Writing

an authentic voice

I love writing. I may possibly even be obsessed with words. And one of the things I’ve learned over the years is that people rarely write in the same language in which they speak. For some reason, they write much more formally, foregoing contractions and adding unnecessary phrases for the purpose of sounding intelligent. At least, that is what I used to do.

In today’s world, a more natural style seems to have… well, found a voice. A Signature Cadence examines the “authentic voice,” particularly in the Web 2.0 world. It’s distinctive because:
“…It’s a little thing. In the huge pile of work building a website, the words chosen to deliver small messages might seem important, but these small words define a personality and both personality and reputation are built on decisions that feel too small to matter.”

It sounds like someone rather than something is saying it.

It sounds authentic.

…You trust this voice and the more a website or an application is designed to imitate that voice, the sooner a user will engage because they’ll make an emotional connection faster.

This seems especially relevant for the Church, who wants to create a personality and reputation that will attract people in order to hear the Gospel. You can’t be too formal, or use insider language. Churches have pretty much figured that out. But the opposite is also true – you can’t be too casual, buddy-buddy, “yo, Dude,” either. Because the thing is, people suspect there should be something significant about church. So our language also needs to reflect confidence and maturity. The trick is to develop a consistent voice in publications or emails that fits with who you really are as an organization. That’s what makes it authentic.

One thought on “an authentic voice

  1. I’m very auditory. When I’m writing I “hear” it in my head, so what I write has to sound right to me, and it ends up being conversational.

    Written language should be normal-sounding. Why utilize “utilize” when you can use “use”?

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