Who Are You: The Tone

tadpoles-338628_1920At some point in this process you’re going to say “Wait a minute.  We’re dealing with a global market.  We can’t talk to everyone in the world the same way!”

That’s where the Tone comes in.  You take your Message, and your Voice, and you adapt it to fit the culture and market.  While you may say the same thing to your mother and your daughter, you say them differently.  That’s Tone.

Tone may include how much you speak (concise vs. long-winded),  closeness (friendly vs. professional), or position (aggressive vs. deferential).   This is where you really want to hire not only a native-speaker, but someone who grew up in the culture.  These are the people who understand the nuance and feel of a language.  There are times when the words you say are technically correct, but they “feel wrong” to someone from the culture.    It might be a matter of “we just don’t say it that way”.

And, of course, you want to stay away from the wax tadpoles.

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Since 2011, Blaze has worked in China as an English-language consultant with top companies from Germany, France, Italy, and the U.S. He has over 25 years of experience in education, communication, and marketing.

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