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Using the Correct Style & Tone in your Proposals

Using the Correct Style & Tone in your Proposals

How can you alter the style and tone of your documents to ensure you are aligned with your objective? Before we get too deep, lets first talk about the difference between style and tone. Style, according to Wheaton College, can be defined as “the way in which something is written, as opposed to the meaning of what is written.” This would include the type of document you are writing, the typeface, the font size, the use of graphics, the spacing of the margins, etc etc etc. Tone on the other hand refers to the attitude of what is being written or the impression you are trying to convey to your audience.

Choosing your Style

Your document style is just as important as your document tone and will be the first thing a reader notices. Your style can convey a lot about your company and how you present yourselves to not only your client but to the world. Keep your branding and brand guidelines in the back of your mind while creating your document style as you should not be re-creating the wheel of style with every document you produce. While you shouldn’t re-invent the wheel with style you should have the ability to easily change aspects to sharpen your style for more conservative clients or have a bit of fun with certain more laid-back clients.

Choosing your Tone

Tone is something, unlike style, that can change on a document by document basis. The tone of each document should support the objective of the document as well. So if you are trying to persuade a potential client through a proposal, your tone should match the persuasive purpose of that document. Tone is also taken from style to a certain extent as tone can be attributed to the look and feel and give certain cues to what the reader should expect. You may also fine that the tone of the document can change when multiple writers are working on a single document as every individual will bring their own unique tone. It would be wise to give it a quick read-through to smooth the edges between two vastly different tones but it is not worth an entire rewrite.

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Remember that the Style and Tone are different to the Voice of your proposal.

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