How To Find Your Voice

How To Find Your Voice
Today, we excavate your voice.

Do you ever feel like everything you read online kind of sounds the same? It’s like we’re stuck in this echo chamber, and we just parrot each other’s words and ideas.

But I know without a doubt that you have something unique and exciting to say, even if it feels like it’s all been said before.

There is only one you.

Exercises to Help You Find Your Voice

Now let’s explore how we can excavate your voice from under the rubble of groupthink… with some fun writing and speaking exercises!

1. Write to your edge and then pull back.

In another Off The Charts episode, I shared with you the unconventional blog post writing trick I use to come up with great ideas and it involves getting pissed off. This tip for finding your voice is similar, except you can tap into any emotion.

For example, if you’re writing a sales letter you might write the most salesy slimy letter you could ever imagine. Then on your second pass through you could pull it back in and edit it to feel more in line with your truth.

Similarly, you could write the most gushy loving love letter ever, and then pull it back. Or write the most sad, angry, happy, or vulnerable post ever and edit to feel good about it.

It’s in the editing phase that you’ll find where you draw the line, and who you really are.

2. Play with different types of writing.

Start with story telling and fiction, practice writing how-to articles, or letters to friends. Each genre of writing will hone your voice in different ways. Even writing an email is helping you discover your voice and how you like to communicate.

You can play with dialogue in your how-to articles and make them more like stories. You can write letters to friends that have a clear beginning, middle, and end like an essay.

Play with different formats and see what calls to you.

3. Try “talk to text” and use your literal voice, then have it transcribed.

In finding your voice, there’s nothing quite like speaking your mind and seeing how it turns out on paper.

There are different ways to have your voice recorded and transcribed. I like to use software to transcribe recordings I make on my phone while I’m out for a walk with the dog. I’ve also used software to dictate while I was at the computer.

You can also have recordings transcribed by people for a good rate on Fiverr.com, or look for recommendations of transcription services online.

There’s nothing quite like capturing the genius of your thoughts right as they leave your mouth!

4. Practice making your meaning clear.

Being clever can backfire because no one will understand what you mean, especially when you’re trying to communicate something for business purposes.If you’re writing poetry you can be as cryptic and cute as you want, but if your message needs to land with someone then make sure it has the best chances by not using anything too mysterious.

There’s a saying that says “the confused mind always says no,” and that’s because if it’s not clear what the right next steps are, people walk away.

5. Write often, publish much, and take feedback with a grain of salt and a slice of cucumber.

There’s no substitute to practice when it comes to finding your voice. But beyond just practicing writing and speaking, you need to put your work out in front of real human beings. As much as your dog might love your ideas, you need to see how it is received.

That doesn’t mean that you need to publish everything that comes out of your mouth or fingers, but the more you can practice putting your voice out there and seeing people react to it, the more you will know where you stand. And the better you will get!

Time to practice finding your voice…

I hope this inspired you to get out there and write more vulnerably, try different styles, and truly speak your voice.

If you want a little extra practice, go ahead and leave a comment below with one thing you know is true about your business.

 

23 Responses to How To Find Your Voice

  1. I’ve been going through lots of exercises like this as I learn to let my real voice out through my blog posts and interviews. I’ve been staying reserved for so long. Now that I’ve decided to rebrand from Write Ahead to Renegade Planner…people are going to expect a whole different voice when I’m writing about business planning! Good tips on the transcription too Nathalie, I think I’ll try some of that.

    • Hmm that’s a great question Vikash. Do you want to have your content published in English? It might be worth working with an editor on the grammar, but stick to writing and learn from their edits as you move forward. :)

    • Hi Vikash, I’m not a native English speaker and I write in English. Here is the thing: unless you are a genius you will never be able to write EXACTLY in a way they do, BUT you can still find your own unique style that comes from thinking in a different language and mixing in the influences.

      1. Handling problems:
      What I found very important when I write is to put away what I wrote for a day (and sometimes longer) and when you come back to it you will be able to catch all those parts that sound weird, that lack harmony – and change them.

      Occasionally maybe you will even wonder – “what the heck I wanted to say here?!” as it often happens to me.

      If you have doubts – google similar sentences. It goes w/o saying – use online dictionary with examples of how a word is used. Use thesaurus.

      2. Of course helps to have a native english speaker to check stuff for you, but unless you are publishing something very important, you will probably not want to bother people with every single blog post.

      3. practice makes – close to – perfect :)

  2. Hi Nathalie! It’s interesting that you recommend talk-to-text, as this is something I’ve started doing. I get a TON of ideas while commuting to work, but driving and texting is totally not an option! I find that I can just talk into my phone to get out my thoughts and then transcribe it. SUCH a great recommendation!

    I love your other ideas, too. While I feel I have a good idea of where my voice lies, I believe it’s always important to play around, educate myself, and challenge myself to grow as much as possible!

