I am ever amazed at the number of people in public speaking who never give any consideration to their speaking voice. Concerned about their physical image, their content, and their delivery skills, they have yet to realize that the vehicle for transmitting their message is the voice. And, it is not the one they hear inside their head; it is the one they hear on their voicemail.
Recently I was researching public speaking skills and came across a man who speaks about presentation skills, marketing, and a host of other topics. What surprised me was the misinformation I found on his website about the speaking voice. One of his pieces of advice, which was so clearly wrong, was the idea that you might as well accept the voice you hear on your answering machine and live with it.
When I listened to this man on YouTube, I heard a voice that was too high in pitch. In addition, he was pushing his voice from his throat. The result was a loud sound that will eventually hurt his pharynx and vocal folds (cords). [To clarify, pitch is the highness or lowness of sound – it is not the volume. James Earl Jones has a low or deep pitch; Don Johnson, on the other hand, has a high pitch, primarily because his voice is so nasal.]
What is annoying is that this speaker is giving advice about a subject for which he has no education or background. Just because one has experience speaking does not mean one has any comprehension of the speaking voice, how to use it properly, or what training can do for it.
You have a better voice inside of you that is resonant in quality and most likely deeper in pitch. Powered by means of your chest cavity, it has greater endurance than your habitual voice which means you will have more voice and more energy by the end of the day. In addition, you will be able to increase your volume without shouting. This is known as projection.
Your ‘real’ voice will not only sound more mature but it is easier to produce than the voice you are currently using. And, once you make it a habit, you will discover a wonderful control over what comes out of your mouth as well as one of the best means of controlling nervousness when you are addressing an audience.
Do not believe that you are stuck with the voice you hear on your answering machine or other form of recording equipment because you’re not. Discover your ‘real’ voice and you will be amazed at what you hear.
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.