The Voice of Leadership

Did You Know... Over 90% of your first impressions’ are influenced as a result of your speaking voice and body language. How does your voice stand up?

Being aware of how to you sound to the public is the first step to becoming a proficient public speaker. Once you’re aware of how you sound, it’s that much easier to start changing your voice to suit your needs. So, read below to see how your ratings measure up to what makes a successful speaking voice.

A confident voice tends to be moderate in volume, slightly faster in rate, lower in pitch and clearly articulated. The speaker does not allow the ends of sentences to diminish in volume and the speech sounds to be mumbled. A confident voice implies authority, knowledge, sophistication. A breathy wispy voice implies timidity, hesitance, and apprehension.

An energetic voice is not monotonous or slow in rate. Dynamic speakers are able to modulate their inflection, intonation and volume while speaking. Speakers who are monotonous and devoid of loudness variation are perceived as dull or boring. They may have a potent message to deliver but the audience may not hear it.

A full resonant tone such as that of James Earl Jones and Maya Angelou are loved by audiences. This tone requires that the back of throat be open and the vocal folds relaxed and lubricated. When speakers become tense or nervous, their vocal folds and throat often tighten resulting in a higher pitched, strained or thin sound. Sometimes the voice quivers, which signals their anxiety.

A speaker’s rate can vary from 135 words per minute for a very technical speech to 200 words per minute when reciting a fairy tale. Proficient speakers pronounce the ends of words and all syllables in multi-syllable words. Speakers who speak too quickly tend to omit the ends of sounds and telescope or drop syllables from multi-syllable words which can result in a slurred or misunderstood message.

Effective speakers engage their audiences from the first words that they speak. They pause effectively rather than insert starters such as ‘um’ or ‘er’. They vary their pitch, volume and rate to amplify their message. Effective speakers have clearly thought out messages that benefit the audience and powerful but natural body language.

Your voice is an instrument and you can learn to play it well. If you would like to maximize your impact every time that you speak, contact us.


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