Tone & Voice


Voice

We want our voice to be inviting, like the reader is part of the club, and we're all speaking the same language—not some indecipherable jargon that you need an advanced degree to understand. It's relatable, youthful, and inclusive, and a special focus is placed on making really big, complex ideas both relatable and understandable.

An easy way to think about our voice is:

  • Fun but not silly—we're telling stories, not jokes, after all.
  • Be inclusive, not patronizing.
  • Excited but not out of control.
  • Informal but not watered down or too dressed-down.
  • Helpful but not overly directive.
  • Be an expert but not a know-it-all.

Tone

The Specialized Foundation’s tone is informal, but it takes on an academic feel when we're discussing the nitty gritty details of our work and research. You'll want to keep the reader's perspective in mind when you're writing about the Riding for Focus school program and research. After all, there's no telling who they are, exactly. They could be a stressed-out parent, a frustrated student, an academic, or an education professional, so use the tips above to drive right down the middle. This way, the scales don't tip too far to any one type of reader.

Example:

  • Content type: Riding for Focus Email 
  • Reader: community members, potential partners, school administrators
  • Reader feelings: cautiously optimistic about the benefits of Riding for Focus
  • Your tone should be: Helpful, informative, clear, and approachable
  • Write like this: “Did you know that cycling during the school day benefits all students, not just those diagnosed with a specific learning difference? Learn how Riding for Focus can change students' lives in your community at www.SpecializedFoundation.org" 
  • Tips: Use lots of questions. Invite readers to learn more on the website.