If you have been told that you speak in a monotone or if you have heard yourself on a recording and find your voice lacking in expression, it is time to do something about it. This is important for reasons both personal and professional. Boring doesn't sell; boring isn't interesting; and boring puts your listeners to sleep.
Whether you are looking for a job, seeking a promotion at work, trying to land a particular contract, or hoping to meet that someone special, speaking with color carries a tremendous amount of weight to your message. Color is described as the vocal variety in your voice, as well as your facial expression and body language.
Without color, you may be telling your listener one thing while your voice and body language are saying something entirely different. And, over the telephone where there is no visual, it is quite possible that a lack of expression in your voice says you are cold or indifferent or not interested. Of course that may be exactly what you are saying but what if it isn't?
Follow the 3 steps below and see if you can notice a difference. Make sure you are alone when you do this exercise.
- Your 1st step is to give yourself permission to allow your emotions to be seen and heard. This is the hardest step of all because you have spent your entire life keeping your feelings on the inside and I'm telling you that must allow your emotions out. Yes, you would make a great poker player with a face devoid of expression but that is the only situation when a monotone delivery is beneficial.
Your 2nd step is to stand in front of a mirror and say the words I can do this with a smile on your face, emphasizing the word can by using force and lengthening the word as you say it. At the same time, nod your head up and down as if you are in agreement. Most important, however, is the smile because your face will be showing emotion which will complement the variety in your voice.
Your 3rd step is to say those words again as if you are asking a question. Squint when you say it, shake your head back and forth as if you doubt yourself, furrow your brows and make sure the pitch of your voice rises at the end of the sentence. Remember, you are asking a question.
Once you are able to do this comfortably (and you see that you actually look normal when you allow for color in your delivery), give yourself permission to talk to your family, friends and colleagues in the same manner. Keep in mind that speaking in monotone is not a strength, nor is it normal; speaking with color is.
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. Visit Voice Dynamic and discover the best means of adding some life to your voice and your delivery.