness by changing a few writing habits.

So let’s take a peek at The Naked Chef. Here’s a passage I sometimes use in workshops:

“I do love food – I’m obsessed by it. I think about breakfast in the evening and dinner at breakfast. I often daydream about family dinners ten days in advance… It goes a bit like this: English asparagus has come in, the peas are sweet and bursting in your mouth, the mint in the herb box is growing like the clappers and strangling the rosemary, leafy Sicilian lemons are about – bloody hell, this is great – I know for a fact that I’ve got some extra virgin olive oil stashed in the … Read More »