When someone looks at you, your visual image is obviously the first thing they see. And, that image has an impact on the other person – your attire, your figure, your face, your hair – everything that is presenting the picture of you. But what happens when you open your mouth to speak?
Have you ever considered whether your speaking voice does justice to the visual image you project? Or whether the content of what you are saying is being well-served by the sound of your speaking voice? When you answer these questions, bear in mind that I am talking about the voice you hear on your answering machine or voicemail – not the voice you hear in your head. (What you hear on your voicemail is the sound by which everyone else recognizes you.)
If you voice is high-pitched and squeaky or shrill, or nasal and strident, or child-like in quality, the image your voice is projecting certainly doesn’t justify your visual image or the content of what you are saying.
Recently, I had a client who was working on improving his speaking voice. When he first phoned me, I heard a voice that was nasal and relatively high-pitched for a man. When he later sent me a photo, I was dumb-founded because the picture showed a handsome, well-built tall man in his 40’s. The voice I heard when he first called me, however, led me to believe that he was a wimpy little man in his early 20’s.
In truth, I wish I looked like I was still in my early 20’s but I don’t want to sound that young. Nor do I want to sound old. What is fascinating about good voice training is that your ‘real’ voice is ageless. My voice does not give away my age. In addition, it doesn’t age me either. When I am 85 years old, I may look like it but I will never sound old. If you haven’t seen my photo and were to phone me, you would not be able to place an age on me. I could be 25 or 65. The reason is because I’ve taken the pressure off my vocal folds (cords) and am using my chest to power my sound. The result is a voice that is deeper, richer, warmer, and resonant.
In the case of my client, the change he made in his voice is so dramatic, that when he phoned me after finding his ‘real’ voice, I did not recognize him. Today his voice definitely does justice to his visual image.
Next time you hear your voice on recording equipment, listen closely and ask yourself if what you hear does justice to the rest of the image you are projecting.
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 or watch Nancy in a brief video as she describes The Power of Your Speaking Voice.