Having a voice.
Because I have a right to be heard! I have a voice!
This quote, from the King’s Speech, was made by from George VI as played by Colin Firth. The King’s Speech is one of my favorite movies because it sports an excellent cast, contains quite a bit of history and tells a excellent story. Americans love following the adventures of the British Royal family but I wonder how many Americans appreciate how deeply revered and loved George VI and Elizabeth were. George VI overcame personal challenges and faced the rising menace of Hitler by personal courage and the support of his wife Elizabeth, known to most as the “Queen Mum”. He found his voice and became a symbol of wartime strength.
Though the story focuses on the Royal family I firmly believe that it has a message for us all. We all have voices and stories that need to be heard. It is just the medium that differs. As a marketing professional I try to learn what stories my clients need to tell and find the best way to give voice to those stories. If they are heard and can make a connection with clients then their businesses will prosper and grow.
Our duty as business professionals is three-fold. First, we need to accept the challenge to selectively find and promote useful voices and stories. Second we need to sift through the growing cacophony of noise to help both colleagues and clients. Third, we need to make sure we don’t add the to noise. Think about all the places voices can be heard: elevator speeches, one-on-ones, networking events, websites, blogs, journal articles, seminars, etc. Consider all the stories you have heard. The more genuine the story, the more resonance we feel. Personal stories with useful information, (e.g. those that move beyond the corporate standard line/agenda) are far more likely to draw us in an engage us.
Sometimes those stories are very personal. At the Chamber Meeting last Tuesday afternoon we heard from Julia, the first person to complete LifeSteps’ Transitions program. LifeSteps provides services and programs for individuals and families with special needs. Julia is a young woman with Down’s Syndrome. Just like George VI, she overcame personal challenges and she has a voice which needs to be heard. Julia told us of her plans for the future, I wish her the all the best as she works to make them come true.
What story do you need to tell?