Have you ever stumbled upon a blog and thought, “Did a robot or Martian write this?” Whoever the author was, he didn’t seem human.
Having a voice when you write is about being human, displaying a personality and being willing to be vulnerable.
Here are some tips to find your voice:
1. Show your personality.
Your voice is your personality on display—warts and all. Place a stake in the ground. Put your hands up and say, “This is what I think, believe and feel. I believe in this and I am sharing it.”
When you do this, people start to trust and listen.
2. Display your humor.
Is your humor dark, dry or ironic? Don’t let the seemingly innocuous non-appreciation of your children, friends and family dissuade you. Press on. Have fun.
Sometimes the crowd doesn’t get it, but you are not creating for the masses—only fans and believers.
3. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes.
The audience you want to communicate with will help you define your voice. Keep in mind that most people read at a grade-school level. Trying to be smart and clever by using big words and complicated sentences will just make people click away.
As Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
4. Expose your imperfections.
Accepting that you are not perfect but a product of a life journey can empower you to realize, write and reveal yourself. People will find a voice that is transparent and full of bumps, scrapes and scratches much more interesting than a mass-produced, bland one.
5. Tell your stories.
Your voice can evolve as you tell your stories. Your stories can be tales of woe, insightful experiences or just plain, side-splitting fun.
Tell tales and let them communicate a powerful message.
6. Develop your brand.
Can you write down a few key words and phrases that encapsulate you and could be turned into a caricature or logo? That’s more of an art than a science, but worth a try.
Sally Hogshead is author of the book “Fascinate.” Her byline is an insight into her brand voice: “A hogshead is a barrel that holds 62 gallons, so what’s your name, smartass?”
She reveals her personality and sense of life. You can’t steal that line, but you can learn from it.
What is your voice? Do you put your personality on display? Do you tell your story and reveal your passions?
Don’t hide behind a faceless set of words. Let your words speak for you.
A version of this article originally appeared on JeffBullas.com.