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Adaptation is the process of conveying a message that fits your audience. In order to adapt to the audience, choosing the right tone and words is an important aspect. Pretend that you are the audience. Us esimilar language that would be in your audiences vocabulary. Spotlighting the reader benefits both yourself and reader. Being empathic towards the readers by putting yourself in their shoes. Hence, understand another’s situation and motives. Cultivating a “you” view means using words you and youraudience could relate too. Effective measures to be taken are to inform, persuade, or promote goodwill. However, avoid using you when it suggest blame and could cause ill will. Adapting a message to your audiences should be language sensitive and bias-free in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, age, and disability unless relevant. Moreover, expressing yourself positively will avoid blame or accuse readers. Therefore, try finding positive ways of expressing ideas by providing more “options to the reader when you tell what can be done instead of what can’t be done”. Maintaining a courteous tone will avoid words that sound demanding. A courteous tone excludes expressions like you should, you must, and you have to. Another way of getting a message across is to simply your language by means of using everyday familiar words instead of unfamiliar words to help your audience understand easily. For example, don’t say commence or initiate when you could say begin which is more familiar. Furthermore, strong verbs and concrete nouns give readers more information and keep them interested.
CHECKLIST FOR ADAPTING A MESSAGE TO ITS AUDIENCE
Identify the message purpose
Select the most appropriate form
Profile the audience
Focus on reader benefits
Avoid gender and racial bias
Avoid age and disability bias
Express ideas positively rather than negatively
Use short, familiar words
Search for precise, vigorous words (1)
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(1) Guffey Ellen Mary, Rhodes Kathleen, Rogin Patricia.Business Communication: Process and Product, Second Brief Canadian Edition. Nelson, Toronto. 2007.