I've followed Paul Myers of Talkbiz.com for many years. His FREE internet marketing book is one of the least fluffy freebies you will ever find.
Paul used a wonderful metaphor to demonstrate the idea of "voice" in our writing. Here it is from his newsletter -
"Your style for a piece is like your choice of clothing for an event. You are the same person in jeans and a t-shirt as you are in a 3-piece suit, but you wouldn't likely wear them interchangeably, and your behavior and way of talking wouldn't be the same in both.
The 'you' that's underneath represents your 'voice.' The clothing (or choice of expressions) shows your style."
Now, I love having different outfits to wear on various occasions. I like dressing up fancy, but not very often. When the situation calls for it, I can enjoy it. So I select a fancy outfit, and show my fancy style.
But my voice is still the same one I use when I'm grungy and muddied from the sandy Texas garden loam outside in the yard. I'm still me beneath my fancy or my grungy clothing.
Thanks for the great image, Paul, and a neat lesson on personal branding. Our voice, the one we use when writing and speaking, is intrinsically "us." Or it should be. It should be unmistakeable, despite our style in the moment.
Our voice (in writing and speaking) is the most important key to our personal branding.