CREATING YOUR OWN PERSONA

By Reneir Cruz
May 19, 2020

We are currently navigating through a difficult and unprecedented time during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has changed many lifestyles with a stay at home order for major areas in order to manage the widespread into the unforeseen future. This written piece is intended to give us another strategy in our arsenals to adjust our lifestyles for the better. First, let’s talk about what a persona is defined as. 

A persona is part of our personalities that we use for different parts of our lives including with different people and scenarios. In our professional life, it could be our body language we exude when we step into the office or how we talk during a presentation, or even showing our sensitive sides when a life changing event has just occured. If you are saying that personas have a lot to do with emotions, you are correct. If you are also thinking that creating a persona is similar to acting. You are correct with the 1 major difference being that persona is actually you while acting is playing someone else. Having a persona is designed to help us cope and grow with various stages of life. Understanding how to create your own persona during a difficult time like this can make all the difference. First, we look at what is a persona. Then, what are common types of persona. Finally, how these persons can be created.

What Is A Persona

A persona can be defined as a collection of verbal and non-verbal emotions, words and actions that we use for certain situations and people. Additionally, it can also be noted that a persona is only part of a person’s personality, rather than being the entire personality. A metaphor would be that a personality is your favorite song, while the persona is the volume of your favorite song.

Common Types Of Personas

You are ahead of the game by knowing what a persona is. So, let’s take it a step further by exploring examples of common persona types. The first one on the list is the excited and jovial persona. In this mindset, you are joking more often and less offended. Almost like having a set of armor on. The jovial persona type can also be when you are feeling the most creative. These creative forms can include music, illustration, and even public speaking. Take look at Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who tends to show us this persona, especially during interviews. 

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
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The Brooding persona is nearly the opposite of the excited, jovial persona. It is a persona to use when we are preparing for a major presentation or before going on-stage to be able to visualize. It could be also used when we need to create space from circumstances that can be overbearing. An example would be Stephen Amell’s early portrayal of Oliver Queen aka The Green Arrow. 

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow
Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow
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While there are plenty of other persona types, there is one final one that we will take a look at. It is the confident, calm collected persona. When you are exhibiting this persona, you let your actions do more of the talking and are also more calm when several people around are panicking. Since your facial expressions may share similarities to the Brooding persona, they are not quite the same. An example would be Robert Downey, Jr’s portrayal of Tony Stark aka Iron Man when presenting a prototype weapon to a prospective client in Iron Man 1.

Robert Downey, Jr as Iron Man
Robert Downey, Jr as Tony Stark/Iron Man
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How To Create A Persona

In order to create your portfolio of personas, you will need to be familiar with your own personality and your values. The more you know about the foundational values of your personality, the easier it will be to create and manage your arsenal of personas. Also, ask yourself what type of persona and how many you are looking to create at a given time. Finally, knowing when and where this persona will be used and what you are looking to gain by using it for that specific scenario. Once also those questions are answered, then it’s time to think about the body language and vocal tone that you will be using. This will be about 75% of the work for creating a persona. The remaining 25% are the words and phrases you will use.