Do you feel self-conscious about putting your “voice” out there?
Blogging is one of many forms of communication, and something that is as much a part of life these days as face-to-face conversation. However, for some, it’s as big a challenge as public speaking, which is something many of us have faced. Although most of us don’t have any trouble talking to family and friends, when it comes to speaking in public, it can be a different matter.
If you have a small business, a website or a blog is a great way to promote it. You can talk about what you do, or what products you offer in an informative or conversational manner, and it gives you an opportunity to inspire and influence those around you.
But just like public speaking, you may feel you are setting yourself up to be judged by your writing. Once it’s out there, and literally “world-wide”, you are far more exposed to judgement, of both your writing skills and the ideas and opinions you express.
Suddenly, the confidence you naturally have in your business or product is undermined by your less-than-perfect spelling, punctuation and grammar – even though your business is nothing to do with language skills. You feel paralysed and that blog never gets written.
The answer is to get someone else to do it for you.
But you may think: “How will they know what to write? I know my business inside out – they don’t.”
The first step is to approach a copywriter and tell them about what you do. This could be over a relaxing cup of coffee, or if your chosen copywriter isn’t local, they might send you a simple questionnaire for you to complete – and don’t worry about spelling and grammar because this document isn’t going to get published – it’s just for information purposes.
After all, you don’t really want your reader to know that you didn’t write the blog yourself; you want them to feel as if you’re writing to them personally, so that they feel valued and want to engage with you and your business.
This coffee meeting or questionnaire will communicate all the writer needs to know about your business and your goals, who your target audience is, (maybe your “ideal client”) and most of all, your ethics and personality. This last aspect is what will inspire and guide the writer towards being able to write in your “voice”.
The other way is to hand it over to a copy-editor or proofreader to perfect. Just jot down a few rough notes of all of the above (and again, don’t worry about the grammar – these notes will never be published in their raw form.) That way, all the important information is there, but the editor will write it up in perfect English and in a logical flow. Copy-editing will cost a little less than copywriting, since you have provided the bulk of the writing.
New book to help you with public speaking
Some of us never get over the fear of public speaking, even into adulthood. There comes a time when we are required to speak up in business meetings – or worse, presentations. You suddenly feel very vulnerable and exposed and may feel you are setting yourself up to be judged by what you say.
One of the books I edited last year sets out to help people like you and me to get over this. The author of Speak Up and Be Heard, Lyndsay Maclean, tells how she was described by her school teachers as “a very nervous child”. She developed tactics to ensure she didn’t get noticed, and became more and more anxious and withdrawn.
This bothered her though, as she knew she was quite a different person outside of school. She wanted to know how to be herself when on the spot, how to express her views clearly, answer questions confidently, put her hand up and manage difficult people. In short, she really wanted to learn how to be better at communication.
The steps Lyndsay took over the next few years, really turned her life around. She learned how overcoming a fear of public speaking can help to:
- manage difficult people and conversations
- present data or ideas in networking
- be more assertive when talking about your business
- get to the next level with your career
Click here to find out how Lyndsay’s experience can help you with your public speaking.