I hear you! You’re saying…voice, tone and style are writing terms. What are they doing in a business blog? Lots. Voice has to do with who you are. It’s your identity. Your music. It’s your immutable, unalterable you that shows up in your speech, but also in your writing…in your emails, your message to the shareholders, or the correspondence to the members in your club and on your website for gosh sakes! Voice is the name on your door. You are your voice. Your voice is you. The rhythm of your words, the cadence of the sentences, the word choices—they are all you. Using contractions like aren’t and haven’t will send one message. Or having no contractions in your messaging makes quite another statement. They all contribute to voice. Your “voice” defines your brand.
Ever heard of a writer with a strong voice? That’s someone with an identity that you can recognize… almost like recognizing a cartoon character by the human’s voice: Woody in Toy Story is Tom Hanks. You recognize his voice. Dory in Finding Nemo is Ellen DeGeneres. In the book Seriously…I’m Kidding written by Ellen DeGeneres, you hear her voice, not because you hear it, really, but the word choices sound just like her! Ellen DeGeneres is a human brand.
Tone defines your writing, your communication, your delivery. “Don’t take that tone with me, young man.” Oh how tone matters! Is your writing tone breezy? Erudite? Cozy? Funny? The tone of your life affects the tone of your writing, your website and um, your brand! Upbeat? Happy? Silly? Serious? Academic? Professional? Sad? Writing tone can send a company’s brand down the tubes or up to the clouds. Continue reading “Voice, Tone, Style and Brand”
For starters, if you want to find out more about Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, head over to the TED Talk for a recent interview. Otherwise, stand back to witness the future unfold before your very eyes.
I hear you from all the way over here in my blog cave. You’re saying, “Hah! Auto-piloted cars will never work.” And that’s what they said about toilet paper, airplanes, cordless phones (not to mention cell phones), and anything else that wasn’t here until it was.
The really cool part is that the visionaries that define these types of futures are “scientists” (or at least champions of the scientific method) and dreamers all rolled into one. The Wright Brothers come to mind. Benjamin Franklin. Steve Jobs. Bill Gates. John Lasseter of Pixar. (Is he a scientist or just a dreamer?)
Medical scientists do not radiate the pizazz of an electric car or a cell phone or an airplane, but they are visionaries all the same. Example: People rarely die of infections any more thanks to Sir Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin back in 1928. His claim to fame was that he paused to consider a fuzzy Petri dish on a vacation-neglected workbench. Visionary indeed.
Thank goodness we still have these folks in our midst. We are lucky to have people that believe they can do what they set out to do, and that they don’t give up.
I like to believe that you and I have the vision to stay out of their way.
Paul Nicklen, photographer for National Geographic, states in his TED talk of March 2011 that National Geographic reminds him quite frequently, “We publish pictures not excuses.” As business people, we can only sell our products, not excuses. We can only sell our services, not excuses.
The growth and survival of our companies depend on this tenant. In fact, many companies over the years have unfortunately found that excuses kill. Sometimes excuses are the inability to see the changes before their eyes. Example in an eerily related industry: Kodak. Film cameras and film have all but ceased to exist. The successful slogan “Kodak moment” so well marketed, disappeared from the viewfinder, and they must shudder at their lack of vision. (Pardon all the puns.) They have no excuse. Their pictures go unpublished.
This week, IBM has had to retrench in a flurry of unexcused excuses. An Apple? Oh, golly our loyalties are fleeting, and trending shorter.
All the more reason to keep in mind that you can only publish pictures, not excuses, and if you don’t — perish.