Finding your voice as a leader is a very important guide for your brand identity and the way you communicate. We are all leaders, but part of your role as the leader of an organization is understanding your voice and how it influences your content and messaging. The first step in finding your voice is to grasp the meaning of what you do and why you do it. Once again, we are going to suggest that you revisit your MVVP and siphon out a strategy from it. Through deep analysis of your MVVP, you can find clear direction on what is important to you and how you sound communicating the meaning of that. Here are 5 elements of writing to consider as you analyze your MVVP, discover your voice, and begin building a communications strategy around your voice.
Tone and Character
If you are the leader of your organization, most likely, you are the brand character of your organization. However, it’s helpful to think outside of yourself – your clothes, desk chair, hair color, work – and create your own picture of a brand character that is more vivid and more imaginative for your communications team. Create some mental, imaginary furniture for a second. Picture someone with your attitude about what you do and with many of your personality characteristics sitting right down next to you. Who could that be? What other more identifiable roles could you play in society? The Seasoned Quarterback? The Goal-Oriented Hippie? The Vibrant Coal-Miner? The Witty Surfer-Dude? Who would you be if you sounded like you, but you weren’t you? Who are you as a character?
Next, decide on the tone of your voice. This is the attitude of your writing. Are you uplifting? Goofy? Motivational? Warm? Intelligent? Your brand character should help you discover your tone and your tone can help you explore your brand character.
Mood is the atmosphere you create as your brand character and through your tone. Pull out and review some speeches or newsletters you’ve written in the past. What was the overall mood of your piece? What did it leave your audience feeling? Ask a friend to help you with this if objectivity becomes difficult. Was the mood hopeful? Light? Cool? Comical? Relaxed? Fantastical?
Style is about the way you use your words can be used to create or change the feel of the writing and becomes evident through your word choices. Style also affects Tone and Mood and can be used to transition from one Tone or Mood to another. Is your style straightforward and clear? Lush, elaborate, and descriptive? Poetic and full of metaphor? Sarcastic with a question and answer format? Persuasive and to the point?
Diction involves your word choices and how they affect the Mood and Style of your writing. We suggest you break up your MVVP into words or phrases you notice show up consistently to create meaning and make an impact. List out those words and see if you can create categories out of your word choices. By using these 3-4 categories as a strategy, you can build a How to Create my Voice guide. Are some of your word choices more emotional while others are more intellectual? Or funny? Why is that? Is there a group of words you weave into your writing that is stronger and more motivational? Are you mixing word choices that sound warm and word choices that sound more assertive? See if you can come up with some different categories and find the connections between your diction and your tone, character, mood, and style.
No matter who you are, you are a leader! The difference between a great leader and a frustrating leader is one who owns the reality of their leadership and one who does not. Part of owning your leadership is knowing your voice, the emotions behind it, the effectiveness of its impact, and how to create it so that your brand narrative is clear. When others can follow your lead and joyfully do so, you know you’re nailing leadership.
Need help finding your voice as a leader? We can help. Email us at email@example.com.