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Volunteer Today is looking for one or more authors to write about technical issues, computer or otherwise, in the volunteer management world. If you are interested in contributing or know someone who is, please contact our managing editor Nancy Macduff at: editor@volunteertoday.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

This month's articles are provided by Laura Bunt.

~ June 2006 ~ Topics

Don't Use That Tone With Me!
How Do You Spell That?

Don't Use That Tone With Me!

Growing up as a child, did your parents use that phrase? Whether we like it or not, we all have emotions. In person, most of us are able to monitor our "tone" of voice to get our message across. But what about in the written form, more specifically in an email? Here are some simple tips:

Read Your Message Before You Click "SEND": Remember to read your message several times before you hit send. Read it out loud. Most often, you will be able to catch not only grammar and spelling errors, but you will notice how your message sounds to the recipient.
Think Before You Type: What is the intent of the email? Do you want to clarify a question or are you responding to the sender’s question? You need to respond appropriately to the sender's question or comment. This is where reading through what you have written is important.
If You Can't Say It Nicely, Don’t Say It At All: Most of us heard that one as well. If you receive an email that makes you angry, upset or frustrated, wait an hour before you respond. Try not to "read" too much into what the person wrote and just answer the question as simply as possible. Maybe the person on the other end of the email is having a very difficult day. It doesn’t excuse the tone used, but it helps to not get caught up in an emotional email tennis match.
KISS – Keep It Simple Sweetheart: We get in trouble when we ramble on. Yes, you need to get the point across, but try to be concise and direct. Again, read through the email. If it is too long, maybe you need to put it in a Word document and send it as an attachment. This conveys the proper tone with the reader instead of frustrating him/her that you just won’t get to the point.

These are just a few simple tips that can help you. Do you have your own story or tips? If so, please send them to Laura at lbunt@bmi.net. I would like to follow up on this and see if anyone else has some other stories and/or tips they would like to share with our readers.

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How Do You Spell That?

As much as we all love technology, the spell check on our computers leave something to be desired. So, what do you do? A couple of suggestions:

1. Go the World Wide Web
2. Go to any search engine (I prefer Google)
3. Type in "Dictionary" and Click Search
4. Here are my sample results:

As you can see by the graphic, there are many choices. I believe this is a personal choice. You need to try different ones to see which fits best for you. Most importantly, you want to pick a "free" dictionary site. You should never need to sign up for one, as there are many good ones out there to use. How many of you use online dictionaries? How many of you use the good old-fashioned paper dictionary. Click here to take a short survey Next month, I will share the results with you.

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