Your voice communicates a lot about you. Your mood, your attitude to your listener, your energy level, your warmth and your sense of confidence are all expressed through your voice. If you say, “I’m full of pep,” but your voice sounds weak or tired, listeners will believe your voice, but not your words. You can say that you care about your listener and repeat the message, but if your voice doesn’t back you up, don’t expect to be believed.
The following tips can help you develop a stronger, warmer presence by developing a stronger, warmer voice:
Develop an awareness of your vocal expression
Essential meanings are carried by the voice. Find out more about your vocal expression by using a tape recorder to capture your side of a conversation. Then, work at making your voice carry the meanings you really want to convey.
SEE the Person You’re talking to
Your voice will sound livelier, warmer and more conversational if you work to really see your listener.
Use Energetic Articulation
Expressing any idea with energetic mouth movement suggests that you are committed to that idea. This conviction in your voice persuades the listener that your ideas are worth listening to.
Relax Your Face
It does not help to “set” your face in a smile. As the smile stiffens, your voice flattens and can even become nasal if your jaw tightens up too much. The smile itself becomes suspect the longer it lasts. Relax your smile. Relax your jaw. You’ll not only look more natural, you’ll sound more resonant.
Lean on Vowel Sounds
Vowel sounds are open sounds, sustaining them makes your voice sound warmer and fuller.
Use Downward Inflections
Put a period at the end of a sentence by letting your voice drop to a lower, final-sounding pitch. Downward inflections make your statements sound definite, confident and persuasive. Monitor yourself with a tape recorder. You’ll hear how much downward inflections increase your credibility.
Replace the “‘uh” or “you know” with a pause. Everything you say will be easier to understand and will sound more thoughtful and more important. Also, use pause to relax and to inhale more deeply for a stronger voice.
Lean Forward and Get Your Body Involved
Voice and body are closely related. Get your body involved in communicating your message. You’ll sound livelier and more expressive.
Click to see how these vocal choices have enhanced the images of others:
Before & After Example 1
Before & After Example 2
Copyright 2006 Speakeasy Communications Consulting, LLC, speakeasyinc.com. All rights reserved.
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