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 warming up tone of email

Have you ever written an email to someone who misinterpreted your tone? They thought you were angry; you thought you were just getting to the point. Or they thought you were being sarcastic, when you thought you were being witty.

When email communications go awry, tone is often the issue.

In the Worktalk email trainings, we talk at length about how to warm up the tone of your emails.

Here, I will share one key principle: Smile when you write.

pencil in mouth smile whne you write

In Daniel Kahneman’s outstanding book, Thinking Fast and Slow, he cites a study that was done in Germany.

There were two groups of experimental subjects.

One group was asked to hold a pencil in their mouth horizontally; this forces the sides of the mouth up into a smile.

writing business personal emails force your face relaxThe other groupmembers were asked to hold the pencil vertically in their mouth, which forced the face down into a slightly frowning position.

Then both groups were shown a piece of humorous writing and asked, “Are you amused?”

The group that was smiling was more amused than the group that was frowning.

Research on smiling abounds, and the conclusion is clear:

When you smile, you feel happier, even if you’re crying inside.

Certainly, when you smile at other people, they feel happier.

What does this have to do with email?

Well, the fact is that your readers can feel that smile through their computer. If you are pounding away on the keys with your mouth set in a grim line, odds are that you are writing an email whose tone you will regret.

So when writing your business or personal emails, force your face to relax a little:

  • Smile.
  • Take a deep breath.
  • You will get better responses to your emails. And you’ll feel happier too.
Watch our YouTube video on this topic and for information about other Worktalk webinars and programs, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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10 Principles of Effective Email

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Why choose WorkTalk trainings?

  • Taught by a professional writer. +

    These courses are not taught by a general skills trainer who happens to teach writing. Elizabeth Danziger has been published by major publishing houses such as Random House and Harcourt Brace. Her work has appeared in many national magazines. She is an expert writer and editor who brings her knowledge as a resource to participants.
  • Customized. +

    Every Worktalk training is customized to the client's needs. We meet with you, analyze writing samples from your organization, and customize our training to target the specific challenges that employees in your organization face.
  • Energetic and entertaining. +

    With plenty of exercises and opportunities for interaction, the Worktalk trainings move quickly. Subjects that were terrifying in grammar school become fun and interesting in these outstanding programs.
  • Proven results. +

    In trainings all over the country, Ms. Danziger has enabled participants to streamline their organizing process, eliminate persistent errors, and drastically cut their revision time. Clients spend less time on key communications while producing better relationships and results. Sales people get more positive responses from prospects.
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