Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tone and style in your business proposal

With the initial publication of the Learn to Write Proposals Style Guide (henceforth to be known as the “Guide”) we, the author and publisher of the aforementioned Guide are conscious that we may be seen as incorrectly encouraging the use of an overly-formal writing style that enforces strict and traditional rules of English Grammar, an approach which, in the first instance, is of little or no use in the formation of beneficial arguments and secondly, is completely incoherent to the reader through the writing and use of poorly constructed, rambling sentences and…zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Then again, tone’s well….important, isn’t it? Bidding for some work, getting the message across – easy! Let’s just put down on paper the top-drawer deal that we’d tell people as if they were stood in front of us. Nice and informal. They’ll feel right at home. Way better than that fancy stuff, innit?

Once again, I say that your words are there to communicate clearly and shouldn’t get in the way of your message. There is a happy medium somewhere between the overly formal and informal. Remember the person who is on the receiving end of your document and reading it - put yourself in their place and imagine the flow of words to them. The chances are that you’ll find a conventional and conversational style (not writing legalise and not dumbing down) will allow you to get your message across almost every time.

Proposals are about persuasion, but also they are communicating that persuasive message. That's why it's important to understand som basics of language - how to use words, grammar and punctuation, tone and style. That's why we have our Style help you understand how to best use language to create persuasive business proposals.