Unit Two: Influencing Your Audience Positively
February 5 2012
- Your attitude is a way of communicating that demonstrates your ability to see another point of
view. It means empathizing – Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes.
- Whether text messaging, emailing or presenting, your attitude:
Looks at the situation from the audience’s point of view
Treats the audience with courtesy
Respects the audience’s ego
Emphasizes what the audience wants to know.
- You-attitude Also means making it easy for your audience to do what you want.
What is You-Attitude in Writing?
- You-attitude messages focus politely through their rhetorical (persuasive) choices.
- Appearance, layout, visuals, content and language all contribute to reader-centred
- Condescending means that you are speaking to someone as if they were younger, or not
as smart as you are.
Often referred to as “talking down to” someone.
1) Talk about the reader, not about yourself.
Readers want to know how they benefit or are affected.
o Lacks you-attitude: I have negotiated an agreement with Apex Rent-a-Car that gives
you a discount on rental cars
o You-Attitude: As a sun Life employee, you now get a 20% discount when you rent a car
- Any sentence that focuses on the writer’s work or generosity lacks you-attitude, even if the
sentence contains the word “you”.
o Lacks you-attitude: We are shipping your order of September 21 this afternoon
o You-Attitude: The two dozen print cartridges you ordered will be shipped this afternoon
and should reach you by September 28.
- Emphasize what your reader wants to know, they are more interested in when the order will
arrive than when you shipped it.
How do I Create Reader-Focused, You-Attitude?
- Talk about the reader – except in negative situations
- To create attitude: Talk about the reader, not yourself
Avoid talking about feelings, except to congratulate or offer sympathy
Use “you” more often than / in positive situations. Use we when it includes the
Avoid the blaming “You” in negative situations.
2) Avoid talking about feelings, except to congratulate or offer Sympathy.
o Lacks you- attitude: We are happy to extend you a credit line of $5000
o You-Attitude: You can now charge up to $5000 on your BMO card.
- In most business situations, your feelings are irrelevant.
- All the reader cares about is the situation from his/her point of view.
o You-Attitude: Congratulations on your promotion to district manager! I was really
pleased to read about it
o You-Attitude: I was sorry to hear that your father died.
- In internal memos, it may be appropriate to comment that a project has been gratifying or
- In the letter of transmittal that accompanies a report, it is permissible to talk about your
feelings about doing the work.
- People prefer to get handwritten cards – not emails or text messages – on important
- Don’t talk about the reader’s feelings either, it can be offensive to have someone else tell us
how we feel.
o Lacks you-attitude: You’ll be happy to hear that Open Grip Walkway channels meet
Occupational Health and Safety Requirements
o You-Attitude: Open Grip Walkway Channels meet Occupational Health and Safety
- When you have good news for the reader, simply give the good news.
o Lacks you-attitude: You’ll be happy to hear that your scholarship has been renewed.
o You-Attitude: Congratulations! Your scholarship has been renewed.
3) Use “You” more often than / in positive situations
- Talk about the reader, not you or your company
o Lacks you-attitude: We provide dental coverage to all employees.
o You-attitude: You receive dental coverage as a full-time Clairtone employee
- Edit external messages to ensure I is rarely used.
- I suggests that you’re concerned about personal issues, not about the organization’s
problems, needs and opportunities.
4) Avoid „you” in negati