It’s your voice

I met a woman last week who told me she went to hear a politician speak because she really liked his writing. She was shocked, however, because he didn’t sound anything like how he wrote.

In my personal writing, I use similes, metaphors, alliteration and, I’ve been told, I’m pretty punny at times. A politician I worked for didn’t like what he called that “flowery stuff.” He spoke in simple, straightforward, declarative sentences and everything I wrote for him was written in simple, straightforward, declarative sentences.

Another gentleman I wrote for was a history buff. When he assigned me a project, I researched historical facts that fit the message he wanted to convey. He tells people, “Tom really got me. He got me right away.” He sounded like he wrote.

A professional ghostwriter takes the time to learn his client’s voice and to use it in every written word. No one should ever be shocked when the tone of the written word diverges from the tone of the speaker.

Therefore, the first question you need to ask any potential ghostwriter is, “Do you hear voices?”

Tom Pfeifer is the managing partner and chief strategist for Consistent Voice Communications. Reach him at


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