If you are plagued with a voice that puts your listeners to sleep, it might be an idea to learn how to add some color – some life – some emotion to your delivery. Because we are unable to hear our own voice as others do, we are also unable to recognize when our delivery is less than expressive. Only when you hear yourself on some type of recording equipment or are told by others that you speak in a monotone can you become aware of this problem.
And, do not delude yourself into thinking that a voice that is boring is not a problem. It is. No matter what your line of work, if your business involves selling a product, an idea, or some type of service, you stand a much better chance of succeeding in your career if you can express some emotion in your speech.
Speaking with emotion is just as important in your personal life as well. Your partner, your spouse, your friends and your family will enjoy your company more if your voice, your facial expression, and your body language convey interest in them. A voice that is lacking in emotion gives your listeners the feeling of disinterest or indifference.
A good test of your expressive capabilities is to stand in front of a mirror and say the following sentence as if you were delighted.
I won the lottery.
Now say the same sentence as if you are in disbelief. Did you notice a difference in your facial expression when you said that sentence the two different ways? If not, you need some practice. Make sure you are alone when you work on this and, admittedly, I am asking you to act or to pretend, but you can do it if you try. Remember, same sentence – two different ways of saying it. (The problem for the monotone speaker is that the same sentence is often said exactly the same way for two opposing meanings.)
This time say I won the lottery and smile when you say it. Did you see and hear a difference?
Now say I won the lottery as if you are asking a question. Your brow may furrow or you may squint. It is important that you ‘allow’ yourself to use your face in this manner. The same holds true with your body language. If you stand perfectly still and do not allow for your body to ‘speak,’ then you are holding back your emotions.
2. For the following exercise, we will use the same sentence but this time I want you to say the word lottery with force.
I won the lottery.
Now say the sentence again, using force on the word I instead. This really does work but you will need to extend the word I a bit. Again, allow it to happen. (Trust me, you will sound more natural, more normal if you allow for expression than if you do not.)
1. practice these two exercises;
2. use a mirror so that you can see the expression on your face; and,
3. allow your voice and your body language to convey the emotion you are feeling,
you will be speaking with color. It may take some practice and the breaking of old habits, but it is definitely worth the effort if it means others will be more interested in listening to you speak.
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.