5 Ways to Articulate Your Brand

Perhaps you’ve taken Susan Howington’s advice in her recent blog about “Discovering New Ways to Differentiate Yourself.” You’ve taken your walks or chopped the heck out of a tree. And voila! An epiphany!

Articulate your brandThat’s awesome! Now, what?

Amazingly enough, we professionals oftentimes get stuck about articulating our brands, finding that brand voice. Once you decide your brand and value proposition, it can be daunting to put them into words. You are so not alone! I’ve coached many executives who are tongue-tied when it comes to talking about their brand uniqueness in a networking or job search setting.

Why is this?

Ah yes. Well, don’t forget that humans’ fear of public speaking is right up there with death. Ladies and gentlemen, we are so wired to be terrified of it that it permeates circumstances of simply talking about yourself, even in an interview. Otherwise, why would we be so stumped at the time-worn expression in an interview: “Tell me about yourself.” (What the heck is up with that, anyway? This is 2015! How about a new interview approach?? But I digress.)

There’s another reason, buried deep in your subconscious. I had the honor of interviewing Parker Palmer, Ph.D., author of Let Your Life Speak: Listening to the Voice of Vocation on my radio show years ago. This guy knows why it’s so hard for us to speak up about who we are, what we can do, and our value.

He explained that we must “revisit” our childhood experiences. Turns out, the admonishments we received from teachers and parents during our formative years have resulted in a generation (us) who has difficulty talking about ourselves. “It’s rude, self-center and bragging,” we were told over and over. Fast forward to now. That message is still in your subconscious..

Geez. Where do we go from here? You truly know who you are and your value, but publicly articulating it makes your knees shake. So, how can you master this?

1) Sweaty palms abound even with seasoned professionals when they need to talk about themselves. If you need help to gain confidence, find an executive coach who can take you there. They’ll help you choose words that describe your dedication to, and talents and capabilities for, what you do.

 2) OWN what you love to do and how well you do it. What sets you apart from others? Simply state that with energy. These things are the frosting on the cake of your brand.

3) Speak your values. You can’t go wrong. It’s your truth, and it will always come through. It helps to define your integrity: “I really value …” “I believe in …” “It’s important to me to …”

 4) Define a simple, core philosophy statement. This can be just the thing that wins an interview.

 5) Strive to be an exceptional communicator. Make it a goal to not only speak confidently to others, but to also listen to them and hear what they say. Practice this, and watch how it improves your own confidence.

I promise you can do this. Take this step-by-step and see what happens. If all else fails, our coaches are here to help you!

Di Chapman is Chief Communications Officer for Power Connections.

Photo by kurhan @123RF.com