Chapter Six. Watch Your Tone

Think about how you talk with your best friend when you’re joking around. Maybe you’re informal, silly, or sarcastic. Now, imagine how you’d talk to the president or the queen if you had the chance. You’d probably be a little more formal, right? That’s because you naturally adapt your tone to fit the situation. Most of us do this without even thinking about it, to make other people feel comfortable. This shift in tone is part of our everyday lives, but it’s not always present in our writing.

When you’re talking to someone face-to-face, you can make eye contact with them and watch their expressions. That gives you a sense of how they might be feeling, or what kind of mood they’re in. If they’re distracted or stressed, ...

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