I talk a lot about the importance of content and consistent communication. Those things are good, but they speak more to quantity than quality. Let’s talk about how finding your voice can improve the quality of your communication.
What Is Voice?
The written word has a voice.
There are cadences and rhythms and style to writing that make it distinct. You can communicate in a formal corporate voice or a laidback casual one. You can be funny or serious. You can be direct and to the point or meandering and long-winded.
Whatever your voice is, good communication uses a consistent voice. That style is always the same, to the point that people recognize it.
Visual communication is always consistent—you use the same logo, font, color scheme—and it creates brand recognition. Your written communication should work the same way.
How to Find Your Voice
Making your written communication consistent requires some intentional work. You need a voice style guide, something that spells out the details and answers whether you use slang and contractions like a neighborhood kid or speak proper English like a formal butler (or somewhere in between). Creating that document means some introspection as you think about how your organization should communicate. You’ll have to answer questions and try out a few voices to see what fits. There is some trial and error to the process.
But once you find your voice, you can set it down in a style guide. Then anyone in your organization can use that voice. That’s how you create consistency. It can’t just be in one person’s head, whether that’s the owner, the marketing maven, or a contractor.
To be honest, it’s a lot easier to start with quantity. If you haven’t been communicating consistently, sometimes the best thing to do is just start, even if you haven’t found your voice.
But ideally you want to start with voice. You want to do the hard work of creating that voice style guide so everything you write is consistent. Quality always takes more time.
In the end, consistent communication that matches your organization’s personality is always going to be better. When you find your voice, it resonates with who you are and how you work. Everything clicks. The quality goes up a notch (or two) and, most importantly, it’s more effective.
If you need help finding your voice, let’s talk.