Building your voice:
1) Identify a stage
2) Identify content
3) Establish an audience
4) Modify content as needed to reach audience
It is necessary to have a stage for your voice: this could be a paper assignment for a course, a political rally, or the ever-present blog. I am lucky, being a US citizen, to have access to such a large stage. For some, secondary to governmental limits, there might not be an accessible platform on which needs and experiences can be voiced. Once a stage is accessed, it is important to hone what is to be said.
The question of content may seem simple once a stage is established. This is the most complex piece of all. What do you want to say now that you have the microphone? This may be the moment when all thoughts leave your head: instead, you are left with mouth agape, beads of sweat forming on the forehead, and flushed cheeks. What is the message you want to get across?
Then you have to carefully establish your target audience: young, old, book-educated, street-smart, minority, CEOs. The demographics of who you most want to reach drives how you get your message across. If you want to access people who are retired, being interviewed on NPR is likely more effective a stage than tweeting. And the demographics drive how you then discuss your opinions.
This fourth to building your voice is key: the modification of the content to make it most accessible. My problem is that I get so excited about the nectar I have found, I don't always make sure it is potable before I distribute it. To best get information across in a way that is understandable and approachable, use of metaphor and context are musts. The metaphor can provide a comparison that makes the new data easier to digest (oh! I see now!). The context provides meaning: here, context is flushed out in thinking about a student's paper or a political rally has the stages for voice.
The last step, assessment, is vital. You want to quantify whether or not the message got out there. You want to determine if change occurred. Surveys, feedback boxes, number of hits on a website, are all ways to measure range of influence. As is possible, you want to track how effective your voice is to the audience you want to reach.