Who’s speaking, please?

by guest author anne maybus

Who’s speaking, please?
Hello.  Hello?  Who’s speaking please?
Oh, sorry.  I didn’t recognise you.  You sound different.
Do I?  How am I different?
Well, you’re so….formal.  
Formal?
Yeah.  I’ve never heard you use those words before.  

Who are you when you write? Are you the same person or do you take on a different persona? 

I remember years ago when I was a trainer and I was presenting a workshop as the junior member of the team.  The senior trainers said to me, “Don’t say it like that.  Say it like this.” They would feed me the lines they wanted me to say.  I would dutifully say it their way and then wonder why it didn’t work.

The same thing happened in my early business blogging days.  “You can’t say it like that.  That’s doesn’t sound very professional.”  So I changed the way I wrote and wondered why there was no response.

Now I know what went wrong.  I know that I was not authentically me and it showed.  I should have done it my way.

Three things happen when you allow yourself to show in your writing.  

Firstly, it is a much easier task.  The words sort themselves out for you and you don’t have to stop and check the dictionary, thesaurus or website of the perfect professional to see what words they might suggest.  Writing becomes simple and one day it becomes fun.

Secondly, your passion shows.  It’s not cluttered up with unnecessary formality or with rigid sentence structures that strangle it.  It catches the readers and lures them to you.

Finally, your readers will feel your authenticity.  Those who don’t like what you have to say will leave but that’s ok.  They aren’t your clients.  Those who respond to your writing are connecting with you and will come back to see what else you have to say.  That’s perfect.  These are your clients.  When you write as yourself it sorts the wheat from the chaff, as my mum would say.  Only the good ones are left.

Develop your voice.

Learning to be authentic in your writing means learning to let go and to take a risk.  You have to move out of your comfort zone before you find your way back to it.  Let go of your preconceived ideas about what good writing looks like.  Remember that Barbara Cartland and J. K. Rowling write very differently but they are both brilliant in their specialties.  You will be, too.

What are your favourite words?  I love ‘fabulous’ and ‘magic’.  They toss themselves onto my page before I even realise it and inject a bit of me into whatever I am writing.  I’ve learnt to allow it.  It is me and it is what makes me different.  Sprinkle your favourite words through your text, too. Straight away you will feel more at home and so will your readers.

Are you formal or informal?  I am informal and it shows in the way I structure my work, and in the tone of my sentences.  If I had written this in a formal way I would never have started it with so many questions, nor with the little conversation at the beginning. But I like it that way.  

The scary part of being authentic when you write is that you are pouring your heart and soul onto the page, but do it anyway.   You are fabulous so let us see it.

When you write as yourself, your writing identifies you almost as clearly as a fingerprint.  You have a way of translating your thoughts into words like no one else.  Be proud to be yourself. It’s going to be one of the keys to your success. 

Anne Maybus has a mission to banish the dullness from business writing. She believes that your business deserves to have personality shining out of every word. She writes content that catches your reader by the eye and pulls them pupil-first into the wonderful world of your business. Visit cleverstreak.com