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How to Find Your Authentic Voice

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Many of us have a difficult time sharing our thoughts and ideas in an impactful way. We look around and marvel at how other people can just present their opinions in a free-flowing way and everyone seems to pay attention to them and listen. Being able to express ourselves so we can be both understood and believed is a critical part of leadership. But it isn’t as hard as it may seem if we are willing to identify our authentic voice. And that’s key. We need to represent our true selves and not try to copy someone else’s style. We are credible speakers when we open up in our authentic voice, not merely mirroring the presentation of a team member, colleague, boss or friend.

Ready to find your authentic voice?

Create A Clear And Meaningful Message

Knowing what we want to say and the important points we need to make is the beginning step in finding our authentic voice. What happens to many leaders is that they are all over the place with what they want to say. We all have numerous thoughts running throughout our brains. We need to harness all those ideas and pull them together into one cohesive unit in order to speak coherently. Try asking yourself:

Choosing the best words to express ourselves is just as essential as the message itself. The language coming out of our mouths needs to be consistent with who we are and what we stand for to be authentic. Select words that we use in everyday speech that are respectful and exciting. Remember that to be impactful we need to energize others about our ideas. But be you!

Be Aware Of Your Non-Verbal Cues

Just as the words hold certain meaning, so do our non-verbal cues. To identify our authentic voice leaders must pay attention to their entire presentation. Some non-verbal signals can include:

  • Matching our body language to our words
  • Showing confidence with our uplifting posture
  • Displaying good eye contact without staring
  • Using hand gestures that support our message
  • Speaking in a varied tone that captivates the audience we are addressing
  • Making sure we smile to show caring and warmth

Test Out Your Delivery

It’s never a bad idea to try out your presentation or share your ideas with people you trust. Reach out to a colleague who may be attending a meeting that you want to speak at and ask them to listen to how you hope to present your suggestions. Or simply speak out loud your ideas and see how they sound. I have found that my written thoughts  sound differently when I say them out loud. Become comfortable with your message and your voice.

Be Willing To Adjust

Finally leaders need to be flexible enough to make tweaks to their presentations to be authentic. Sticking with our planned presentation may not be as effective as we had hoped. When we speak in an authentic voice we know we may need to amend our initial message.

  • Be willing to hear feedback to make your message clearer
  • Be open to adding new facts that just came through
  • Modify your body language or hand gestures that really heighten your message
  • Listen to the comments of others and incorporate them into your strategy

How have you identified your authentic voice?

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