We all, as media and on-air personalities, desire to have our names known. More importantly, we want it known for a unique voice. What is a media voice?
My voice does not necessarily mean my tone of expression. My tone would be how I choose to express myself and relate to my audience or guest. It changes, depending on whatever social medium I am using. A tone is often personal in discussions and presentation platforms via radio or television; it could take other forms on different platforms where I am not directly seen or heard. Though, both tone and voice share similarities, they are not always the same. The voice is more encompassing than the tone.
Define your Path
In relating with rookie journalists and interns, something I realized is they don’t have a defined path, just yet. They are folks with good and brilliant talents. Some can write, sing, orate, research, and carry out profiling without stress. However, they go with the line, “I don’t know which one to focus on just yet.” Well, I understand their dilemma.
If you are like them, here is what you should know. It doesn’t matter how many strengths you think you have, there are lots of people who excel with the same strength. So, you just have to be decisive about which one you really want to showcase and how other things could complement the one you are going for. You can excel at anything you choose to do. However, to be known for a certain voice, you have to choose a path!
Understand your Audience
Having defined your path, now, you need to know who your audience is and the best method for grabbing their engagement and attention. To know this, you might have to do an extensive research.
Recreate your audience in your head or on paper. Do you know people like that? If you do, congratulations. If you don’t, fine tune your imagination to tally with the nearest types of people who might be your audience.
When you know your audience, then you have to develop and portray yourself just the way they would love you to be. If your audience is in the Caribbean, develop a program just for them, make yourself one of them and use a language just like them. Make sure your audience is real and not fictitious.
Develop your Own Persona
Having studied what you really enjoy about your influence, write down the things you admire them. Imagine how it would be. Now, I want you to think, if you were your own audience, would you like the new things you just developed? What criticisms would you probably offer? Would you be offended by such criticisms? How can you furnish yourself unto perfection against such criticisms?
When you have developed your on-air persona, explore it till you reach perfection. Practice it as much as you can. Let it become your second nature. While you do these things, don’t have the mindset “I just want to be unique” or “I have to be different.” You are only doing you, the way you want to.
You Don’t Have to be always Unique
There are times when your perfect dream is the exact program that someone you know is already living. In times like this, there could be a cloud of doubts, making you wonder if you can excel in such program as much as this known person does. This isn’t about competitiveness; remember. In anchoring an event or a show, understand that sometimes you don’t have to be unique. You only have to learn to do what you do, better and smarter! ‘Effective’ and ‘smarter’ wins the race, always.
Be Open to Comments and develop yourself
While you are trying to establish a footing on your voice’s path, it is possible that you veer off the road that complies with your audience’s desire. Be open to comments from people, especially ones from your audience. Don’t take it as pride or ignorance.
If someone from my target audience tells me, “Jane, I would love to have you improve on the way you smile; it makes you confident and relaxes those of us who watch you.”, then I had better work on my smile. I am to make sure I adjust, without disregarding the ethics of my profession. Also, learn cues or advise from the senior colleagues and those with experiences. They can set you better on your chosen path.
You are your own voice, first. Don’t stop developing and investing in you.