When you hear your voice on your voicemail, what is your first reaction? Shock? Disbelief? Disgust? What is your second reaction? More than likely, it is to promptly forget it. It might be a good idea to listen again to that voice and acknowledge the fact that what you hear on your answering machine is the sound by which everyone knows you. While you may not recognize it, your family, your friends, and your colleagues do.
That voice which you find shocking, appalling and/or embarrassing is your vocal image.
When I was a child I would talk to my friends under water. The sound would be very garbled and muffled because it was sound that was traveling through a liquid. Similar to your voice under water is the voice you hear in your head: sound that is vibrating in the solid and liquid of the brain – distorted sound. The way we are heard by others, however, is sound that is traveling through air.
Since we are unable to hear ourselves the way others do when we speak, we are not being reminded of how we really sound throughout our day which is why we promptly forget the voice we hear on our recording equipment.
If you were to look in the mirror and see that your hair was a mess, you would comb it. If you had spinach in your teeth, you would quickly dislodge it. Were you to see egg on your tie or a stain on your blouse, you would try to remove the stain or change the effected apparel.
If the image we project needs work, we fix it. We take courses in self improvement; we enroll in public speaking and presentation skills classes; we read books on motivation, organization and all the other ‘tion’ words; we even have professionals design our wardrobes; yet, we don’t pay any attention to that part of our image which some say accounts for 37% of how others perceive us.
And, while that 37% may account for the vocal image we project in a face-to-face encounter, what do you think those percentages are over the phone where there is no visual?
The question is, if you don’t like the voice you hear on your voicemail, do you think anyone else does?
When I discovered my ‘real’ voice back in the late 70’s, I not only sounded better but what was fascinating was that I exuded a new-found confidence. I sounded more mature than I was: I sounded like I knew what I was talking about. And that confidence got me the jobs I wanted in New York City as well as jobs I wasn’t pursuing.
There are so many benefits of good voice training that will improve your life in ways you cannot imagine and one of those benefits is that your voice will improve with age. As I get older, my voice is a lot like a bottle of fine wine: it is only getting better. Unfortunately, nothing else on my body is displaying those same characteristics!
Voice training means that you will sound better; you will probably look better; and, most definitely, you will feel better about yourself because you will project a more dynamic, a more professional, a more polished self-image.
Still think voice training is just for the Hollywood elite? Think again!
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels is a voice specialist and president of Voice Dynamic as well as the SelfGrowth's Official Guide to Public Speaking. Holding corporate and 2-day workshops throughout the US and Canada, she launched Voicing It! in April of 2006, the only video training course on voice improvement. You can watch clips from her DVD on her website and ‘before’ & ‘after’ takes of her clients as well as download an audio presentation in which Nancy how voice training can improve your life both professionally and personally at: http://www.voicedynamic.com