As a rhetor (writer or speaker), when you enter a communicative situation, consider what sort of style is appropriate for your audience(s). Consider, e.g.,
- What jargon and level of abstraction is acceptable?
- How about humor or satire? Should you hammer down a thesis in the first sentence or lead the reader down a path to a conclusion?
- Or, do you need to be more objective than persuasive?
In turn, when reading or listening to a rhetor, reflect on your perception of the rhetor’s style. What sort of voice do you hear?
- Does the writer seem too self absorbed? Does the world revolve around the writer’s emotions and thoughts?
- Does the writer sound sweet?
- like a salesperson who uses the you attitude to place the spotlight on your needs and concerns?
- Does the writer seem stuffy?
- Is the focus solely on the topic without references to his/her or your experiences with the topic?