White Paper Writing: How to develop your voice

In general, a ‘writing voice’ applies to creative writing. In general…

But you can also apply it to business writing. There are a few ground rules though.

For example, when writing a white paper, or any business document, you need to write in a more formal style, making it hard for your personality to shine though.

Note that I said *your* not the company’s personality.

And this is why we must be careful.

Your voice must aligns with the company’s writing voice. You can’t go off on tangents.

How to develop a writing voice for white papers

So, how can we develop a writing voice for our white papers?

  1. Examine the company’s vision statement. If none exists, interview senior staff to get a feel for the core values that underpin the company.
  2. Prepare short writing examples that try to capture the right tone. What do they think? Listen to what they’re saying ‘between the lines’ to tease out what’s close to their heart.
  3. Prioritize these key values. Weave them into the text, but don’t over-do it or it’ll look forced.
  4. Remove clichés, expressions, jargon and other types of noise.
  5. Refine the text over a series of draft. Soon an authentic voice will begin to emerge. It won’t happen at once. Give yourself time. Coax it out. Be patient. You’ll get there.

Want an example of different writing styles?

Compare Apple’s and IBM’s white paper and you’ll get a feel for this straight away.

Download these MS Office and Apple templates today

Acceptance Test Plan

Contingency Plan

Software Development Templates

Acquisition Plan

Conversion Plan

Software Requirements Specification

Action Plan

Cost Benefit Analysis

Software Testing

API Documentation

Database Design

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

Audience Analysis

Datasheet

Statement of Work

Availability Plan

Deployment Plan

System Administration Guide

Bill of Materials

Design Document

System Boundary

Business Case

Disaster Recovery Plan

System Design Document

Business Continuity

Disposition Plan

System Specifications

Business Plan

Documentation Plan

Technical Writing Templates

Business Process

Employee Handbook

Test Plan

Business Requirements

Error Message Guide

Training Plan

Business Rules

Expression of Interest

Transition Plan

Capacity Plan

Fact Sheet

Troubleshooting Guide

Case Study

Feasibility Study

Use Case

Change Management Plan

Functional Requirements

User Guide

Communication Plan

Grant Proposal

Verification and Validation Plan

Concept of Operations

Implementation Plan

White Papers

Concept Proposal

Installation Plan

Work Instructions

Configuration Management Plan

Interface Control Document

Software Development Templates

Acceptance Test Plan

Maintenance Plan

Software Requirements Specification

Acquisition Plan

Market Research

Software Testing

Action Plan

Marketing Plan

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

API Documentation

Needs Statement

Statement of Work

Audience Analysis

Operations Guide

System Administration Guide

Availability Plan

Policy Manual

System Boundary

Bill of Materials

Project Plan

System Design Document

Business Case

Proposal Manager Templates

System Specifications

Business Continuity

Proposal Template

Technical Writing Templates

Business Plan

Quality Assurance Plan

Test Plan

Business Process

Release Notes

Training Plan

Business Requirements

Request for Proposal

Transition Plan

Business Rules

Risk Management Plan

Troubleshooting Guide

Capacity Plan

Scope of Work

Use Case

Case Study

Security Plan

User Guide

Change Management Plan

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Verification and Validation Plan

Communication Plan

Setup Guide

White Papers

Concept of Operations

Social Media Policy

Work Instructions

Concept Proposal

Contingency Plan

 

Configuration Management Plan

Conversion Plan