Watch your tone
The only thing worse than being tone-deaf in how your express yourself is losing your voice
We all have that one friend.
You know, the one who LOVES telling stories.
Everything starts well, but they get so wrapped up in the details and excited to share information that they lose themselves. A mention of one memory sends them down a rabbit hole, which leads to many tangents. And after a while, even they forgot why they started talking in the first place. (Land the plane already!)
Then there’s the person who knows exactly what they want to say but gets tripped up on the delivery and unintentionally puts their foot in their mouth.
The truth is, communication is just as much about the way you say something as it is about how others hear you.
In writing, we talk about these elements of style as tone and voice, respectively.
And unfortunately, you can be tone-deaf when it comes to the way you express yourself. Or worse, lose your voice entirely.
Here are three red flags that you may be losing your voice—and your ability to communicate effectively:
You struggle with having and maintaining a clear point of view in your content
The subject matter of your content varies dramatically, causing folks to scratch their heads
When someone meets you in person, they’re surprised because you somehow seem different
Ideally, you have a consistent voice, no matter the medium. This helps you articulate your offering, communicate and connect with others, and supports your values and perspective.
Regularly sharing your unique point of view in those few areas where you have expertise will also position you as an expert, eliminate confusion, differentiate you from your competitors, and draw others to you.
This is especially important when you’re trying to build your personal brand and reputation as a thought leader.
And speaking of thought leaders…
Those whose views on a subject are taken to be authoritative and influential (the official definition of “thought leader”) have mastered the ability to articulate their message through a distinct writing style using voice and tone.
Done well, thought leadership elevates your personal brand, increases your “know, like, and trust” factor, provides value to your intended audience(s), and attracts the right people and business opportunities to you.
But if your writing style is off-putting, confusing, or inconsistent with who your readers believe you to be, you’ll lose credibility and their attention.
In my latest Forbes article, I share three ways to nail your voice and tone to amplify your thought leadership.
And ICYMI last week, I mentioned that I recently partnered with Forbes to shoot three Leadership Lessons videos based on my articles, with the first about using empathy to build stronger teams.
This week, my second video came out. And if you’ve ever felt stuck or uninspired, this one should help; it’s all about finding inspiration when you don’t feel like doing anything.
P.S. Now that we’re inbox-exclusive (love that about us!), why not follow my musings across the interwebs on Forbes, LinkedIn (be sure to hit the 🔔 in the top right corner of my profile to get notified when I post!), Twitter, and Instagram too?
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P.P.P.S. When I’m not writing this newsletter or watching my tone and preserving my voice, I’m a social media ghostwriter. (Yep, that’s a thing). I help founders, entrepreneurs, and CXOs craft their stories to communicate and connect better by magnifying their reach and impact. (Think personal branding and thought leadership.) Learn more here.
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