[Image from Public Domain Pictures of Pixabay]
In the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow…”The human voice is the organ of the soul.”
But what does that actually mean to you? To me, it means that how we say something is more important than the words we actually say. As a Corporate Communication Specialist and the owner and founder of Profitable Speech…A Sound Investment, I’ve had the privilege of working with many clients to sound their best.
Most people believe that the most important part of their message is the verbiage or what words or phrases they select to communicate. Of course, that counts but not quite as much as the voice we use to convey those same words. This is referred to as intonation. Think of it as the music of our voice. That may sound a bit odd to you however each of us has a range of tones or musical notes from which we speak. Reality is that we often get comfortable only using some of those tones and may make it a habit without even giving it a second thought. Does that sound familiar?
The difficulty is that we may be perceived in a way other than we intended. Therefore, we end up feeling surprised or perhaps disappointed by the reactions of other people. Before you think this is an insurmountable concern here are my suggestions:
- Get used to hearing your own voice as much as you may not like it.
- Try vocal warm-ups or ask for my recording. Use these exercises daily to help lubricate your voice.
- Take a single word or short phrase (e.g., hello) and say it differently to send out a particular emotion.
- Determine your specific intention with a longer phrase, statement, or question. What do you want to convey to your listener?
- Use a recording device (phone, laptop, tablet or your favorite software app) and listen to small segments of how you sound.
- Decide if your intention matches what you hear. If you like what you hear, save it so you can listen to it again. If you don’t like what you hear, try it again.
- Move on to longer samples of speech such as reading a paragraph, offering your opinion, telling a story. Again, see if you can alter how your voice sounds with each of these samples.
- Where necessary, I suggest adding in non-verbal language such as gestures, facial expressions and posture. Each of these elements will impact how your voice sounds.
What we sometimes fail to realize is that our voice has immense power. It sends a signal to others and will determine the reaction we receive. Good news is we can change all that as long as we’re willing to be patient with ourselves and put in the necessary work.
If you’d like to discuss this topic, you’re welcome to contact me at 518-664-6004 or email@example.com
Can’t wait to hear from you.