Shirley's Articles / Business Writing

The Power Of The Human Touch

I was thrilled to receive this email recently from a recent participant from a large organisation. She said:

Hi Shirley

I had a wonderful time at your workshop last week and learnt many useful tips. Recently, I added a human touch in my reply to a vendor, and his response was equally warm. Indeed, warmness generates warmness, and it really makes the sender and reader feel great. I’m also getting a quicker response to my emails now because the reader knows what action to take.

Thank you to Serene for emailing me*. It’s so wonderful to receive validation like this.

Do you want to receive similar results from your writing? Here are three ways you can make a huge difference every time you put your fingers on the keyboard:

1. Use conversational language

Decades ago, business writing was passive, wordy and formal. It put a distance between you and the reader, and that was fine in the 50s, because people built relationships slowly then. Today, we need to build relationships quickly, so it makes sense to use writing that’s as close as possible to spoken language.

Write as though you are having a conversation – because you are!

2. Write like a human, not a template

Let’s compare some template and human writing:

Template: Kindly find attached a copy of our latest catalogue for your reference and perusal.

Human: I’m attaching our latest catalogue, and I hope you find it interesting.

Template: Please contact us should you require any further clarifications.

Human: Please let us (or me) know if you have any questions.

Template: Thanks and Regards.

Human: Have a great weekend, or Many thanks, or Thanks for your help.

Let’s get rid of all the boring, template writing that’s spread like a virus all over the world.

Go through all your template emails, and transform them to human!

(And if you need help transforming your templates, please email me. It’s a service I am happy to provide –

3. Build relationships with your writing

Today’s world is fast-paced and high-tech. You need to come across as a human. Make your writing informal, friendly, warm, and add a personal touch. Good writing can help you build credibility, influence people, win more clients, and achieve your goals.

Help your readers get to know the real person behind the message. This will help make a big difference – to you, to your reader, and to the results you receive!

* By the way, I do receive emails from time to time from people suggesting that I make up messages like this. I don’t!
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Shirley is an international bestselling author. She has established herself as a leading authority in email and business writing skills. Her international bestseller Model Business Letters, Emails & Other Business Documents 7th edition sold over half a million copies worldwide and has been translated into 17 languages. Her book Email Essentials reached #2 in the USA for publishers Marshall Cavendish International. Find out more about Shirley at

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