Posts tagged ‘Proposals’

Emotive proposals

Yesterday I was re-working a proposal document for a client. The document was filled with adjectives, and it was a very emotional read.

This brings up the question, though – when is it appropriate to use emotive language? Is it appropriate in a proposal? Is it appropriate in a training manual? Is it appropriate in a marketing brochure?

It all depends, of course, on:

  • the document purpose, and
  • the audience that will be reading the document.

In an advertising document, emotive language sells. People are more attracted to products that appeal to our emotions – sex, hunger, vanity, love and family are just a few examples. Journalists use emotive language to get the reader to empathise with a story.

However, sometimes the emotive language can obscure the facts. I think when you are writing a business document, such as a proposal, it is better to stick to the facts and keep the emotion ambiguous. Your tone should be warm but professional, and you should let the facts do the talking. Too much emotive language can come across as unprofessional, and if the language is very strong, you can come across as one-sided, or even a little crazy.

What do you think? Do you ever use strong emotive language in a proposal? Have you ever read a proposal and been put off because of the language? Post a comment!

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April 8, 2010 at 1:58 am Leave a comment

I hear what you’re saying!

Let’s think outside the box for a minute: who, at this moment in time, wouldn’t like to see a paradigm shift?

Got a problem or two with the sentence above? So do I. And you and I are not alone. It seems that Kiwis are really fed up when it comes to management speak – read a refreshing discussion on the worst office jargon here. An article in the National Business Review also triggered a number of interesting comments on the same subject.

A recent survey by Opinium research in the UK found that after grumpy or moody colleagues (37%), slow computers (36%) and small talk/gossip (19), the use of office jargon is the fourth-biggest office annoyance (18%). The 1,836 people surveyed voted the most annoying phrases to be ‘thinking outside the box’ (21%), ‘let’s touch base’ (20%) and ‘blue sky thinking’ (19%). The readers’ comments on Yahoo!xtra NEWS are rather entertaining to read!

Do you have an opinion on the use of office jargon or a particularly good example to add? Leave a comment!

February 18, 2010 at 4:17 am 2 comments

And what do you do?

Are you a writer?

You know the situation when someone asks you, “And what do you do?”. Well, when I describe to them what we’re doing they are always interested and sometimes surprised. But think about it. Language underpins everything we do, and with text messages, the internet and social media everyone these days is a writer.

What are your writing needs?

Our recent morning tea information session, ‘Documents That Work’, was well attended by a lot of people who were either self-employed, or belonged to small or very large organisations. What they had in common was an interest in writing, and the need to write a variety of documents. We heard about emails marketing a service, proposals, work instructions, Government policies, etc.

Want to be a better writer?

Everyone left with a good idea of what Information Mapping is, how it could help them, and useful writing tips. We all have to tell people what we do, and often write down how to do it. If we do this with clarity, then our emails, proposals, business cases, instructions, websites and intranets work. If we have to answer questions from our readers, then we could have done it better!

February 10, 2010 at 8:53 pm Leave a comment


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