The human business donut

This donut means business. To build an authentic brand, start with your culture. Discover what you're like at your very best and build on it. Once you've defined your brand, you have direction for your communication. Back that up with the right behaviour and you have a more human business that'll make your people and customers happy.

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Videos, articles, papers and podcasts...

to help you get more from your culture, brand, comms and behaviour.

Culture

How language reveals your culture

Every word we use matters. It's what creates our culture. It's what attracts the people who buy from us and the people who work for us.

Appreciative inquiry process

How does Appreciative Inquiry work?

Appreciative Inquiry inspires change by involving people in creating the kind of organisation they want to belong to. The problem is it’s human nature to...

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The Language Manifesto

When you focus on language, you help everyone connect as humans. You’ll find it easier to give customers what you promised and they’ll be happier.

Brand

Language builds brand

Why words matter and how using the right ones can transform your business. How clear thinking = clear writing and better results.

Hollywood and your brand personality

Brand personality is a powerful way to understand how your business relates to your customers. So we’ve taken a look at how Hollywood...

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Tone of what? Voice and tone? Brand voice? Explain…

A really good brand tone of voice will draw people to your company and keep them listening… and buying. It’s using words to communicate...

Communication

Cut the crap. How to write so people trust you

Learn the approach we developed through training more than 40,000 people in some of the world’s largest organisations. In this guide...

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Why don’t people write the way they speak?

We hear people explaining their plans in a way that inspires the whole room. They’re clear, they’re interesting and they throw in a few jokes...

Can language really make a company more human?

What happens when you get a load of tone of voice experts in one room? Find out what they had to say about tone of voice, language and social media...

Behaviour

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Confessions of a Marketer podcast

Hear my conversation with Mark Reed-Edwards on his Confessions of a Marketer podcast, where we discuss language, culture...

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Empathy - it's what you need

There’s one thing our clients have been crying out for in recent weeks, it’s empathy. Some are concerned their marketing and comms...

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How to make sure your new brand tone takes hold

How do you help people to write clearly, consistently and on-brand? Strong tone of voice guidelines are a good start. But you also need...

Articles

Writing one day at a time

By Ben Afia | May 28, 2020

How can you improve your writing? Practice and habit. One trick is to write something every day, even if it’s just a paragraph. Even if you look back and think it’s rubbish, just write. Last week I ran a virtual writing workshop for Adam Harris’ young leaders group, based on my Cut the crap ebook.…

5 reasons you should hire Afia right now

By Ben Afia | May 18, 2020

Last week a friend told me he thought the whole world needed what we do. After I deflated my ego, I realised he had a point. Suddenly we’re in a weird world where people need to be more human. In fact the one thing clients have asked for most since lockdown is empathy training for…

Is a new era of human business upon us?

By Ben Afia | April 23, 2020

You’ve probably seen all the press hailing New Zealand’s Jacinda Arden as the world’s greatest leader. And when I look at how she behaves, it feels like my mission to make business more human finally has a great example to look to. I work with a huge range of fantastic companies, from banks and insurance,…

Podcasts

How powerful is language – podcast

By Ben Afia | August 27, 2020

Fancy a mini-masterclass on the power of language in business? Check out Robert Craven’s interview with me on his GYDA Talks podcast. It’s part of the GYDA initiative, helping digital agencies grow. We covered a lot, from afiatone to our donut model: Why words matter and how using the right ones can transform your business.…

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What’s your language revealing about you – podcast

By Ben Afia | November 4, 2019

Maria Franzoni, Speaker Bureau Director, invited me onto her Speaking Business podcast to chat all things language. What did we talk about? What’s tone of voice Not getting hung up on definitions of what tone of voice is and isn’t How I help businesses with tone of voice and I share a few examples The…

Language Manifesto podcast

By Ben Afia | July 13, 2019

We’re all very busy. There isn’t always time to sit and read the latest book or article but we do want to keep up with the latest thinking. I find there’s usually some time to listen. In the car, in the gym, even a quick podcast between meetings. And that’s why I was really pleased…

White papers

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Twin tones: why don’t people always write the way they speak?

By Ben Afia | January 10, 2021

In this article we take a close look at: • the reasons people change their tone from speaking to writing • convincing them it’s fine to sound like humans when they write • ways you can help make this happen The great divide We’ve all seen it happen. We hear people explaining their plans in a way that inspires…

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Brand tone of voice. Is it the icing on the cake, or is it the cake?

By Ben Afia | November 20, 2020

In this article we’ll explain: What tone of voice is How to get people to read your stuff How to check whether your tone of voice is up to scratch And how to make your tone of voice better Is your tone of voice up to scratch? Now’s a great time to look at the…

How to help your company to be more human

By Ben Afia | September 20, 2020

We help companies to be more human. So we’ve recently turned to the writings of psychologist Carl R Rogers to help us think about just what this means. Carl had seven different stages of becoming more human, based on his therapeutic experience. We’ve used these to define four different stages that companies go through as…

Video

How language builds brand

By Ben Afia | August 26, 2020

Fancy a mini-masterclass on the power of language in business? Check out Robert Craven’s interview with me on his GYDA Talks podcast. It’s part of the GYDA initiative, helping digital agencies grow. We covered a lot, from afiatone to our donut model: And how you express empathy – why truth matters. Why words matter and…

An brief intro to language strategy

By Ben Afia | May 21, 2020

Hi folks, here’s my quick intro to language strategy – what it is, who I’ve helped with it and what results it brings.

What’s your language revealing about you?

By Ben Afia | February 25, 2020

Maria Franzoni, Speaker Bureau Director, invited me onto her Speaking Business podcast to chat all things language. What did we talk about? What’s tone of voice Not getting hung up on definitions of what tone of voice is and isn’t How I help businesses with tone of voice and I share a few examples The…