The Active Voice & Compliance

Utilizing the active voice in your content, pitches, and presentations helps you create a stronger, clearer message for your audience. Passive sentences often end up wordy, vague, and uninteresting. However, active voice sentences may run the risk of violating certain compliance rules.

Let’s start by what is the active voice:

Active voice means the subject (i.e. you, your client, your business, etc. is DOING something). So instead of writing, “our business may be able to help you solve your issues, an active voice would say “Our business will help you solve your issues.” However, many professional service industries would be risking breaking compliance rules by using such language. After all, you can’t guarantee a result for anyone.

So what can you do?

Start with an active voice. Make your language as strong as possible. Then, pare it back to for compliance sake. “Our business will help you solve your issues” becomes “Our business could help you solve your issues.” We love using “may be able to”, but the length and clunkiness of that statement causes the sentence to lose some of its directness and strength. As with most things, K.I.S.S. – keep it simple stupid.

But what about in spoken pitches?

If you go through the above exercise often enough, the active voice becomes a default for the way you speak about your business. Oh and, for the record, anytime you talk about your business to someone outside of your business, you are giving a spoken pitch!

Of course, if you ever have any concerns, make sure you check with your compliance team. 

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