I owe this one to John Devereux, for whom I once worked.
When you have information to provide, a request to make, news to transmit, stop and think. Sometimes how you make the statement has more effect on the recipient than the content of the statement. Try to place the statement in as good a light as can honestly be done; try to make it from the recipient’s point of view. JD said this much better, tersely:
It’s not so much what you say, but how you wrap it up.