Copywriting training / Tone of voice training

Tone of voice training

Developing a tone of voice for your organisation is a great start. But to make it part of business as usual – and to have it inform your culture – you need to invest in training.

Why is training so important?

If you simply hand out new tone of voice guidelines to your teams, there’s a strong chance they’ll either lack the confidence to use it, decide they don’t agree with it – or choose to ignore it all together. Asking people to change the way they communicate is a big deal, and people can react emotionally. This is why it works best when it’s done as part of a supportive, hands-on training session.

How to choose the right approach

When we’re designing a new tone of voice for an organisation, we offer three levels of intensity for doing so. We call the first one a simple tone of voice. This is a brief description of a tone of voice with a couple of examples. A simple tone of voice is best suited to organisations where only very few, skilled writers ever communicate on behalf of their brand. (We think it’s worth pointing out that this is the type of tone of voice that most copywriters and design agencies are talking about when they describe themselves as “tone of voice experts”).

The next level up is what we call team tone of voice. This involves more detailed guidelines and is best suited to organisations that need a small circle of writers to be able to use the tone of voice.

When you need most people in your organisation to be able to use your tone of voice – or at least be aware of it – we recommend taking the organisation-wide tone of voice approach. This last option is brilliant for instilling and reinforcing brand-aligned culture, as well as helping everyone to become much stronger communicators. To achieve an organisation-wide tone of voice, you need to think in terms of a programme involving highly detailed guidelines (and possibly distinct guidelines for different areas of your business), training that is tailored for different business functions – and sophisticated engagement and guardianship approaches.

All of this means that the training we offer depends on the approach to tone of voice you have selected.

Simple tone of voice: This approach doesn’t always include training – as a simple tone of voice is designed purely for professional writers and marketers to use. However, if you decide you’d like to train your teams after we’ve created your simple tone of voice, we can discuss options for training with you – whether it’s a half-day or day-long workshop for teams or an awareness session for the whole organisation.

Team tone of voice: We always recommend scheduling training for a team tone of voice, and generally, we design and deliver at least one bespoke training session as part of your team tone of voice package. This is typically a half-day or day-long session which sets out the business reasons behind developing the tone of voice and how to use it – including relevant examples from across your organisation, exercises and our Volume Control® device for flexing your tone of voice.

Organisation-wide tone of voice: This approach includes a comprehensive training programme which will involve many teams across your organisation. When you opt for an organisation-wide tone of voice, we create a bespoke training workshop and then tailor each session to make sure it’s completely relevant to the people attending it. We can also develop specialist training for teams such as legal and compliance.

This approach also includes our train-the-trainer offer, which involves identifying in-house trainers and training them to deliver your tone of voice workshops. The objective of these sessions is to make your tone of voice a sustainable part of business as usual – and to have it act as a vehicle for instilling and reinforcing culture.

What is our tone of voice training like?

Because each tone of voice is different, training has to be bespoke. What all of our training workshops have in common, however, is that they are hands-on, with plenty of opportunities for participants to try the new tone of voice in exercises and get one-to-one feedback from our trainers. We create a safe, supportive space where your teams can ask questions and share concerns. And we share all feedback with you at the end of each session.

Can we train your teams to adopt a tone of voice that we haven’t developed?

Perhaps. You can read more about this in our FAQs. If you’d like to find out more about this, please do get in touch.

There’s lots more information about how our tone of voice training works in our FAQs. And of course, if you have any questions, you can give us a call. We’d love to hear about what you’d like to achieve.

Just wanted to say thank you once again. Great sessions, not always easy, and we’re getting lots of positive feedback. Already seeing reference to new tone of voice in briefing documents and hearing people talking about writing with punchier sentences. Again, BIG thank you.

Sam Moore Brand Implementation Manager, Shelter