The kids are back at school and a note about after school activities landed in my inbox last week.
Here's a short excerpt:
'It is confirmed that [activities] will commence on the week of September 25th and sign up and payment for these will be on Wednesday 20th from 8.35 in the hall. Online payments are acceptable.(Please reference name and activity) bank details below.'
I know who wrote this and I'd put a fairly hefty bet on the fact that, if you spoke to author (who's lovely by the way), they aren't the words they'd use.
I reckon that they're much more likely to say:
"Activities are starting on the 25th September and you can pay for them in the hall at drop off on the 20th. If you'd rather pay online you can do - just put your name and activity as the reference"
It says exactly the same thing but in shorter, clearer words and it sounds much more like the author sounds.
I get that everyone has their style and that's fine. What constantly amazes me is the way people seem to have split personalities, writing in one voice and speaking in another?
What is it about a pen or a keyboard that turn some folk into unnecessarily wordy and long winded versions of their speaking selves? If we wrote as we spoke it would make life a whole easier!
So here's a challenge for you. The next time you write an email, just before you send it, I ask you to take a few minutes to read it out to yourself (aloud if you can). Does it sound like you? Remember that if the recipient knows you well, they'll read your mail in your voice (I know, weird!) so if the words aren't your words there's a disconnect - it starts to sound inauthentic.
So write like you speak.
Just be you!