Imagine you’d been given your own perfect audience and then handed a microphone. What would you do?
Would you stare at it, wondering how it even worked? This device whose role is to increase the volume of the human voice – purely and simply?
It’s not like the mask with the horn shaped mouthpiece that was invented to amplify sound in the ampi-theatres of Greece, nor the megaphone that followed, or even the ‘lovers device’ with two cups attached by a cord that some of us called walkie talkies and may have made as kids. Not even the carbon, the condenser or the ribbon microphones all predating today’s fibre optics and laser devices , but this in built device that will ensure we be heard – if we dare to use it!
So, here’s a question.
Why rely on technology?
You have your own microphone.
Here’s another question
How well does your voice work?
- Because too many people whisper.
- Too many people don’t trust their thoughts or their words and choke on those very things
- Too many people follow the crowd and jump on the next bandwagon never giving credence to the validity of their own ideas that might just be a little different
- Too many people speak only when they are spoken to
- Too many people put their hand up waiting for permission to ask, to tell or to share, all the while waiting… patiently… in the wings
Instead, put your hand down.
Trust that your voice can stand on its own and it doesn’t need permission. Women especially are told to find your seat at the table, put your hand up more often and lean in. Trust that what you have to say doesn’t need to be ‘approved’ or be granted permission by anyone. Wait for the gap in the traffic, courteously indicate you are ready and drive right on in, because if you don’t you will be last in line and late for your turn. Indicate your intent by putting your hand out, not down.
Drive YOUR Wagon
To jump on a bandwagon is to ‘Join a growing movement in support of someone or something, often in an opportunist way, when that movement is seen to have become successful’ and there is a certain fickleness that surrounds bandwagons, in that we lose trust in those who do the constant jumping. So drive your own wagon – it doesn’t have to be a world changing, peace keeping, political drive. It could be suggesting a new process, it could be a new conversation, a different way of leading a meeting, a new job, but lead the way.
Find Your Voice
The volume of your voice can be enhanced when you have something to say, know why you are saying it and have the right people that will listen. Not everyone will resonate with your thinking. Because they’re not supposed to. That’s because they are aligned with other ways of thinking and that’s OK – it’s part of our ecosystem. Get your thoughts out there though, because someone, somewhere needs to hear, or read, what you have to say at that very moment – no sooner, no later. Who you are matters and what you have to say matters just as much. You don’t have to shout it from the rooftop. Simply find your voice, trust it and dial your whisper up a notch.
Change Lanes Often
Try dipping your toe into the water of your own thoughts and ideas instead of jumping knee deep into other people’s. The law of social proof is a universal truth where we witness others behaving in a certain way and we assume that is what we should be doing too and do so automatically without even thinking. I feel like asking some people ‘will the real you please stand up?’ It amuses me when I see a long line of traffic in the right hand turning lane. If they could only see there was another lane further up, going in the same direction, but empty. Be prepared to change lanes even if you initially go it alone because others will say ‘what a great idea’ and follow to get to where they want to go quicker.
Break the Rules
Not socially or morally or ethically, but conditionally. Your rules. What you tell yourself you can and can’t do, what’s right or wrong, what’ black and white, what’s cool and not cool, what people are going to read or not read, what information people want to hear and not hear, what this person is going to think of you or not think of you. And I have only just begun. Not excuses, but rules. Rules that are going to stop them using their voice – their microphone, their megaphone, their lovers cup. Time to mic up people, time to mic up!
Stand for Something
It’s important because if we don’t stand for something, we will fall for anything. First coined in a journal called ‘Mental Hygiene’ by a doctor who was using his voice to talk about mental health and referencing war veterans from WW11, he wrote,
“We are trying to show him not only what we are fighting against, but what we are fighting for. So many of these boys have only a very hazy idea of the real issues of the war. About all they see is “going back to the good old days.” This is a dangerous state. If they don’t stand for something, they will fall for anything. They need to realize that we are fighting two wars—the war of arms and the war of ideas—that other war of which the war of arms is one phase.”
And still very much pertinent to today where we are in a world of ideation and a battle for visibility. What do you stand for, that has you noticed in a sea of sameness?
So let’s not wait for centre stages, let’s not wait until somebody hands us a devise to amplify our voice, let’s amp up our own thoughts, tap into our passion, share our concerns and own our ideas in a way that is going to benefit those with whom we are speaking.
In the words of Seth Godin,
‘Reassurance? It’s not here, and it wouldn’t do you any good if it were. Opportunity? It’s everywhere. You’ve been given a turn. Will you take it? If you’re thirsty enough, the world is ready for you, more than ever before. Go.”
Anyone coming with me?
Be Bold and Brilliant
Bernadette McClelland is a Keynote and Sales Kick-Off Speaker, Executive Sales Leadership Coach, and published author. CEO of 3 Red Folders she ensures her clients create double digit revenue growth and marketplace differentiation through unique programs based on ‘The NeuroScience of Sales Leadership and Sales Process’.