How to Develop Your Distinctive Voice
Because we are each a unique combination of beliefs and experiences and choices, we have our own distinctive voices. Learning to express your unique voice takes time, experimentation and self-awareness.
Your unique voice is full of passion
When you love what you do, it shows. It is evident in your voice, it radiates out in how you express yourself. It spreads to others through your enthusiasm. All of those qualities are contagious, they are attractive, they draw people in. The way you share your passion makes your voice distinctive.
If you are not passionate about what you do, change directions. Life is too precious to spend time doing other than expressing your unique and wonderful self.
Your distinctive voice contains your unique take on life
We each have our own personal interpretation of the life we live and the circumstances that surround us. That interpretation comes from the combination of what we believe, the values we live by, and our willingness to share what we figure out.
Build your distinctive voice on a strong foundation
Become clear about the foundation on which you stand. What are your values? What important lessons can you share? How can your experience help others?
Whatever you’re teaching or doing to help others, your distinctive voice is your unique version, your individual way to talk about a topic and the experiences you share. Go with that. Express all those feeling and conclusions. Watch for feedback and do more of what is working. Only you have your particular understanding and viewpoint. That’s what makes you special. That’s what gives your voice its appeal.
The cornerstone of your distinctive voice is your authentic self
My voice became more authentic when I stopped thinking of myself as a teacher. When I was a Content Development Coach, I was the one who had the answers, designed the steps, guided the process. That made me the teacher, the person who told others what to do, the one with the knowledge.
With my work in the Deeper Song Community, I have made a major shift in how I view myself and my role. I am not a teacher, I am a fellow traveler sharing part of my journey with people going the same way.
That shift from teacher to companion on the path altered my own feelings of self-importance, my own need to control, and my own be-in-charge mentality. It made a huge difference in how I am sharing, what I am sharing and the effect my sharing has on others.
When I began to work with the words “deeper song” I realized I was going into uncharted territory. If I was ahead of anyone else, it was only by a few steps, not enough to lead or direct, just enough to cast a little light on the path we’re both following. Just as they, in turn, could cast some light for me. That has made a huge difference in how I connect with the people I meet on my journey.
I now share from a position of wonder and excitement about my insights and discoveries. I have a major desire to exchange ideas with people. I’m not a leader; I’m a fellow traveler. Can you feel the difference? What is your relationship to the people you serve?
Your distinctive voice shares your life experience and lessons
In order to lead people, you need to be a few steps ahead of them. It helps to have experienced the same problems they have, or to have figured out ways to do what you both do more effectively.
When you share from your experience, when you speak from your heart, people resonate with what you say. They feel what you feel. Your distinctive voice helps them know who you are, what you believe, and how you got where you are — including some of the stumbles and bumbles along the way.
I collect and savor the feedback people give me. It helps me see how I am reflected and what they are drawn to. When I falter, or feel uncertain, I read what people have said and give myself time to accept and even believe what they say.
People resonate with my drive, the things I accomplish, and my positive outlook. They respond to my enthusiasm. That’s just me sharing my passionate authentic self. When you express your authentic self, the passionate parts of you push and pull and drive you forward. When you share your own journey, people relate, they connect.
Your unique viewpoint is a major part of your distinctive voice.
How you see your world, how you live in it, how you respond to it, are all part of your distinctive voice.
For instance, in my personal journey I’m looking for the meaning of life. I find that the more self-aware I become, the more I get glimpses of what is meaningful to me. I share that. Not everyone will be drawn to my spiritual philosophy or my take on life, but it is my authentic voice and it will find the people who resonate with this stage of my journey.
Your voice needs to be heard
Wherever you are in your life, you have insights and wisdom that need to be shared. Your unique viewpoint or understanding will shed light on the path of the person next to you. Figure out what that is, learn to express it clearly and share what you know.
What do you need to share in your distinctive voice?
I have a deep need to leave a legacy, make an impact, to be relevant and valuable in service, just as you do. At 83, I have a ton of insights, opinions, knowledge, and overviews that are helping me live a more mindful life. When I share all that, some of it resonates with others.
I finally figured out that I have crops to harvest, combinations of insights to share, blog posts to write, courses to give, podcasts to record and ebooks to write — all in my unique and distinctive voice. No one else can do this work, just as no one else can do the work you’re meant to do.
Here’s the most important shift you can make right now:
Believe that no one else can deliver this message if you don’t deliver it
It’s true. Only you can deliver the message you have in the unique way you will present it, in your distinctive voice.
That means you have to get busy and craft your message and get it out there.
How do you want others to change because of what you do?
I want them to think. I want them to be more self-aware so that they can make more aligned choices. I want them to expand spiritually. I want them to find their unique expression and take it out into the world.
How do you want to change because of what you do?
When I do all that for others, I’m going to change a lot in myself. I want to take myself deeper into the directions that call to me and absorb what I discover so I express it fully in my life. That may or may not inspire others but it will show them the results of moving along this particular path.
What is your “why”?
Why are you doing what you’re doing? Why are you not doing what you could be doing? What’s your purpose?
My purpose is discovery — yours and mine. How do we sing a deeper song? What does that look like and feel like? How do we do more of it? Knowing that “why” colors my distinctive voice.
Your very uniqueness is the source of your distinctive voice
Rejoice in how you’re different. Celebrate the places you don’t fit in. Polish up the ways you stand out.
You may be leading a group, running a company, writing a blog post, or managing your family. You have a unique way of doing everything you do. No one else does it exactly the way you do. That’s what makes you special. That’s what makes you unique.
Your distinctive voice is your authentic expression of who you are and what you’re doing with what you have.
To Sing a Deeper Song consider:
Originally published at passionatelyonpurpose.com on January 14, 2016.