When it comes to improving your presentation skills, only one voice matters – yours! Have you ever considered what your speaking voice is saying about you? Have you ever listened to a recording of yourself? No, I mean listened, truly listened to how others recognize your voice.
Most people upon hearing themselves do not like it, may be embarrassed by it, and certainly do not recognize it. Whether you like what you hear or would like to throw out the video, CD recording, or your answering machine, the truth is the truth. Sadly, what you hear on your recording equipment is part of the image you project.
Is it possible that the sound of your speaking voice is holding you back from where you would like to be in life? Maybe you speak too softly and your voice isn’t being heard. On the other hand, you may speak too loudly and others don’t want your voice to be heard! Perhaps you speak in a monotone and what others hear is an endless drone. You may sound like a teenager but you are old enough to have one. Your voice may be wimpy or wishy-washy, whiny or weak. It could be nasal or neutral or might it be too fast or too slow?
The first time I heard my speaking voice on a recording was in college. With a Sony portable tape recorder, I made a copy of my friends and myself talking. In playing it back, I was stunned and appalled when I heard my own voice and assumed that it was because the Sony was a cheap piece of equipment. What is fascinating, however, is that I never questioned the fact that everyone else on the recording sounded true.
Later in graduate school one of my professors told me that the pitch of my speaking voice was too high. [Pitch refers to the highness or lowness of sound; volume, on the other hand, deals with the loudness or softness of sound.] She proceeded to show me where my ‘real’ voice was. It was lower in pitch and warmer in quality. I was immediately impressed with what I heard because I sounded more mature – not too old, not too young – just more mature.
At the time, I was also waiting on tables at an exquisite restaurant outside of Baltimore and I knew that I was going to sell the more expensive entrees with my lower, richer, warmer sound. And, it worked. I consciously used my voice to make the food sound more tempting. I not only sold the better entrees, but I also sold more la carte items and my tips went up.
Good voice training means that you will not only discover a richer, more mature-sounding voice, but you will also gain total control over your volume as well as the color, the life, and the animation with which you speak. You can have the greatest voice in the world, but if you speak in a monotone, then you are boring. While you may be enthusiastic and excited about your topic and the prospect of speaking, if your audience doesn’t hear it in your voice and see in your facial expression and body language, then your enthusiasm is lost.
When it comes to public speaking, only one voice matters – yours! Isn’t it time you discovered what you ‘real’ voice sounds like?
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 watch Nancy as she describes Your Least Developed Tool!