Do you believe that the image you project has an impact on your professional or business life? I would imagine that your answer is yes. I would also imagine that you have heard yourself on some type of recording equipment - your voicemail, an answering machine, a camcorder, or maybe even an old audio tape recorder.
When you hear your recorded voice, what is your reaction? Are you shocked, maybe embarrassed? How about humiliated? In all the years I have been speaking professionally about the sound of the voice, I always ask that question of my audience. 99% do not raise their hands. In fact, most tend to look around the room uncomfortably, possibly hoping I will not call upon them to speak. The reason for their discomfort is because, in being asked that question, they have an idea of what I am going to say next and they do not want to hear it. It goes something like this:
The voice you hear on your voicemail or other type of recording equipment is how everyone else recognizes you. Let me say that again. The voice which embarrasses, humiliates, disgusts, or shocks you is how everyone else recognizes you. That sound is your vocal image.
They say that 37% of the image you project is the sound of your speaking voice. How you look accounts for 55% of your image. Only a mere 8% is attributed to your content or what you are saying. Whether those statistics are true or not is debatable but the statistics are not the issue. The issue is that there is no doubt that some percentage of your image must be assigned to your speaking voice. And, over the telephone where there is no visual, the sound of your voice is responsible for the majority of the image you are projecting.
How many times have formed a mental image of someone over the phone and were later surprised when you met that individual in person? The voice you had heard over the phone was in no way similar to the person you were looking at.
One of the most common examples of this is the person that sounds child-like. I can't tell you how many women I have spoken to, later met, and was nonplussed to discover that they were mature women.
The image you project speaks volumes about you and your speaking voice is part of that image. What is your voice saying about you?
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels provides private, group and corporate training throughout the United States and Canada as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement and presentation skills. Visit Voice Dynamic and voice your opinion in her new blog.