With International Day of Happiness coming up this weekend, and with the times continuing to be challenging for a lot of people around the world, I thought I would share something around positivity and happiness, and how the way in which you write can have such an impact on the reader and their emotions.
Whether it’s an email, a news story, or a social media post, there are some simple checks you can carry out to make sure your messaging is positive and constructive, and a lot of this is down to the words and tone of voice you use.
So, where do we start? How can we create more positive messaging?
1. Think about how you want your reader to feel
You should know the audience you are targeting. How do you think this particular piece of content will make them feel? They’re more likely to keep reading your content to the end – and come back for more – if you make them feel good, rather than making them feel bad, or sad.
2. Be careful about using the words ‘however’ and ‘but’
These little words can often imply there is something negative to follow. Do you need to use them? Can you end the sentence and start a new sentence with the second point, rather than trying to link them together? Are there other linking words you could use that don’t imply a negative connotation – ‘at the same time’ or ‘whilst’ for example?
3. Don’t labour any negative points that need to be made
Be wary of ranting! If you need to talk about negatives or criticise, do it concisely and constructively – don’t drag out the sentences on or repeat ideas. Keep it short and sweet, and to the point… And then move on!
4. Sandwich negativity with positivity
Following on from the point above, if you have anything negative to say, or criticisms to make of something/someone, it’s much better received if it’s sandwiched with praise, compliments or something positive. It goes without saying that this needs to be genuine, not simply smoke blown, but just think about introducing negative subjects gently, rather than slamming straight in with them.
5. End on a positive
Leave your reader on a high, with a positive impression of you to take away. They’ll attach this positive sentiment to you, whether consciously or subconsciously, and it will affect how they feel about you generally – so make sure you leave a good, strong, positive lasting impression!
Our words carry so much influence, and if we all spent a little more time in choosing them more carefully (evaluating how they make other people feel) and how and when we use them, it could make such a difference to all of us – helping to effect positive change, improving people’s general sense of wellbeing and mental health, and developing community and trust.
If you would interested to learn more about developing effective key messages, building trust and credibility, and developing communities, through your public relations and communications, please do drop me an email email@example.com