TANR – Present Tense & Open Ended Questions
Well established organizations – Churches, Fraternal Groups, Colleges – pride themselves in what they’ve accomplished over their lifetime. For example, a large local church states “For more than 50 years, _________ has had a history of generosity for…” This is an excellent example of past tense.
Let’s update this to the present tense.
“Since its inception, _________ continues its ongoing generosity for …”
Which approach excites YOU to become part of their cause – the “has a history of …” or “continues its ongoing generosity for …”? The present tense is so much more powerful and compelling!!
The missive then goes on to ask:
“Do you have specific ministries that you’d like to support?”
This is a close ended Yes/No question instead of the more appropriate Open Ended Question:
“Which specific ministry do you want to support?”
When you put things in the present tense and ask Open Ended Questions, your appeal is far clearer and much more “now” relevant.
That Ain’t Not Right – The Use and Abuse of the English Language