Understanding your Voice with your Content
When you are creating content, what is your voice?
Content creators, over time develop a "sound" in their content.
I notice when I interview guests for the Productivity in Tech Podcast , the southern accent goes away (except for when I'm talking to my fellow southerners). I sound calm, yet excited, and confident that I'm going to ask my guest good questions.
But that's just when I'm recording the interview, when I record my intro and outro (at a later time), I talk faster and in a more excited tone. I feel like I'm no longer talking with my guest (because I'm not), but instead talking with my audience. They ARE my friends and I am talking with them as if I were speaking with a friend.
Even before the interview, I'm relaxed and more casual. This helps my guests feel more relaxed.
But it doesn't stop there...
- If I'm teaching someone something, I go into my "Instructor Voice".
- When I'm promoting something, I go into my "excited to bring this product to you" voice.
Many of the content creators that I see are not effectively presenting their creation with the proper voice. They all sound like Ben Stein taking role.
- New Product Launch -- "Bueller"
- Podcast interview -- "Bueller"
- Technical Post -- "Bueller"
Here are a few ways that you can improve on your voice:
1. Who is your audience?
Is this your audience?
Your tone should match who are you addressing. Creating for potential job interviewers will often differ from creating for your friends and fellow community members.
Don't look at this as misleading as you would probably speak differently to your mother than you would your best friend.
You are simply trying to provide a level of professionalism or casualness that the desired audience is looking for.
2. It's Really Hard to Fake Yourself
Have you ever put in hours on content just to review it and feel like it isn't that great? Usually it's because you are not being "True" to yourself.
I know that I just wrote a paragraph saying that your tone will change. That's perfectly fine if your tone changes. If it sounds like you are trying to force it, you probably are.
It's like wearing a mask. People can see the mask but they know that it is hiding something underneath.
Pull off the mask and present your true self!!
3. Comfort Comes Through Repetition and (Self) Compromise
A few years ago, I would aways use the word "guys" to mean a group of people. When I started working with more individuals who were more conscious of their pronouns, I noticed that saying "You guys" would occasionally make them feel uneasy.
It was hard to stop saying "guys" to mean a group. I employed a few friends to point it out to me when it happened. That helped some, but what helped most was when my friend Kenneth Love taught me a trick that he used to teach many python developers.
EMBRACE THE Y'ALL
By compromising and letting a little of my southern ways squeak out. I was able to give better presentations and feel more comfortable in the process.
I'm not Ira Glass, with that buttery smooth NPR narration. I'm not Morgan Freeman, who's voice always takes me back to Bruce Almighty, Driving Miss Daisy, and Shawshank Redemption.
My audience isn't looking for me to be either of those people. Instead they want me to be Jay. A quirky, enthusiastic, and friendly voice that helps people feel welcome and capable.
What do you "Sound" like? Let me know by replying to this email!
If you don't know yet, consider scheduling a one-time marketing consultation with me and I will do my best to help you identify it and show you some more ways to bring it out!