There are two active states of communication; speaking and listening. When I think of speaking, I don’t just mean audible speech, I also mean the way in which a person or group presents itself to their audiences (potential “listeners”).

Presentations, written memos, emails, tweets, media interviews, ads, voice mails, teleconferences, meetings are all venues in which a person or group gives voice.  Determining what that voice should be requires careful consideration and constant refinement.

Voice is not only what you say, it is how you say it. Click To TweetIt’s tone, the strength of its message, the length, the format, the consistency.  Giving voice to others is typically what communicators do.

The process for doing that is deceptively simple: who are we talking to (audience), what do they believe (current state), how do they like to receive information (vehicles),what do we want them to know (our messages), what do we want them to do with the information we give them (future state) and how do we measure our success.

As with most processes, the devil is in the details. It has been my privilege as a professional communicator and as a coach to help people and organizations find their voice and to work with other professionals who have helped to amplify and reinforce those voices.  Whether it’s a presentations coach, a gifted writer, a graphic designer, or a speech coach, each professional brings their expertise to ensure that the voice is heard.

That’s why when one of my  former bosses said, “Thank you for being my voice,” it was the ultimate compliment. In his view because I helped him find his voice, he was able to succeed as an executive.  The power of his message and the use of his voice – in all its iterations – helped him do that.