Has this ever happened to you?
You check your email and there awaits an email with select text in caps. Then, parts of the text are actually changed to the color red! What are they so upset about? What did I do, didn’t do, say, didn’t say? They must really be upset to take the time to make sure I know they are yelling and upset, right?
Emphasis Will Always be Over-Emphasized!
An email like this was in my inbox this morning. In my view, there is no place for typing in all caps or using formatting to reflect emphasis in business emails. Using all caps is perceived by many as at the very least raising your voice and tone. True professionals just do not communicate in that manner.
What could an email structured like this portray about the Sender?
- Lacks Communication Skills
None of the above contribute to a positive impression or encourage business relationships.
There are always alternatives in the choice of verbiage you can use to get your point across with the intended importance. If you are not a skilled communicator with the written word, no time like the present to improve those skills. This is what email is after all!
Say No! to Formatting
Many online forums allow users to post messages with added smileys, and to format their text for font, size and color. When you are marketing your business in forums, discussion boards and on blogs avoid using formatting as a communication crutch.
For business efforts, this is clearly a situation of just because you can doesn’t mean you do. Use formatting tools sparingly when communicating on behalf of your business. Let your command of the written word get your point across without relying on formatting to do so for you.
Intent is Intent
Caps indicate a raised voice or tone. Making fonts bigger, bolder and in red type would indicate a strong comment or trying to make a point. And believe me — your message will be taken as such — times 10!
If you ask anyone to read an email out loud that includes caps they will almost always raise their voice when reading capped text. Watch how they increase the emphasis on larger, bolder or red text. When you use these tactics you are leaving the level of emphasis to be determined by the other side — and that’s risky at best. My experience shows your emphasis will always be overemphasized many times to the point of misunderstanding.
Learning how to communicate without formatting is a true skill and one few make much effort to hone. Imagine how you can stand out from your perceived competitors by always having a cogent communication style regardless of the difficulty of the situation?
To be able to communicate with clarity simply by the words you choose and how you choose to use them without relying on bolding, font size, caps or colors is the true sign of a skilled communicator and a true professional.
Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own.
~ Carol Burnett