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Are you listening?

by on 4 Nov, 2010

The power of the written word is heard in your own voice.

Physiologically, when you read to yourself, you’re actually “hearing” your own voice inside your head. This recital helps you to define the tone and style of whatever you’re reading. Combined with the actual words and language, this allows you to form a mental picture of the writer, and the message itself.

This is how you can “see” or visualise the author of that letter from your credit card company, or the frantic author of a particular film review.

And as we know, tone-of-voice is a major contributor to your overall message. So it’s essential that your tone supports what you want to say.

So next time you’re writing something important, read it to yourself, and listen to that voice. How does it sound? Too old-fashioned and business-like? Too relaxed and chatty? Too confident? Or just right…?

For more insight into writing techniques, check out our writing courses

  1. Actually (time permitting), I’d say “read it aloud”, not just inside your head. it makes you read every word, and, sometimes hearing what it really sounds like can make you opt for better wordings.

  2. Hi Steve, and I totally agree. After lots of practice I’ve now perfected my reading aloud technique, so that it’s really just a quiet mumble. There’s no doubt it’s the best test for tone, AND it also helps you to punctuate. Thanks for your comments, Craig.

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