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?
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.
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:
- Would you go on a date with you?
- Would you hire someone like you to defend you in an important court hearing?
- 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.
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