    Thanks for another great episode! Hope “Off the Charts” was awesome!

  3. thanks, ms. lussier…you’ve inspired me to get OFF MY DUFF as THE VOICE has struck a chord w/me…my website…sigh…still ‘a work in progress’. visually and editorially…why? because i’m FRETTING about MY VOICE. angsting over sounding too canned or too real or too ‘TOO’…i’m doing NO THING. as in nothin’, baby…and THAT is RIDICULOUS. so off my buns, out of my head and onto the keyboard. good grief. THANK YOU. you’re a very GENTLE, but no-nonsense-while-elegant, diva…doing self-sabotage junkies like me a HUGE FAVOR.

    many thanks. peace and love,

    audrey

  4. One of my favorite exercises. Writing down what frustrates, annoys you is a great what to connect with your voice (and then you can edit from there!)

  5. The wee small hours of the morning, when I first wake, is without fail when genius strikes me. I always loved Julia Cameron’s morning pages for capturing those gossamer threads of wisdom… Perhaps that’s also where I can go looking for my voice.

  6. I’ve been contemplating, off and on (more off than on), creating embedded mp3s to go along with my posts. After watching your video, I’m on again.

    The trick will be to keep readers alert, since I’m currently training to be a hypnotist, and might inadvertently put them into a trance. ;-)

    Great post. Thank you!

    • Very cool idea Ellen!

      I have ‘Hypnotherapist’ added to my bow of talents:-)

      Putting people in trance is not a bad thing if you can get them to take action with your suggestions. They’ll take the action when they’re out of trance.

      I sometimes use hypnosis to get things done with a 5 or 10 minute process and it works wonders.

      The added bonus is when we totally trust our unconscious mind to help us get stuff done, the stress of actually doing it disappears as if by magic!

  7. Another great vlog! I find that the best approach when writing a blog, email etc is keep it simple. People are busy and although they may be interested in what you have to say, they also don’t always have the time to wait for you to ‘get to the point’ so it is generally best to do so quickly – in other words, keep it brief and easy to digest. If I am sending an email, I generally give people reference points (such as my website or links to my books) which allows them to learn more about me or my writing when they are ready and I always try to be positive and friendly! People respond better to happy people:-)

  8. This is great advice. I don’t generally write from a pissed off place, so I’m going to try that. it’s going to generate some new idea’s.

    For me, my voice showed up when I started allowing it to come.

    A few years ago, I decided to take a class on writing essays (writing was my nemesis). It was an extremely painful process. Then came the life changing moment — I wrote a personal essay. For the first time, I wrote with purpose, with heart. The words flowed. Not only that but I’d removed the inner critic.

    All my life, I’d fought writing anything. The day I allowed it to come is the day I found my voice. By the way, this wasn’t a one time thing. I created a fiction book since. The story took 6 weeks,and 2 years to edit to make it really readable.

    Your blog is making me honor my voice in the moment. Thank you!

  9. The one thing I know for sure is that I can inspire people to take action on their goals. Sometimes I get distracted about my message and take things overboard. I definitely benefit from remembering to keep it simple. I’m also a poet and for some reason I thought in my early days that would translate well into business copy, so it’s a totally new way to think. I want to inspire people, but I also need them to take action, not to just be inspired by words and then let it drop away.

    I also have so many thoughts and ideas when I’m in the shower or out on a walk or even lying in bed (and don’t feel like getting the computer out) so I really need to look into recording on my phone…I need to figure that out asap. Thanks Nathalie this has been a great video for me right now, I really needed to hear this message

  10. The one thing that I know about the events at the Creative Life Center is that people leave renewed and transformed by reconnecting with themselves. I love to see people leave a class pumped up and shining with an inner glow!

    Most of my writing is to help spread the reality of that story.

  11. Hey Nathalie,

    I love that you’re revisiting this topic. I have been too lately.

    Like.

    Really asking myself “what’s the big thing I’m standing for?”.

    I love education. I love entrepreneurship. I’m fascinated by wealth and I love helping other people by sharing what I know.

    But the ultimate thing I am standing for is FREEDOM!

    Freedom to do what we want, share knowledge and enjoy the fruits of our labour.

    What 1 thing do I know to be absolutely true beyond anything else?

    Freedom is one of – if not – THE reason why most entrepreneurs start out on their own.

    So. Lots to talk about:-)

  12. Finally getting around to watching this…so timely, since I’m in yet another “finding my voice” phase right now (does it ever end?! ;).

    Thanks, Nathalie! xo

  13. Hi Nathalie,

    As I’m just getting started with a new business, I’m going to take a close look at every one of these points. I have the most trouble getting my point across on paper, so I’m boing to try the dictation method via my iPad and Notability app (perfect transcription on the go) to see if that will make a difference. I’m an introvert, so this will be a big departure.

    So many tips, I’m sure to come out successful. Thanks so much. –Sally