If you are going to be an effective digital communicator, you need to find your “voice.” When I teach my students about persuasive messages, one of the first things I tell them is that every message is a story, and they need to tell their story in a way that captivates their audience. Writing in your voice is an authentic, interesting and effective way to communicate, and the best way to tell your story. You can find your voice by sticking to the following three rules:
- Identify your audience
- Most importantly, you need to know who your audience is. Typically, you will be communicating with colleagues and supervisors, customers, or the general public. Your goal is to identify your audience and consider their demographics when composing your message: Age, culture, education, location, interest level, etc. Once you know your audience, you can brainstorm how best your message will ensure your readers are what Mortimer J. Adler calls “Synoptical” readers, and not “Elementary” readers.
- Know Your Purpose
- It is also important to know what you want to accomplish with your message. Do you want your audience/readers to act on your message, to comment, to purchase, to share, or simply to be informed? Including an engaging call to action in your message will increase the likelihood of your message being successful.
- “Speak With Conviction”
- In digital, oral and all types of communications, remember to communicate using a concrete communication style. Strong verbs, an active writing style, concise wording, and excellent spelling, punctuation and grammar perfectly express what you want to say and are representative of your voice. Here is a link to spoken word poet Taylor Mali’s performance, “Speak With Conviction” that humorously shows the importance of communicating confidently.
- Following these three rules will not only help you find your voice when communicating digitally, but they will help you compose and deliver an effective, clear and concise message every time!