I hear that a lot.
It is normally one of the first things, right after “Nice to meet you in person” that someone says to me after only having phone conversations.
I am five foot tall, I am used to it. My son is six foot one and his dad is six foot four. I’m the short one in the family. I am also very petite. Short and petite – double whammy.
But I don’t sound like it.
The picture in this post is my son and I – and I am wearing three inch heels! When he was growing up I had three rules for him and all his friends (who I unofficially adopted as my second sons and to them I am ‘Momma McDonald’). They were: do not call mom short, shorty, midget or anything thereof; do not pick mom up; and do not pat mom on top of the head.
All the boys knew my rules and pretty much stuck to them. Of course now as young men in their twenties they pretty much ignore the picking me up rule, they seem to have to do this when they give me a hug. I’m okay with the breaking of that rule in that instance.
But I digress. Back to point.
People form an image of you based on what is presented – in all mediums. I have a strong voice. When giving a seminar last week the IT liaison was showing me the microphone. To which I replied I didn’t need it. I can amplify just fine on my own.
When speaking I take care to speak in a measured tone (not too fast), clearly and in an octave slightly lower than my normal speaking voice. It is easier to understand and it delivers authority.
I am very mindful of how I speak, communicate in writing and my personal presence. All these things represent me and it is my responsibility to make sure they are in alignment with me as a person and a professional.
People naturally form images of you based on what they see and read. At the seminar when I walked into the meeting room one of my contacts looked at me and said, “I thought you would be taller.” Not surprising. But then he said my profile picture on LinkedIn made me look taller.
That was a new one. I just laughed and told him at five foot nothing makes me look taller.
But the point is this – an image is formed, even when they have seen you visually – that may not be consistent with who you are. That is why it is important to manage your message in a manner that is consistent with you among all mediums.
That is why I tell my resume, LinkedIn and business communication clients that it is imperative that their voice is included in their work. It must sound like you to represent you and bring consistency.
If I sounded meek in my writing I would really blow the minds of my clients and audiences when I walk into a room and open my mouth. Two totally different personas, which would leave them wondering which one am I.
Don’t surprise your prospects – allow them to see you for who you are by making sure all your written communication is in alignment and consistent with your personal persona.
If they reach out to you based on your written word it means they liked something in your message. You want to make sure that you are representing that in person to continue the communication and ultimately transform that prospect into a client.
Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Career Coach-Brand Strategist
Certified Professional Resume Writer
Career Polish, Inc.