Alt: A physician doodle is speaking to a affected person with canine leg. The physician doodle frowns and says, “You won’t need a dog-leg-ectomy after all.” The affected person doodle says, “Why do you sound so sad about it?” The physician doodle says, “Whoops. Wrong tone.” In the subsequent body, the physician doodle smiles and says, “You won’t need a dog-leg-ectomy after all!”

Here at We ❤ Health Literacy Headquarters, we’re all the time on the lookout for methods to construct stronger connections with our audiences. And utilizing the suitable voice and tone is one technique to forge that connection! So this week, we’re sharing suggestions that can assist you establish a transparent voice and tone in your well being writing.

First, a little bit refresher on what voice and tone imply. Voice is fixed. It’s a key a part of your identification — an expression of persona that comes out via your writing. In the company world, it’s typically referred to as “brand voice,” however it’s not only for the Apples and Fords. Whether you’re employed for a Fortune 500 firm, a authorities company, or a neighborhood nonprofit, you want a constant voice.

But what is voice, precisely? Think about how one can acknowledge your favourite singer even for those who’ve by no means heard the tune earlier than — that’s as a result of their voice is distinctive throughout totally different songs (or in our case, well being supplies!).

Tone, then again, is situational. It varies primarily based on the particular subject, the context, and your viewers’s seemingly emotional state. So whereas voice stays the identical throughout an internet site or marketing campaign, tone could change barely from web page to web page or tweet to tweet.

Clear as mud? Think of it this manner: regardless of who you’re speaking to, you’re nonetheless your self — that’s your voice. But you wouldn’t discuss to your greatest pal the identical means you’d discuss to your boss, or your sworn enemy, or the teller at your financial institution — you differ your tone primarily based on who you’re speaking to and what the dialog is about.

So, how do you determine the suitable voice and tone to make use of? We typically outline voice and tone as a sequence of adjectives — like “friendly, compassionate, and sincere.” And to essentially carry out the nuance, it may be useful to consider what your voice or tone is and what it isn’t.

For instance, you would possibly describe your well being communication marketing campaign’s voice as:

  • Optimistic, however not naive
  • Friendly, however not overly acquainted
  • Informational, however not dry

When it involves tone, we’ll must get extra particular. What’s the well being subject at hand? What is the viewers seemingly pondering or feeling whereas studying about it?

For instance, a playful, quirky tone could be good for sharing normal wholesome consuming suggestions, however it wouldn’t be a superb slot in diet suggestions for folks beginning chemotherapy. In that case, the tone could be:

  • Motivating, however not overly upbeat
  • Comforting, however not patronizing
  • Serious, however not dire

The backside line: To construct a stronger connection together with your audiences, suppose via the voice and tone of your well being supplies earlier than you write.

Tweet about it: Want to make your #HealthLit writing sound just right? Being intentional about voice and tone can help. @CommunicateHlth’s got tips: #HealthComm

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