Writing in a Voice Other Than Your Own

OPW | GVSU

By Daniel Oswalt

Voice and style tend to be treasured by writers—there is even sometimes a sense of pride in a writer’s distinct voice.  

But how does that work when you are writing for someone else? When it is not your voice that needs to stand out? In professional writing, writers have to be like chameleons, able to adapt to multiple voices in order to reach different audiences.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Tessa Dane Henry, a Technical Writer in the Documentation Department at JR Automation. JR Automation is, “a leading capital equipment designer, integrator, and manufacture throughout the world” (JR Automation).

Tessa works with engineers who explain to her “[the] concepts, or solutions, to a customer’s problem(s).” Her job is to “determine how to best communicate that [concept or solution] to the customer by keeping their wants and needs in mind

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