Whose voice is it anyway?
Most animals find their true voice naturally. For humans, it can be difficult as we deal with the daily clutter of quick-win, smoke-mirror and mixed-message marketing.
Recently, I’ve been lucky to see, hear and feel some memorable human voices. Here’s a wee taster to help illustrate where I’m coming from…
Rules to be broken
A couple of weeks ago, I went to the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow; the perfect venue for the climax of the J-Word Scottish jazz project.
It was a magical live experience which will stay with me for a long time. Each musician, a virtuoso in their own right, astonished us with solo expression. Working together, they discovered a fresh and mesmerisingly different voice. Their shared desire and confidence to communicate had liberated them to break the rules and find new ways to captivate and delight their audience.
Note to self – work with others to find new ways to captivate and delight.
The week before, I was captivated by a very different performance; the same confidence and desire to share, but this time through the language of dance.
The ‘star’ was the brilliant Brazilian dancer Carlos Acosta. However, the hidden treasure revealed from beneath his balletic wing was the exquisitely gifted Zenaida Yanowsky; her movement and passion connected with the audience in a way so beautiful it was beyond words.
Note to self – discover and reveal the hidden gems that lie beyond expectation.
Early April, I was back in the good company of fellow Dark Angels for three days and nights of intensive word ‘smithery’. It was a Masterclass in Creative Writing for Business and the follow up to the course I did in Spain in 2011 – The Angels’ Share.
This time we were living and breathing the rarefied atmosphere of Merton College, Oxford. Humbled by the creativity and confidence of those around me, I was stretched and challenged to discover and express new voices: ghost stories of brands of yesteryear; metaphorical musings to describe the everyday; team projects inspired by flying visits to the Oxford University Press and the ancient scholarly pubs still haunted by literary giants.
For one evening, author Phillip Pullman joined us and generously shared his insights into the art of writing. His is a very distinctive and instinctive voice and we hung on every word, our angel feathers fluttering with delight.
Note to self – flutter a feather with delight by describing the everyday in a different way.
What the Noble Ox has this to do with the real world?
What is marketing if it isn’t the art of cutting through the bland, grey-speak of everyday to find a distinctive human voice to captivate and inspire your audience?
Whatever the brief, the starting point is to find that voice.
During Noble Ox workshops, I share my favourite definition of the dreaded B-word: your brand is the truth about you well told. Daft as it sounds, I also double-check that at least 99.9% of your target market are human beings!
All a bit obvious, I know, but it works. Thereafter, the job is to strip away the nonsense, rediscover the essence, and then find the best way to tell that truth. It’s an affirming and enjoyable process. What’s more, it makes life easier for you, your colleagues and, most importantly, your target audience.
Contact Noble Ox to discuss how we can make sure the voice you use is your own.