For many years, I had a passion for singing. I was fortunate to have patient and persistent vocal instructors in my youth, and I even considered a career in voice therapy. I still have been known to croon a tune on occasion, but more importantly, I committed to heart those early lessons which I find are applicable in many areas of life.
Many businesses and organizations grapple with discovering their voice in their early stages of their brand’s development, and more often adopt a randomized assortment of tones and voices that simply do not align with who they are and what they represent.
The struggle is real.
The process of discovery comes with the attendant—and necessary—growing pains. Organizations know their mission statement by rote, but when it comes to projecting an authentic, consistent brand voice to their audience through their content, there is often a period of dissonance between perception and reality.
Years ago, Billy Joel was a featured guest on a show called Inside the Actors Studio. The format was simple but engaging. In the final moments of each show, then-host James Lipton would pose a series of candid, rapid-fire questions to the guest, which would often lead to heartfelt—and sometimes shocking—revelations. One of the questions posed to Billy Joel was “what is a sound that you hate?” After a brief pause, Joel replied, “My voice.” As you can imagine, his confession was met with a collective gasp from the audience. Even he, a chart-topping, Grammy Award-winning performer, beloved by generations of fans, never felt comfortable with the sound of his own voice and experimented with various styles.
To us, he has always been Billy Joel. Despite his internal struggles, he has never departed from the persona that connects to his audience. With time and maturity, his performances have only grown more intimate and fun. He seems content.
The takeaway is that an authentic brand voice will be one that not only connects with your audience, but it will provide a consistent snapshot of who you are, and it will feel natural to you.
Experimentation, not imitation, should be a bridge to authenticity.
Singers sometimes struggle to find their authentic voice because they are trying to imitate their idols, when in fact they may be duplicating incorrect technique, or create damage to the vocal folds because they’re singing beyond what their physiology allows.
Singing should be like speaking—effortless and comfortable. I have also heard it called “melodic speaking.” For years, I wanted to sound like Joan Sutherland—think coloratura soprano—and I nearly destroyed my voice because I tried to force it into a range that was ill-suited for me. I never lost my love for opera, but over time, I knew it would be something I appreciated only.
Sometimes you need to experiment with your content to gauge what works but be careful of blatantly imitating your competitors. Instead, cast a critical eye over all your content—social media, website(s), videos, emails, etc., and pinpoint which examples are solely unique to you and resonate best with your audience.
What is your type?
Singers undergo a continual process of discovery. In the early stages, it is about finding their voice type based on a number of variables, but mainly, it is about identifying and quashing preconceived ideas about their voice and being open to its true potential.
You can make excellent headway in pursuit of establishing your voice through your content by initiating an internal conversation. Involve anyone who contributes content. Describe in three or four words that best encapsulate the personality of your organization or business. From that list, you can determine the tone of your approach and apply it to your content, being sure you have spent equal time crafting a user-focused message.
Does your voice seem to repel rather than attract?
Let us help you discover your authentic voice!
CLICK HERE or call Infinity Concepts today at 724-733-1200.