Have you ever considered the image that your speaking voice is projecting? By the way, I am not talking about the voice you hear in your head – I am talking about the one you hear on your voicemail or some other form of recording equipment. I am also not talking about the words that come out of your mouth. I am talking about sound, the actual quality of your voice.
If what you hear on the recording is whiny, nasal, or shrill, you should consider making a change. Those three characteristics are definitely not soothing, warm or inviting to your listeners’ ears. In fact, it is possible that your voice is painful to your listeners when you are increasing your volume because you are shouting, thereby pushing your voice forcefully from your throat.
37% of the image you project is based on your speaking voice. And, over the telephone, where there is no visual, that percentage rises dramatically. Thus, if your voice has any of those characteristics and you are talking to someone over the phone who you do not know, that individual may be judging you like Kate in Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. Shakespeare described her voice as being, “loud, outspoken, and sharp-tongued.” Is that an image you think inspires confidence, warmth, or maturity for your listeners?
You have a better voice inside of you that is not whiny, nasal, or shrill. It is deeper in pitch, exhibits no excessive nasality, and is not shrill even if you are increasing your volume.
The voice I am referring to is powered by means of your chest cavity and it displays resonance. Richer, warmer, and more mature-sounding, it vibrates in your chest and sounds authoritative – not loud nor overbearing. Voices like that of Diane Sawyer, James Earl Jones, George Clooney, Kathleen Turner, Kate Beckinsale, and Sean Connery can all be described in this manner.
In addition, once you are using your chest cavity to power your sound, you can then increase your volume without shouting. This is called projection. Projecting your voice does not hurt your listeners’ ears nor does it hurt your throat. (Incidentally, yelling can do serious damage to your vocal cords and throat and is called vocal abuse.)
There is no doubt that you have a better voice inside of you and it may be just as good, if not better, than those actors I mentioned earlier. Until you discover it, however, you will never know just dynamic it 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. If you would like to see a dramatic change in a nasal versus non-nasal voice, watch Katie's dramatic 'Before & After' video clip.