After writing a post for Un-SQL Friday on the first rule of speaking I decided that it would make quite a good series of posts, so here’s my second rule of speaking:
Find your own voice
What do I mean by this?
As an analogy when I first started out blogging I tried to emulate other writers in the community. In doing so I felt it very difficult to get across what I was trying to say. The message was lost in my trying to be someone I wasn’t. In addition I found it a real chore to write anything and pretty soon gave up posting.
My second attempt at blogging was a great deal more successful, at least it feels that way. Instead of trying to copy the style of someone else I am writing in my own voice. Whatever sentence structure I come up with is what I use. I don’t find it a chore to get words down, I feel like my message gets across and I am a great deal happier in the things that I publish.
Speaking is no different. Sure, you could try to emulate Buck Woody (blog|twitter), Brent Ozar (blog|twitter) or Sean McCown (blog|twitter) but I wouldn’t recommend it. Each one of those speaker is very different in the way that they present. Each has a very clear way of putting the message across and each one does so in a way that captures your attention. They have built their styles from years of presenting in their own voice. They are all very comfortable in how they present, they do this by being themselves.
Taking a lesson from my blogging experiences I decided that my presentations would be in my voice. I would present them in a way that I felt comfortable. By using my voice I knew I would never be outside of my comfort zone. Think about trying to talk like someone else, then add in a technical aspect. Now imagine fifty people are watching you try to be someone you’re not.
Stomach churning yet?
Presenting is going to be challenge enough for you at first. Go in being yourself, it’s worth it.