After Hillary Clinton won the New Hampshire primary back in 2008, she stood at the podium and uttered the words, “I found my own voice.”
“Voice” is tricky.
It’s always there.
Yet, it can be tougher to find than Waldo in bad lighting. And when you do find it, success is not guaranteed. (Just ask Hillary.)
Anyone standing on a communications pulpit yearns to be described by qualities such as insightful, entertaining, helpful, amusing, witty, pure, empathetic, engaged and committed. Voice goes a long a way toward determining whether others view your pulpit as worth their time.
I’m not just referring to politicians. The same holds true for entertainers, leaders and your garden-variety writers.
After blogging at the intersection of storytelling techniques, digital communications and PR for precisely five years and one day – yesterday, July 10, 2008 marked the publishing of my first post – I’ve been thinking about the journey in shaping my own voice. I gain satisfaction from a sense of discovery, teaching and advocating. If I can manage to conjure a touch of levity, all the better.
Of course, none of this matters if no one is paying attention. Obviously, sensationalism and polarizing voices sell. How else do you explain the popularity of Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh?
Regarding my own voice, I’m sure some have found a post (or two) to be snarky. While I’d prefer to stay out of the snarky quadrant, it’s inevitable that between a strong point of view and a bent sense of humor, I will periodically push things too far. Hopefully, I never come across as mean-spirited.
Even without applause emanating from New Hampshire, I’d like to think 466 posts have honed a voice I can call my own.
It starts with a belief that there should be a fun dimension to business and specifically communications. Bringing forth the absurdity in communications plays into this. And I do enjoy a good language tug-of-war.
I think my mom put it best, “You were a smart ass as a child. I thought you would grow out of it.”
For those who have taken the time to drop by my neighborhood, thank you.
It’s no fun taking a journey by yourself.