What impact does tone of voice really have?

Published: 16 October 2018

Putting theory to the test

Academic studies show a typical male tone generally uses more assertive language, is more definitive, and while arguably more authoritative, it can discourage debate and engagement.

Recent Linstock research finds that firms are investing in thought leadership to demonstrate sector leadership, to provide a fresh perspective on pressing industry matters, and, increasingly, to spark collaboration with target audiences. But is today’s thought leadership content written as effectively as it could be to fulfil this purpose?

Studies show a typical male tone generally uses more assertive language, is more definitive, and while arguably more authoritative, it can discourage debate and engagement. A typically female tone is more affiliative. It tends to use more inclusive language aimed at fostering collaboration, hedging claims and acknowledging opposing concerns.

We found that a majority of thought leadership copy is written in a male tone. But does this really affect how audiences feel about what they read? We wanted to put our theory to the test.

The results of our experiment are revealed in our new paper. This snapshot of opinion could have potentially significant implications. We reveal which tone participants prefer, and offer three areas for consideration in order to achieve a more gender balanced tone in your content.

Download our new white paper:

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