Does Starkey need a new tone of voice?


If you watched TV historian David Starkey on Question Time last night (or if you’ve ever seen him on TV, heard him on the radio or met him in person) you’ll probably have noticed his slightly *coughs* abrasive tone. Of course I’m being kind. He is, quite possibly, the most pompous, rude, arrogant man on TV.

The studio audience on Question Time jeer after he speaks. They want to hate what he says. They give him no leeway.

But what struck me last night was that it’s not always about what he says. It’s not the content that riles people. That stuff is usually, if not always to everyone’s taste, backed up with evidence and examples. It’s the opinion of a respected historian. And while it’s subjective, he makes well thought-through points.

That’s not the problem. The problem is how he says it. It’s a problem of tone. Because of the way he speaks, even his content is right, even if it’s the cleverest, informed opinion, it will jar with people. Every time.

And it’s the same with business writing. If your brand’s writing has a bad personality, people won’t connect with you, they won’t trust you and they won’t like you. It won’t matter what you sell, nobody will be buying.

 


3 minutes, 21 seconds read

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on Mar 02, 2012

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