You have a message, something meaningful to communicate – but so do thousands of others. it shouldn’t be that difficult to separate your voice from the crowd. But how do we go about it?
Each of us wants our voice to be heard above the crowd. In a world saturated with similar messages and branding constructs, personal authentic communication attracts your ideal customer and garners the trust you seek. Our perennial challenge is to develop mastery, creativity and authenticity to tell our own story.
The other day I came across a video of the great jazz saxophonist, John Coltrane, playing “My Favorite Things.” That was one of my favorite songs when I was a young girl – but not Coltrane’s version. I fell in love with Julie Andrews’ version from the famous Sound of Music album. I would listen to that album incessantly. Julie Andrews’ voice mesmerized me, particularly on “My Favorite Things.” It was bright, clear, velvety, powerful, beautiful, sweet, and energetic. I imagined myself as one of the von Trapp Children snuggled up against “our” mother, Maria, as I sang along.
Years later, I had the opportunity to play Maria von Trapp on stage. Snuggling up with seven child actors, singing “My Favorite Things” with all the beauty, power, and sweetness I could summon— recreating that cathartic scene—allowed me to create my own version of Maria von Trapp and embrace how my audiences responded to it.
John Coltrane’s version is a completely different experience. It’s the same basic melody, of course, but he has made it his song. He took the song—a simple A-A-A-B structure—and substituted his sax for the vocal line. McCoy Tyner deftly supports Coltrane’s improvisations on piano, with bassist Steve Davis and drummer Elvin Jones filling out the arrangement as if they were a full orchestra. It’s nearly 14 minutes long, and the story he tells is completely different from that of Julie Andrews. And no one is singing in his version. It’s all instrumental.
Not only does each show mastery and creativity in their own unique way, they are also each a genuine and authentic representation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein masterpiece.
Keep that in mind when telling or sharing your story. Your story is your own and stands on its own merits 100%. If you share it with an innate sense of self and true vulnerability, those that hear it will sit up, pay attention and listen.