Yes, we take professional development courses of all shapes and sizes. And, there is no doubt that in today’s business world, having an edge over the other candidates for a job or a promotion or even a sales contract can bring the success you are seeking. Have you ever considered, however, the sound of your speaking voice and what it says about you?
Most people do not like to hear themselves on recording equipment because they do not recognize the sound. Everyone else, on the other hand, does. What this means is that the voice you hear on your voicemail, camcorder, or answering machine is your vocal image – not the comforting sound you hear in your head.
If you find that you have a preponderance of nasality or speak too softly or too loudly, you might consider a change. Perhaps your voice is shrill, throaty, childlike, wimpy, weak, or lacking in expression. Any of these characteristics may be labeling you wrongly because your vocal image speaks volumes about you even though it may be incorrect.
I recently listened to a professional speaker who teaches others how to make money by public speaking. He was a very masculine, large man in his 40’s and he looked most professional. When he opened his mouth to speak, however, I was stunned. I never expected the voice that came out of his mouth. It was high-pitched, nasal, and extremely young-sounding. (While we all wish that we could retain our youthful looks, sounding like a teenager or younger still is not an advantage.)
Credibility in public speaking or any job for that matter is established by a number of factors. And sounding mature – not too young nor too old – is one of those factors. If you have a voice that is childlike than the image you are projecting is childlike.
I once worked with a woman whose business was ‘dressing’ professionals. At 28 she was small and cute but her voice sounded like that of a pre-teen. Fortunately, she realized that as she aged, her childlike sound would be a major hindrance, so she enrolled in voice training and discovered a richer, more mature-sounding voice which was much more conducive to her visual image and her content.
You are not stuck with the voice you hear on your answering machine: you have a better one inside. I call it your ‘real’ voice. Once you discover it, you will be amazed at how good 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 on voice improvement. If you would like to see a dramatic ‘before & after’ clip, visit Voice Training Website and check out Craig’s video.