The secret in your voice

Have you ever heard of anyone living without communicating? It is true that the odd time we hear a tragic story of someone who was locked in a room for years. It is hard to believe that someone was deprived of interaction with the world. Exceptions apart, most of us communicate in one way or the other and are allowed to do so! Still, we constantly need to learn about better ways to communicate and relate to others.

The impact of a good voice

We all hear of motivational speakers who are fantastic and great entertainers. But do you remember any of them who have a boring, monotone or squeaky voice?

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In his book ‘Love your voice’ the author Roger Love (great name, isn’t it?) points out how important it is to develop a ‘star-like’ voice. In the beginning of the book, Roger highlights the advantages and the incredible difference in life a better voice can bring. The author is famous for making celebrities of all medias speak and sing beautifully. We can trust him.

Although I think the author goes overboard when he emphasises the benefits of a great voice, I cannot deny how much more aware of the impact of my voice I became after reading his book. The biggest chunk of communication – 55% – is credited to body language, the signals your body sends all the time, whether you are speaking or not. I believe we all knew that! Amazingly, it is the tone of voice what accounts for the 38% of communication. Only 7% has to do with the words we use!

Why should I pay attention to my voice?

It is not about age, beauty, money or stature. Your tone of voice has the power to persuade, convince and enchant your listener. You might be thinking ‘Hum, that is why certain people can get me buying what I do not need or do what I do not want to.’ Yes, it might be directly related to their tone of voice.

As learners and teachers we can benefit hugely from adjusting our voices and making the most of our vocal power. If people are put to sleep when you start to speak or even before that, you might find out now that this is because your voice is not helping you. A better voice helps develop confidence and confidence is easily noticeable and desired.

Communicate better

I have decided to apply some of the techniques from the book. It felt incredible the way some reacted to my talk. The subject was quite interesting, but no matter how interesting what you have to say is, if you do not grab your listener’s attention by a proper body language and good tone of voice, all preparation and knowledge will not be enough to do the job.

When you are in front of a group you are the centre of attention, and that should be enough to encourage you to improve the way you address this group.

Assess your voice

If you are determinded to do something about your voice the first suggestion is to record yourself speaking. Listen to it carefully. Now, imagine you do not know the person that you have just listened to and ask yourself some questions:

  1. Would you go on a date with you?
  2. Would you hire someone like you to defend you in an important court hearing?
  3. Did you feel like listening to you again?

If the answer is no, you have to do something about your voice. Remember that even before seeing you, others make judgments based on what they have. If what they have is your voice, you want to leave the best impression possible.

The message we send when we speak

Let me explain that not everything that is said about you should make you lose your sleep. But if you SOUND boring, what do you think others think of you? Exactly, they think YOU are boring. You may be a very attractive person, full of knowledge and experience, but if they imagine that you are not going to change the way you speak, they will simply switch off completely.

Believe that YOU ARE AN INTERESTING person and make others think the same. Yes, have them paying attention to you and listening carefully to you when you are speaking.

Make sure you are paying attention to all the messages your body is sending (remember the 55%!) and give special attention to your voice. The more effective the communication, the better the relationships.

I’m looking forward to hearing your feedback in the comments.

See you!

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Erica De Monaco Lowry

Erica De Monaco Lowry has been living in Ireland since 2008. She is a teacher, an interpreter, a translator, a tour guide and an insatiable learner. Her favorite pastimes include reading, travelling, socialising and catching up with her family.

22 comentários

  • 19/11/12  
    flavia diz: 1

    This is so simple an yet, we never pay attention to it. Great article!
    I’ll start paying more attention to that during my classes and check the results!

    Best regards.

    • 19/11/12  
      Erica diz:

      Great stuff! Let us know then, Flavia. ;-)

  • 19/11/12  
    Gustavo diz: 2

    Hello! Thank you so much for your post… It brought me something like an epiphany about my relationships and life in general!! I have ever thought about this before, but obviously not the way like you showed it! It can help everyone… !! See you

    • 20/11/12  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      This goes to show that one of our best tools to relate to others is literally on the tip of our tongue.

  • 19/11/12  
    carlos diz: 3

    great article! thank you very much!
    see you!

    • 20/11/12  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Thanks Carlos. Glad you liked it. :-)

  • 19/11/12  
    Bruno diz: 4

    We can also get some inspiration with other people as actors. I´ve been tried to imitate the Matthew Perry´s voice because he talks so fast and smooth that it is great to my ears!

    • 20/11/12  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Yes, Bruno, we can be inspired by others. Definitely. Anthony Hopkins is one of my favourites when it comes to voice, vocabulary and accent. The man with the golden voice is a fantastic example. Thanks Alessandro! He mentions ‘development’. He didn’t always have that great voice, he worked on it. Amazing!

    • 20/11/12  
      Alessandro diz:

      Hi Erica,

      You’re welcome!

      Cheers,

  • 20/11/12  
    Santo diz: 5

    Well, it’s really great listening the own voice. I’ve record my voice trying singing. Sincerelly, I would not buy a CD of mine, for sure.

    • 20/11/12  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      You wouldn’t buy your own CD, but maybe you would hire yourself to defend your cause in a court hearing… Sometimes we don’t take the first step because we are being too demanding about the results ahead. And they can really surprise us.

    • 22/11/12  
      Santo diz:

      Thanks very much Erica, It’s very lovely and encourager from your part

  • 20/11/12  
    vera diz: 6

    That’s great! Thanks!

  • 21/11/12  
    Elaine diz: 7

    I truly believe on that! I am a speech therapist and the voice (the way you speak) is very important and shows things about you, for example people who speaks too slowly might pass the impression that they think slowly…

    Write more hints on how to improve our voices, please!

    Thanks a lot!

    • 23/11/12  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Elaine, I’m glad to hear that we have a speech therapist here! You might help us with some ideas for future articles. There is so much to be said on this subject. Thanks for your comment. :-)

  • 21/11/12  
    Wesley Souza diz: 8

    I’m really confuse about my voice, i keep hearing some singers of EUA like Chris Brown, M. Shadows.. and their accent are very different, i know that anyone is wrong, but i don’t know “if is” good keep copying their “style” of talking… :S
    But i’m thinking, i’ve learning writing first, after i’ll train more the talk…

    Ps: the “if is” are in quotes because i don’t know if are right… ><

    • 23/11/12  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Hello Wesley! I recommend to use as models people who have it all – good tone, pace, melody, volume, pitch. I suggest that you take as examples good male actors. Check Anthony Hopkins. His voice is impeccable. Also, it’s a good idea to have your voice assessed. Anyone can find their own very best by just training their voice. You meant: “’if it is’ good to keep(…)’ and ‘I don’t know if it is correct.” All the best!

  • 21/11/12  
    Stan diz: 9

    cool article, good tips!!!
    Now, I promisse paying attention to my own voice.
    tks a lot EE

    • 23/11/12  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Cool, Stan.Let us know how things go for you. :-)

  • 29/11/12  
    Raíssa diz: 10

    Hi Erica,

    Nice article!
    In your opinion, which women have a good tone, pace, melody, volume and pitch?
    I’m looking for some voice models ;)
    Thank you

    • 30/11/12  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Hi Raissa. I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Just as a reference of a good female voice I would suggest that you check Elizabeth Hurley. As I mentioned earlier on here it’s a good idea to have your voice assessed. We can copy others, but it takes less effort to develop our own very best voice, which is very unique! All the best. :-)

  • 12/01/13  
    Andressa diz: 11

    What an interesting article! I never thought of the importance of the voice tone, but I think you’re right. I’ll start to pay attention to that now!