Are the asks you are writing creating positive connotations?
Was your last ask more likely to contain: “Do not waste time” or “Help us today”? If your writing contains a lot of “no’s” and “not’s,” it’s a signal of negative writing. Using positive language is a better way to promote your ideas. In the above example, “Help us today” is more persuasive because it makes readers feel good rather than admonished.
Here are five examples of negative sentences turned positive:
1.We hope you will not be disappointed with the results.
Positive: We hope you’ll be as pleased with the results as we are.
2.Without proper planning, we will not be able to prevent overcrowding.
Positive: We’re planning thoroughly in advance to keep the crowd to a manageable size.
3.If you don’t like my suggestions, please contact me.
Positive: Please contact me if you have any other suggestions. I’d welcome hearing them.
4.Don’t ignore the issues; they’re important.
Positive: You can make a difference by making this issue a priority.
5.This project is going to be nearly impossible to do with you.
Positive: I want this project to be successful, and to make sure it is, I need your help.
Take-away: The old idiom, “It’s Easier to Catch Flies with Honey, Than with Vinegar” is 100% the guide to follow when writing for your nonprofit.
— Adapted from Business Writing That Gets Results, David Silverman.