Imagine walking into a room and commanding the attention of a group of people just by the sound of your speaking voice. James Earl Jones can do it; Diane Sawyer can do it; Cher can do it; and so can George Clooney.
What are these people doing that 99% of the rest of the population are not? They are using their chest to power their sound which gives their voices resonance. Resonance is the richness, the fullness, the warmth found in those voices in which the chest has become the primary sounding board, instead of the throat, voice box, mouth and/or nose.
There are so many great voices out there which are hidden because most people are unaware that they can improve their sound or that they should!
If 37% of the image you project is the sound of your speaking voice – the one you hear on your your voicemail, not the one you hear in your head – do you not think it might be a good idea to work on your vocal image?
Today we are all so concerned with our image and yet we let that 37% slide because we don’t have to listen to it every day. While hearing it on our answering machine is momentarily embarrassing or disgusting, we quickly forget it because it is not the voice we hear in our head when we speak. It is, however, the sound by which everyone else recognizes us. That sound is our vocal image.
Years ago Barbara Walters interviewed Kathleen Turner remarking on her wonderful voice. Turner responded that she didn’t understand how a woman could spend thousands of dollars on an outfit, her hair and makeup would be perfect, and then she would speak in a whiny nasal voice reminiscent of The Nanny. She further questioned why the woman wouldn’t pursue voice training “because the power of the voice is exciting as heck.”
Kathleen Turner is correct. Discovering my real voice in graduate school, I have found it continually improving with age (the only part of my body that is getting better with age I might add!) because I power my voice with my chest thereby eliminating the wear and tear on my vocal cords and throat. It’s a lot like a fine bottle of wine! When I’m 85, I may look it, but I will never sound like an old woman.
Throughout the years, I never yelled at my kids; I projected. Children don’t listen when you yell, but they sure sit up and take notice if you can increase your volume without shouting. (Isn’t it a shame that Hillary didn’t discover that technique before the campaign?)
There are a host of fantastic benefits that result from good voice training but one of the best is
that you will actually like the sound of your speaking voice on your voicemail or your answering machine.
If you allow your chest to do your talking, you will discover a voice that can actually be one of your best assets!
Nancy Daniels is a voice specialist and president of Voice Dynamic as well as The Official SelfGrowth.com Guide to Public Speaking. Working privately and corporately, she launched Voicing It! in April of 2006, the only video training course on voice improvement. You can watch a clip from her DVD on her website, ‘before’ & ‘after’ takes of her clients, and gain other information on voice training at www.voicedynamic.com
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