Many years ago when I was fresh out of graduate school, I applied for my first 'real' job in New York City at G. Schirmer, the largest publisher of classical sheet music in the States. What I didn't know then was that my speaking voice was my greatest asset in attaining employment with that firm. I sounded confident; I sounded like I knew what I was talking about; and, I was only 24 years old.

My question to you is how good are your interview skills? Now, let me take that one step further. Having heard yourself on your voicemail or answering machine, how confident do you think your voice sounds when talking to a prospective employer?

We do not have the ability to hear ourselves the way everyone does; thus, it is important to recognize that you are known by what you hear on your voicemail, not the sound you hear in your head.

Does your voice convey confidence? Do you speak with enough volume? Soft-spoken individuals do not get the job. By the same token, the loud voice is also not an asset. Being able to have a conversation in a normal volume of sound is very important. Maybe your voice exhibits nasality or you speak in a monotone. To hear a voice from a 40-year-old that is boring, whiny, breathy, too soft, too loud, or sounds like a child, does not exude confidence to an employer.

Through the years, I have worked with hundreds of people who were being held back because of their speaking voice. When a young man by the name of Sean phoned me, I thought I was talking to a woman. He told to me that his boss had informed him that if he didn't do something about his voice, his chances of moving up in the business were nil.

After learning how to find his optimum voice, which was considerably lower in pitch than his 'habitual' voice, Sean was offered a better job with his firm. Not only did he land a higher-paying position, but one of the men in his firm who didn't know Sean had been working on his voice, said to him, "I honestly feel more relaxed speaking with you... I feel really comfortable... The change in your verbal articulation is significant, I feel as if you have matured 10 years!"

Sean attributes his success to his 'new' voice and said, "After presenting the project status to a group of executives I was offered a position in project management a huge jump from my prior job function as a temporary low level employee."

Think back to the last time heard yourself on your voicemail. What is that sound saying about you? Competition for employment today is greater than it has been in many years. If the sound of your speaking voice is a liability, isn't it time you made the change?

Author's Bio: 

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. If you would like to see a dramatic change, from childlike to mature, watch Trish’s ‘before and after’ video clip on Nancy's site.