Some years ago a woman phoned me and asked if she could attend a presentation I was holding in Detroit. The woman sounded like a child on the phone and I wondered if she was old enough to drive herself to the hotel. She then asked if she could bring her daughter and my first thought was that she would be bringing an infant. I asked her how old her daughter was and she told me that her daughter was 20 and that she, herself, was 44!
Do people often mistake you for a child or a teenager over the phone and you are over 21? While this occurrence is certainly more common with women, I have heard men who sound too young as well.
While most of us wish we could retain our youthful look as we age, sounding like a teenager or younger still is not an advantage in business or even in your personal life. On the other hand, sounding old is not the answer either.
One of the many benefits of good voice training is that you will discover a voice that sounds mature – not too old, not too young – ageless. In addition, you will find your voice improving with age, similar to a bottle of fine wine.
While my body is certainly showing all the signs of aging, my voice is not. When I’m 85, I may look it, but I will never sound old because I’ve taken the pressure off my vocal folds (cords) and my voice is actually improving from year to year. The reason is because I use my chest cavity as my primary sounding board or amplifier, the largest of our 5 resonators.
Most people, however, are not using their chest in this capacity, instead relying on their other 4 resonators – the voice box, throat, mouth and nose – to power their sound. This is one of the reasons some people experience chronic hoarseness or sore throats after using their voice heavily throughout the day. When your chest cavity becomes your primary sounding board, however, you decrease the wear and tear on the vocal folds and throat which eliminates this vocal abuse.
Those who power their voice by means of their chest cavity include James Earl Jones and Cher, George Clooney and Kate Beckinsale. Melanie Griffith, on the other hand, is not aware of this technique because she sounds like a child when she speaks and not an intelligent one to boot! Unfortunately for Ms. Griffith, when she is 85, she will sound old or, more aptly, like an old bimbo.
With good voice training, you will discover a more mature, richer, warmer, resonant sound as well as the ability to increase your volume without shouting. You will be amazed at what you will hear when you allow your chest do your talking!
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 and watch Nancy as she describes How to Sound More Mature