checklist to ensure that you are using the appropriate business tone in your writing.

To remind yourself of the appropriate business tone, ask yourself the following questions as you write:

  1. Does the message in this document come across as confident?
  2. Are there any places where the message sounds insecure?
  3. Is the message positive?
  4. Does the message emphasize benefits to the reader?
  5. Does the message sound courteous?
  6. Does the message sound condescending or stuffy?
  7. Is the tone consistent throughout the message?
  8. Have you taken the role of your reader into consideration?
  9. Have you used a formal tone if you are writing to someone outside the organization?
  10. Have you considered using a more informal or conversational tone if you are writing to a colleague?
  11. Are you addressing a subordinate? If so, would using an authoritative tone be more appropriate?
  12. Have you used an economical or direct tone if writing to a senior manager or executive?